2019 Summer Sailing School

2019 Adult Sailing Lessons

2019 Green Fleet 

2019 Summer Sailing Instructor Information

Instructor Applications CLOSED

Email Catie at catiep@seattleyachtclub.org if you are interested in applying to be a Junior Instructor for Summer 2019

This year’s program will be 10 weeks long, from June 17 through August 30 with no classes held the week of July 1 – 5.

We are looking for instructors to join the team who are skilled in teaching as well as sailing. You need to be responsible, mature, enthusiastic, and professional. We are looking for team members who possess a love for the sport of sailing and an enthusiastic desire to pass that on to young sailors. The returning instructors represent the highest caliber of both instructor and individual, and are expected to have demonstrated their desire and ability to train their successors; we expect the same from our incoming staff.

Requirements for paid staff (does not include Junior Instructors) include US Sailing Level 1 Instructor Certification, current CPR and First Aid Certification, and State Boater Education Card or License. See Certification Resources below for more detailed information.

Program Mission Statement

To teach sailing as a sport to enjoy and participate in for a lifetime in an environment promoting fun, safety, self-reliance and good sportsmanship; and to provide quality instruction in boating – related activities including physical fitness, water safety and seamanship.

Program Description

The Summer Sailing Program at Seattle Yacht Club instructs 600+ sailors each year, ranging from 7 to 18 years old, as well as adult sailors in evening classes. Instruction takes place in the Club’s fleets of Vanguard 15’s, 420’s, Lasers, and Optimists. Power boats used to support the program range from 13’ inflatable Avons, to 19’ Boston Whaler offshore support boats. We utilize U.S. Sailing’s Small Boat Sailor (Little Red Book) curriculum, and the Learn Sailing Right book, and occasionally enhance this instruction with videos and video taping of our students. Each student receives a photo, T-shirt, Little Red Book, and Certificate at the end of the sailing class session.

We teach students ranging from beginning sailors through coaching of advanced racing sailors. We instruct on Portage Bay near the Yacht Club’s main Clubhouse. Our instructor-to-student ratio ranges from 3:1 to 10:1. The classes are broken down into Class Groups based roughly on age of students, and within these groups the class may be broken into sections based on experience and skill assessment. We emphasize developing junior sailors for a lifetime of enjoyment and involvement in sailing.

Staff Composition

Our weekly staff at Seattle Yacht Club will be approximately composed of the following positions: 4 – 5 Lead Instructors, 5+ Instructors, and 3 – 5 Junior Instructors. Additional supervision will be provided by the Sailing Programs Coordinator, Sailing Director, and Race Team Coach. Descriptions of the various positions below are for selection of the appropriate instructor level, and the associated requirements.

Lead Instructors
The Lead Instructors will work with the Sailing Director and Sailing Programs Coordinator in organizing the program, insuring safety in the operations, and serving as liaisons between the Instructors, the parents, and SYC staff. The Lead Instructors will be responsible for the large class groups. In this position they will oversee and ensure that the Instructors assisting them in their class groups are prepared and have the resources to facilitate instruction for the advanced, intermediate, and beginning sailors of each class group. They will be responsible for projects within the program, including safety boat cleanliness and maintenance, sailboat storage and maintenance, and classroom resource allocation, in addition to instructing a class section. Typically, a Lead Instructor will be an experienced and accomplished instructor, ideally having completed or currently attending college. Must be at least Level 1 certified; Level 2 US Sailing Instructor Certification is encouraged. Must have current CPR/First Aid Certification and Washington State Boater Card. Lead Instructors are the core instructors within the program.

Our Instructors are typically still in High School or beginning University, and are our future Lead Instructors. They must be at least 16 years old, and must obtain the US Sailing Level 1 Certification prior to employment, in addition to CPR/First Aid Certification and Washington State Boater Education Card. They are responsible for class sections within larger class groups, and individual boats of students within our most beginning classes. They must be capable sailors, comfortable in all situations that will present themselves during the summer’s sailing. They should have an enthusiastic and open attitude toward developing their skills as sailors and instructors, with an eye toward longevity within the instructing staff.

Junior Instructors
Junior Instructors are our Instructors of the future, and are volunteer, internship positions. Typically, they are former Sailing School students or current Race Team members who would like to develop their abilities to facilitate instructing in the future. At minimum, they should be at least 14 years old and comfortable sailing small boats in most wind conditions; however, each Junior Instructor must also exhibit the maturity and commitment to successfully becoming a part of the staff. They will work alongside our most experienced instructors to learn the requirements and rewards of working as a sailing instructor. They will generally participate for two-week periods, and possibly have the opportunity to work multiple periods during the summer. Junior Instructing is considered to be an excellent experience towards joining the program in the future as an Instructor; if we cannot offer you a paid position this year; we strongly encourage you to Junior Instruct.

