Parents Home


Welcome to Manchester Sailing Association. Our goal is to make this section of the website for parents a useful resource for you as you navigate the waters of being the parent of a sailor. You may be an old salt yourself, or you maybe new all of this. Either way, welcome to the adventure!


Swim test requirements:

In order to participate in the MSA program, every sailor must be able to swim 100 yards continuously and have this verified by a Water Safely Instructor on the MSA swim form. This form must be received by MSA before the sailor's first class. Both a Water Safety Instructor and a parent must sign the form. The form can be found here: Swim Form.


What to bring to class:

Sailors should come to class prepared for a safe and fun day on the water. This means adequate clothing, sun protection, and hydration. 


Mandatory Items:

  • Life Jacket (see below for details)

  • Proper sailing attire

  • Closed-toe footwear

  • Sun-protection

  • Water bottle

Recommended Items:

  • Change of clothes

  • Towel

  • Snack for after class


Sailors should wear non-cotton, synthetic clothes that they are comfortable getting wet and swimming in. Swim bottoms or athletic shorts are both acceptable and preference-based. Sailors should also attend class in slip-resistant, closed-toed shoes, appropriate for the wet environment of sailing. Neither flip-flops nor slides fulfill this requirement. This rule is enforced heavily as it is a safety issue on the floats and in boats. A few examples of shoes our instructors have identified as good choices for sailors are Native Jefferson shoes, Keens, and generic water shoes. Crocs also fulfill this requirement but their loose fit is a disadvantage in the boat. If your sailor plans to attend multiple sessions of sailing we recommend investing in a pair of sailing booties from a brand like Gill or Zhik.


Sailors should also come to sailing camp with sun-protection in the form of sunscreen, and a hat/sunglasses. Sailors may want to bring a small bag with a change of clothes, a towel, and a snack for after sailing.


Sailors are required to bring a properly-fitting, USCG-approved life jacket that is 100% dependent on foam for floatation. Acceptable life jacket types are Type-III, or Type-V (Sailing specified as an intented use). Newer life jacket designations now use Levels instead of Type codes, now designating flotation. These newer life jackets must be a Level 70 or greater. Life jackets are fit tested on the first day of camp. Here is an infographic of how to fit test a life jacket at home. Sailors are required to wear their life jacket, properly zipped/buckled/tightened, while on a beach, float, boat, in the water, or wherever else their instructor deems necessary in the interest of camper safety. Sailors who fail to abide by this rule will have one warning before disciplinary action. Sailors who repeatedly violate this rule may be sent to land for the day or asked to leave.


Sailors in our Race and Intro-to-Race classes must bring polarized sunglasses and a digital watch with a countdown function in addition to the standard required items.


Did you know that your sailor can show you what he/she can do on Saturday mornings?

Saturday Sailing is for all MSA participants to try out what they have learned and for parents to sail with their child, if they so choose. Sailing is supervised from 9 AM to 12 PM beginning June 29. You must arrive before 10 AM because the instructors will be out on the water after 10 AM and will not be available to sign you out. Members of all classes may participate in the boat used in class. Children are expected to be able to rig the boat themselves, with parental help if needed. The instructor is present to sign out the boats and supervise on the water and is usually not available to help in rigging, launching and de-rigging. Both children and parents must bring their own life jackets and wear them at all times. There may be a few Saturdays on which no instructor is available, so please check with your child's instructor or the Program Director as the summer progresses.


Parental racing participation guidelines

  • Place winning in the context of fun, good sportsmanship, and fair play. Emphasize performance goals rather than outcome goals.

  • Promote the total sport of sailing, not just racing.

  • As spectators, remain in designated areas and manage motorboats properly.

  • Remember that any coaching DURING a race is prohibited.

  • Show respect for race officials and regatta rules.

  • Understand that alcohol and other illegal substances have no place at any junior sailing event.

  • Model supportive and ethical behavior.

15 Tucks Point Rd, Manchester, MA 01944 | (978) 526-8345

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