Youth Dinghy Skill Levels & Classes
- personal interest
- goals (cruising, racing)
Beginner Classes are for students who may have little or no experience on the water, in sailboats, or, they do not have a history of organized instructional experience. These classes cover the fundamentals: how to rig, de-rig and care for the boats and equipment, capsize recovery, understanding the wind, how to tack and jibe. Students are introduced to the different points of sail, and basic "rules of the road." Beginner classes are taught using Prams and Bugs (ages 7–11), and RS Quests (ages 11–16).
For students who have completed just one session as a beginner, most will move to a Beginner/Intermediate class where they can continue to solidify their skills. This is particularly true of students who are only sailing for a few weeks each season. Beginner/Intermediate classes are taught using Optimists and LP Bugs (generally ages 7–11), and RS Quests (generally ages 11–17).
Intermediate Classes (pre-requisite Sail Newport Beginner Class or its equivalent)
Builds on the basics with students learning the finer points of boat handling and sail theory. There is an emphasis on developing confidence for sailing alone. Other topics can include currents, weather, a little navigation and more. Taught in Optimists and Bugs (ages 7–14), RS Quests and 420s (ages 13–17).
Advanced Classes (pre-requisite Sail Newport Intermediate Class or its equivalent)
Club 420s (typically for ages 14–17)
Covers advanced boat-handling, spinnaker and trapeze use, tuning and sail trim. Popular with students who are interested in learning advanced boat handling skills, possibly with a future interest in racing.
Opti's (after completing intermediate level, typically ages 10 - 14)
Covers advanced boat handling. Everything from fine-tuning sail trim and shape to roll tacking and gybing. Popular with students who are interested in learning advanced boat handling skills, possibly with a future interest in racing.
The Boats We Sail!
LP Prams & Optimists
8’ pram for ages 7–15, used by Little Guppies and for dinghy sailors from beginners to racers. Sailors move out of Optis and into other boats when they out-grow or age out of them. A student can comfortably sail an Opti until they are over five feet + and/or 110 pounds, and they are eligible to race in Optimists until they turn 15.
The Laser Performance Bug combine ease of rigging with fun and performance. Easily sailed by students young and old, the Bugs are a fun, safe and durable sailboat for instruction, appropriate for intermediate and advanced sailors ages 10 - 15.
New to the Sail Newport Youth Program in 2017, the Quests were a huge success! A versatile, comfortable and stable sloop rigged platform for intermediate and advanced level sailors, ages 11 - 17 (weight and height dependent). The Quest can comfortably accommodate 3-4 sailors and also is rigged with an asymmetrical spinnaker for advanced/performance sailing.
Club 420s are sloop rigged two person dinghies used by 13–17 year-old intermediate, advanced and racing sailors.
- Scholastic rigged 420's sail with main and jib only for intermediate level sailors
- Advanced / performance and racing sailors use Club 420s rigged w/spinnakers and trapeze gear.
22-foot sloop rigged keelboats used in the keelboat classes by all skill levels. Groups of four students of similar skill level ages sail with an instructor. The J22 is a performance oriented keelboat comfortably managed by 12–17 year olds. The boats include a spinnaker for more advanced student skill levels.