Welcome to the IJS program! We offer sailing lessons to ALL! Ages 8 and up. We are located at Ipswich Bay Yacht Club and sail in beautiful Ipswich Bay and Plum Island Sound.
Small boat sailing curricula and instruction, at its best, is done through a rich blend of classroom study and practical experience. By learning to sail a small boat with a US Sailing-certified instructor, students will have the opportunity to learn the skills and gain the knowledge needed to build confidence in their ability to sail a small boat well and safely. While the program is primarily designed to give students experience on the water, each day students will be offered engaging classroom instruction and hands-on activities that bring life to a variety of topics associated with small boat seamanship and safety. These topics will include knots and splices, techniques for small boat handling, understanding tides and tidal current, weather for the sailor, interpretation and use of the nautical chart, docking techniques and rules of the road for boating safety. In addition to developing safe and sound boating skills, the IJS program seeks to inspire awareness and appreciation of the marine environment. With classes and activities that focus on the unique natural history of the estuaries and barrier beaches that define Ipswich Harbor, IJS instructors seek to inspire students to become environmental stewards and socially responsible individuals. In these classes, students will have the opportunity to learn about many aspects of marine pollution, marine debris and the responsibility they have as citizens and boaters to help keep our waterways healthy and clean.
Students enrolled in the program are organized into one of four groups depending on their age and experience. Beginner Optis is for younger, new sailors, while Advanced Optis is for younger sailors who have mastered Beginner Opti skills. Older, more experienced sailors generally sail in 420s and are organized into Beginner 420 and Advanced 420 groups as appropriate. Race training and opportunity to race in local area regattas is offered to advanced sailors. The size of each group varies depending on enrollment numbers and student profile but in general total Opti numbers can run from 10-18 sailors and 420 sailors can number about 12 on any given week. Each group will have one lead instructor and one to two apprentice instructors. Instructors will remain with their group during the program and help them learn the skills and concepts contained in the curriculum. Students can expect to have a thoughtful mix of shoreside instruction and on the water experience throughout the course.
Curriculum and Instructional Resources
Of the many resources that IJS Instructors will use to offer a program that is both rigorous and engaging for all ages, the materials developed by US Sailing will continue to be a mainstay of the daily instruction. The US Sailing REACH materials and lesson modules provide examples of ways to connect science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) topics to the small boat sailing experience and The Learn Sailing Right! instructional books are the industry standard for small boat education, with step by step guidance for beginner and intermediate sailors
Small boat sailing curricula and instruction, at its best, is done through a blend of classroom study and practical experience. By learning to sail a small boat with a US Sailing-certified instructor, students will have the opportunity to learn the skills and gain the knowledge needed to build confidence in their ability to sail a small boat well and safely. While the program is primarily designed to give students experience on the water, each session will offer engaging shore-based instruction and hands-on activities that bring life to a topic associated with small boat seamanship and safety. These topics may include tying knots, techniques for small boat handling, understanding tides and tidal current, weather for the sailor, interpretation and use of the nautical chart, the physics of sailing and rules of the road for boating safety.
In addition to developing safe and sound boating skills, the IJS program hopes to inspire awareness and appreciation of the local marine environment. Using the unique natural history of the estuaries and barrier beaches that define Ipswich Harbor, IJS instructors want to inspire students to become environmental stewards and socially responsible individuals.
Ipswich Junior Sailing, Inc. is a 501©(3) non-profit organization and admits students of any race, color, religion, or national origin…. scholarships are also available.
Week 1: Monday, June 20 to Thursday, June 23
Week 2 & 3: Tuesday, June 27 to Friday, July 8 (no classes Monday 4th due to the Holiday)
Week 4 & 5: Monday, July 11 to Thursday, July 21
Note: Week of July 25 is Marblehead Race Week – No IJS classes
Week 6: Monday, August 1 to Thursday, August 4
Week 7 & 8: Monday, August 8 to Thursday, August 18
Program fee is $520, a discounted price of $495 is available before March 1. This price is for a session, Monday thru Thursday, 4 full days (9:15 am to 4:15 pm) or 8 half days. Mornings start at 9:15 am and end at 12:15 and afternoons start at 1:15 pm and end at 4:15 pm. Note: The week in which the 4th of July is celebrated we hold a makeup class on a Friday.
A discount of $20 applies for a sailor’s additional sessions 2nd and 3rd etc. during the summer.
Full payment and a signed waiver are required with each application. If a class is full and alternatives are not available fees are refundable.
All on the water activities are patrolled by 5 “chase” boats operated by a US Sailing Certified Instructor and apprentices. These boats consist of a 17’ Bristol Runabout, two 16’ Inflatable boats (Ribcraft and a Zodiac) and a two 16’ Carolina Skiffs.
The Ipswich Bay Harbormaster’s Boat patrols the area.
The IJS program is run by adult volunteers. We make every effort to honor your preferences while maintaining a quality program. Class assignments will be made according to skill level, age, and preference; we appreciate that friends make it fun and make every effort to keep friends together. If there are more applicants than spaces for a particular class, preference will be given to the applicant whose application is received first. We will schedule siblings in the same time slot upon request. We reserve the right to change the schedule based on the number of applicants at each of the skill levels.
Refunds are not honored and all payments are final.
- Are you interested in sailing with your friends this summer in a small group? Join us for a week of all-day adventure sailing in the Ipswich Bay and beyond!
