Frequently Asked Questions:

    What sort of gear do students need to bring to class?
    Students should dress with this fact in mind: you will go in the water, almost every day. We have a few loaner life jackets, but students should bring their own. Do not bring gas-filled, self inflating PFDs. Dress for cold, wet weather. Knit hats are a must, and some like sailing or diving gloves. Dress in layers, with long sleeves and pants, polypro preferably, try to avoid cotton. Drysuits do not protect your feet, so bring closed-toe shoes (no sandals or rubber boots) that can get wet, and warm socks to wear wet on the water, as well as dry socks and shoes for the end of the day. Avoid jewelry and other items that can get caught on gear. Please read more here.

    My student is interested in being a Junior Instructor, who do I talk to?
    Great! Send us an e-mail and we’ll see what we can arrange. Junior instructors are experienced students who accompany pairs of our youngest students in the Juniors and Level I classes to help them run their boats in a safe and fun manner. (They also act as ballast.) JIs need to have successfully completed at least one Level II class and should be 13 or over, preferably. JIs are volunteers, and are expected to be responsible and diligent in the care of the younger students, and responsive to directions from the Lead and Assistant Instructors. In return, JIs get more time on the water for free, some excellent college application material, and the JI program is the feeder system for becoming a full, paid instructor later on. JIs are asked to arrive by 8:15 and/or 1:15 (when classes start), and those serving a full day should bring a lunch and extra dry clothes. JIs must also have a copy of the waiver on file.

    I want to cancel, can I get a refund?
    Refunds are available up through the end of the last Monday before the class in question starts. Send us an e-mail as soon as you can if you need to change plans. Closer than that last Monday, refunds are only offered if the class is not already full, because otherwise your reservation may have prevented someone else from enrolling, which denys the program funds it would have otherwise received. If we can fill the newly-free spot within that timeframe, either through luck or the waitlist, then we're happy to provide a refund anyway.

    Where do classes meet?
    At the Juneau Yacht Club on Norway point, just north of Harris Harbor, every day, regardless of weather.

    (Map).

    When do classes meet (when can I drop-off / pick-up my child)?
    Please make arrangements for your child to be dropped off and picked no more than 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after class. JYSailing cannot be responsible for students outside of class times.
    Morning classes start at 8:15 and end at 11:45. Please drop your child off no earlier than 8:00 and pick them up by 12:00. JYSailing cannot be responsible for students outside these times.
    Afternoon classes start at 1:15 and end at 4:45. Please drop your child off no earlier than 1:00 and pick them up by 5:00. JYSailing cannot be responsible for students outside these times.
    Long-day Level 2 and Level 3 classes start at 9:00 and end at 3:00. Please drop your child off no earlier than 8:45 and pick them up by 3:15. JYSailing cannot be responsible for students outside of class times. Please send your child with a hearty lunch.

    The weather is terrible today, are you still going sailing?
    The decision to go out or not every day is made by our instructors, who err on the side of caution -however, it's amazing what one can still safely sail in. Regardless of the weather on any given day, please always bring your kids to class, as there are plenty of on-land sailing activities available, and each day builds upon what was learned on previous days.

    What are the age limits for classes?
    Juniors classes are for ages 10-11. All other students 12-18 should enroll based on their experience and skill level. The primary reason for age limits is to ensure that students have both the mental and physical capacity for sailing. The boats are fast and need to be handled responsibly, and students need to be large enough and strong enough to counterbalance their boat in high wind and to right it when it is capsized, as well as be big enough to fit into our smallest drysuits (XXS). Generally speaking, parents are good judges of their children's readiness. Feel free to contact us on this one and ask, too.

    What level class should my child take?
    Young children 10-11 who have never sailed should take a Juniors class. Anyone 12-18 who has little or no sailing experience should take Level 1. Students who have taken Level 1 or who have sufficient prior experience are encouraged to take Level 2 (in 2011 we called this Level 2/3 Mixed). Anyone who has taken Level 2 or the old 2/3 mixed class is eligible to take Level 3. We also encourage students to take the same level class more than once. Practice make perfect, and each class’s curriculum is tailored to the students’ needs. I myself took Level Two at least four times and there was never a dull moment.

    Are there adult classes?
    Sometimes! They are essentially fundraisers for the youth program. When they happen, they are all-day on a Saturday (focusing on the youth program does not leave much time for anything else, so it has been a while). They tend to happen towards the end of the summer. If you’re generally interested in the idea, let us know via e-mail and we’ll contact you next time one is scheduled.

    I have my own boat, can I use it instead of JYS's?
    No. It’s important that we all use class-standardized, interchangeable boats that everyone is familiar with. If you hapen to own your own 420, you don't want it anywhere near our fleet : )

    I have my own drysuit, can I use it instead of JYS's?
    Sure thing, we’ll just want to look it over as a standard safety check. Make sure it works, you will be going in the water.

    Is there a weight limit for students?
    Not expressly, but there is a practical limitation to how large a person and how much weight these boats can carry, and we have drysuits up to XXL, but that isn’t always large enough. Generally, between 80 and 200 pounds is a good rule. In all our years of operation, this has only been a problem once, so you’re probably fine, but if you're concerned, shoot us an e-mail.

    What do classes cost?
    Juniors and Level 1 are $170. Level 2 and Level 3 classes, being longer, are $210. Discounts are applied to classes that we couldn't make a full week long. We charge 50-75% less than comparable courses down south.

    Are there scholarships?
    Yes, financial aid is available in the form of the Jay Ginter Youth Sailing Scholarship. Click here to learn more.

    How can I volunteer with JYSailing?
    Ah! We love you. JYSailing is run entirely by unpaid, over-worked volunteers who are always happy to have another set of hands around. The ideal is to have people join the Board (we meet once a month or less during the season) and be there when work is discussed and divided. If the idea of meetings is just more than you can bear, but you still want to give time, send us your e-mail address so we can put you in the volunteer pool when needs arise. Most commonly, we need: people to manage the repair of drysuits (bring them to the shop), a motor-boat manager to tend and care for our three safety skiffs, a financial saint who turns in our taxes and records payroll, and Adult Race race managers if we're trying to hold races. We also rely on a large group of people to show up at the beginning and end of each season to launch the dock and boats for the Summer and bring them in for Fall. We also need responsible youths to be Junior instructors (usually, kids who have taken Level 1 at least once, are 12 or older, and have earned the recommendation of an instructor). Click here to learn more about volunteering.

    Do I need to buy a drysuit?
    No, we provide the drysuits.

    Is it safe?
    It's as safe as it can be. All sports are dangerous and being on the water is an added complication. We do everything we can to mitigate these dangers, but we do require a standard liability waiver.

    Is JYSailing a 501(c)(3)?
    Yes. Here’s our paperwork.