Search News Posts

Validating credentials, please wait...
  • Office 207.236.7033

  • Sailing

Youth Sailing Classes

COVID-19 UPDATE: We continue to monitor Maine CDC guidelines and the Governor’s public health directives as we prepare for 2021 classes. Stay tuned for more info, coming soon.

Forms To Download

Check back soon for:

2021 CAYSP Registration Form
2021 Scholarship Form
2021 CAYSP Code of Conduct


We’re busy developing a fantastic 2021 course lineup.

Registration will open in late March. Stay tuned!


Scuppers (Ages 6–7)

This program is designed to prepare students to move into the CAYSP sailing programs, with a strong emphasis on engaging the kids in fun, authentic experiences. Built on the idea that “first you have to row a little boat”, students will gain the prerequisite skills to manage small boats independently (boat handling/rowing), to sail with an instructor and to learn basic seamanship, harbor awareness, navigation, and knot tying. We will also focus on developing confidence and awareness on and around the water. Most of our time will be spent in boats exploring the harbor and getting to know more about Camden’s active waterfront! With intention this class is kept at 4 participants to allow for ample attention and focus on our students. This class does fill very quickly.
Monday–Friday, 9:00–11:00. Weeks 6/29, 7/6, 7/20, 7/27
*Please limit your child to one week/season in the Scuppers program. As a program designed to prepare students to move into our sailing program, we feel that it best for students to attend for one week only.


Beginning Sailing (Ages 8–10)

Our beginning Sailing classes are taught by US Sailing certified level 1 instructors and our ratio (1:5) is intentionally low to keep students fully engaged and safe. Students will sail in Optimists and RS Quests with and without instructors in the boats. They will receive a solid introduction to basic sailing skills.

This is a class for the beginning sailor or someone who wants to build confidence on the water. In addition to the basics of sailing, students will learn rigging, boat handling, basic weather and wind awareness and knot tying. Weather permitting, a typical day includes a land-based demonstration and game followed by about two hours on the water. Building friendships through fun activities both on and off the water is an integral part of our curriculum.
Monday–Friday, 8:30–11:30. All summer


Solo Sailing (Ages 11–13)

This is an intermediate sailing class for the Optimist sailor. The students will be sailing solo in their own boat. With more time/experience on the water and sailing alone the skills will increase rapidly. Our US Sailing certified instructors will continue to teach new concepts as well as offer drills to practice seamanship skills, points of sail, weather awareness including wind speed and direction changes, and moving within Camden Harbor safely. Adventures into the bay will be encouraged, weather depending. There may be times when the day is extended due to traveling to another club, or setting the goal to make a destination up or down the coast. If we travel, parent involvement is expected. As always community building and developing friendships are a part of the curriculum.
Monday–Friday, 8:30–11:30. All summer


Ocean Explorers (Ages 8–12)

Join Jen Conover, Heather Wyman and/or Cedar Andrus for a variety of activities in and around Camden Harbor. Class may include visits to Curtis Island, gaining an understanding of weather and its influences on maritime activities, learning and practicing dead reckoning (navigation) and seamanship skills, setting and hauling lobster traps, crabbing, tide-pool exploration and marine craft projects.

Bring a lifejacket and a backpack with your lunch, plenty of snacks, water, and a change of clothes.
Please note the following:
There is not a sailing component to this class.
There are two age groupings.
This is a very popular class and tends to fill very quickly!
Monday–Friday, 11:30–3:30
Ages 8–10: Weeks 7/13 & 7/27
Ages 10–12: Weeks 7/20 & 8/3


Girls Leadership (Ages 11–13)

The Girls Leadership class will blend two of leader Jen Conover’s passions—her experience as an alpine ski racing coach and the Ocean Explorers curriculum. Dryland exercises such as agility, endurance, and strengthening our bodies will be woven into our day of learning about the sea and boats. This includes but is not limited to: anchoring, seamanship, marine ecology, SUP, navigation, coiling/knot tying and tides/currents. We will also cover goal setting and the power of the positive mind, all while building confidence. We have team-building activities to help facilitate group dynamics which will be both fun and challenging. Come join Jen for this exciting new adventure!
Monday–Friday, 9:00–3:00. Week 8/10


Expedition Sailing (Ages 11–13)

This is a new offering for the sailor who does not want to race. It will be offered in the afternoon.

