Elementary Learn to Sail

Every day is a discovery!

Let’s start from the beginning…

Elementary Sailing (Pram Camp) is an excellent starting point for first-time sailors over the age of 6, as well as being an opportunity for those who have previously received instruction at MBJA’s Kinder Sail program to start mastering their skills.

In this program, young sailors have great experiences, develop friendships, and advance their skill sets on the water as they learn how to sail in our small, stable Pram dinghies under careful supervision. This course is designed for beginner-to-intermediate ability sailors—with the recommended ages being 7-11 years old (or enrolled in 1st – 5th grade)­­. The students always learn a lot and have fun during this program.

For both safety and “quality of instruction” purposes, camp sizes are capped at 12 students per session. Lessons are offered as half-day classes (either mornings or afternoons) for two-week sessions.

Our instructors are conscious of varied levels of experience and will arrange classes so as to best accommodate all levels of learning. For Elementary Sail, this entails three levels: Pram Crew (entry level), Pram Skipper (medium level) and Pram Solo (experienced level). You can be assured that our experienced staff will closely monitor your child’s capabilities to ensure they are placed in the appropriate level to best master greater skills. Sailing partners are also carefully monitored and adjusted to suit individual comfort, skill building, and class dynamic.

Elementary Sail classes begin with land-based discussions and demonstrations, followed by shallow water activities, and then open-water practice. Students work together to learn and refine the points of sail, boat rigging, terminology, and basic steering skills. Additional activities like swimming & games are interspersed throughout the day to keep the action going and provide a fun group experience.  Most sailors repeat this class several times before advancing to our Learn-to-Race programs.

Students must bring their own lunches and snacks, as well as a Coast Guard-approved lifejacket, change of clothes, water shoes, and a towel.

We recommend 2 two-week camps for those who really want to improve their sailing skills. Signing up for multiple sessions is a great way to get your sailor to the advanced levels of sailing. Graduates should consider Opti Learn-to-Race for additional learning, challenges, and fun!

Cancellation Policy

If you wish to cancel, you must notify the Macatawa Bay Junior Association in writing at least two weeks prior to the start of the session to receive a refund. There will be no refunds given after that time. All refunds are subject to a $30 cancellation fee. If you wish to transfer your registration from one session to another, we would be happy to accommodate your request, however, you will be charged an additional $10 to cover account fees.

2017 Summer Camp Schedule:

June Sessions

  1. June 19 – June 30

Morning Camp: Monday – Friday (9:00am-12:00pm)

Afternoon Camp: Monday – Friday (1:00pm-4:00pm)

July Sessions

  1. July 3 – July 14
  2. July 17 – July 28

Morning Camp: Monday – Friday (9:00am-12:00pm)

Afternoon Camp: Monday – Friday (1:00pm-4:00pm)

August Sessions

  1. July 31 –  Aug 11
  2. Aug 14 – Aug 25

Morning Camp: Monday – Friday (9:00am-12:00pm)

Afternoon Camp: Monday – Friday (1:00pm-4:00pm)

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Macatawa Bay Yacht Club
Since 1993, MBJA has operated on the grounds of Macatawa Bay Yacht Club, serving the Holland community as a 501c(3) non-profit sailing school.

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US Sailing
MBJA is a proud member of US Sailing.