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Learn-to-Sail: Mid-Week Series

Scheduled Classes

DateTimeEventEntriesSign Up
Tue 16-Apr-202417:30-19:30Learn-to-Sail Class 1-2-3


Tues/Wed/Thurs 5:30pm - 7:30pm from early April through late September

Who May Attend (Registration Required):

  • Class 1 : Anyone new to sailing at MIT, whether or not you have previous experience. This lesson will introduce you to the policies and procedures of the Sailing Pavilion.
  • Class 2 : Anyone who has just taken Class 1. This class is limited to a set number of students based on the conditions.
  • Class 3 : Anyone who has taken Class 2, including novice sailors who would like a refresher. This class is limited to a set number of students based on the conditions.


  • You must bring a valid MIT ID.
  • You must have a current MIT athletic membership or be a member of the MIT Community (Student, Faculty, Staff, Alum, Affiliate, or immediate family).
  • You must be able to swim — no exceptions. You should be able to meet the standard MITNA swimming requirement, but do not need to present proof.
  • Come dressed for sailing for Class 2 and 3. You should wear sneakers in the boat. Keep in mind that your clothes might get wet with muddy Charles River water.
  • Non-MIT guests are not allowed in classes at this time due to demand, but once you learn to sail you are encouraged to take your swimming friends out as guests on your own.

Before the Class

We recommend that you watch the videos and practice the Stunsail Tack Bend and Bowline knots (Animated Knots).


Lessons are offered on 3 consecutive days. You should schedule for a week where you are available on all three days in a row. Should you miss Class 2, you will need to start back with Class 1. If you miss Class 3, we may be able to fit you into a future week, but there is no guarantee.

Class 1: Classroom lecture and on-the-dock demonstration:
The first class will serve as an introduction to the sailing program at MIT. Your instructor will explain how the Sailing Pavilion operates, what sort of activities the Pavilion offers, and the basic rules and procedures of sailing at MIT. Your instructor will also cover the basics of how to sail a small sailboat. You'll take a tour of the Pavilion and its boats and facilities. Your instructor will demonstrate how to rig the Tech Dinghy and how to perform basic sailing maneuvers such as launching from and landing at the dock, tacking and jibing. At the end of the class, you'll learn how to unrig the Tech Dinghy and how to tie a few basic knots.

Homework: Review the handout and practice the Stunsail Tack Bend and Bowline knots.
Class 2: On-the-dock demonstrations and sailing:
Participants must know the stunsail tack bend and bowline knots before coming to this lesson. Everyone will rig their boat and make ready to sail. Your instructor will explain your sailing course and will review proper sailing technique. He or she will demonstrate launching and landing at the dock and basic sailing maneuvers. Participants will launch their boats one at a time, sail to the mark, tack, and then sail back to the dock to land. Instructors on the dock will assist with launching and landing and an instructor in a motorboat will assist you on the water.
Class 3: Additional demonstrations and sailing:
Everyone will rig their boat (either alone or in pairs) and make ready to sail. Your instructor will explain what will be covered (upwind sailing, gybes, tiller extension, etc.), the course to be navigated, and demonstrate as needed. Instructors will monitor and advise you from a motorboat while you are on the water (you will not need to return to the dock until the end of the class).

Note: The content of Classes 2 and 3 may change due to wind, weather, and the number of participants. The primary concern of your instructors is the safety of the students.

Please leave your wallet, cellphones, and any other valuables at home. Bring only your MIT ID and items that can get wet. Do not bring purses, backpacks, laptops, or anything else that will make you unhappy if it gets wet or lost.


You can use these handouts both before and after the class:


Updated: 2017/04/02 11:51:02
Updated: 2017/04/02 11:51:02