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Summer Class Descriptions

MSA 2024 Summer Sessions:

Students are grouped in classes by age, ability and interest. Classes are offered for children ages 7 to 18 (as of September 1st). Most classes are offered in 4 two-week sessions. All participants must wear a USCG certified life jacket in classes.

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 (YMCA, or similar swim programs may provide this) and a parent must sign the form. In recent years, it has become difficult to find certifying instructors. If you are unable to do so, MSA will run swim tests the first day of each session. The swim test form can be found on the parent section of this site. 


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Sea Urchins

Ahoy! The Sea Urchin class introduces younger children (7-8) to the sport of sailing for the first time. It familiarizes them with being on and around the water and helps make them comfortable and confident in a boat all while having a ton of fun doing it. Sea Urchins will learn the very basics of boat handling: parts of the boat, rowing, steering with a tiller, trimming a sail, and boat safety. There will be both on and off water instruction as well as games focused on building fundamental sailing skills. Students will sail in our brand new 8’ Prams, Optimist dinghies, and with MSA instructors on our 18-foot Ideals and will be tightly supervised throughout the session. This class is best for 7 and 8-year-old children who are unfamiliar with sailing or looking to grow their very early sailing skills.

Afternoons, Mondays - Friday 1:00 - 4:00

$535 per session


Learn to Sail

New to sailing? The Learn to Sail (LTS) class is for those who have little to no sailing experience including those younger sailors who have taken the Sea Urchin class. LTS Sailors will at first be broken into groups based on age and head to sea on an Ideal 18 skippered by an MSA instructor. The first goal of Learn to Sail is to develop a love for being on the water and the magic of being under sail. The second goal is to reduce the number of things a novice sailor has to handle on their own. The MSA instructors will slowly introduce each sailor to one part of the boat at a time. This will allow each sailor to experience the feeling and theory of  each sailing skill without overwhelming them with everything all at once. Students will learn basic parts of the boat, basic rigging concepts, how to find the wind, basic sail trim, and boat safety. There will be both on and off water instruction. This class has a hands-on, learn-to-sail focus but under the guidance of an instructor who will help each sailor where they are at with their skills and understanding. Sailors will also feel much more confident before they take their next course in a boat under their own control. The Learn to Sail class has two stages. Week 1 is the LTS program and upon completion, sailors will spend their second week in either the Novice Opti or the Novice C420 group (depending on age) where they can apply their new skills. 

This class is best for sailors with 0 weeks of prior MSA classes. It is also appropriate for sailors who have previously taken the Sea Urchin class. 

Mornings Mondays - Fridays 9:00-12:00

$535 per session


Opti/Pram Novice to Intermediate

The Opti + Pram Novice to Intermediate class is for sailors who have successfully completed 2-16 weeks of MSA sailing, or can demonstrate similar skills on the water. This class will refine previously-learned skills and build on that foundation through greater independence in rigging, sailing, and boat setup. There will be both on and off water instruction. Students will sail either in an Optimist dinghy or one of our new 8’ Prams. This class has a hands-on, learn-to-sail focus. When complete the sailor will be able to demonstrate helming skills, tack and jibe in control, trim a sail, navigate a course, identify the parts of a sailboat, sail upwind close-hauled, and be confident and independent in a smaller sailboat. This class is best for sailors who are 8 - 12 years old.

This class is appropriate for sailors with 2 to 20 weeks of MSA lessons or the equivalent. Sailors can sign up for this class multiple times until they have achieved a full Intermediate level of mastery.

Mornings,  Mondays - Fridays 9:00-12:00

$535 per session


Laser/C420 Novice to Intermediate

The Laser/C420 Novice to Intermediate class is designed for larger sailors who are comfortable on the water and are ready to challenge their sailing skills alone in a Laser or with a crew in a C420. There will be both chalkboard (pre and post sailing) and on-the-water instruction with a focus on fun while getting used to a more advanced boat. Students will learn about the new boats, rigging, handling, and sail trim. This class has a hands-on learn-to-sail focus. When complete, sailors will be able to sail a Laser or C420 and grow their skills as they build confidence doing so. For lighter sailors, MSA is introducing a new Reduced-Area Design (RAD) mainsail for both boats, allowing the boats to be depowered for heavier wind days. This class is best for 13 to 18-year-old sailors who are seeking to become proficient at dinghy sailing. This class is a great step towards either racing, or a recreational-oriented mastery of sailing.

This class is appropriate for sailors with 2 to 20 weeks of MSA lessons or the equivalent. Sailors can sign up for this class multiple times until they have achieved a full Intermediate level of mastery.

