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COMMUNITY SAILING

There’s no better place to get out on the water than Mystic Seaport Museum. No matter your age or skill level, it’s easy to find the right sailing class for you. With full and half-day camps, homeschool and afterschool sailing, adult sailing, racing, and more, there is a perfect fit for everyone.

Our junior and adult programs are for beginner and intermediate sailors using Dyer Dhows, Prams, and c420 dinghies. Sailing classes are taught by experienced US Sailing certified sailors. The Sailing Center at Mystic Seaport Museum is an US Sailing accredited community sailing center.

Safety is our first priority at the Mystic Seaport Museum Sailing Center. All staff are certified in Red Cross first aid, CPR/AED. All staff have been trained to prevent and respond to emergencies on and off the water. We adhere to strict policies regarding safe powerboat operation, concussion response, and on-the-water management. Our staff includes Red Cross certified lifeguards, US Sailing certified sailing instructors, and U.S. Coast Guard licensed captains. For summer camps, all camps are licensed by the State of Connecticut. Staff and campers wear PFDs and sunscreen and carry water bottles at all times while on the waterfront. We have an 8:1 sailboat to safety boat ratio at all times.

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Financial Aid

We are pleased to announce that we have scholarship funding available for our Community Sailing (ages 6-15), Joseph Conrad Overnight Sailing Camp (ages 10-15), and Schooner Brilliant (ages 15-18summer camps and spring and fall programs. Up to 100 percent of the cost of the program is available depending upon need. To apply complete the application. For more information, please email reservations@mysticseaport.org/.

2024 Classes and Camps

FULL-DAY CAMPS

Full day sailing on the Mystic River (8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.)

Students learn how to sail in a friendly and fun environment on the waterfront of beautiful Mystic Seaport Museum. The class emphasizes the basics of sailing terminology, seamanship skills including knot tying and rigging, boat handling, and the enjoyment of sailing.  This class is unique because if participants are unable to sail due to weather conditions then they are able to explore the grounds of historic Mystic Seaport Museum with their instructors, or participate in fun, hands-on activities related to sailing.  Our primary teaching boat is the Dyer Dhow dinghy. We also have a fleet of Prams for our younger campers.  Campers over 12 with prior sailing experience will be qualified to sail c420s.  Campers bring their own lunch and eat at the Sailing Center.

  • June 1721, grades 57
  • June 2428, grades 34
  • July 812, grades 46
  • July 2226, grades 79
  • July 29August 2, grades 46
  • Members $352 | Non-members $440

SPECIALTY FULL-DAY CAMPS

Trade Winds: Joint Full-Day Camp with Mystic Seaport Summer Day Camp and Community Sailing (8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.)

This camp provides the perfect balance for those who want some time on land and on the water. Campers spend their mornings exploring Mystic Seaport Museum exhibits and participating in crafts and hands-on activities. Then in the afternoons campers learn to sail small boats on the Mystic River with our U.S. Sailing Certified instructors in Dyer Dhows.

  • July 15 or August 59 (grades 57)
  • Members $352 | Non-members $440

 

Introduction to 420 Sailing (8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.)

The Beginner 420 class is an entry level class for older students interested in learning the basics of sailing or for our students familiar with Dyers/Optimists looking to move up to a bigger boat. This class teaches boat safety, knots, and boat parts. Students also learn basic maneuvering, points of sail, and docking. This camp is designed as a way for newer sailors to learn at a comfortable pace in in a friendly and supportive environment. The skills covered in the program provide a foundation for further pursuit of the sport.  No sailing experience necessary. The 420 is a double-handed dinghy that has two sails. Named for the hull’s dimensions of 4.2 meters. It is most commonly used for college and high school sailing.

  • July 15 (grades 79)
  • Members $352 | Non-members $440

Trails and Sails: Joint Full-Day Camp with Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center (9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.)

Hit the trails at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center and learn how to sail at Mystic Seaport Museum on the beautiful Mystic River.  The Nature Center offers miles of hiking and exploration, live animal encounters and more!  While at Mystic Seaport Museum campers will learn the basics of sailing terminology, seamanship skills including knot tying and rigging, boat handling, and the enjoyment of sailing.  Campers will spend Monday and Tuesday sailing at Mystic Seaport Museum and Wednesday-Friday at the Nature Center. Registration is through Mystic Seaport Museum.

  • July 1519 (grades 57)
  • Campers meet at the Museum on Monday and Tuesday, and meet at the Nature Center Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
  • Members: $352 | Non-members $440

Intermediate 420 Sailing (8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.)

Intermediate Sailing is for campers with a beginner level of sailing experience who would like more experience in the boat before progressing on to racing. At this level, students learn more boat parts and more advanced knots as well as developing the confidence to steer the boat on their own. We teach seamanship, spinnaker handling, and basic right of way rules. This course focuses on mastering independent decision making, and becoming more confident at boat handling. The 420 is a double-handed dinghy that has two sails. Named for the hull’s dimensions of 4.2 meters. It is most commonly used for college and high school sailing.

