Longshore Sailing School

Longshore Club Park Westport, CT

Longshore Sailing School announces opening of 2014 season

Longshore Sailing School announces the opening of registration for the 2014 summer program. Highly qualified, US Sailing-certified instructors provide safe, fun learning in water-safety, sailing fundamentals, sailing performance and theory from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Longshore Sailing School is open to the public and is located at the entrance to the Saugatuck River in Westport.

Longshore Sailing School announces opening of 2014 season registration

Longshore Sailing School announces opening of 2014 season registration

Longshore Sailing School offers a progressive program of sailing instruction for juniors: children and young adults aged 8-16. This program is split between a core curriculum that provides a strong foundation in a variety of small sailboats, and more advanced one week specialty courses concentrating on performance and racing techniques in Lasers and catamarans. WaterBugs is a very popular introductory course for 8-9 year-olds.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP) returns this year, with experienced instructors available Saturday mornings for a 1-hour guided tour of the inlets and islands of the Saugatuck River Mouth. The tour is free with a one hour paddleboard rental. Thirty minutes of free instruction is provided before the tour for those who are new to SUP-ing. Kayaking classes begin at age 8.

Connecticut Safe Boating Certification is offered for adults with a one day, 8-hour course recognized by the both Connecticut and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. For children and young adults, State Certification for Juniors is a 1-week, hands on course covering the same material. Individuals operating powerboats, personal water craft, and sailboats greater than 19.5 feet are required to carry a Connecticut Safe Boating Certificate.

Women’s sailing on weekday mornings in June and individualized private lessons are also available as well as weekend adult classes for people with different levels of experience in both dinghies and catamarans. For those who wish to take a refresher lesson or create their own schedule, Longshore Sailing School also offers private boat rentals for adults and junior sailors.

Tennis instruction is also available with schedules synchronized to allow aspiring-sailors and tennis-stars to split their summer between Longshore Sailing School and Westport Tennis Club. Four 2-week sessions are offered between June 23 and August 15.

For more information please call (203) 226-4646 or go to www.longshoresailingschool.com to register on-line.


About Longshore Sailing School (LSS)

The school traces its roots to 1960, when Longshore Club Park first opened. Westport’s Recreation Commission sponsored a public summer boating safety course for children, called Basic Boating. With over 2000 students a year on its fleet of over 100 sailboats and kayaks, LSS is the country’s largest public sailing program of its kind.

This article first appeared in The Hour.

5 Reasons Your Kids Should Sail

Self-Confidence.  There is simply nothing like being able to pilot your own craft at the age of 9 years old.  Riding a bike is one thing.  Skillfully steering and docking a sailboat is quite another.  All of my athletic endeavors helped to shape my sense of self as a kid, but sailing was without a doubt the most instrumental.   I have not only noticed this in myself; during my ten years as a sailing instructor, I have seen it again and again in my students.

Spatial awareness.  When kids learn how to navigate a boat through narrow spaces and tight turns—how to avoid collisions, coast to a dock with finesse, or squeeze into a packed starting line at a regatta—they develop a spatial awareness that will bring them prowess all activities that involve coordination.  Like driving, for instance.


Sense of direction.  When I was 10 years old, I would sail all week with my class, and then go out on weekends by myself.  I would pack a lunch and take my Optimist out for a couple of hours to explore.  I believe that it was on those trips that I began to develop a good sense of direction.  Noticing which direction I had come from, picking out landmarks, and knowing how to get back became a regular part of my stream of consciousness.  That awareness is crucial to having a sense of direction.

Weather knowledge.  Do you know from which direction thunder storms normally come?  Do you know what the water temperature normally is on Long Island Sound in May?  If your child is a sailor, he or she will know.   Weather knowledge will come in handy both on-the-water and on land.

Shipshape habits.  Sailing students learn how to properly rig and unrig a boat.  Kids learn to put things away in the right place, and keep them tidy while on the water.  That’s a skill no mom or dad can argue with.  Longshore Sailing School even has a shipshape award for every class to encourage the behavior.

This article was authored by Daniela Clark, a former Instructor and Operations Manager at Longshore Sailing School, and first appeared in the Connecticut Post Blog WaterViews

Who has the Right of Way?

Maybe this sailboat should just keep the buoy tender to port since it has a green can on board and the sailboat is returning?!

Seriously, though. They’re probably not as close as they look, but if these two vessels were on a collision course, who would have right of way?

Assuming that the sailboat is not motor-sailing (which it very well may be), the sailboat should technically have the right of way under one of the simplest rules of the road: sail over power. The Coast Guard vessel is essentially just another power boat as long as (1) it’s not working and restricted in ability to maneuver (RAM), and (2) it’s not constrained by draft (CBD) such that it cannot easily change course without risking running aground. Since the Coast Guard vessel doesn’t appear to be displaying any day shapes indicating it is RAM or CBD, the sailboat should have the right of way. But the common sense law of gross tonnage applies: the buoy tender is a big boat traveling fast. Any wise sailboat skipper would stay well clear!

Longshore Sailing School Announces Opening of 2013 Enrollment

Longshore Sailing School is proud to announce the opening of registration for the 2013 summer program. Registration for Westport residents will begin on January 7, 2013, and for non-residents on January 21, 2013. The off season staff has been working hard to make the 54th season the most successful yet. Our highly qualified and US Sailing certified instructors look forward to providing safe and fun learning experiences on the water. As was the case last year, classes fill up quickly so we suggest you sign up early!