South Whidbey Yacht Club

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Youth Programs
Youth Programs
Youth Programs
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Come join the fun! Our camps emphasize learning how to sail while building self-confidence and promoting good character.

2023 sailing  classes are now completed.  Thank you for your interest and for successfully launching our next generation of sailors!


Youth sailing classes are offered on Deer Lake. Classes are taught in an open-air class room setting and on the water. Each class lasts five days, Monday – Friday, from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. Watch our website in the spring for our 2024 schedule of classes.  

Cost for the class is $200 per student. Children and grandchildren of South Whidbey Yacht Club members receive a $50 reduction. Classes are open to boys and girls ages 10 to 16. We accommodate participants with special needs as much as possible.

Parents are always welcome but are especially encouraged to attend the first day orientation and swim assessment, and of course, the awards ceremony on Friday at 2:00 pm.

Read additional information here.

Beginning Sailing

Each student will sail their own 8-ft pram called an El Toro. They learn to set up (rig) and take down their boats each day, insuring it is put away properly. There is a morning and an afternoon on-shore lesson lasting about 15 to 30 minutes followed by on-the-water time to implement and practice what they have learned. Lessons emphasize how to stay safe on the water, how the sails and controls work, with some sailing “lingo” and knot tying. The instructors join them on the water to provide further coaching. Games and fun activities on the water and ashore are designed to reinforce sailing techniques, while having fun.

Intermediate Sailing

Intermediate students hone their skills by sailing primarily in the much faster 13-ft Lasers.  The Intermediate class is limited to students who have received a Level 2 certificate from our Beginning Class and are at least 12 years old (or have permission from the program director). Each student will build on learnings from the beginning series and the emphasis will be on sailing faster and smarter with greater confidence. Students will also explore sail racing, as a means to practice more control over their boat. The Lasers frequently capsize, so students will spend some time in the water in capsize recovery drills beginning on the first day and probably all week. Students generally love this activity- once they realize they can take care of themselves out there it frees the sailor to really have fun.

Register for classes through the South Whidbey Parks & Recreation Department. Registration will be available mid-April, 2024.   Forms will be available at the South Whidbey Parks & Rec Building and online.  If you are a South Whidbey Yacht Club member and want to receive your discount on sailing classes, you must register in person or by phone.  On-line registration will not accommodate the discount.