Junior Program


The Junior program fosters a life-long love of the sport of sailing in a safe, educational, and fun environment.


We adhere to the requirements of the club and are respectful of the unpredictable nature of the marine environment.


We strive to enjoy each day through a variety of activities, experiences, games, and unique events.


We welcome everyone to our program, and respect and learn from each other.


We honor the traditions, Corinthian spirit and rules of sailing and participate in the program with fairness and respect for the sport.


We are accountable for ourselves and our actions as they affect others, our community, the environment, the property and the boats in which we learn.


Our Junior Sailing enables youth to pursue and advance their interest in recreational and/or competitive sailing through its excellent facilities and program offerings led by outstanding coaches and a fleet of well-maintained and exciting boats.


The junior clubhouse is spacious and self-contained with dedicated and easily accessible docks for the junior program.


Our fleet includes “learn to sail” boats, keel boats for adventure sailing and performance-oriented race boats. We consistently maintain our boats to high standards and assure that our fleet includes a variety of boats which challenge and excite our youth sailors.


We explore the bay through seamanship and sailing adventures, island hopping and camping, marine and weather-related educational activities, social events, overnight sailing, and a variety of sail and motorboats.


We are active leaders in competing in, and hosting, regional, national and international youth sailing programs and collaborate with other Casco Bay junior programs in hosting competitive regattas of all types.


Our coaching staff has a strong base of sailing and/or racing skills, US Sailing instruction certification, strong communications skills, and pride in seeing their students develop passion for the sport of sailing. We encourage our youth sailors to learn the skills needed to become our coaches of the future. Our leadership regularly participates in US Sailing youth symposiums to nurture relationships outside Maine and to learn from other junior sailing programs.

Camaraderie and ongoing education – More than a summer program, we seek opportunities to build our community on a year-round basis through off -season educational and social events.

Program Information

Starting January 8, 2024 the PYC will accept registrations for members only. If slots are filled, registrations will be timestamped and sailors will be placed on a waiting list in order as received.

Starting February 1, 2024 PYC will open registration to non-members. If slots are filled, registrations will be timestamped and sailors will be placed on a waiting list in order as received.

Register by April 30 to take advantage of the early bird fees listed below. Registrations received beginning May 1 will be $20 more per session.

Session Availability: If a session is full, your sailor will be placed on a waiting list. You will be contacted if a slot opens up.

Confirmation: All registrations will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive a confirmation upon completion and submission of this form, please check your spam folder.

Deposit: There will be a non-refundable $50 processing fee due at the time of registration. This will be deducted from your final payment.

Late Fee: a 5% late fee will be applied to all outstanding balances effect June 1.

Swim Drill: All sailors are required to take a swim drill the first day of each session. The drill includes swimming in a bathing suit and shoes along the length of the junior float (50 ft), treading water for 30 seconds, and putting on a lifejacket in the water. Sailors in the Minnow program will wear life jackets in a modified drill. Sailors can retake the drill if needed and coaches will offer support as needed.

Please Note: Be sure to scroll down and read the level and program descriptions to find the right fit for your sailor. Some programs have prerequisites and suggestions included in the class description below. If the Program Director feels your sailor would do better in a program other than what you chose he or coach will contact you to discuss.


Program Director: junior.director@pycme.net

Junior Sailing Program Chair: junior.officer@pycme.net

Click here to REGISTER FOR 2024 SESSIONS


Click here for WHAT TO BRING

  • Session I: Two weeks June 24 – July 5
  • Session II: Two weeks July 8 – July 19 
  • Session III: Two weeks July 22 – August 2
  • Session IV: Two weeks August 5 – August 16
  • Minnows: One week only August 19 – August 23
  • Race Team: Eight weeks June 24 – August 16
    • Race Team requires travel which occasionally falls on weekends.
  • Junior Sailing classes meet weekdays, 9am – 4pm.
  • Pram Beginner AM & Minnows AM class meets 9am – 12noon.
  • Pram Beginner PM & Minnows PM class meets 1pm – 4pm.

We are very excited to announce a revamping/restructuring of our goal-oriented sailing program; we have 20 new McLaughlin Optimist sailboats, 6 new Simmons c420’s, and 2 new Ribcraft RIBS for our race coaches.

In addition, we have restructured our classes and staff with a continued dedication to teaching sailing excellence at all levels. Our sailing classes all have updated definitions, employing strict age/experience requirements and limits, and we have added a new class this year, Basic Novice Sailing. To that end, we ask that you read carefully and respond thoughtfully as you engage with our new registration process.

First:   Self Evaluation
Read our “Sailing Experience levels” below and match one to your applicant that best fits.

