NC Maritime Museums’ Junior Sailing Program

Sailing sessions for youth ages 8 to 16 uses the fun of sailing to teach boat handling and seamanship, from basic to more advanced, and competitive racing during Regatta Week. The program promotes self-reliance, awareness of safety, adaptability to the forces of nature, and develops self-confidence, sportsmanship, and respect for others, boats, and the sea. Registration for Junior Sailing, a Friends of the Museum program, begins Feb. 15.

The Junior Sailing Program offers basic through advanced sailing instruction to youth ages 8 and older. Instructors are certified in First Aid and CPR. Instruction takes place on the protected waters around Beaufort.

This exciting program teaches the arts of rigging, sailing, and seamanship and introduces students to maritime traditions and history. It is designed to teach the basic skills of sailing to beginners and to hone the skills of more advanced students, using a combination of time in the classroom and on the water.

The program helps participants develop self-esteem, responsibility, and sportsmanship, as well as knowledge of and respect for the forces of nature. An awareness of boating safety is emphasized throughout the program.

The Junior Sailing Program uses two classes of sailboats that are commonly used in sailing and racing programs throughout the US. International Optimist Dinghy.

The International Optimist Dinghy (IOD or Opti) is recognized worldwide as the sail-training and competition boat for youth ages 8-15 and is the ideal craft for teaching sailing to beginners. It has a single, sprit-rigged sail and is 7 feet 9 inches long. The Junior Sailing Program uses 20 IODs, all built at the Museum’s Watercraft Center and maintained by staff and volunteers. The maximum student weight in the Opti is 130 lbs.

The Flying Junior (FJ) is 13 feet 3 inches long and has two sails —a mainsail and a jib. It carries a two-person team. Each crew member will learn to rig, launch, and sail this fun and fast day sailor. Racing fundamentals, tuning techniques, and proper boat handling will be covered. The program has four FJs. Students wishing to participate in the Flying Junior class must have sailing experience and knowledge, preferably from at least one session of the Museum’s Junior Sailing Programs. Participants must weigh at least 100 lbs.

Sessions, which start June 14, consist of one group in the morning from 8:30 a.m.–noon and another in the afternoon from 1 p.m.–4:30 p.m. The fee
is $335 per session. Friends members receive a $35 discount per session.

A Regatta Week Session meets for one week, Monday through Friday, beginning August 9, from 12:30–5 p.m. A parent or guardian is expected to accompany each student to the regatta.

Junior Sailing Program registration opens Feb. 15.

The fee for the 2021 Junior Sailing Program is $335 per session and includes a Friends of the Museum membership. Participants must be at least 8 years old when classes begin and able to successfully demonstrate his or her ability to swim.

The North Carolina Maritime Museum offers morning educational activities to complement afternoon sailing. Visit the Summer Science School page for information on those activities.