More classes Available!! We have added half-day Beginner Small Boat Sailing sessions” and integrated our “Advanced Small Boat Sailing Courses” with our racing program and have also added an overnight stay to our popular “Cruising Camp”. Read on for student requirements and class descriptions or click here to view the Class Schedule.
- Student Requirements
- Beginner Learn to Sail
- Intermediate Learn to Sail
- Advanced Learn to Sail
- Basic Cruising Camp
- Advanced Cruising Camp
- Keelboat Camp
- Adult Keelboat Camp
- Race Team
- Race Team Clinic
Sailing Lessons – Student Requirements:
- Students must be able to swim 30-40 yards and tread water for 3 minutes without flotation aids. Students must have a Type III flotation jacket for use during class. For comfort, students should have a lightweight wet suit or spray jacket. BYC has a limited number of flotation jackets and wet suits for rent.
- Because classes fill up fast, early registration is highly recommended! Classes are subject to change due to weather conditions. Class registration closes the Friday at 5pm prior to the Monday start date of that session.
Beginner Learn to Sail
(Ages 8-15 years)
No sailing experience is required for the beginning sailing classes! On-the-water instruction takes place in Optimist dinghies. Students successfully completing Beginner Learn to Sail should be able to rig and launch a dinghy sailboat, self-rescue a capsized sailboat, understand the three points of sail (beating, reaching and running), and tack and jibe a dinghy sailboat in fair weather conditions with proper supervision.
All lessons are taught by at least one instructor in a coach boat with other instructors nearby to help. If you are 16-18 years old and would like to learn how to sail, please get in touch and we will find the best option for you.
Intermediate Learn to Sail
(Ages 8-18 years)
This course is open to students who have completed the Beginner Learn to Sail course, have a US Sailing Certificate, or demonstrate comparable sailing experience. Intermediate sailors will be sailing RS Teras and FJs.
Intermediate Sailing classes build upon skills acquired in the Beginner Learn to Sail course. Students will further develop their understanding of sail controls, helming, sail trim, boating safety, racing rules, strategy and other US Sailing skills. The class will have a strong emphasis on safety, peer learning and having fun!
Advanced Learn to Sail
(Ages 8-18 years)
This course is open to students who have completed the Intermediate Learn to Sail course, have a US Sailing Certificate, or demonstrate comparable sailing experience, also a great place for the local High School race team sailors to brush up on skills before the fall season.
Advanced sailors will be sailing RS Teras, Olympic class Lasers, FJs and some keelboats. Advanced sailing classes build upon skills acquired in the Intermediate Learn to Sail course as well as being introduced to racing. If you are an advanced sailor wanting to improve you’re on the water skills please see the BYC Race Team options.
(Ages 10-18 years)
Keelboat camp is sailed in J/24s with up to 6 students. This course is open to students who have completed the Beginner Learn to Sail course, have a US Sailing Certificate, or demonstrate comparable sailing experience.
Keelboat camp is focused on understanding and operation of a larger sailboat. We will be sailing in J/24s and will learn how to get to and from the dock, change sails, use spinnakers and some basic racing technique. We will practice proper seamanship and be introduced to solid fundamental boat practices that will carry on throughout a sailor’s life.
Adult Keelboat Sailing
(Ages 18+ years)
Adult Keelboat Sailing will teach beginning sailors, over 4 days, how to sail a small keelboat comfortably. We will be learning to practice proper seamanship using the US Sailing Keelboat Manual as our guide. Sailing J/24s, our course will teach you to use the main, jib and spinnaker sails. The J/24 is a safe, stable and fun platform for getting out on the bay and learning the basics and has also been one of the most popular keelboats for racing with a large International Class Association.
Our course will teach you how to read the weather, basic navigation, rules of the road and plan for a sail. We will learn the directions of the wind, how to sail to and from the dock, basic knots, steering and crew-overboard recovery. This is a comprehensive course and at the end you will be able to confidently sail small keelboats. This is a great course for anyone interested in day sailing, cruising or beginning racing.
Beginning Cruising Camp
(Ages 12-18 years)
This course is for students ages 12-18 interested in recreational sailing. Students should have completed the Intermediate Learn to Sail course, have a US Sailing Certificate, or demonstrate comparable sailing experience. This course will include one over night at BYC’s Out Station at Inati Bay on Lummi Island! This course can be used as one of the qualifying prerequisites for students wishing to attend our Advanced Cruising Camp.
The focus of the course will be to plan a day sailing trip considering factors such as wind, tide, and weather. The J/24 will be our training platform. Our day trips may include sailing to Fairhaven Harbor and Larrabee State Park. As mentioned above, an overnight trip during the week for a camp-out at the BYC Outstation at Inati Bay is included. This is an ideal opportunity to find a friend to sail with and join a group sailing on Bellingham Bay! The overnight camp will be supported with three (3) instructors and a motorboat. This is a very popular course so sign up early!
Advanced Cruising Camp
(Ages 14-18 years)
This course is for students ages 14 -18 interested in recreational sailing. Students should have completed the Advanced Learn to Sail or Beginning Cruising Camp, a US Sailing Certificate, or demonstrate comparable sailing experience.
Advanced Cruising Camp is a multi-day cruise in the San Juan Islands. We will overnight at Inati Bay on Lummi Island, Cypress Island and Sucia Island. This course will be focused on multi day planning with basic navigation training, boat prep, and food planning will be on Monday. We will depart on Tuesday midday on J24’s to Inati Bay for the first night. The following three days will be spent in the San Juan islands. We will return Friday mid afternoon to clean up and put away the boats. This is our most involved and exploratory course! No other club in the Northwest offers this program!
(Ages 8-18 years)
The BYC Race Team is for sailors looking to take that next step into competitive racing. The Race Team consists of the Opti Race Team and the Advanced Race Team. The race team practices and races during the summer out of the Bellingham Yacht Club on Bellingham Bay. The team travels to regattas around the Pacific Northwest and the U.S. competing in high performance races.
One of the goals of the Advanced Race Team will be to encourage competitive sailors to race multiple types of sailboats. The BYC is committed to this goal by providing FJs, Lasers, 29ers, J/24s, and Etchells for Advanced Race Team Practices.
Race Team Clinic
(Ages 8-18 years)
The Race Team Clinic is run from 10am – 3pm focusing on Lasers, Fjs and 29ers (if there are qualified teams). Participation is limited to the Race Team members only and is coached by the Race Team Coach. This will be designed to further the abilities of the sailors in the craft and will build on skills for the coming events. These clinics are built around regatta schedules and will be used to improve the team’s performance in the days before the regattas.