Second:  Find the Right Class
Please reference our PROGRAM LEVEL DESCRIPTIONS below and fit your applicant, based on age and experience, to the class that fits. This is a guide and while there certainly can be exceptions (by Sailing Director approval), it is designed to offer the best possible sail training experience.

Sailing Experience levels

Level 1
None - Complete novice. Very little or no sailing experience or time on the water. Needs most basic instruction.

Level 2
Little/Some -Has been sailing. Knows the very basics of sailboat parts, and the very basics of how to sail. Not able to sail alone.  Can be a crew for a competent skipper but still needs more experience to become competent.

Level 3
Moderate - Has been sailing for a year or more, maybe with family as well. Has a good working knowledge of boat parts, can skipper moderately and if need be, but still needs time/work on proper skippering techniques. Can be a competent crew.

Level 4
Competent/Advanced – Has both experience and competency skippering reliably, safely, and effectively; knows boat parts, points of sail, and basic seamanship well. Can race, but needs work on effective tactics/strategy.

Level 5
Advanced/Race – Has at least 2 years of skippering experience and has mastered basic seamanship and boat parts, points of sail, and is able to start/race around a race course with skill, employing tactics/strategy



Ages : 6-7    Level 1

Prerequisite: swim test

This one-week program (August 22-26) is added on at the end of the summer as an opportunity for young sailors to test the waters. The sailors will become familiar and comfortable with the docks, boats and water as they are exposed to the sport in a fun environment. The sailors will learn to sail our pram dinghies in pairs (and solo if appropriate) close to shore. The program is a half-day, either morning (9am to 12noon) or afternoon (1 to 4pm).

Pram Beginner AM and PM

Ages : 7-8   Level 1

Prerequisite: swim test

This introductory level class is for younger (Level 1) sailors who are new to sailing but want to learn. Capsize recovery and comfort on the water will be emphasized first, then Pram Sailors will sail dinghies (Prams & Optis) close to shore. They will learn parts of the boat, how to rig sails, basic knot tying, good skippering/seamanship, and the various points of sail. From Prams, sailors can graduate to Opti Beginner or higher. This is a half-day program in the morning (9am to 12noon).

Opti Beginner

Ages : 9-12  Level 1,2,3       

Prerequisite: Pram or Director Approval  

This beginner level class is designed for sailors who are new or have little experience in the sport of sailing (Level 1,2,3) and want to learn with other sailors who are close in age and ability level. Capsize recovery and comfort on the water will be emphasized. They will learn competent skippering and seamanship, parts of the boat, how to rig sails, and points of sail. The focus here is on basic sailing with an eye toward becoming comfortable and competent on the water. Coaches will employ on the water drills and classroom discussions to help sailors learn. This is a full-day program (9 to 4pm).


Age 13-17  Level 1,2

Prerequisite: None                                         

This course is for older Level 1,2 sailors who would like to learn to sail. Sailors will learn the very basics of sailing on club 420 sailboats and/or on a keelboat. This course seeks to provide sailors with safety, boat parts, points of sail, rigging, confidence on the water and basic seamanship skills.  The program is full day (9am to 4pm).

Opti Intermediate/Advanced

Ages : 9-12  Level 3, 4

Prerequisite: Opti Beginner

This intermediate level class takes the sailors who have learned the basics of sailing (Level 3,4) and are ready for instruction that focuses on refining these skills and taking them to the next level. Sailors are encouraged to register for multiple sessions as they become efficient with more advanced sailing techniques. The focus is on honing sailing competency and skill, and goals are to train sailors so they can join the Opti Green or Race Teams. The program is full day (9am to 4pm).

Opti Green

Ages : 9-12  Level 4, 5

Prerequisite: Opti Intermediate

This advanced level class introduces and prepares Level 4,5 sailors for racing through drills and chalk talks. Focus will be on building boat handling skills and confidence, as sailors learn to roll tack, hike, and fast downwind sailing. The sailors will participate in local regattas. Students will learn responsibility and teamwork by caring for the Club’s best equipment. Goals are to prepare sailors to join our Opti Race Team. The program is full day (9am to 4pm).


Ages : 13-17 Level 2, 3, 4

Prerequisite: Prerequisite: Opti Intermediate, Opti Green, BNS  

This course is for older Level 2,3,4 sailors who would like to learn to sail with other sailors on a double handed 420 dinghy. This class will train sailors in the basics of doublehanded sailing with an eye toward better boat handling, and the basics of racing. Sailors are also instructed on proper seamanship, boat rigging, and sail trim while interspersed with slightly longer-distance sails to nearby islands around Casco Bay. The program is full day (9am to 4pm).


