Youth Boating & Sailing Program


The Olcott Yacht Club’s Junior Sailing program is a summer sailing camp which began in the mid 1940’s and today is still an important part of the Club and community.  Over the years we have served many families and children as they enjoyed learning to sail and taking with them lifetime skills and friendships.  Our program provides general sailing instruction for both boys and girls ages 7 to 18, non-members and members alike.  Our training is done in both Optimist dinghies and Club 420s providing an ample fleet of boats for both beginner sailors and returning veterans.  We also train in a fleet of kayaks, providing additional water instruction on days when the lake is too rough to sail.  Our advanced racers are known around the lake to be great competitors and true sportsmen.

Several levels of instruction are taught with an emphasis on safety, fun, sportsmanship, cooperation and competition.  The curriculum follows the US Sailing Association format and our instructional staff (many of whom went through the program themselves) are all US Sailing and American Red Cross certified.   Classes are kept small with a student/teacher ratio of less than 10:1 and acceptance into the program is on a first come/first serve basis.  We are adding kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding this season.

We continue to do our best to provide an instructional experience that is reasonable in cost to each family.  In order to be able to provide & maintain all of our boats & equipment used, beyond the income from camp tuition, we rely on generous financial support and fundraising from The Olcott Mantel Club, our past commodores organization which is a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization.  Through their annual fundraiser and tax-deductible donations we continue to keep our program a success.

2020 Sailing Session Dates & Fees:

*** Free Open House: Saturday June 27, 10 am – 1 pm at Olcott Yacht Club
Come meet the staff and get an intro to sailing!  Download 2020 YOUTH OPEN HOUSE POSTER for details!

Program Hours: Monday through Friday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Session 1: July 6 to July 17    FULL!     $495 ($150 Deposit)
Session 2: July 20 to July 31                   $495 ($150 Deposit)
Session 3: August 3 to August 14           $495 ($150 Deposit)

Weekly Rate:                                           $295 ($100 Deposit)
**Register for ANY 2 sessions               $900 ($300 Deposit)
**Register for full season (3 sessions)  $1300 ($425 Deposit)

Parent/Guardian an Olcott Yacht Club member? Receive 10% discount

For further information and questions, email or call:
Ethan Sharp – Head Instructor: ethansharp892@gmail.com or 585-205-3005
Vic Thibault – Fleet Captain: vicsigns@yahoo.com or 716-778-7749
Mark Cassidy – Junior Committee Chairman: rappareems@aol.com or 716-778-9028

Beginner Opti

(Ages 7 - 10)

This course is geared toward fun and learning! We will teach the basics of rigging an Optimist, basic boat handling, sailing fundamentals, seamanship, sportsmanship, and water safety. Instruction is done in Optimists with 2 sailors per boat.

Beginner 420

This course is for older and larger sailors who are new to sailing, or younger sailors with some experience but who are new to the 420. Course includes basics of rigging a 420, basic boat handling, seamanship, sportsmanship, and water safety.

Intermediate Opti

(Ages 9 - 12)

Designed for sailors who have completed Beginner Optimist. This course focuses on more advanced boat handling skills. Sailors will sail 1 person/ boat. By completion, sailors will be able to sail on all points of sail in most wind speeds, know all parts of the boat, and basic knots.

Intermediate 420

This class will introduce and refine racing skills, advanced boat handling, introduction to trapeze and spinnaker, tactics and strategy and sportsmanship. This is meant to be a developmental course that bridges the gap between Beginner 420 and the 420 Travel Race Team.

Opti Race Team

Sailors on the Opti Race Team will refine their racing skills and represent OYC in local interclub regattas around Lake Ontario. This team wil l constantly refine racing skills, strategy and advanced boat handling.  Prerequisite: Under 15 years old with Coach approval

420 Race Team

The 420 Race Team will work to perfect advanced boat handling, tactics, and racing strategy. The Team will travel to local events around the lake representing the OYC.  Some weekend travel may be involved.  Prerequisite: Coach approval

Have Questions?  Download our 2020 OYC JUNIOR SAILING PROGRAM Q&A.

To register by mail or in person, please complete and submit a separate registration form AND a health and medical information form for each child to be registered.

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