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The North Shore is home to some of the most beautiful coastal areas in the country, and there’s no better way for kids to appreciate the great outdoors of our stunning region than through sailing camp. Yacht clubs and sailing associations dot the coast, giving kids ample opportunity to learn how to sail while making new friends and learning teamwork, independence, responsibility, and sportsmanship. Take a look at the below sailing camps to find the best fit for your sailor this summer.

Manchester Sailing Association

The MSA offers sailing sessions for students of all ages and skill levels, from 7-year-old beginners to 18-year-old experienced racers. They also offer adult classes grouped by skill, open to all. Classes typically run in two-week sessions, and are geared toward all interest levels—in some, students learn the basics, while in others, they might gear up for regatta racing. A new class focuses on adventure sailing: learning valuable, life-long sailing skills in a non-race format. 

The MSA’s programs focus on independence, safety, and sportsmanship. They own a fleet of boats including Dyer Dhows, Optimist Dinghies, 420s, and Rhodes 19s, and all sailing classes start out of Tuck’s Point and sail into scenic Manchester Harbor. They even offer open Saturday sailing for students to practice what they’ve learned and show off to their families!

For a full class schedule, class descriptions, and pricing, visit the MSA website. 

Ages: 7+
Session Length: 2 weeks

15 Tucks Point Road, Manchester-by-the-Sea, 978.526.8345,

Pleon Yacht Club

Founded in 1887, Pleon is exclusively a “kids club,” offering summer sailing programs for kids ages eight to eighteen of all skill levels. Aiming to involve as many kids as possible in sailing, they offer application-based financial aid. Pleon offers both full season sessions, running from June 22 to August 16, and half-season sessions, as well as a two-week Intro to Pleon course for beginners.

The club runs classes using Optimist boats, Lasers, 420s, and keelboats, depending on the age and skill of the sailors. Some classes have an emphasis on racing, and they have a 420 Racing Team and an Opti Race Team. 

Students are welcome to use a privately-owned boat for a discount. Pleon also offers a few extra activities throughout the summer, like movie events, casual regattas, and BBQs. 

Ages: 8+
Session Length: 4 or 8 weeks

42 Foster Street, Marblehead, 781.631.1076,

Corinthian Yacht Club Junior Sailing

During the CYC’s Junior Sailing program, students ages seven and up have the chance to learn the basics of sailing using the club’s fleet of Vanguard Prams, Optimists, and Sonar keelboats. The camp runs in five sessions (a preseason and sessions 1 through 4). Sessions are either one or two weeks of half-day sailing. Classes are designed so that sailors can choose to participate in just one session, or sign up for more than one session as they advance. A student might start the summer in the Beginner class, then move to the Intermediate class for session two, and then the Opti 1 class for session 3.

Students may choose to sign up with a group of friends and participate in the Sonar keelboat class, requiring no previous experience.

Ages: 7+
Session Length: 1 or 2 weeks

1 Nahant Street, Marblehead, 781.631.0005,

Boston Yacht Club Junior Sailing

Don’t let the name fool you—Boston Yacht Club is located in Marblehead, and they offer sailing classes for kids ages six to fifteen in a non-competitive environment. Beginners will start out learning to sail in multi-person Sonar boats during the morning session, and more intermediate sailors, who sail in the afternoons, might choose to move to the Optimist program where they can sail independently. 

Students ages ten to fifteen have the option of Adventure Afternoons, where they will learn more about non-competitive sailing and go on boating trips to different points of interest. Those ages twelve to fifteen have the option for the Seafarers camp, focused on both sailing and off-the-water skills like navigation, weather, and STEM-related activities.

Ages: 6-15
Session Length: 2 weeks

1 Front Street, Marblehead, 781.631.3100,

Eastern Point Yacht Club Junior Program

Located at the entrance to Gloucester Harbor, the Eastern Point Yacht club has easy access to both the open ocean and the inner harbor, making it a great option for sailors of all levels—complete with a 3,000 square foot state-of-the-art dry sailing facility. The Club provides both half- and full-day options. In the mornings, students ages eight to eleven sail Optimists, while students twelve and older sail 420s—classes are offered for both beginner and intermediate sailors. 

For a full-day option, students can then participate in Adventure Camp in the afternoons, which takes kids to different locations daily to learn more about the ecosystems of coastal Cape Ann. Students might snorkel at Brace Cove or discover shipwrecks at Thatcher Island.

Advanced sailors who are approved by the Program Director have the opportunity to join the club’s race team and potentially travel around New England for races. 

