Junior Learn To Sail

Junior Learn To Sail @ PYC


The Parkdale Yacht Club Junior Learn To Sail program is for youngsters aged 7 to 15 years. This program will have two streams; one will be our rookies who are our beginners on the water and the other will be our race-ready junior sailors who have some sailing experience under their belt. Sailors will be placed into each stream based on ability and time on the water. Our 13-week program runs from early November through to the end of March on Sunday mornings.


Our rookies will sail from 9.30am - 11:30am. These participants will learn how to sail in the club's Minnows, Ozi Optis and Pacers with our experienced instructors. Once our rookie sailors gain experience and confidence, they will join our race-ready stream. We actively encourage these students to give casual afternoon junior racing a go, with on-water support and supervision, when the junior is ready and confident. This is a great way to consolidate and build new skills with new-found friends.


The race-ready group will commence from 11:30am onwards. This stream will focus on theory and practice before our afternoon racing which starts at 1pm and usually consists of 2-3 races concluding at around 4pm. Participants can use their own boats or can use the club's Minnows, Zooms and Pacers. These sailors will be mentored around the race course by our experienced sailing instructors. 


At the completion of the course, our Juniors will have the following skills:

  • Knowledge of boat parts and functions,
  • How to rig and unrig a boat,
  • Basic rope work,
  • How to launch and return the boat to shore,
  • Correct sailing techniques and boat handling,
  • Understand weather conditions and safety on the water/beach, 
  • Learn correct rescue procedures and boat recovery when capsized,
  • Skills and confidence to sail around a small course single-handed.

Key information 

Students should have basic swim skills; ideally be able to swim a short distance and be able to tread water comfortably.

We learn together as a group and the morning is complete when all boats are unrigged and back in the racks. No students are to leave the beach until all students are accounted for and  ’class is dismissed’.

If the weather is unsuitable, we will give focus to theory & rope work plus some fun on the beach. Some sessions may need to be cancelled or rescheduled.

We need parents and carers to be involved in the program and remain at the club for the duration of the lesson. Helping carry & rig boats, assisting with launching & recovering of training and rescue boats, under the supervision of our instructors. It has been our experience that your encouragement and participation will guarantee a happy learning experience for all. This approach is at the heart of the family nature of our club.

We ask that as a parent or carer of the junior, for you to assist on one duty session on a Sunday during the season. This may be in the canteen in the morning or race recording in the tower in the afternoon. This activity underpins the smooth running of our volunteer-based club.

 PYC is Sunsmart. Our club encourages sunsmart behaviour – all participants MUST wear a hat and sunscreen when outside (please ensure there is some way to tie the hat onto clothing/wetsuit so it doesn’t blow away).

 It is important for a lifejacket to be a good fit, age and weight appropriate (crotch straps are strongly recommended). A Type 1 (level 100+) or Type 2 (level 50) lifejacket is a legal requirement and will be supplied by the club or may be purchased for the junior to train in. A badly fitted lifejacket may become dislodged by going over the wearer’s head. All straps should be secure to ensure the optimum performance of your lifejacket.  Life jacket Information


  • First child - $330
  • Second child - $280 (15% discount)
  • Third child or more  - $230 (30% discount)


  • Complimentary Junior Membership for the first season,
  • Shared use of our club training boats,
  • Use of appropriate life jacket supplied by the Club,
  • Australian sailing Membership,
  • Coverage by Australian Sailing's Personal Accident Insurance Policy.

Register your Expression of Interest in our Junior Learn To Sail program below.

 Register your interest HERE  

What to bring 

Most sailors find it useful to have a ‘sailing bag’ and here is a list of really useful things that should live in this bag:

  • Hat & sunscreen (must have),
  • Wetsuit (a cold sailor can be an unhappy sailor),
  • Sailing booties or old runners (to protect your feet from the sun and boat bits),
  • Bathers & towel,
  • Dry change of clothes,
  • A basic shackle key (buy one, they are cheap and used each time the boat is rigged & un-rigged),
  • (Optional) Life jacket,  Type1 or Type 2,  if you wish your junior to have their own.

Dates and session times for 2023-24  

  • Oct 29 Orientation morning
  • Nov 12, 19 & 26
  • Dec 3, 10 & 17
  • Feb 4, 11, 18 & 25
  • Mar 3, 17 & 24

Rookies are encouraged to arrive at 9.00am with a view to being dressed and ready for action at 9.30am.

Race-ready sailors should be dressed and ready for action at 11:30am.

Our family-focused club is a wonderful setting to make new friends and learn new skills.