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HomeJunior Sailing Program

Junior Sailing Program

Sponsored by Lois Hannay in Memory of Jerry Hannay

River Rats offers summer training sessions for young people interested in sailing.  Training is available for boys and girls with sailing skills ranging from beginner through intermediate, and advanced/racing.  Every class includes students with no sailing experience so don't worry if your student is a first time sailor.

Students must be at least 8 years old by the beginning of class, no older than 16, and able to swim. A swim check will be conducted the first day of class. 

Boats are provided at no extra cost, but students may also use his/her own approved boat.

Classes consist of 20-25 students with 5 certified instructors and a program supervisor who is a professional school teacher. Sailors will be divided into 3 groups based upon skill level, so they receive the optimal experience.

Sailors are expected to attend each day of their session/s.

Life vests are required and supplied by the students.

Beginner Category:  For those who have little or no sailing experience. 

This course encourages students to enjoy sailing and gives them the ability to handle small sailboats safely.  Students sail National 10 (Turnabout) and Optimists.  Water safety, basic boat handling and maintenance are emphasized. The course includes a capsize drill.

Intermediate Category:  For those with some sailing experience. 

The Intermediate class builds on the fundamental skills taught in the Beginner class.  It introduces spinnaker handling, racing, and handling of boats under a variety of conditions. Students sail National 10 (Turnabout) and Optimists.  Students are expected to take the Intermediate class for at least two sessions before moving on to Advanced.  Students may participate in the Junior Sweeps Race Week in August.


Advanced/Racing:  For experienced sailors who can handle a Laser or 420. 

The Advanced/Racing class teaches students to handle a sloop-rigged boat, emphasizes precision boat handling, includes racing skills and tactics, and orients students to a variety of racing courses.


Enrollment in the Advanced/Racing category is subject to approval by the Head Instructor.  Students are encouraged to participate in the Junior Sweeps Race Week in August.

For this season there will be three 2-week sessions.  Each session will offer two classes, a Monday/Wednesday/Friday class and a Tuesday/Thursday class.  Students can sign up for either class or both.  The three sessions 2-week are as follows:

  • Session 1: Week of June 17th and June 24th
  • Session 2: Week of July 1rst and July 8th (There will be class July 4th)
  • Session 3: Week of July 15th and July 22nd

This season will also include one 1-week session. This session will offer one full week class meeting Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The one 1-week session is as follows:

  • Session 4: Week of July 29th

There will be no lessons the week of August 5th due to Junior Sweeps.

Classes run from 9am to 4pm and are held at the end of Battin Road.


Member families will receive a 35% discount.

2-Week Session Prices:

Class  Non-Members  Members
 $588 $382
Tuesday/Thursday  $392 $255

1-Week Session Prices:

Class Non-Members Members
$490 $318

Security Deposit: To help instill a sense of responsibility along with an understanding of the care and maintenance involved in keeping the River Rats fleet seaworthy, River Rats will require a $50 security deposit from each student or one per family.  This check will be used only if neglect or foolishness results in necessary repairs.  Parents will be notified immediately of any occurrence. This check will be destroyed at the end of the season or can be directed to be deposited as a tax-deductible donation to River Rats.

Parental Involvement: A MANDATORY PARENT MEETING WILL TAKE PLACE PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF CAMP. Parent involvement is critical in assuring a fun and safe summer on the water.  Parents add to the experience by getting sailors to class in advance of their start time, making sure they have appropriate clothing, food, snacks and safety gear.  Parents also need to make certain that their sailors understand that taking care of equipment and facilities is everyone’s responsibility including taking care of their gear, club equipment, and cleaning up after themselves keeping the facilities tidy for fellow students and members of the club.

For more information, please contact us at