Community Sailing

Get out on the historic Mystic River and learn how to sail from Mystic Seaport's experienced instructors.

There’s no better place to get out on the water than Mystic Seaport. No matter your age or skill level, it’s easy to find the right sailing class for you. Our junior and family programs are for beginner and intermediate sailors using JY15s. Competent swimmers ages 15 and older may enroll in adult classes.

Mystic Seaport is an accredited US Sailing Center by US Sailing and classes are taught by experienced sailors who have been certified by the US Sailing Association.

2015 Sailing Programs

Adult Sailing (ages 15 and older)

Beginner

Community SailingFor those who have never sailed and have always wanted to learn. You’ll be introduced to the theory of sailing (why and how a boat sails), basic sailing and gear terminology, rigging and de-rigging a Dyer Dhow, equipment stowage and care, personal safety, knots, safety on the dock and on the water, points of sail, small boat handling, basic rules of the road, capsizing and running aground procedures.

  • Sundays, April 12-June 7, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. (no class on May 24)
  • Saturday & Sunday, June 27-28, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday, July 25-26, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday, August 8-9, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Sundays, September 27-November 15, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Registration — member: $220 / non-member: $250

Intermediate

If you are comfortable sailing a small boat alone and have mastered the basic beginner skills, this course is for you. Start with a review of terminology and points of sail then move to learning about safety, sail trim, and proper boat balance. Practice leaving and landing at docks, picking up moorings, man overboard, inland rules of the road, gear failure, wind and current, headers and lifters. Many guided hands-on drills are run designed to improve your boat handling skills.

  • Sundays, April 12-June 7, from 1:30-4:30 p.m. (no class on May 24)
  • Saturday & Sunday, July 18-19, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday, August 15-16, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Sundays, September 27-November 15, from 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Registration — member: $220 / non-member: $250

Women’s Sailing

This class is for women with or without prior sailing experience. Students will learn to sail a Dyer Dhow single-handedly and build confidence on the water.

  • Thursdays, April 23-May 28, from 9:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Thursdays, September 17-November 5, from 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Registration — member: $150 / non-member: $175

Youth Sailing (ages 8-14)

Beginner

These classes build confidence in boat handling through repeated on-the-water practice. Your child will learn the basics of water safety and wind, boat control using the main sheet and tiller, and sailing maneuvers such as tacking and jibing. Taught by experienced, certified instructors.

  • Monday-Friday, June 22-26, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Monday-Friday, June 29-July 3, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Monday-Friday, July 6-10, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Monday-Friday, July 13-17, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Monday-Friday, July 20-24, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Monday-Friday, July 27-31, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Monday-Friday, August 3-7, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Monday-Friday, August 10-14, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
  • Monday-Friday, August 17-21, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.

Registration — member: $140 / non-member: $160

Intermediate

These classes refine the basic sailing skills by learning more about how a sailboat reacts to wind and water currents. Sailing savvy is increased through discussions on safety, rule of the road, and upwind and downwind sailing.

  • Monday-Friday, June 29-July 3, from 12:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Monday-Friday, July 6-10, from 12:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Monday-Friday, July 13-17, from 12:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Monday-Friday, July 20-24, from 12:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Monday-Friday, August 3-7, from 12:30-3:30 p.m.
  • Monday-Friday, August 17-21, from 12:30-3:30 p.m.

Registration — member: $140 / non-member: $160

NEW! Afterschool Class: Greenhand Level 1 (novice sailors ages 7-11)

This afterschool class is for first-time sailors or for those with a little prior sailing experience. This class is taught on JY15s, a 15′ boat designed for teaching children to feel comfortable on the water with friends. Students will learn basic seamanship in a fun and safe environment. The program instills confidence and self-reliance, both on and off the water. Activities include trimming sails, steering a boat, water-based and land-based games, learning boat parts, learning to rig the boats, and knot-tying. If there is inclement weather, students will participate in fun, hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities related to sailing.

  • Tuesdays, April 21-May 26, from 4-6 p.m.

Registration — member: $150 / non-member: $175

NEW! Afterschool Class: Mates Level 2 (ages 8-13, must have sailing experience)

This afterschool class is taught in Dyer Dhows, small 9′ dinghies designed specifically for teaching young children to sail tandem or single-handed. This class is for sailors who have previously gone through a sailing class and feel comfortable on the water. Focus will be placed on upwind sailing, proper sail trim, advanced boat handling skills, and an introduction to racing. If there is inclement weather, students will participate in fun, hands-on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities related to sailing.

  • Thursdays, April 23-May 28, from 4-6 p.m.

Registration — member: $150 / non-member: $175

NEW! Farm and Sea Summer Day Camp (ages 8-14)

Join us for a new summer day camp hosted by the Museum with the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center. The morning will focus on the history of the Nature Center’s Coogan Farm and will include exploration, hands-on activities, and participation in the Giving Garden. Campers will then eat lunch and go to Mystic Seaport where they will learn how to sail on JY15 sailboats.

  • June 8-12
  • June 15-19

Pre-camp daycare is available at the Nature Center from 8:15-9 a.m. Drop off is at Coogan Farm and pick up is at Mystic Seaport.

Register for camp through Mystic Seaport. Register for before-camp hours through the Nature Center (860.536.1216). Registration — member: $350 / non-member: $400

Mystic River Adventure Summer Day Camp (ages 9-12)

Join us for a joint summer day camp hosted by the Museum with Mystic Aquarium. At the Aquarium (8:30 a.m.–12 p.m.) your child will learn about the animals and habitats of the Mystic River and Long Island Sound. After lunch (12-1 p.m.), campers will travel to Mystic Seaport for a sailing adventure (1-4 p.m.). This program will provide your child the unique opportunity to see the Mystic River from above and below.

  • June 22-26
  • July 27-31
  • August 10-14

Register through Mystic Aquarium: 860.572.5955, ext. 520. Registration — member: $350 / non-member: $400.

Family Sailing

These classes are designed for children (age 8 and older) and their parents or grandparents to learn the basics of sailing together.

  • Saturday-Sunday, July 11-12, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Saturday-Sunday, August 1-2, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Registration — member: $250 / non-member: $290 (includes one adult and one child)

Homeschool Sailing (ages 8-14)

Homeschool community sailing programs at Mystic Seaport build confidence in boat handling through on-the-water practice. Learn the basics of boat control (using the main sheet and tiller), rules of the road, and fundamental sailing maneuvers (such as tacking and jibing).

  • Fridays, April 24-June 12, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Fridays, September 18-November 6, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Registration — member: $140 / non-member $160