This class is NOT a Learn-to Sail class—students should be familiar with moving a boat on all points of sail, tacking and gybing, boat positioning, and basic rigging. The sailing will be primarily in a larger boat (19 or 22 feet) and will limited to five students. Long-distant sailing skills, awareness of our impact on the ocean (plastics, watershed drainage), working together as a team are topics/skills that will be covered in this class.

Students in this class must be capable of some flexibility—drop off/pick up could be anywhere between Lincolnville beach area, Rockport, or Rockland. There may be some days when drop off is 1–2 hours earlier to give us the time to voyage longer distances. The class will finish at 4:00 daily. We will set up a means to communicate with parents on the first day of the class.
Monday–Friday, 1:00–4:00. Weeks 7/6, 7/20, 7/27


420 Sailing (Ages 13 & up)

This class is offered in the mornings. Sailors in this class need to have basic sailing skills (can sail all points of sail including tacking and gybing, body positioning). The curriculum is based on orienting students to a 420, a one-design sailing dinghy. Specifically students will get acquainted to the 420 by learning rigging and de-rigging, becoming aware of centerboard, boom-vang, cunningham and outhaul adjustments, practicing body positioning/hiking and sailing with endurance through varying weather conditions.
Monday–Friday, 8:30–11:30. Weeks 6/29, 7/6, 7/20, 7/27


Green Fleet Opti Racing (Ages 10 & Up)

This is a class for students who are capable of sailing their own Optimist, have a firm grasp of basic boat handling skills AND are interested in learning the skills involved in racing. It is an introductory level RACING class, offered in the afternoon when the wind is typically stronger.

Through on-land teaching and on-water drills sailors will be introduced to a race course including how to maneuver the start-line, upwind and downwind legs, mark roundings as well as race rules. The class will offer friendly competition in the form of a weekly race day and/or larger in-house regattas.

At the coach’s discretion and based on skill level and confidence, students may be invited to participate in day-long regattas in the entry-level “green fleet” a prerequisite to racing on the Optimist Race Team. Any traveling will require parental involvement. There may be times when we need to extend the day because of a regatta opportunity. Continuing to gain solid friendships and building community are an important part of our afternoon classes.
Monday–Friday, 1:00–4:00. All summer


Optimist Race Team (Ages 11 & Up)

This is a competitive sailing team in Optimists. Emphasis is on safety and moving an optimist fast and well through the water. Students will single-hand Optimists on a daily basis, developing a strong foundation by practicing more difficult drills, tactics, and seamanship along with an understanding of the racing Rules of Sailing. This class will sail in most weather, including heavier wind days. It is a positive, team-oriented environment. In addition, there will be a weekly Race Day. For the most part these races will be held in Camden Harbor. There may be times when we need to extend the day because of a regatta opportunity. Attendance of regattas such as the Opti Maine States, US Sailing regional Junior Olympic event and the Harraseeket Youth Regatta are strongly encouraged. Sailors will need to be signed up for the same week as any regatta they hope to attend. Parental involvement is mandatory for regattas. Continuing to develop solid friendships and building community are an important part of our afternoon classes.
Monday–Friday, 1:00–4:00. All summer

420 Race Team (Ages 13 & Up)

This is the highest-level youth sailing class offered through CAYSP. Prerequisites in most cases include the Optimist Race Team. Sailors should have previous 420 sailing experience and feel VERY confident with boat handling skills in moderate to heavy wind. Although students in this class are not expected to race, drills used to develop skills to the next level will be used regularly. These may include negotiating a crowded start line, maneuvering your boat in tight spaces, fine-tuning your boat speed using the boom-vang and Cunningham, making centerboard and outhaul adjustments, learning and practicing trapeze and spinnaker work, and sailing with endurance through varying weather conditions. Understanding the details of the race rules will be addressed as part of this class. Lasers and 420s will be used regularly. Equipment maintenance will also be a part of the class. In-state regattas may be an option. Sailors, instructors and the program director will decide upon who will attend these races. Parental involvement with these regattas is expected.
Monday–Friday, 1:00–4:00. All summer




Skip to toolbar