  • July 2226 (grades 79)
  • Members $352 | Non-members $440

420 Race Week (8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.)

Campers put their sailing knowledge to the test as they begin to learn more advanced sail theory and racing skills. Instructors focus on boat handling techniques, proper boat and sail trim while also covering the racing rules of sailing as well as racing strategies and tactics. This camp is not a beginner level camp: it is highly encouraged that newer sailors take the intro to 420s or the intermediate sailing camp before doing race week.  

  • August 1216 (grades 79)
  • Members $352 | Non-members $440

Introduction to Racing in Dyer Dhows/Prams

This camp is for campers with some experience sailing Dyers/Prams and have an interest in learning how to race in a fun and supportive environment. Instructors teach more intermediate boat handling techniques, sail and boat trim, while covering the racing rules of sailing as well as racing strategies and tactics. Boats used are Dyer Dhows and Prams/Optimists: single handled boats with one sail. 

  • August 59 (grades 57)
  • Members $352 | Non-members $440

Mystic River Adventure: Joint Camp with Mystic Aquarium (9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.)        

Mystic Aquarium and Mystic Seaport Museum are together again! Participants in this joint camp start their day at the Aquarium with hands-on programs to learn about the conservation of local aquatic ecosystems.  Then in the afternoon, campers travel to the Seaport to learn how to sail in a friendly and fun environment on the waterfront of beautiful Mystic Seaport Museum.  Campers will learn the basics of sailing terminology, seamanship skills including knot tying and rigging, boat handling, and the enjoyment of sailing.  This camp provides your child the unique opportunity to see the Mystic River from above and below. Registration is through the Mystic Aquarium at 860-572-5955 or at Learn More | Mystic Aquarium.

  • June 2428 and July 29August 2 (grades 46) 
  • Members $400 | Non-members $480

HALF-DAY CAMPS

Half day sailing on the Mystic River (8:30am-12:15pm)

Students learn how to sail in a friendly and fun environment on the waterfront of beautiful Mystic Seaport Museum. The class emphasizes the basics of sailing terminology, seamanship skills including knot tying and rigging, boat handling, and the enjoyment of sailing.  This class is unique because if participants are unable to sail due to weather conditions, then they are able to explore the grounds of historic Mystic Seaport Museum with their instructors, or participate in fun, hands-on activities related to sailing.  Our primary teaching boat is the Dyer Dhow dinghy. Campers over 12 with prior sailing experience will be qualified to sail c420s. We also have a fleet of Prams for our younger campers.

  • June 17–21, grades 5–7
  • July 8–12, grades 4–6
  • July 15–19, grades 5–7
  • August 5–9, grades 5–7
  • Members $200 | Non-members $250

SPECIALTY HALF-DAY CAMPS

Seaport Sea Stars

Back by popular demand, sailing camp is once again available for campers entering grades 1 & 2! Our Seaport Sea Stars program will introduce the concept of wind and basic sailboat controls. Our main goals are safety and fun. We teach in shallow water and light wind so that campers can have a fun and memorable experience that will inspire them to continue to learn how to sail. We hope that our littlest campers leave with new friends and the impression that sailing is fun and not scary.  Campers should feel comfortable wearing a lifejacket (required to be worn at all times campers are near or on the water) and have some level of comfort swimming/floating in the water. This class is taught in Prams (small boats with one sail similar to Optis) by an experienced U.S Sailing certified instructor and Red Cross certified lifeguard. Our sailing instructors will tailor the lessons to the maturity of each camper with the help of our Counselors in Training to sail with campers as needed.

  •  June 24–28, grades 1–2
  • July 15–19, grades 1–2
  • July 29–August 2, grades 1–2
  • August 12–16, grades 1–2
  • Members $200 | Non-members $250

HOMESCHOOLING SAILING

September 12–October 24, Thursdays, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Students will learn how to sail in a friendly and fun environment on the beautiful Mystic Seaport Museum waterfront. The sailing class emphasizes the basics of sailing terminology, seamanship skills like knot tying and rigging, boat handling, and the enjoyment of sailing. On days where sailing is not possible, students will also have the opportunity to learn about river ecology, powerboating, and navigation.

  • For ages 8 and up.
  • Maximum class capacity is 20 students.
  • Members $152 per participant | Non-members $190 per participant

HOMESCHOOL POWERBOATING

September 17–October 29, Tuesdays, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

This is the US Powerboating (Safe Powerboat Handling–US Powerboating) 16-hour, hands-on, on-the-water course—intended for anyone who wants to learn how to safely operate a small motorboat and improve their boat handling skills. No previous experience or certification is required. The US Coast Guard and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) have approved this course which includes Connecticut-specific exam questions meeting the requirements for a State of Connecticut Boating Certificate. This class is taught by US Coast Guard Licensed Captains that are also US Powerboating Safe Powerboat Handling Instructors.

  • For ages 10 and up.
  • Maximum class capacity is 8 students.
  • Members $152 per participant | Non-members $190 per participant

AFTER SCHOOL SAILING

Tuesdays September 17- Oct. 29, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

This class is intended for both beginning sailors as well as those who have some sailing experience. Our new-to-sailing students will learn how to sail in a friendly and fun environment, while returning students and those who already know the basics will have the opportunity to get out on the water in a fun, less structured environment.

