Learn to Sail

The North Shore Yacht Club offers a seven-week Adult Learn-to-Sail Program for beginners and returning students using single-handed dinghies. Classes begin in early June with a maximum class size of 12 students per class. Classes meet 9 until noon either Saturday or Sunday mornings, depending upon enrollment and class preference, with no classes held on the July 4th weekend. Students learn the fundamentals of rigging and sailing using club-owned Sunfish sailboats in classes led by US Sailing certified instructors and experienced NSYC volunteers. This course is intended for adults. Participation of high school age students is at the discretion of the instructor. Any minor student must have an adult from the same household participating.

The first day of class is held at a local swimming pool where students are asked to demonstrate the ability to successfully tread water for two minutes and swim the full length of the pool. We also cover basic safety skills in the pool including righting a capsized sailboat. All other classes are held at the Park Ave Boating Facility in Highland Park and on Lake Michigan waters.

Once students have obtained basic skills in Sunfish boat handling, they are encouraged to make use of the club boats and are welcome to sail with other experienced sailors throughout the summer season. There will be a skills assessment towards the end of the program to confirm students have reached satisfactory standards to use club boats, or need further instructor-led supervision. We practice the safe boating "buddy system" where no one sails alone and a secured, US Coast Guard approved Life Jacket / Personal Flotation Device (PFD) is required to be worn on the water at all times.

Students must join NSYC with a Full Membership, and then register for the NSYC Adult Learn-to-Sail Program. All Membership and Adult Learn-to-Sail class registration ​information can be found on our Membership tab, along with important General Club Guidelines. .