Youth Sailing Program Information


The IYC Youth Sailing Program is one of Inverness Yacht Club’s oldest sailing programs, originating in the 1950s. Among today’s club families are adult members who began their association with IYC through the sailing school a generation or two ago.  The sport of sailing and the Tomales Bay environment make a salubrious mix for young people, introducing them to the excitement of sailing while exposing them to the bay’s fantastic ecosystem.  Participants, ages 10-18, develop confidence in boat handling and basic water safety skills. We encourage sailors to become good mariners by teaching them sportsmanship, respect for fellow sailors and instructors, and stewardship of the environment. The focus is on learning to sail through fun activities, but for those who are interested, it is also an opportunity to develop racing skills.  The program is organized through the efforts of the IYC Youth Sailing Committee and run by a group of enthusiastic US Sailing qualified instructors. The summer sessions continue a long-standing tradition that has produced some of the Club’s top sailors.

From January 1 to January 15, returning member sailors and eligible siblings will be offered space in the program prior to registration opening for all others. After that period, online registration will start on January 15 at 7:00 pm PST for all campers.   First priority goes to returning member sailors and their siblings, followed by new sailors who are members (children and grandchildren),  followed by returning non-member sailors and local families.  Enrollment decisions are at the committee’s discretion to balance age/skill levels, etc. Some financial aid is available by applying on the registration form. The Youth Sailing Program depends on a dedicated group of volunteers to operate.  All families receiving financial aid are expected to make meaningful contributions to the program via volunteering at events during the program. Confirmation of enrollment status will start on February 1. 

Please contact the Youth Sailing Registrar, if you have any questions after reading the program information. 



The IYC Youth Sailing Program offers summer instruction in sailing and racing for young people in two sessions.

Classes meet Monday through Friday at the Inverness Yacht Club on Tomales Bay. Instructors are US Sailing Association certified or equivalent. The Club's fleet includes Optimists, Lasers, O'pen Bics and Flying Juniors (FJ's). In addition to teaching sailing, instructors will guide sailors on becoming conscientious mariners and stewards of Tomales Bay. Each session includes social events and picnics on Friday nights and a youth regatta will be held in July. 


The IYC Youth Sailing Program is open to children ages 10-18 who demonstrate adequate swimming skills and meet the requirements listed in detail in the Information for Parents' page. A child must be age 10 on or before June 1st to be eligible for enrollment. Proof of age, such as a birth certificate, may be required when first entering the program. Limited financial aid is available. For those interested in Financial Aid information, please contact the Registrar.



Generally, camp runs from 9:00-4:00 pm, 10:00-5:00 pm, or 11:00-5:00 pm depending on the tides, Monday through Friday, with pick up promptly at 4:00 or 5:00 pm. Some variation in the daily schedule may become necessary due to low tides. A daily calendar will be available online and at the orientation meeting.

Summer 2023

Session One: Monday, June 19at 9:00 a.m. and ends on Friday, July 7th

Session Two: Tuesday, July 11 at 9:00 a.m. and ends on Friday, July 28th

Youth Sailing Regatta: TBD

Session Fee $1400


To enroll, each applicant must submit:

 1. A completed application form through our online registration system;

 2. A signed parental waiver (online) and sailor contract form handed out at orientation;

 3. Electronic Payment is due at the time of registration, in the full amount, in two payments of February 15 and March 15; or three payments on February 15, March 15, and April 15. 

Confirmation of enrollment will be emailed after the close of priority registration or after receipt of your completed application material if received outside the priority registration period.


MANDATORY Orientation meetings: A brief orientation for parents and sailors of each session will be conducted at 9:00 am. on the first morning of class. This meeting is mandatory for a parent or guardian of each sailor. If either the child or the parent or guardian miss the orientation the child may be dropped from the program.


Swimming Requirement: All participants enrolled in the program must pass the following swim test. The test is performed wearing sailing clothing. - Jump from a float into deep water without a life jacket; swim 20 feet; don life jacket while treading water; float with confidence for 10 minutes; climb out.

Life Jacket Requirement: Each sailor must provide and wear an appropriately sized Coast Guard approved Type III PFD (Personal Floatation Device). A style that zips up is recommended. Life Jackets can be purchased at Clavey Paddlesports in Petaluma, West Marine, or other sporting goods stores. Jacket must be marked with the child's name in a visible location. Please have sailors bring a complete change of clothing and a towel each day. A recommended list of items to bring daily will be provided before the start of camp.

Wetsuit requirement: Due to the water temperature and wind chill factor present on Tomales Bay, each sailor must provide and wear a wetsuit.  Exemptions can only be given by the Head Instructor.  Wetsuits can be found at dive shops and sporting goods stores including REI and Costco.


Helmet Requirement: Appropriate helmets will be required of all sailors. Helmets are available from a variety of sport shops, sailing equipment stores, and online.  Sailing and skateboard helmets are essentially the same thing.  Good quality helmets can be purchased for $30-$60. Donated spare helmets may be available for use. 

Shoes: Closed toed shoes are required. Wet-suit booties, sneakers, boat and heavy duty water shoes are all acceptable. No open-toed sandals are allowed while sailing. 

Lunch: Sailors should bring their own lunch, snacks and drinks to class each day. We remind sailors and parents that all unused food and beverages should be returned home with the sailor. Please do not leave trash at the Club. 

Youth Sailing Boats: Optimist, O'Pen Bics, FJs and Lasers.

Standard of Conduct: At all times while on the yacht club premises and while on the water, each sailor shall be expected to maintain the premises, boats and equipment in a seaman like manner, i.e., clean, orderly and shipshape and follow the directions of the camp instructors.


Parents are expected to help organize and supervise Friday night social events. A signup sheet will be provided at the orientation meeting. Parents are responsible for their children during the Social events. The instructors will attend but they are not on duty. 



Photo Credit:  Sarah Killingsworth