  • For ages 8 and up.
  • Maximum class capacity is 12 students.
  • Members $152 per participant | Non-members $190 per participant

No programs available at this time, check back soon!

ADULT BEGINNER SAILING, SESSION ONE

Tuesdays, June 25–July 16, 5:30–7:30pm

This class is for those adults who have never sailed and have always wanted to learn in a friendly and fun environment on the waterfront of beautiful Mystic Seaport Museum. Participants will be introduced to the theory of sailing (why and how a boat sails), basic sailing and gear terminology, rigging and de-rigging a sailboat, equipment stowage and care, personal safety, knots, safety on the dock and on the water, points of sail, small boat handling, and basic rules of the road.

  • For ages 15 and up, all skill levels welcome
  • Maximum class capacity is 20 students.
  • Members: $260 | Non-members: $325

ADULT BEGINNER SAILING, SESSION TWO

Thursdays, September 12–October 24, 5:30–7:30 p.m.

This class is for adults who have never sailed. Students will learn in a friendly and fun environment on the beautiful Mystic Seaport Museum waterfront. Participants will be introduced to the theory of sailing (why and how a boat sails), basic sailing and gear terminology, rigging and de-rigging a sailboat, equipment stowage and care, personal safety, knots, safety on the dock and on the water, points of sail, small boat handling, and basic rules of the “road.”

  • For ages 15 and up; all skill levels welcome.
  • Maximum class capacity is 20 students.
  • Members: $260 | Non-members: $325

FALL FROSTBITE RACING SERIES

Saturdays, October 19–November 23, 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Frostbite sailing is a great way to keep your sailing skills active in the offseason, and late fall is a beautiful time to sail with lots of wind! Sailors will race in Dyer Dhows, starting at 1:00 p.m. each Saturday and wrapping up at 3:00 p.m.

  • All ages and skill levels welcome.
  • Maximum class capacity is 25 students.
  • Members $120 for all 6 sessions; $20 per session | Non-members $150 for all 6 sessions; $25 per session

COUNSELOR-IN-TRAINING PROGRAM

The Counselor-in-Training (CIT) Program for Community Sailing is a free program for youth ages 14–16 who will receive leadership development and job readiness skills while also learning how to become a sailing instructor.  Each week CITs will work as an integral part of the Community Sailing program.  They will sail with campers, help teach lessons, and assist with the day-to-day tasks of running a sailing camp. This is a full-day program, Monday-Friday, 8:15 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Please see click here to access the application link.

  • June 17–August 16, Monday–Friday, 8:15 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 
  • Minimum of two consecutive weeks preferred.

CIT Handbook 2024

CT MARINER GIRL SCOUT TROOP 93052

Girl Scout Mariners provides teen Girl Scouts, grades 8 to 12, an opportunity to engage deeply in water-focused activities. As Mariners, girls develop skills in swimming, safety, and rescue; canoeing, kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding, or boating; and weather and navigation. Mariners work together with their shipmates, build positive relationships, and band together on critical issues facing our waterways. While on the water, Mariners gain a unique perspective that encourages them to think critically about the world around them and consider how they can best address significant problems they are passionate about solving. Ultimately, Mariners will be taking the helm and sailing full speed ahead into actualizing their potential as leaders.  At Mystic Seaport Museum girls will explore on-water activities such as rowing, small boat sailing, boat safety, powerboat handling, and sailing on Schooner Brilliant. Our programs take place on the Mystic River and Long Island Sound, girls will also learn about the environment. During the winter months girls will learn about first aid, boat maintenance and woodworking. Girl lead projects can also include specific Girl Scout Badges, Journeys, Service Projects, and Awards.  Girls can join at any time of the year! For more information about how to register email the troop leaders: elizabeth.sistare@mysticseaport.org or sarah.armour@mysticseaport.org.

Meeting Dates:

Troop will meet monthly. Reach out for more information.

No programs available at this time, check back soon!

Private sailing lessons are also available.  Please contact the Sailing Center at 860-572-5369 to arrange the timing, and Reservations at 860-572-5331 to register and make payment.

Is your camper in Scouts?

During their week of camp, Boy Scouts can earn the Small Boat Sailing Merit Badge: there is a Merit Badge Counselor on staff and we can also conduct a boy scout swim test if needed. You must indicate that you want to earn the Merit Badge on camp docs or communicate with the camp director on the first day of camp. This is to ensure that we take the time to individually cover all badge requirements with your scout.

Registration

Register online for any program, call 860-572-5331, or email reservations@mysticseaport.org.

Cancellation Policy

Participants will receive a 75% refund if they cancel before 30 days prior to the camp. No refunds will be given if cancellation is made within 30 days prior to the camp.

COVID-19 Policies
  • We no longer require proof of a negative covid test at drop off for day campers.
  • COVID vaccinations will be strongly recommended but not required.
  • Masks are optional.

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