- Adventure sail is a full day program in which sailors learn to handle a larger boat in our Rhodes 19.
- Expect to be on the water exploring and learning all day. Sailors will have the opportunity to eat lunch, but the location may depend on where they adventure to each day!
- We require sailors sign up in a group to ensure appropriate class size and keep a consistent group of sailors to ensure cooperation with COVID-19 protocols
- Open to new and experienced sailors
- Groups of 2-4 sailors
- Recommended for ages 10+
- This program is great for younger sailors who are not yet big enough to sail 420s as well as groups of friends who are of different levels of experience, age, or size!
Sailors who have previously participated on the Race Team, in Opti or 420’s, or sailors who have completed three classes in that boat are invited to apply for the IJS RACE TEAM. New applicants will be evaluated based on class performance and instructor recommendations. Participation on the team is limited by the number of spots available; returning racers have priority if they signed-up by April 15.
There is a participation fee for the Race Team members who attend Marblehead Junior Race Week and parent participation is required.
IJS Race Team members can:
• Practice Monday through Thursday afternoons and Friday all day when no regattas are scheduled
• Race in local regattas (approx. 4 Fridays)
Essex Bay Yacht Club Mudflat Regatta (420s only) TBD
Sandy Bay Yacht Club, Linda Wieditz Memorial Opti Regatta
IJS Greenhead – (420s and Optis)
Annisquam YC Squam Day – (420s and Optis)
Marblehead Junior Race Week – (420s and Optis) Monday thru Wednesday
On Friday mornings there will be supervised Free Sail open to all IJS sailors from 9:15 am to 12:15 pm. Instructors and staff will be present for safety and direction, however no instructed learning will be delivered.
On some Fridays we will compete in local regattas with other youth sailing programs in the Cape Ann area this may impact the boats available for free sail. Sailors planning to attend the Friday Free Sail should sign up with the staff on the day before or that morning.
Schedule for Fridays To Be Determined closer to the start of the season.
Competition Day will be held on the Friday following the last class in August. At this event, sailors are welcome back to compete in various activities. Awards are given for:
Robert W. McKinley – Outstanding Young Sailor
Set-up & Rig – Quickest Bowline Knot
Most Fearless Sailor – Capsize & Recover
Most Improved Sailor – Various Racing Awards
Please Be On Time You should plan to drop your sailor at the Ipswich Bay Yacht Club (Quay Rd., Ipswich, MA 01938) 5-10 minutes prior to the start of class.
We will begin promptly at 9:15 AM for morning and full day classes and 1:15 PM for afternoon classes.
Pick up is at 12:15 PM for morning only sessions and 4:15 PM for afternoon and full day sessions . Please check in and out with staff in the designated area, which will be marked by signs.
Is there class when it Rains?
No we do not have class and we will come off the water for thunderstorms and winds not appropriate for the class. If class is cancelled due to weather you will be notified (via email and/or text) before 8 am that day of class (or before if possible).
Ipswich Junior Sailing (IJS) is a separate organization from Ipswich Bay Yacht Club.
We appreciate that the IBYC shares its property with IJS and we respect the IBYC rules: ? Use of the Yacht Club House and Waterfront is limited to IBYC members and their guests; IJS parking should be at the top of the lot (near the road). We strive to be respectful of the club’s property and the IBYC members
- Students should stay off the porch and store belongings in plastic tubs under the tree
- In bad weather, students gather under the tents and store their belongings NEATLY in plastic tubs
- Access to the clubhouse bathrooms is controlled by IJS staff
- Bikes should be stored in the bike rack
DON’T FORGET to bring to sailing !!
- PFD (Life Jacket)–a properly fitted, US Coast Guard approved PFD jacket style is recommended. If you DO NOT have your PFD you CANNOT SAIL!
- Closed Toe Shoes–shoes (that will get wet) that protect toes from cleats and such. (Crocs, Keens, etc)
- Sunscreen – SPF 15 or greater applied at home before class.
- Hat and Sunglasses – all glasses should have keepers to avoid being lost overboard.
- Sailing Clothes – Sailing is a water sport – expect to get wet!! In warm weather a swimsuit with a tee shirt and shorts is fine. In cool, rainy or windy weather, a windbreaker or light rain jacket is needed; light rain pants can be great too. Synthetic shirts, shorts, and warm layers are also helpful – avoid cotton.
- Lunch – (Full Day Sailors Only) Bring a lunch to enjoy between sessions on the water. Please be mindful of typical allergens.
- Water, Snack, Towel, Change of Clothes and Insect Repellant–Insect repellant for days when the bugs are bad. A snack, a drink, towel and clothes to have after sailing. Pack plenty of extra water, it gets hot!
- Small Duffel or Backpack – To keep all your stuff together. Plastic bins are provided to hold student packs and duffels on shore. Please don’t bring money or valuables.
- Great Attitude – Bring your good behavior, sense of humor and adventure, and a willingness to learn!
What is “Free Sail”?
All sailors who have completed one class session are eligible to sail on Friday mornings. First priority is given to sailors currently in classes for that week. Instructors are there to assist in rigging and supervision during the sail; however there will be no chalk talk lessons. Sailors just get an extra opportunity to sail and have fun! Free Sails are not every Friday morning. You need to check with Instructors that week to confirm and reserve a spot.