Adult Course Instructors

In addition to our daytime youth sailing classes, our program offers Adult Sailing Courses. Instructors of adult classes must possess the patience, maturity, experience, and professionalism to teach adults how to sail. Adult Course Instructors must be US Sailing Level 1 Certified, have CPR/First Aid Certification, and Washington State Boater Education Card. There are two class sessions this summer that are two weeks long, 3 evenings (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday) per week. This could be a part time position, or Instructors and/or Lead Instructors may teach these evening courses in addition to daytime youth sailing classes.

Opti Green Fleet Instructor
Each summer, we hire one Opti Green Fleet Instructor responsible for coaching nine Thursday night Green Fleet Practices, four local "Milfoil Dodger" regattas, and two local regattas. More information and dates can be found on our 2019 Green Fleet page

Certification Requirements

US Sailing Level 1 Instructor Certification
All Lead Instructors and Instructors at Seattle Yacht Club must pass at minimum the US Sailing Level 1 Instructor Certification. Once obtained, this certification must be renewed with US Sailing every three years.

Level 1 classes are offered year-round by US Sailing. Seattle Yacht Club will be hosting one Level 1 Certification course over Memorial Day weekend: Friday, May 24th through Monday, May 27th, 2019.

For complete details of the Level 1 course requirements or to sign up, visit:
These classes are open to the public; to ensure a place within the class you should act promptly.

Other requirements to pass and maintain the Level 1 Instructor Certification include holding current CPR and First Aid certification and a current State Boater Education card or license. Additionally, you must be a current member of US Sailing, and the Level 1 Certification must be renewed every 3 years. If you have previously earned your instructor certification, it is your responsibility to ensure that your other requirements do not lapse. If your instructor certification and related requirements are not kept current, you will not be a paid employee until you complete the requirements.

Regardless of whether we are able to offer you a position this summer as part of our staff, gaining your US Sailing Instructor Certification will be a resource for your future employment, and enhance any future application to our program. We strongly encourage your completion of this program at the earliest possible date.

CPR and First Aid Certification
We will offer a class at SYC shortly after the Level 1 course for those who have not had CPR / First Aid training yet, or for those who need to renew their certifications. 2019 CPR/1st Aid Class at Seattle Yacht Club: June 10th from 5:00 – 9:00 pm.

This requirement can also be fulfilled through a number of courses offered by the American Red Cross or American Heart Association. We strongly encourage you to pursue the Adult/child/infant CPR certification, as this will prepare you for the range of students you will teach at SYC. If you possess certification from another source please consult The US Sailing Training Office, 1.800.USSAIL1, with respect to equivalence. Resources in the Seattle Area for completing this certification are:
-King and Kitsap County Chapters of the American Red Cross
-American Heart Association

State Boater Education Card/License
Washington has passed legislation that requires power boat operators to pass a Boater Safety Education Course. Currently, all boaters under the age of 30 are required to obtain their Boater Education. All Lead Instructors and Instructors are therefore required to hold this certification. 

Mandatory Instructor Orientation 
All Lead Instructors, Instructors, and Junior Instructors are required to attend Instructor Orientation on Saturday, June 15 from 10 am - 3 pm. 

Pay and Benefits

Lead instructor pay is $17/hour, plus Employee Shirts/Fleece*
Instructor pay is $15/hour, plus Lunch and Employee Shirts/Fleece*
Junior Instructors are volunteers and will receive Lunch and Employee Shirt**

* Returning Instructors can choose one of the Long Sleeve Instructor Shirt, Short Sleeve Instructor Shirt or Fleece/Jacket. New Instructors will be issued all three items.
* Weekly pay is based on a 40-hour workweek, monitored by the daily clock-in system. Instructors are expected to work the entire week they are scheduled for unless otherwise stated. Instructors who work less than 40 hours will be paid accordingly at an hourly rate. Paychecks will be issued every two weeks.
**Junior Instructors will receive 1 – 2 Instructor T-Shirts. Replacements can be purchased at cost.

Questions? Please contact Catie Plourde, Sailing Programs Coordinator, at catiep@seattleyachtclub.org or 206-926-1009.