Southport Junior Yacht Club Sailing Foundation

SYC Sailing School Intro Video


The Southport Yacht Club located in Cosy Harbor offers sailing instruction to young sailors on the mouth of the Sheepscot River.  For over fifty years the Sailing Program has grown to provide its participants exceptional instruction and the opportunity to share with friends the pleasures of sailing the Maine Coast.The Southport Junior Yacht Club Sailing Foundation sailing program is open to any young person turning 8 years old this calendar year to 18 years old, with or without prior experience on the water.  Membership at Southport Yacht Club is not necessary, though warmly encouraged.  We welcome any child who desires exposure to the joys of sailing!

Beginning sailors take part in an instructional program that teaches basic sailing skills, terminology and seamanship.  They crew with more experienced sailors in Turnabouts for sailing drills, exploring the coast and fun racing. Beginners spend about two hours per class on the water except if class is held ashore in the event of poor weather. The Beginner class meets during the morning session.

Intermediate sailors build on and practice the skills learned as beginners.  They also learn to set a spinnaker, participate in inter-club races, and use their skills in a wide variety of activities. One portion of the Intermediate class sails in Turnabouts, while the other portion sails in Optimist Dinghies.  The Intermediate class meets during the afternoon session.

Advanced sailors develop their seamanship and racing skills; many compete with other yacht clubs, and represent the Southport Junior Yacht Club in regional sailing competitions.  Team racing, advanced tactics, and tuning techniques are included.  The Advanced Class sails during the afternoon session in 420s. In addition to seamanship, participants learn responsibility and teamwork. 

The program also offers nautical field trips, which may include visits to the Maine Maritime Museum, Coast Guard bases, local sail lofts and boatyards.  Day trips to area islands and beaches will be offered as “special events.” Junior sailors develop camaraderie with their fellow sailors based on shared experiences.

Adult sailing classes  This summer will again offer adult sailing lessons. Our own Jenny Marshall will be taking small groups of 2-3 aspiring sailors out in Alegria a refurbished 1977 Rhodes 19 that is rigged for daysailing and casual club racing.  Jenny comes to us with a long and impressive history of sailing instruction in England, Greece, and the US, including a 10-year stint teaching the well-regarded Elements of Seamanship course at The WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, Maine.  While the focus of the course will be on the mechanics of sailing, the curriculum will also cover topics like anchoring and mooring, reefing, using charts and many other topics that will be of particular interest to developing adult sailors.  All adults regardless of SYC affiliation are welcome to attend, but we are offering a special $100 discount for SYC members:  $300 for SYC members or $400 for non-members per weekly session.  The classes are offered at 1pm from Monday-Thursday.  We hope many of you are looking forward to taking advantage of this wonderful offering! Sign-Up for Adult Sailing Here


The sailing program starts June 22, 2020 and runs over an eight week period, divided into weekly sessions, ending August 15th with the Junior Banquet and Awards Ceremony.  Sailors can enroll for a minimum of one week or any number of weeks up to the full eight week season.  An enrollment period of at least two consecutive weeks is strongly encouraged.  Morning sessions begin promptly at 9:00 am and finish at 12:00 noon; afternoon sessions begin at 1:00 pm and finish at 4:00 pm.  Beginners meet in the morning session and Intermediate and Advanced sailors meet in the afternoon sessions.  Five days of instruction are planned, Monday through Friday, with Fridays doubling as “special events.”  Each student’s skill level is evaluated upon entering the Program and progress and achievements are monitored.  Because all skill levels are practiced daily, each student will have the opportunity to work at his/her skill level and progress at his/her own rate.  Discounts are provided for families who allow the use of their family’s Turnabout or Opti in the program.


All youth sailing class members are automatically enrolled as members of the Junior Yacht Club.  JYC members elect their own officers and plan activities.  Past activities have included invitational regattas, dances, activity nights, barbecues and field trips.  Instructors and senior club members serve as advisors to the JYC.