Mornings Mondays - Fridays 9:00 -12:00

$535 per session


Opti Strong Intermediate to Advanced

This class is for 10 to 13-year-old sailors who have successfully completed at least one session of Opti Intermediate or can demonstrate appropriate skills. Students will sail in an Optimist dinghy. This class has a hands-on, learn-to-sail focus. When complete, the sailor will be able to demonstrate advanced helming skills, fluency while tacking and gybing, and understand more advanced sail trim concepts. Sailors will continue to build their confidence and independence as they handle an Optimist sailboat in any conditions.

This class is most appropriate for sailors who have taken 8 or more weeks of instruction at MSA or can demonstrate similar skills. Sailors can sign up for this class multiple times and continue to extend their skill set.

Afternoons Mondays - Fridays 1:00 - 4:30

$535 per session


Opti Intro-to-Race & MSA Race Team

Have a young sailor interested in racing? This class will hone a younger sailor’s skills while introducing them to the lifelong (and collegiate!) sport of sailboat racing. On- and off-the-water instruction will be focused on learning the rules of racing, basic race tactics, and race-oriented handling of the Optimist dinghy. When complete, the sailor will be able to confidently handle wind conditions up to 16 knots, sail around Misery Island, and be ready, if they want to, to start racing.

Sailors who choose to race will participate in local and travel regattas in the Mass Bay area and beyond depending on their race readiness and instructor’s guidance. This class is best for sailors 9 to 14-years-old with demonstrated advanced sailing skills or those who have successfully completed two or more Opti Advanced or equivalent courses.

Afternoons Mon - Fri 1:00 - 4:30

$1,345 for the full 8-week season of MSA's summer program

$1,045 the first 5 weeks of MSA’s season ending the Friday after Marblehead Junior Race Week


Laser/C420 Intro-to-Race & MSA Race Team

Ready? Set. RACE!!! The Laser/C420 Intro-to-Race and Race Team is for sailors who have solid sailing experience and are ready to race C420s or Lasers. This class will broaden their sailing expertise and introduce older kids to the lifelong sport of sailboat racing. There will be both on- and off-the-water instruction in a Laser or double-handed C420 racing dinghy. This class has a mastery-of-sailing focus. When complete, sailors will be well-rounded, independent, and confident sailors capable of sailing in most in-shore weather conditions. For lighter sailors, MSA is introducing a new Reduced-Area Design (RAD) mainsail for both boats, allowing the boats to be depowered for heavier wind days.

Sailors who join the MSA Race Team, will participate in local and travel regattas in the Mass Bay area and beyond depending on their race readiness, parental support, and instructor guidance.

This class is best for sailors who are 13 to 18-years-old with demonstrated advanced or better sailing skills or who have successfully completed two sessions of Laser/C420 Intermediate or an equivalent course.

Afternoons Mon - Fri 1:00 - 4:30

$1,345 for the full 8-week season of MSA's summer program

$1,045 the first 5 weeks of MSA’s season ending the Friday after Marblehead Junior Race Week


Master Class Junior Sailing/MSA Instructor-in-Training

This advanced Junior Sailing class is for sailors who have successfully demonstrated Laser/C420 Intermediate class mastery but would prefer to enjoy the open ocean without racing. This class is designed to expand their sailing expertise and continue them on their path of developing lifelong skills on the water. There will be both on- and off-the-water instruction and sailors will sail in a Laser, C420 dinghy, Ideal 18s, and other available boats. This class has a hands-on, mastery-of-sailing focus. When complete, sailors will be well-rounded, independent, and confident sailors capable of sailing in most in-shore weather conditions. Sailors will learn basic navigation, explore the surrounding waters, and have a great time doing so.

For those sailors interested in the world’s best Summer job, MSA is introducing an Instructor Training Program where interested students will start to learn the skills necessary to potentially serve as an MSA instructor some day. Sailors who choose this path will be given the opportunity to help guide the future of the MSA community as they learn what it takes to teach sailing and keep people safe and happy on the water.

Sailors can sign up for this class multiple times and continue to extend their skill set.

Afternoons Mon - Fri 1:00 - 4:30

$535 per session


Adult Sailing

Always wanted to learn how to sail out of our beautiful harbor? This class will be taught primarily in our fleet of Ideal 18s. Sailors will be grouped according to skill level. If you are new to the sport your group will focus on the basics of sailing and boat handling. More experienced sailors will have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of seamanship and more advanced boat-handling skills such as mooring, docking, heavy air seamanship, and safety procedures. Instructor-led practice and instruction in different wind conditions will deepen the sailor's level of competence and confidence on the water.

Evenings 1 day per week for 8 weeks - Thursdays 5:00 - 8:00 or Fridays 1:00 - 4:00

$650 per session

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PLEASE NOTE: If you are registering for more than one class/session (and/or for more than one person), when using the registration system, please click the blue ADD button for all of the sessions before clicking the yellow CONTINUE button. You will have the opportunity to assign participants to individual classes after that.

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