Ages: 8+
Session Length: 2 weeks

125 Eastern Point Blvd., Gloucester, 978.283.3520,

Sail Salem

Committed to bringing the joys of sailing to those kids who might not otherwise have the opportunity to be on a boat, Sail Salem offers financial aid and scholarships to those who qualify. Students can be sure to learn independence, teamwork, and responsibility during their weeklong sailing sessions. They offer Optimist and 420 classes, along with Sail Adventures and a Race Clinic for those who are more serious about sailing competitively.

Class are taught in Salem Harbor off of Winter Island. The classes run in half days, full days, and even extended days, which run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They also offer a two-week program to train new sailing instructors.

Session Length: 1 week

50 Winter Island Road, Salem,

Sandy Point Sailing Association 

Beverly’s junior sailing organizer, Sandy Point, is sponsored by the Jubilee and Salem Willows Yacht Clubs (though you don’t have to be a member of either) and offers students small class sizes and lots of individual attention. Their level 1 classes require no previous experience and are tailored for both youths and teens. These classes are taught in Optimists and Pixels and include instruction on safety, rigging, knots, tacking, and more.

Level 2 classes explore more advanced skills like navigation and use larger boats like 420s and Rhodes 19. Intro to Cruising introduces students to even larger keelboats, and Intro to Racing is for students who are comfortable on the water and ready to learn the rules of racing while participating in practice drills.

Ages: 8+
Session Length: 2 weeks

127 Water Street, Beverly, 978.387.1384,

Sandy Bay Yacht Club Sailing Program

Located in scenic Rockport, Sandy Bay Yacht Club offers sailing lessons for students ages eight and up. The non-profit also has scholarships available. Students will sail on Optimist dinghies and 420s. While their basic two-week sessions teach beginners how to sail, Sandy Bay also runs three-week racing class sessions, in which experienced racers are offered the opportunity to travel and compete in regattas against other sailors their age.

Sailing students automatically become members of the yacht club, and they encourage parents to join, too. Families can take advantage of activities like cookouts, Sunday Morning Coffee, Chowder Day, and more.

Ages: 8+
Session Length: 2 or 3 weeks

5 T Wharf, Rockport, 978.546.9433,

Essex Bay Sailing Club

The Essex Bay Sailing Club provides four- and eight-week sessions to students ages eight and up. Students sail two days a week and are placed in one of four classes, according to age and skill level: Bosuns, Adventurers, Captains, or Admirals. While Bosuns learn about boat safety, knots, and tides, and should be sailing solo by the end of the session, Admirals may participate in inter-club races with neighboring sailing clubs and help instruct the younger students. 

Students sail in designated safe areas in Essex Bay, where the Essex River meets Ipswich Bay. Though there’s some boat traffic in the area, students primarily stay out of the channel and instructors are always monitoring for safety. Kids sail in both Captivas and 420s while they develop confidence and an appreciation for the beautiful resources of the Essex River.

Ages: 8+
Session Length: 4 or 8 weeks, 2 days/week

161 Conomo Point Road, Essex, 978.500.1155,

Ipswich Junior Sailing

Located on the grounds of the Ipswich Bay Yacht Club (though not part of the club), Ipswich Junior Sailing is committed to developing students’ competence in sailing while maintaining a fun atmosphere. All children ages eight and up are encouraged to participate, and will be grouped into the Optimist or 420 classes based on size, and the Beginner, Intermediate, or Race Team according to skill level. 

Students have the option to take a one-week session of full days, or a two-week session of half-day morning classes. All classes run Monday through Thursday, and open sail is offered on Friday mornings as boats are available. The non-profit welcomes students of all backgrounds, and scholarships are available.

Ages: 8+
Session Length: 1 or 2 weeks

Quay Road, Ipswich, 978.412.4412,

American Yacht Club

Operating out of beautiful building over 100 years old near the mouth of the Merrimac River, the American Yacht Club holds a children’s sailing school for kids ages nine to seventeen. For over sixty years, the club has taught countless children about the joys of sailing from their downtown Newburyport location. 

Sailors are taught primarily in Hunter 140 boats, which hold groups of two or three kids and is both safe and easy for the beginner and also fast and sporty for the more advanced sailor. Students will end the course with their U.S. Sailing Basic Keelboat Certificate. Courses are one week long, and students can choose to take either the morning session, the afternoon session, or both. 

Ages: 9-17
Session Length: 1 or 2 weeks

115 R Water Street, Newburyport, 978.465.9053,