Kids Set Sail®


UPDATE - February 22, 2021:

The Kids Set Sail 2021 Season is now sold out to capacity. 

We do have a wait list registration option for all the sessions that you can sign up for and we’ll be in touch via email should a space open up for the session. Please scroll down to the red box where you can then click on the sessions. You'll find the "Join Wait List" option once you click on the session. You’re welcome to “wait list” for as many sessions as you’re interested in registering your sailor to attend.

If this year does not work out due to the capacity situation, please add a note to your calendar to check the website in early January 2022 when registration typically opens for the summer program. DC Sail is a fairly small operation with a limited number of spaces available for each session due to fleet size. We have sold out to capacity for the last few years and suspect this will be the case for next year as well.

Thank You!

UPDATE - January 2021:

Please carefully review the information posted below as we have added "Sailing Levels" to be selected at the time of your registration. 

It is recommended that parents secure their sailor's registration early in the year as we have sold out to capacity the last few years and suspect 2021 will be the same.

Thank You!

What is Kids Set Sail?

Kids Set Sail offers beginner and intermediate programs for 7-15 year old children over the course of 8 one-week sessions throughout the summer. Youth sailors with a broad range of experience from never having been on a boat to more advanced returning Sailors  will participate in the same sessions. New in 2021, we have added differing "Levels" for registration. The descriptions are posted below.

The Kids Set Sail Director and Instructors will evaluate your Sailor's age, sailing skills and knowledge and will assign them to the proper area on the first day of programming for the week. 

Kids Set Sail Curriculum Includes:
P Health and Boating Safety
P Parts of the Boat
P Rigging & Furling a Flying Scot
P Identify Wind Direction
P Steering
P Weather and Electricity Talk
P Learn how to Tack and Jibe
P Safety Position
P Currents & Tides
P Nautical Charts
P Learn Points of Sail and Math       P Knots
P Learn the Rules of the Road
P Burgees
P Introduce Launching and Landing
P Person Overboard Drills
P Learn how to Navigate a Race Course

Registration Levels:

Beginner/Novice students ages 7-15, will be on our 18-foot Flying Scot fleet with four or five Sailors and their Instructor on the boat with them. This level is appropriate for Sailors who have little to no sailing experience as well as returning Sailors. Each week, the curriculum is the same, however, the weather and other factors make each day different. We see many of our Kids Set Sail participants return several times a summer - without complaints of boredom! 

They will learn basic small boat sailing skills such as parts of the boat, knots, upwind/downwind sailing, dockside person-overboard demonstrations by Instructors on the water, and more!

Intermediate/Advanced students ages 12-15 is appropriate for Sailors who have completed at least three sessions of Kids Set Sail or sail training experience (documented) from another facility. Instruction will include learn race techniques and build upon their navigational skills, with the opportunity to engage in higher levels of the science of sailing.

Sailors at the Intermediate/Advanced Level will be sailing double-handed (with another Kids Set Sail Sailor) on our two-person Olympic Flying Junior Fleet or RS Fevas, which can capsize.

Sailors will receive Capsize Recovery training on the first day of programming. Sailors at this level are required to have strong swimming skills while wearing a life jacket in addition to applicable sailing knowledge.

Instructors will not be on the boats with the Sailors at this level, but will be close by in motorized power boats for coaching and safety.

Staff: US SAILING certified Instructors are on site during our program and all are highly trained with a week-long intensive training schedule prior to the start of programming. They are fully background checked and have also completed US Sailing's Safe Sport program along with certification in American Red Cross training.

Instructors while on board the boats with younger, less experienced Sailors as coaching staff, but the Sailors work together to run the boat.

Both on land and on the water, our energetic Instructors use a fun combination of games and drills to teach sailing concepts. At Kids Set Sail, fun is an integral part of our program. By the end of the week, your child will be well versed in sailing techniques and maneuvering a small boat.

Sign Your Child Up Today!

Cost: $350

Scholarships: DC Sail offers partial scholarships of $250 (final cost - $100) per week to applicants who meet the criteria outlined in the Scholarship Application of less than an annual household total income of $50,000. We will also work on a case-by-case basis with those who need further assistance.

If you are qualified for a scholarship for your child, please proceed with the online registration and select, "Kids Set Sail, Scholarship," registration type. 

Complete the payment of $100. The Registration and Liability Waiver Form and also the KSS Scholarship Application along with required supporting documentation is to be delivered to the the Camp Director in a sealed envelope the first day of programming for the week.

Kids Set Sail Registration Step One:

To register for Kids Set Sail, please click on the session you're interested listed below in the red box and complete the online registration. You will see options for the Beginner/Novice and the Intermediate/Advanced Levels. Select one to proceed to check out and confirming your registration.

Important Information:

Full payment by a credit card is required at the time of registration. Unpaid registrations will be cancelled by the system automatically after 15 minutes. Please be sure to have your payment information available at the time of online registration.

Kids Set Sail Registration Step Two:

Once the online registration is complete, the hard copy forms should be delivered to the Kids Set Sail Director on the first day of programming for the week. We will send out a reminder and confirmation email message a week prior to the Session you registered your sailor to participate and it will include copies of the registration documents. We are unable to accept email versions of the registration documents as we'll need to have the original hard copies on file.

Download Registration forms here:

Please click here to launch the 2021 Registration Forms.

Please click here to launch the 2021 Scholarship Application.

Notice for Parents/Guardians:

After completing your registration, you will receive an email message and receipt. The confirmation email message will include a link to a .pdf document that will have helpful information regarding where to go, what your child will need to bring, cancellation commentary, etc. If you would like to review this document in advance, please click here.

General Schedule Information:

Drop off is between 9:30 AM and 10:00 AM Monday-Friday.

Pick up is between 3:45 PM and 4:00 PM Monday-Thursday.

Friday is an early release for each week of programming. Sailors are released at 2:30 PM and must be picked up at that time.

DC Sail does not offer before or after program care due to logistics. 

2021 Kids Set Sail Sessions

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DC Sail is the community sailing program of National Maritime Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Business Mailing Address: 600 Water Street SW, Unit 9-16, Washington, DC 20024
Diamond Teague Park Piers Waterfront Address: 99 Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003
The Wharf/Gangplank Marina Waterfront Address: 600 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024
Telephone: (202) 547-1250 · Email: Traci Mead, Executive Director - 
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