HomeAbout UsGet InvolvedEventsThe MuseumThe Watercraft CenterOur NeighborhoodArea GuideContact Us

Friends of the North Carolina Maritime Museum
Call Us!  252.728.1638
315 Front Street | Beaufort, North Carolina  28516
Join, Renew or Volunteer today!
A 501(c)3 non-profit corporation

Ways you can participate...
 Junior Sailing Program

The Junior Sailing Program offers basic through advanced sailing instruction to youth ages 8 and older. Instructors are certified in First Aid and CPR. Instruction takes place on the protected waters around Beaufort.

This exciting program teaches the arts of rigging, sailing and seamanship, and introduces the students to maritime traditions and history. It is designed to teach the basic skills of sailing to beginners and to hone the skills of more advanced students, using a combination of time in the classroom and on the water.

The program helps participants develop self-esteem, responsibility, and sportsmanship, as well as knowledge of and respect for the forces of nature. An awareness of boating safety is emphasized throughout the program.

The Junior Sailing Program uses the two classes of sailboats which are commonly used in sailing and racing programs through the U.S., see below for details about each class of sailboat. 


Be at least 8 years old when classes begin (NO EXCEPTIONS). 
Be able to successfully demonstrate his or her ability to swim.
Have parent complete and return the Student Medical and Liability Release Forms.
Bring a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket (PFD). 
In addition, student should bring suitable clothing and accessories, including water shoes, a hat, sunscreen and water bottle

Registration and Cancellations:

Reservations cannot be made via e-mail and are confirmed only after payment is processed. Registration costs, less a 10% fee, are refunded when the Museum receives cancellation notice at least two weeks before the start of a program. There is no refund within two weeks of the start of a program.
Three Classes of Sailboats

International Optimist Dinghy (IOD or OPTI)

The IOD is recognized worldwide as the sail-training and competition boat for youth ages 8-15 and is the ideal craft for teaching sailing to beginners. It has a single, sprit-rigged sail and is 7 feet and 9 inches long. The Junior Sailing Program uses 18IODs, all built at the Museum's Watercraft Center and maintained by staff and volunteers. The maximum student weight in the Opti is 130 lbs.

Flying Junior (FJ)

The FJ is 13 feet 3 inches long and has two sails, a mainsail and a jib. It carries a two-person team. Each crew member will learn to rig, launch and sail this fun and fast daysailer. Racing fundamentals, tuning techniques and proper boat handling will be covered. The program has four FJs. Students wishing to participate in the Flying Junior class must have sailing experience and knowledge, preferably from at least one session of the Museum's Junior Sailing Program. Participants must weigh at least 100 lbs.  


The Sunfish sessions are no longer offered.


Two-week session for Optis and FJs are offered, with one group session in the morning from 8:30 am until noon and another in the afternoon from 1 pm until 4:30 pm.

A Regatta Week Session meets for one week, Monday through Friday, beginning August 5, from 12:30 pm until 5 pm.  On Saturday, August 10, students participate in the Hoop Pole Regatta.  The purpose of this is session to gain familiarity with the boats and to prepare for racing in a regatta.

The Regatta Week registration fee includes lunch and dinner on Saturday.  It is expected that a parent or guardian will accompany each student to the regatta.