Come sail away

  • Thursday, April 24, 2014

File Students learn about sailing first-hand using Optimist Prime boats which are small and maneuverable.


Students who would like to learn the basics of sailing and sailing safety can now sign up for week-long summer camps in Georgetown.

The South Carolina Maritime Museum, located at 729 Front Street, will host camps for youth ages 8 to 14.

The museum’s Youth Sailing Program is 18 sessions from June 2 to Aug. 1.

Camps will be held Monday through Friday, either 9 a.m. to noon or 2 to 5 p.m.

The fee is $200 per camper and includes a U.S. Sailing’s “Learn Sailing Right! Beginner Sailing” course book, a skills log book, and a T-shirt.

Museum members will receive a 10 percent discount for children or grandchildren.

Instruction will take place in the SC Maritime Museum, in the park beside the museum and on the water. Sailboats will put in at the city docks beside the museum. There will be up to eight campers per session.

Fred Hoelscher, a certified U.S. Sailing Small Boat Level 1 sailing instructor, will head up this year’s instructional team.

The team includes experienced and lifelong sailors Dave Lowe, Mary McAlister and Lee Talbot along with junior counselors from the Winyah Bay Sailing Club.

“Our young sailors will learn how to sail Optimist Prams, a small, extremely stable sailboat designed especially for teaching young people between the ages of 8 and 15 to sail,” Hoelscher said.

“Each camper will keep a log book and our objective will be safety and fun while they are learning to sail.”

The SC Youth Sailing Program has a fleet of 12 wooden “Opti’s” that were built by volunteers and funded by community sponsors.

Students will learn: preparing to sail; sailing terms; knot tying; rigging/unrigging; determining wind direction; points of sail; getting underway; starting and stopping; tacking and jibing; and rules of the road.

Donations needed

A rigid inflatable dinghy to use as instructor/chase boat, 8 to 9 feet, with a small outboard (this could be a good deal or a donation to the program)

Some pieces of indoor/outdoor carpet to be used as retrieval pads for the Optis, which have to be pulled out each day

A Sunfish sailboat, which can be loaned for the season

A boarding ladder to use at the dock, as it is too high off the water for the kids to get up

For more information, to volunteeer or to download a PDF version of the registration form, visit www.scmaritimemuseum.org, send an e-mail to sail@sc-mm.org, or call the museum at 520-0111.


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