South Whidbey Yacht Club

More Information


Beginning Sailing students have little to no sailing experience or are sailors who lack confidence in their ability or need to refresh their skills. Students should be comfortable in and on the water and be able to pass a 2-min. float test* without a life jacket (see Safety section below).

Intermediate Sailing students must have achieved a level-2 competency in previous classes and be age 12 or older (or be granted permission of the program director).

Equipment & Supplies

Beginning Sailing students will have their own 8-foot sailing pram called an El Toro and will generally sail alone.

Intermediate Sailing students will sail primarily in a 13-foot Laser sailboat.

All participants should bring the following:

  • a properly fitting Coast Guard-approved life jacket (a few extras will be available at the site)
  • a lunch
  • a bag with a change of clothes (the bag will remain on shore)
  • a reusable, non-glass water bottle (some drinking water will always be available but bringing their own would be advisable)
  • sunscreen
  • closed-toe shoes that can get wet
  • any other personal items such as hat and sunglasses

Staff and Course

Our Head Instructors are US Sailing certified and will be assisted by experienced dinghy sailors. The course will use the US Sailing coursework, and a textbook will be provided for each student.

Beginning Sailing: Students will be provided with the US Sailing textbook, “Learn Sailing Right! Beginning Sailing”. The course will cover safety on the water, sailboat nomenclature, wind awareness, rigging, sailing basics, leaving and returning to the shore, rules of the road, etiquette and a few sailor’s knots. Our priorities are safety, then fun then learning.

Intermediate Sailing: Students will be provided with the US Sailing textbook, “Learn Sailing Right! Intermediate Sailing”. The course will advance their skill level and begin basic competitive sailing. Sufficient staff will be on hand to ensure that each participant receives personal attention.


Competence in swimming is a prerequisite. Participants must demonstrate on the first day of class the ability to swim without a life jacket and stay afloat for 2 minutes without assistance. 

  • We require that participants and staff wear life jackets at all times when on the water or on the dock
  • Instructors in motorized safety boats will accompany and protect participants who are sailing
  • Instructors will teach sun protection, proper clothing, maintaining body temperature, capsize recovery, and rules of the road


Registration for classes will be available Mid-April , 2024 with South Whidbey Parks & Recreation Department.   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.   Classes fill up quickly.

Registration will be accepted starting Mid-April, 2024 and up until the date classes begin provided that space is available. Each class is limited so early registration is encouraged to ensure admission and facilitate scheduling.

** Children and grandchildren of SWYC members can deduct $50 from the fee; mention to the registrar that you are a club member when registering.  

To note: South Whidbey Parks & Recreation will maintain a waiting list. We reserve the right to cancel or combine classes depending on enrollment

Additional Information

Youth Sailing Director: Bob Rodgers