2024 Registration for members opens March 4 at 9:00 a.m.
Public registration opens March 18 at 9:00 a.m.


All Classes...

Run Monday - Friday, 9 am - 4 pm
Launch from Seattle Yacht Club on Portage Bay
Require sailors to pass a relatively easy float test with a life jacket on
Are taught by US Sailing Level 1 Instructors
Are suitable for new sailors (except Learn-to-Race Week)
Focus on fun and safety while boating!

Classes Offered


Lil' Luffers

Ages & Prerequisites
 - 7-9 years old
 - Ability to pass basic float test

 - Vanguard 15

This class introduces our youngest sailors to fun and safety on the water in an unintimidating way. Students sail with one or two peers and an instructor in a Vanguard 15 sailboat, allowing for hands-on learning with instructor guidance close by. This class covers sailing terminology, indicators of wind direction, rigging basics, steering with a tiller, and other foundational boating skills through fun games and activities. Honing skills learned throughout the week, students may earn the chance to sail an Opti on the last day of class.

Overboard Optis

Ages & Prerequisites
 - 8-12 years old
 - Ability to pass basic float test
 - Interest in sailing a single-handed boat (even if your sailor is a little nervous!)


 - Opti

Our most popular class, Overboard Optis offers students a chance to expand their knowledge of sailing as well as gain confidence in a single-handed boat. Throughout the week, students learn Opti rigging, basic sail trim, launching & docking, tacking & jibing, righting a capsize, and more through a variety of fun activities. While Overboard Optis is many students' first time sailing solo, instructors can offer advanced instruction for more experienced sailors. Many students take this course multiple times in one summer and across summers, so be sure to sign up early!

Junior Jibers

Ages & Prerequisites
 - 10-13 years old
 - Ability to pass basic float test

 - Feva
 - Vanguard 15
 - Laser

This class is an excellent opportunity for students to learn to sail or improve their skills as a sailor and team player. Students sail with a peer in a Vanguard 15 or Feva, or sail solo in a Laser. At the beginning of the session, the class may be broken up into groups based on skill level. In some segments of the class, all skill levels will sail together so they can have fun and learn from their own peer group. A variety of topics from sailing fundamentals to beginning racing will be covered. This class is suitable for all levels of experience.

High School

Ages & Prerequisites
 - 14-17 years old
 - Completed 8th Grade
 - Ability to pass basic float test

 - Vanguard 15
 - Laser

This class is similar to Junior Jibers, but catered towards students in or entering High School. Students sail with a friend in a Vanguard 15 or solo in a Laser, and may switch between boats. High School sailors may also sail the Fevas. At the beginning of the session, the class may be broken up into groups based on skill level. In some segments of the class, all skill levels will sail together so they can have fun and learn from their peers. A variety of skills will be covered and this class is suitable for all levels of experience.

Learn-To-Race Week

Ages & Prerequisites
 - Optimist: 9-13 years old
 - Feva: 10-17 years old
 - V15: 10-17 years old / weight minimum 100 lbs
 - Laser: 13-17 years old / weight minimum 100 lbs
 - Must have taken at least 1 class at SYC Sailing School, or be comfortable demonstrating basic sailing maneuvers including steering, tacking/jibing, and  docking
 - Ability to pass basic float test
 - Enjoy sailing and want to improve

 - Optimist
 - Feva
 - V15
 - Laser


July 22-26, 2024 ONLY. 
For one week each summer, sailing school focuses on introducing students to sailboat racing in an un-intimidating way. Classes are divided by boat type, each covering rules of racing, typical race courses, starting, basic racing tactics, and more advanced boat handling techniques. The week concludes with a fun regatta and awards. Instructors are often current or past race team members, offering a depth of racing knowledge to students. This class is often a stepping stone for our Opti Green Fleet Introductory Racing Program and/or the Junior Race Team.



The Optimist (Opti) is an eight foot, kid-sized single-handed dinghy that is easy to manage and fun to sail. Optis are popular youth racing dinghies sailed around the world.

Vanguard 15

The Vanguard-15 (V-15) is the primary training boat at Seattle Yacht Club. This stable, double-handed boat with a main and jib is the national standard for novice and advanced sailors to master the basics and to develop teamwork.


NEW! Double-handed youth dinghy quickly gaining popularity in learn-to-sail and race programs alike around the globe. The fleet will be in use for the first time at Sailing School in 2021. 


The Olympic-Class Laser is a high performance single-handed dinghy for intermediate and advanced sailors. It is a great platform to build boat-handling and racing skills. This boat has two different sized sails, allowing us to tailor the boat to the weight of the sailor.

