Southern Yacht Club

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Southern Yacht Club
Adult Lessons/Learn to Sail PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 March 2012

Click for Adult Sailing Classes

 Course Descriptions

On the Water: 

Learn to Sail on Flying Scots - Come learn all the basics from rigging and sailing terminology to beginning boathandling. 

Sailing for Moms - This class is just like our Flying Scot beginner course but it's held on weekday mornings while the kids are in school.  Bring your friends and catch up while you're getting active at sailing class instead of over coffee.  Beats the gym!  A babysitter is available at SYC for an additional charge. (We'll take dads, too.) 

Bruja - Performance Racing Class - SYC's Newest Racing Boat - So you know how to sail, but you want to learn to race. This class will cover basic rules, tactics, and racing boathandling. You learn while competing in Wed. night races.  Students should have completed a learn to sail course and know basic sailing terminology before joining this course.  Classes held Wednesday nights during the Spring, Summer and Fall - 5 classes per session .  We race with the Wed. night and Spring / Fall Series Races.

Performance sailing on Flying Scots- Got all the basics? Know a tack from a jibe, upwind from downwind? Ready to polish up what you know? Want to pick up where your first class left off? Sign up for Performance Boathandling. After this course most students will be able to take a boat out on their own.  We'll work on improving docking, man overboard, and get into the nuances of sail trim, crew work, and helming.

Learn to Sail Sunfish - Time to learn to sail independently!  Sunfish are one person, one sail boats.  The are one of the easiest boats to set-up and to learn on.  They are however - close to the water!  SYC has 5 sunfish that are available for members to sign out after they have taken a class or performed a check sail with the sailing director. 

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Frequently Asked Questions about SYC Sailing Lessons

Do I have to be a SYC member to take lessons?

No, but you must be sponsored by a member.  All charges incurred will be charged to your sponsoring member's account, and you can sort out reimbursement with your sponsor.

What is the schedule?

It depends on what course you sign up for, so please check the current course schedule.  In general a course provides ten hours of instruction, usually divided into four or five different lessons.

What boat should I sail?

We offer classes in three kinds of boats: Flying Scots, 420s, and Sunfish. 

Flying ScotsFlying Scot

Flying Scots are a 19 foot centerboard boat, and the instructor goes onboard with a group of students, usually three or four per boat.  Capsizing in these boats rarely happens.  This boat was especially designed for the Gulf Coast, and is avidly raced across the country.  If you really like Flying Scots, you can join the Friday night Twilight races at SYC.  To learn more about Flying Scots visit


420s are a 14 foot doublehanded boat that are a little more active and high performance than Sunfish or Flying Scots. 420s are the standard boat for high school and college competition.  These boats are lots of fun and can be sailed with spinnakers and trapeze once the basics are mastered.  If you're adventurous and don't mind getting wet (or flipping), try 420s. Check out Club 420s here


Sunfish are a 14 foot sailboat usually sailed by one person.  Kids and adults can both enjoy this boat.  If you're looking for lots of tiller time this is the boat for you!  Your instructor will coach you from a motorboat.  These are also raced in many events at SYC, including Friday Twilight Racing.  To learn more visit .

Some thoughts:

 My advice to everyone no matter what level is to spend time sailing a small boat.  You get a better feel for what you're doing, and it will make you a better sailor.  What you learn on any of these boats easily transfers to another.  What works best for most people is to start in a Flying Scot, then jump into the smaller boats for our intermediate class.

Still not sure what boat to sail?  Contact SYC Sailing Director Jodi Weinbecker. 

What about bad weather?

 We never sail in thunder or lightening, but we will sail in the rain if the wind is good.  If you're unsure call the club 504.288.4200.

What should I wear?  Do I need to bring anything?

You should wear comfortable clothes that allow a good range of motion.  You'll be moving around, and you may get wet.

We require students and coaches to wear lifejackets.  We have some available you can borrow, but  if you get into sailing, you will probably want to buy your own that fits and is comfortable.  Lifejackets can be found at Seachest (right up the street from us) and West Marine (on Harrison).  These guys know our program and what we suggest.  You want to look for range of motion, comfort and fit. It is imperative that the life jacket fit properly. When the life jacket is on, put your arms straight up. The life jacket should not be able to be pulled up. Dinghy (small boat) sailors tend to prefer paddling style vests like this: and big boat sailors like the lower profile self inflating PFDs.

Shoes: You'll want to wear shoes that are nonmarking and provide good traction.

Windbreaker/rainjacket for the spray or in case it rains.  Plus it can get chilly in the evenings on the water.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 09 August 2012 )

Southern Yacht Club • West End • New Orleans
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