Skip to content

Curriculum and Instructional Resources

Among the many resources that our US Sailing certified Senior Instructors will use to offer a rigorous and engaging program for all ages are materials developed by US Sailing. They are a mainstay of the IJS instruction. In addition, each sailor will receive an evaluation of their progress at the end of their session.

To best accommodate sailors of all skill levels, IJS offers instruction based on two levels of curriculum : beginner and intermediate/advanced. Once sailors have mastered the skills taught in these classes, with instructor recommendation they may consider a race class. If you have any questions about your sailors eligibility to race, please email us.

See the race curriculum. 

Beginner Curriculum 

IJS has designed and implemented the following curriculum for beginner sailors in both the Opti and 420 boats:

On land:

  1. Sailboat/powerboat safety
  2. Rig/de rig a boat
  3. Capsize sailboat safely with regard for safety of crew and boat
  4. Steering
  5. Basic Nautical terminology
  6. Basic knowledge of knots necessary to rigging a boat
  7. Upwind sailing
  8. Tack/gybe a boat properly
  9. Safe docking procedures
  10. Proper classroom etiquette with classmates
  11. Right of way rules and etiquette

On the water:

  1. Water comfort check
  2. Rules of respect for IBYC members/launch drivers
  3. Initial inspection of sailboat for proper readiness for sailing/use
  4. Basic steering
  5. Sailing and communicating with a crew
  6. Drills for sailing technique such as proper sail trim, docking, tacking, gybing
  7. Basic line-of-sight navigation techniques and geography of the Ipswich Bay
  8. How to properly interact with moored vessels
  9. How to safely board an IJS powerboat
  10. Basic right of way
  11. Practicing overboard recovery
  12. Emergency Procedures
  13. Weather rules

Intermediate & Advanced Curriculum 

IJS has designed and implemented the following curriculum for intermediate sailors in both the Opti and 420 boats. Sailors are encouraged to participate in two beginner classes before enrolling in an intermediate class. 

On land:

  1. Advanced sail trim techniques and sail shape, use of sail tell tails
  2. Inspecting a boat for maintenance issues and reporting them to instructors
  3. Secure the boat and equipment; make sure all trash is removed
  4. Proper body positioning in a boat
  5. How to independently rig/de rig a boat
  6. Knowledge of currents/tide in the Ipswich Bay and the reasons for different weather patterns
  7. Second level of knot tying, able to tie knots independently
  8. Learn weather patterns and how to behave and respond in changing wind, tide and sea conditions
  9. Learn the proper way to sail a boat with the intended number of crew (i.e. one in an Opti and two in a 420)
  10. Review of film to better one’s technique and skills

On the water:

  1. Drills to encourage better sail trim with some brief introduction to sail control
  2. Understanding and doing simple maintenance repair and care of boat on lines
  3. Figure-eight drill for tacking and gybing
  4. Right of way when meeting another sailboat
  5. Introduction to spinnaker technique (in light winds)
  6. Introduction to trapeze technique (in heavy winds, with staff member at the helm)
  7. Steering for speed on a downwind leg
  8. No-touch docking technique
  9. Exemplary seamanship/example setting for younger sailors
  10. How to round a mark and applicable racing rules
  11. Easing/trimming sails for steering and speed gain
  12. Tacking/gybing on the whistle
  13. Review weather and predicted changes
Back To Top