Youth beginning and intermediate level classes are held in two-week sessions during June, July and August. The various levels are geared to the different sailing abilities and interests of the students. The boats used are Bugs.
Parents should register their child in desired section keeping in mind that JPYC reserves the right to change children’s section assignments in order to ensure that children are in the best level for their age, size and experience.

Sea Ponies Level (Ages 8-10) (Novice/Beginner)

Those in Sea Monkeys must have completed Kindergarten. Beginning sailors learn about and become comfortable with boats. Sailors are paired with one another and learn the basics of steering, trimming sails, and balancing the boat in an exciting and hands-on way.

The curriculum includes learning fundamental nautical terms, parts of the boat, rigging, Proper care of equipment, finding wind direction, learning to steer with a tiller, coming about and jibing, recovery from capsize, water safety, knot tying and an introduction to local harbor knowledge.

This class sails in Bug sailboats. These 12 foot dinghies easily accommodate two sailors. Bugs provide a very stable platform for novice sailors. With only 41 square feet of sail area, these boats are not overpowered and give young sailors a sense of control.

Goals: Safe and fun introduction to sailing; Identifying parts of the boat; Recover from a capsize; Rigging and unrigging with assistance; Basic sailing maneuvers.

Pirates (Ages 10-18) (Beginner/Intermediate)

For both beginners and young sailors who may have some previous sailing experience. Sailors are paired with one another and learn the basics of steering, trimming sails, and balancing the boat in an exciting and hands-on way.

The curriculum allows sailors to develop an understanding of Lake Michigan and learn/improve their sailing fundamentals including rigging, boat handling, docking, points of sail, reading the weather, seamanship and water safety.

This class is designed for intermediate sailors who want to refine their sailing skills. Curriculum builds on the fundamentals learned in the Sea Squirt and Sea Monkeys classes, but focuses on sailing in more conditions and points of sail. This class allows sailors to gain skipper and crew experience in double handed boats. This class is intended for those who are not interested in racing.



Youth Sailing Classes/


Competition Awards Day

In addition to the awards ceremonies at the end of each session, a Youth Sailing Competition Day will be held in August. At this event, sailors from every junior sailing session are welcome back to compete in various activities:


Award for Outstanding Sailor of the Year

Rigging & Unrigging Contests

Best New Sailor

Quickest Knot Tying

Most Improved Sailor of the Year

Capsize and Recover Demonstrations

Racer of the Year Award

Lawn and Water Games


Novice and beginner sailors learn to sail on Bugs – safe, dry and simple boats which are ideal for teaching new sailors. Intermediate sailors also use these boats and learn more advanced techniques to achieve maximum performance and speed.

A pocket-sized trainer boat, the Bug is simple, fast, and fun to sail with a plethora of features that make the boat great for beginners and experienced junior sailors. The Bug is easy to rig and definitely kid friendly. These tough, abrasion-resistant hulls have a bumper boat tolerance that’s a big plus when it comes to kids learning to sail. It's stable, thanks to its beam, and two skegs help its upwind ability.

The Bug starts as a boat for beginners with a short rig, and allows those beginners to climb the performance ladder with a larger
performance rig.

It is ideal for sailing clubs, as it gives beginners or more advanced sailors an enjoyable ride. 

The Boats


420 sailboats are the boat of choice for yacht clubs, community sailing programs, and individuals. These boats provide the strongest, lightest, and most durable boats and rigging available.

Novice and beginner sailors can learn to sail on 420s, while intermediate and advance sailors also use these boats to race.

This 2-handed boat is great for older sailors as they learn how to crew, (handle the sails) and hdly.elm(steer). 420s are easy to rig and are kid-friendly.


On The Water Safety

All on the water activities are patrolled by “chase” boats. These boats consist of ribbed inflatable boats and a Boston Whaler. Each boat is manned by experienced instructors. Additionally, both coast guard and Chicago police department boats regularly patrol near Jackson Park Harbor.





