How old does my child need to be to start sailing lesson?
We accept children ages 6 through 17 in our program.
What days do the children sail?
Our program runs Mondays through Thursdays.
How do I know which class is best for my child?
Children who are new to sailing begin in our mercury program. Six to eight year olds generally do best in the 8 - 10 am time slot. Eight to eleven year olds or those young sailors who have successfully completed the 8-10 am time slot are best suited for the 10 to noon time slot. Teen beginners or those with previous mercury experience belong in the 1 - 4 pm time slot. Safety is always our top priority, and the winds generally get strong throughout the day, making the afternoon class appropriate only for those older students and ones with a good amount of experience. In the mercury program children may sign up for a 3 1/2 week program or join us for the entire 7 weeks.
Children who have attained the necessary skills in the previous year's mercury program may be invited to join the optimist program. The opti is a single-handed boat is skippered by 8 - 15 year olds across the world. We have a limited number of spots and boats available for this program. Beginner opti sailors start in the 8 - 10 am time slot, and over the years, as their skills progress, they will move into the later time slots. Not every child wants to skipper their own boat and many sailors prefer to stay in the mercury program. BBSF is well equipped to make the classes more challenging no matter which program they choose.
The 420 is a high school and college double-handed racing boat. Once sailors are too tall or age out of optis and have the necessary skills, they may enjoy the thrill of learning to sail the 420. We have a limited number of spots and boats available for this program.
Both Opti and 420 Race Teams are by instructor recommendation only.
My children have had some sailing lessons. How do I know which program is right for them?
The more information you can provide to the registrar about your child's previous sailing experience, the better we will be able to ascertain which program and time slot will be most appropriate. We want our students to be successful. They should be challenged, but not overwhelmed. Again, safety is always our top priority when placing children in the program.
How much do lessons cost?
The price varies depending on the boat. For the mercury program the price is $475 per session or both sessions (7 weeks) for $725 if you pay by check. You can use a credit card to pay, since we are a non-profit group, we do pass along the credit card fees to you. Prices for the opti and 420 programs depend on whether or not you own a boat and can be found on the Payment page.
Do you give private lessons?
Yes. We offer individual or small group private lessons after June 29th and before Labor Day. These are held outside of class times and can be arranged by contacting the Registrar.
Do you have adult lessons?
Absolutely! Adults have at least as much fun as the kids when they learn to sail! Registration for our adult sailing program will be open Memorial Day weekend.
My children want to do the Bellport Village camp AND sailing. Is this possible?
YES! Children who are registered in our 8 - 10 am mercury program are walked up to camp after sailing ends by one of our instructors. Bellport Village camp is very understanding about this and will accommodate your child's arriving late. Just be sure to let the Registrar know ahead of time.
When can I register?
Registration usually opens at noon on March 17th. Please note that the 8 - 10 am opti class usually fills in a matter of hours. For more information on registration, see the page entitled "How to Register