Ages : 13-17  Level 2, 3, 4

Prerequisite: BNS, Opti Intermediate, 420 Green

Adventure is the pinnacle of our non-race sail training track. This unique, goal-oriented course is an in-depth class on keelboat and some 420 sailing for older Level 2,3,4 sailors in our junior program. The course teaches advanced seamanship and sailing on a Colgate 26 and 420s. Instruction includes rigging, steering, sail trim, tacking, jibing, docking, knots, parts of the boat, anchoring, small outboard engine skill, and basic navigation. Students will also learn general boating safety and capsize recovery. Teamwork and communication between crew is emphasized. Each day will be a new and exciting opportunity for the sailors to explore Casco Bay, so be prepared for a little bit of everything; distance racing, match racing, navigation, and more. The program is full day (9am to 4pm).


Ages : 9-15 Level 4, 5

Prerequisite: Opti green

A travel team of self-motivated Level 4,5 sailors who receive dedicated top-level coaching off and on the water. Sailors learn advanced techniques, boat-handling, as well as racing tactics and strategy. Parents are expected to assist with travel to ±2 regional regattas.   Sailors are expected to have their own boats, however PYC has top-level McLaughlin Optis available for charter on a first come basis. This race team is the premier learning opportunity for junior sailors in the state of Maine to compete in officially run regattas and events. The program is full day (9am to 4pm).

420 RACE

Ages : 12-17  Level 4, 5

Prerequisite: Opti, 420 or Adventure

This course is for older sailors who are motivated to take their sailing to the next level in a double handed 420 dinghy. An experienced coach will coach the sailors in racing tactics and boat handling skills including roll tacking, body positioning, and trapeze and spinnaker work. Racing drills will be interspersed with long-distance sails to destinations around Casco Bay. Sailors are invited to compete in weekly Maine Interclub Racing Circuit (MIRC) events and regional regattas. Parents are expected to assist with possible travel to ±2 regional regattas (depending on the CoVid impact on schedule). This race team is the premier learning opportunity for junior sailors in the state of Maine to compete in organized regattas and events.
***This program is the perfect opportunity for sailors to tune up in preparation for the high school sailing season. The program is full day (9am to 4pm).

Click here to REGISTER FOR 2024 SESSIONS


Click here for WHAT TO BRING

What to Bring


Close-toed shoes. Water shoes or sneakers – Converse, Peds, KEEN, etc.

Coast Guard Approved PFD (lifejacket)

Shorts you are comfortable getting wet in Extra fleece and Waterproof layers (Spray Top/Jacket, Spray or Rain Pants)

T-Shirt/Tech Shirt

Bathing suit optional

Change of clothes optional


Packed bag Lunch (all day classes only)

Re-fillable water bottle



Sunglasses recommended

Hat recommended

Backpack or bag for all your gear!


Watch with countdown timer

Sailing gloves

Bailer – AZ Iced Tea Gallon jug, or Opti Class Bailers Recommended!

Helmet – optional for concussion prevention

Youth Regatta Calendar


Racing in Green Fleet

Green Fleet regattas are designed to introduce racing in a welcoming, fun environment. The Maine Interclub Racing Circuit (MIRC) hosts a Green Fleet regatta each Wednesday at a different club in Southern Maine. MIRCs are wonderful opportunities for junior sailors to test the waters at a new venue. Other larger regattas often include a separate Green Fleet starting line.

Racing in Championship Fleet

After participating in Green Fleet regattas for a season or two, you are no longer considered “novice” and are invited to move up to the Championship Fleet. The different age classes are indicated by different colors: skippers who are 10 or under sail in the White Fleet; skippers who are 11 and 12 sail in the Blue Fleet; and skippers who are 13, 14, or 15 sail in the Red Fleet. The determining date is the skipper’s age on the first day of the regatta. PYC RWB (Red-White-Blue) sailors travel throughout the Northeast for Championship regattas.

Regatta Registration

MIRC regattas are free to attend, and the host club provides the boats. At Championship regattas, teams are required to bring their own boats and coach boats. Online registration forms are posted on Regattaman.com. Regatta registration fees range from $50-$100 dollars/ regatta — and they are separate from the PYC Jr. Sailing Program fee.

Adult Sailing Program

This program is for adults, taught by adults. Both men and women over 21 years of age are encouraged to participate. The instructors are seasoned Skippers with professional experience in teaching sailing, most of whom are PYC member-volunteers. The club will provide the a J/24 and one Colgate 26 keelboat. Adult Sailing is a fabulous opportunity to acquire or strengthen keelboat sailing skills. And after sailing around Casco Bay, participants are invited to stay at PYC for an informal sunset social hour and sailing debrief. Go to the Adult Sailing link to learn more.