Chapoquoit Yacht Club
P.O. Box 453, West Falmouth, MA 02574


Important Notes regarding Class Descriptions and Program Requirements

  1. Junior Program Staff members are not responsible for children on the waterfront during non-class times. Please do not arrive more than 5-10 minutes ahead of your class time.
  2. Junior Program Staff members will be teaching sailors how to rig and any parents interested in learning how to rig. Opti rigging seminars will be offered the first week and second week of the program for parents and sailors. This will include an orientation about the Opti storage system(racks, tubes and blade condo).
  3. ALL PARTICIPANTS in the CYC Junior Sailing Program MUST PASS a swim check, to be administered by staff on the first day of the student's term. Swim requirements include: demonstrate ability to swim approximately 25 yards while wearing a lifejacket; then demonstrate ability to put lifejacket on and take off while treading water in the water and without assistance.
  4. ALL PARTICIPANTS in the CYC Junior Sailing Program MUST HAVE (and wear at all times when on the docks and boats) a proper-fitting, Coast Guard approved PFD (life jacket) with a working whistle (to be used in emergency only!) attached, closed-toe non-skip footwear, hat, and adequate sun protection. Staff members will not be responsible for sun block. A towel and appropriate clothes depending on weather are strongly recommended. Sailors should always show up for class rain or shine. Staff members will plan activities regardless of weather.


Below are descriptions of the classes offered by CYC. Please read carefully to decide which class would best suit your child.

Note: Read all of the choices before choosing. It will be up to the instructors to decide whether to move students up to other classes given their achievements.

Beetles Beginning sailing, usually the youngest sailors are 7-9 years old, but also may include older students, with limited sailing experience. Curriculum emphasis includes basic rigging, parts of the boat, basic seamanship (safety, parts of boat, knots, rules of the road), tacking and jibing, points of sail, confidence building and fun! Students may be ability-grouped by boat. Sailors begin the season with an instructor in the boat, but work toward independent sailing.
Opti I A great way to get started sailing on your own. This class is designed to allow children to start to feel comfortable sailing by themselves. Beginning with very basic techniques, Opti Beginner focuses on the following skills; rigging, boat controls (tiller and mainsheet, and how they work), introduction of points of sail, ability to tack and gybe, upwind sailing, capsizing, and general seamanship (safety, parts of boat, knots, rules of the road).
Note: Your child needs to provide their own Opti for this class.
Opti II Work toward refining beginner skills and introducing racing skills such as; mastery of points of sail, introduction of race courses, introduction of starting sequence, introduction of racing rules, hiking technique, roll tacking, and introduction of lay lines (participation in Unkie Cup Races encouraged).
Note: Your child needs to provide their own Opti for this class.
Opti Racing Focus on advanced racing techniques and refining racing skills such as; mastery of racing rules, mastery of different race courses, mastery of starting sequence, finding the favored end of the starting line/race course and pre-start strategies, tuning/rigging to suit conditions, recognizing/finding wind shifts, mastery of hiking techniques, and participation in “unkie cup” and/or other SMSA events.
Note: Your child needs to provide their own Opti for this class.
420 I Introduction to the 420 with a focus on the following skills; rigging, care of boats, introduction of boat positions (skipper/crew responsibilities), practice both positions, introduction of new sails (jib, and if possible, spinnaker), capsizing and righting the boat, mastery of points of sail, and roll tacks/ roll gybes.
Note: Students should have previous sailing knowledge (race course knowledge, familiarity with starting sequence, and knowledge of points of sail). Some skills may be practiced within the context of a race course.
420 II A class that will work to refine skills used in 420 I, and will introduce new skills to prepare sailors for racing 420s in SMSA events. 420 II will focus on: mastery of appropriate sail trim, ability to effectively roll tack/gybe in both positions, introduction/practice of flying a spinnaker, introduction of trapeze technique, understanding of impact of sail trim and boat heel on steering, introduction of general fleet race rules/strategies, and introduction of general team racing concepts/rules/strategies.
420 Racing A focus on the following skills in order to prepare sailors for competition: mastery of flying a spinnaker, mastery of using the trapeze, advanced knowledge of at least one of the two 420 positions (skipper/crew), sailing without a rudder (to help sailors learn to steer the boat with sail trim and body weight), participation in SMSA events, further practice of team/fleet racing theory, and tuning and rigging to suit conditions.
Note: Participation in SM Sailing regattas and team racing events is encouraged and will be the focus of this class. CYC Program Staff will coordinate the regatta and team racing participation and will coach the 420 racing team at these events.

If you are not certain where to place your child, please contact JK Nicholas, Vice Commodore at this email address:
Boats Used In The Program
Optimist (Opti)
Beetle Cat