2024 Dates & Pricing

June - August Classes run Monday - Friday

All classes are at Seattle Yacht Club
1807 E Hamlin St
Seattle, WA 98112



Classes Offered

June 17-21 Lil' Luffers 1, Overboard Optis 1, Junior Jibers 1, High School 1
June 24-28 Lil' Luffers 2, Overboard Optis 2, Junior Jibers 2, High School 2
July 8-12 Lil' Luffers 3, Overboard Optis 3, Junior Jibers 3, High School 3
July 15-19 Lil' Luffers 4, Overboard Optis 4, Junior Jibers 4, High School 4
July 22-26 Lil' Luffers 5, Opti Race Week, Feva Race Week, V15 Race Week, Laser Race Week
July 29-Aug 2 Lil' Luffers 6, Overboard Optis 6, Junior Jibers 6, High School 6
Aug 5-9 Lil' Luffers 7, Overboard Optis 7, Junior Jibers 7, High School 7
August 12-16 Lil' Luffers 8, Overboard Optis 8, Junior Jibers 8, High School 8
August 19-23 Lil' Luffers 9, Overboard Optis 9, Junior Jibers 9, High School 9
August 26-30 Lil' Luffers 10, Overboard Optis 10, Junior Jibers 10, High School 10

Registration Opens Monday, March 18th 2024

Seattle Yacht Club Member Registration begins on Monday March 4th

Registration Fee: $550

Early member registration on March 4th for SYC Junior Members, SYC Member's Children, and SYC Member's Grandchildren only.


Kick-Off BBQ

Monday, June 24, 2024

5:30 - 7:00 pm 

See the boats students will sail and meet the instructor team at our annual Kick-Off BBQ! Beef burgers, veggie burgers, hotdogs, and salad will be served on the lawn at Seattle Yacht Club. The summer sailing staff will be on hand to introduce themselves and answer questions about the sailing programs. Cost is $15 per person, and tickets are available for purchase as an optional add-on with Sailing School registration.


Registration Info

Registration opens to the public on Monday, March 18 at 9 am. Seattle Yacht Club Member Registration opens Monday, March 4 at 9 am.           
                 ONLY Seattle Yacht Club junior members, children of members, and grandchildren of members are eligible for Member Registration.

Life Jacket rentals. Life jackets are required for sailors on or near the water at Sailing School. If your child does not have a life jacket, you will have the option to rent one when you register for classes. Please be sure to rent a life jacket for the number of weeks your child is registered for Sailing School. 

Waitlist. Once a class has reached capacity, you may sign your child up for the waitlist free of charge. You will be contacted directly by the Sailing Office if a spot opens up for your child. 



Pricing, Fees, & Cancellations

  • Registration fee is $550. 
  • $10/week life jacket rental (optional with registration).
  • $15/person kick-off BBQ ticket (optional with registration).
  • $100 cancellation fee for cancellations up to one week/the Sunday before class starts. No refund for cancellations less than one week/the Monday or later before class starts.
  • $50 charge for class changes, if registration has already been processed.


  • Classes can and will sail in the rain. Students should bring a jacket for those days.
  • The sailors will not go out on the water if there is thunder or lightning in the area, or if winds are dangerously strong. If weather or wind-speed prevents the students from sailing, the instructors are prepared with other on-land sailing-related games and activities to keep class fun and educational.
  • Classes will sail in smoky conditions. In heavy smoke, classes may spend regular on-land time (lunch, teaching activities) indoors instead of outdoors. 
  • There are no refunds for adverse weather conditions, unless Sailing School is canceled by the Sailing Office.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the float test?

All students will do a life jacket fitting and basic float test on the first day of the class. It consists of jumping in the water with a life jacket on, swimming 15-20 feet, treading water while doing a simple task such as tying a knot or telling a joke, and then getting out of the water. Any swim stroke is appropriate. Students must "pass" the test before they can sail. The purpose of this test is to make sure sailors are comfortable in the water and life jackets fit properly.

Occasionally our younger sailors become scared about this and don't want to do the test, even though they are strong swimmers. Usually when they see their peers do the test, they will jump in.

Failure to pass the float test is not grounds for a refund. 

Is lunch included?

No, lunch is not included. Students should bring a lunch each day, or bring money to purchase lunch at the Snack Shack. The Snack Shack has sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, and box lunches available for purchase, as well as coffee and ice cream. 

What's the difference between the Lil' Luffers and the Overboard Optis?

Students in the Lil's Luffers class will learn to sail with an instructor and 1 or 2 other students in the boat with them, typically in a Vanguard 15. Students in the Overboard Optis class will learn to sail in individual, kid-sized boats called Optimists.  Both classes are suitable for beginners; the class choice really depends on the preference and comfort level of the child and parents.

Where do you sail?

Most sailing takes place on Portage Bay, located between Lake Washington and Lake Union. The sailors may occasionally venture to Lake Washington or Lake Union. 

Who do I contact about lost & found?

Please contact the Sailing Office regarding lost & found items at 206-926-1009. All unclaimed lost & found items will be donated in early October each year. 

Interested in Instructing at Seattle Yacht Club Sailing School? 

Check out the Sailing Instructor page for info and application. Applications open January 8, 2024. 


Location & Contact Info

All classes launch from Seattle Yacht Club on Portage Bay.
Seattle Yacht Club
1807 East Hamlin Street
Seattle, WA 98112

Questions? Please contact the Sailing Office at 206-926-1009.