Program instruction is provided by an experienced staff headed by returning Sailing Program Director Will Jacobs.  Will is an alumnus of the Southport sailing program. During the rest of the year he is a 5th grade teacher at Washington Irving School in Tarrytown, NY.  He, his wife Diane, and their two children, Emma and Bryce (who sail in the program) live in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY during the winter. Please refer to the “People” tab for a list of the 2020 instructors (available in early 2020).SAFETYAll participants, including adults, are required to wear a Coast Guard approved life vest at all times on docks, floats, and boats, regardless of swimming ability. Sailors must have their own life vests as well as appropriate clothing and footgear.  A basic swim test is required of all new young sailors on their first day of the program.


The Southport Junior Sailing Foundation has a limited amount of scholarship money available for participants requiring financial aid. Interested parents of participants must fill out the scholarship application form that can be found on the Registration site. Completed scholarship applications should be returned with the other registration forms.


For more information on the sailing program, or to inquire about space availability for classes, or scholarship information, write to:

Southport Junior Yacht Club Sailing Foundation, PO Box 68, Southport, ME 04576. 


William Jacobs36 Fairmont Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706

During the summer season, call 914-275-3066 and ask to speak with Will Jacobs. In January of each year the payment, registration, emergency information-liability, and scholarship forms for the upcoming summer will become available online at


Turnabouts:  A safe, stable trainer with a single mainsail and a small spinnaker.  Room for several beginners and an instructor make this an ideal entry level boat.

Optimist Dinghies (Optis):  A single-handed advanced dinghy for younger racers.  The Foundation owns two Optis; most opti sailors provide their own boat.

420s:  The universal US sailing double-handed training boat used by teenage and collegiate sailors.  The 420 is used in our Advanced Class. The Foundation owns fifteen 420s.

J/24:  The J/24 is the world's most popular one-design keelboat.  Wasi-Sabi introduces advanced program sailors to keelboat handling and racing, including related topics of crew coordination and additional aspects of seamanship.


 Week  Dates
 A  June 22-26
 B  June 29-July 3
 C  July 6-10
 D  July 13-17
 E  July 20-24
 F  July 27- Aug 31
 G  August 3-7
 H  August 10-14


1 $289.00 $364.00
2 $389.00 $464.00
3 $489.00 $564.00
Each additional week $110.00 additional $120.00 additional

Turnabout/Opti Discount. A new Turnabout mooring field was installed in Fall of 2011.  Annual maintenance of the moorings is funded through the slightly reduced discount given to families who need a mooring for their Turnabout.  If a family provides a Turnabout that is in good, safe working condition for use in the Sailing Program it is entitled to a $300 (if a Cosy Harbor mooring is owned for the Turnabout) or $275 (if a mooring is needed for the Turnabout) discount against its total sailing program fees. Families may also decide to donate use of their turnabout and receive a tax deductible donation form. If a family provides an Optimist dinghy that is in good, safe working condition for use in the Sailing Program it is entitled to a $75 discount against its total sailing program fees.  If a family provides both a Turnabout and an Optimist dinghy for use in the Sailing Program it is entitled to both discounts provided that the family has at least two students in the Program, otherwise it is only entitled to the Turnabout discount.  With regards to the Optimist dinghy discount, though the Sailing Program would prefer to be able to share the Opti boats with all students, if a family desires that its Optimist dinghy only be used by the family’s student(s) (e.g., the Optimist dinghy might be relatively new and used for racing purposes, and the family wishes to keep the Opti in excellent condition) the family is still entitled to the Opti discount.  A Turnabout or Optimist dinghy can only be used for the discount once by one family (i.e., multiple families can not “provide” the same boat in order to get the discount).  All Turnabouts and Optis must be made available for use in the Sailing Program at the beginning of the summer and for a minimum of four weeks in order to receive the discounted fee.  

SJYCSF Named Awards and TrophiesI

nformation regarding the SJYCSF named awards and trophies that are presented annually at the SJYCSF Banquet can be found here:

SJYCSF Named Awards and Trophies


ByLaws of the Southport Junior Yacht Club Sailing FoundationAs Amended August 17, 2009

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