Search News Posts

Validating credentials, please wait...
  • Office 207.236.7033

  • Sailing

2018 CAYSP Classes

Welcome to the Camden Area Youth Seamanship Program!

Thank you for considering us as an organization where your child will gain a solid foundation in small boat handling skills.

Sailing classes have been an integral part of the Camden Yacht Club since 1951. We have grown from 5 turnabouts and one class per day to a fleet of 45 boats (Optimists, 420s) and 7 different sailing/boating class levels.

CAYSP is a non-profit organization, based out of the beautiful facilities of the Camden Yacht Club. We are committed to making boating in Camden Harbor accessible to any child age 6 and older.

© Alison Langley Photography

Scuppers (Ages 6–7)

This is formerly our rowing class, it has been modified to emphasize a number of pre-sailing skills, and will still have a rowing component.

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) 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 out exploring the harbor and getting to know more about Camden’s active waterfront!

*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)

Taught in Optimists, this class is an introduction to basic sailing skills. It is a class for the beginning sailor or one who wants to build confidence on the water. In addition to the basics of sailing, students will learn rigging, boat handling and knot tying. Weather permitting, a typical day includes a land-based demonstration or game followed by about two hours on the water.


Adventure Sailing (Ages 11–13)

Adventure Sailing has changed its focus for the 2018 season. This is a class for “graduated” Beginning Opti sailors who do not want to race. The students will be sailing solo in their own Optis. We will continue the learning and practice in seamanship skills, points of sail, weather awareness including wind speed and direction changes, anchoring 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. 


Ocean Explorers (Ages 8–12)

Join Jen Conover and Heather Wyman for maritime lessons and projects. These may include practicing navigation, gaining an understanding of maritime weather and its influences on boating, additional seamanship skills, setting and hauling lobster traps, understanding island life, and marine craft projects. Bring a lifejacket and a backpack with your lunch, plenty of snacks, water, and a change of clothes.


Green Fleet Racing (Introduction to Racing) (Ages 10 & Up)

Students who are capable of sailing their own Optimist and have a firm grasp of basic boat handling skills are encouraged to enroll in this introductory level RACING class. It will stress friendly competition and understanding how to move your boat well through racing, drills, and demonstrations. 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. In addition, 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. Weight limit 125 lbs.


Optimist Race Team (Ages 11 & Up)

This is a competitive sailing team. 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. Again, parental involvement is mandatory for regattas. Weight limit 125 lbs.


420 Race Team (Ages 13 & Up)

This is the highest-level youth sailing class offered through CAYSP. Prerequisites in most cases include Optimist Race Team and the Adventure Sailing class. 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. If racing regattas is of interest 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. Regattas, both in state and New England, are options. Sailors, instructors and the program director will decide upon who will attend these races. Parental involvement with these regattas is expected.

Forms To Download

2018 Registration Form
CAYSP Scholarship Form
CAYSP Code of Conduct