US Coast Guard Approved Type III Vest PFD (Life Jacket) Not Provided

Completed Medical Authorization and Release, Liability Waiver and Release, and Emergency Contact Information Forms

Close Toed Shoes, Sunscreen, Suitable Sailing Attire, Change of Dry Clothes and Lunch

Review of Parent Handbook

Timely and complete payment of all fees

Swim Test – All students must take a swin test on the first day of class. The swim test requires that each child be able to swim 50 feet with clothes on, then tread water without a life jacket and then put on a life jacket in the water. This applies to children who passed the swim test in prior years. Please bring a towel and change of clothes to the first class.

2018 Schedule

Session 1    June 18th to June 29th

Session 2    July 2nd to July 13th

Session 3     July 16th to July 27th

Session 4     July 30th to August 10th

Session 5     August 13th to August 24th

NOTE: From the MENU tab at the top SELECT Junior Sailing Program > ENROLLMENT FORM OR Fill Out Form)




A 10% discount is applied to the total tuition for (2) siblings enrolled in the program.
Please note that this discount applies only to “sailing school” tuition, and does not apply to membership dues.

A 15% discount is given for the same child in multiple sessions.

SPECIAL MEMBERSHIP OFFER: Become a member of JPYC and receive discount on junior sailing fees.

Special Privileges for Parents

We welcome parents to come to JPYC to watch their children sail. When your child is enrolled in our programs, you are welcome to come to the club for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, dinner on Saturdays or attend one of our many events and parties.



Junior Sailing

2-Week Session

2-Week Session




Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I’m not sure what class is right for my child. How should I choose?

A: We have classes for all age groups and levels of experience. Please refer to the class descriptions and select what you think is the best option. When classes start we can always make adjustments to class placements based our evaluation of your child’s skills and interests


Q: What should my child bring to summer sailing lessons?

A: Your child should be prepared for a day on the water. So pack for them a life jacket, sack lunch, water bottle, sun screen, towel, hat, sunglasses and close-toed shoes that can get wet.


Q: Does my child need a life jacket?

A: YES. Each student is required to have his/her own life jacket. Life jackets should be United States Coast Guard approved and properly fitted at the store. USCG Type III Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) are recommended for sailing school. Prices usually start around $25 per jacket. JPYC does have a few extra life jackets on hand for when children occasionally forget their own.


Q: Will there be a swim test?

A: YES. Instructors will conduct a swim test of each student on the first day of sailing school. All students must take the test, including children who passed the test in prior years. The swim test requires that each child be able to swim 50 feet with clothes on, then tread water without a life jacket and then put on a life jacket in the water. Please bring a towel and change of clothes to the first class.


Q: What happens when the weather is too bad to sail?

A: We only take children out on the water when conditions are safe for their boats and their level of experience. If the weather does not allow them to be on the water, we combine classroom instruction with fun off-the-water activities to complete the day.


Q: Is there class on July 4th?

A: NO. We do not have class on July 4th and this day is not made up later in the session.

Q: What if we need to cancel? Are refunds given?

A: Class fees refunds can be made under the following conditions:

• Student does not pass the swim test

• Student/ Parent changes their mind prior to the start of the first class

Class fees cannot be returned if:

• Student has already started the class and changes their mind.

• Student signs up for full summer, but decides, after the first session, not to attend the second session.

Our program fills up quickly, so act today! Enrollment is confirmed only upon receipt of full program fees.

To enroll:

1. Complete Enrollment Forms:

• Enrollment Application

• Medical and Emergency Contact Information Form

• Medical Authorization and Release

• Waiver of Liability and Release

• Code of Conduct Agreement


2. Email or Mail

• Submit Enrollment Forms Online, or by

• Email:

• Mailing Address:

Jackson Park Yacht Club

6400 S Promontory Drive

Chicago, IL 60649

Attention: Youth Sailing Program Director


3. Make Payment in Full:

• Online at CLICK HERE

• By Mail:

Jackson Park Yacht Club

6400 S Promontory Drive

Chicago, IL 60649

Attention: Youth Sailing Program Director

Please make checks payable to: Jackson Park Yacht Club


4. Confirmation:

• Once your application and payment is received, we will confirm your spot in the Junior Sailing Program.

• We will send you a copy of the Junior Sailor’s Student & Parent Handbook.



CHICAGO, IL 41.46.50 | 87.34.42




6400 South Promontory Drive

Chicago, Illinois 60649

41.46.50 | 87.34.42


P: 773.684.5522



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