FAQs + Policies
When can I sign up for classes?
NCS offers early class registration for Nantucket residents (with children enrolled in school year-round on Nantucket) - registration goes live Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 12 Noon EST and will close Wednesday, January 24, 2023 at 4pm EST. Registration for returning sailors (sailors who participated in 2023 group classes) will open Friday, January 26, 2024 at 12 Noon EST and will close, Sunday, January 28, 2024 at midnight EST. Registration will then for all other registrants re-open Thursday, February 1, 2024 at 12 noon EST.
What should my sailor bring with them?
- Closed-toed shoes with a back/strap and non-marking sole, that can get wet. (Native Footwear, Crocs, Keens, or water shoes)
- Sun block (apply to all exposed skin before coming to class)
- Bring or wear a bathing suit, shorts, t-shirt, hat, sunglasses (with croakies!), and a fleece or rain jacket for windy cooler days.
- Small bag/backpack for extra jacket/fleece, a towel, and a water bottle.
- NCS provides lifejackets! You are welcome to bring your own, provided it is a USCG Type III.
What is the Program Cancellation Policy?
Please see below NCS policies.
What is the Private Lesson / Rental Cancellation Policy?
Please see below NCS policies.
Where can I find NCS policies?
They are listed at the bottom of this page.
What happens if it is raining?
NCS makes every effort to hold class, even in high winds and light rain. When we cannot be on the water, we make use of our time on shore to review lessons, tie knots, review, terminology, and play a few sailing games! In the case of severe weather, we will cancel class. Class will not be held inside at the Coffin School or other location.
If we do need to delay the start of class (by 30 minutes or an hour, to let weather pass) or cancel class for the morning or afternoon session, you will receive a text message and an email to the primary phone number and primary email address listed on your registration account. We will only send a message if there is a change to the normal schedule.
What if my child is going to be late or cannot attend class?
Please call the Main Office at 508.228.6600 and let them know your child will be getting dropped off or being picked up late. If you know your child will be out for the day please call the Main Office so we can inform the instructor.
What if someone else is picking up my child after class?
New in 2022, parents must submit written permission to NCS in order to consent to their child being picked up by someone other than the contacts listed in the child's registration. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the child's name, name of the person picking them up and date and time. You must also do this if you plan to allow your child to check themself out of class to bike or walk home.
What if my child is reluctant to attend class?
A student's unwillingness to come to sailing can be caused by any number of things: fear, nerves, or simply being tired. NCS instructors are encouraged to help students feel more comfortable. If you can get them to class, in all but exceptionally rare cases, we can get them out sailing and enjoying it too.
What if my child carries an Epi-Pen?
If your child will be carrying an Epi-Pen to class, you must fill out a medical authorization form. Please email email@example.com to obtain the form. The Epi-pen should be well-labeled and handed to the Head Instructor each day the student is in attendance. The Head Instructor will return it to the caregiver each day after class.
Where is the NCS Polpis location and how do I get there?
The Polpis NCS location is located within Polpis harbor. To get to the location follow the directions below.
- Take the second left off of Milestone Road onto Polpis Road.
- Follow the Polpis road for approximately 4.5 miles until you see the sign for the Wauwinet Road.
- Turn left onto Wauwinet Road and drive for approximately 1 mile.
- Turn left onto the dirt road access to Polpis Harbor. This left hand turn should be between 18 and 22 Wauwinet Road.
- If you see the Nantucket Island School of Design & The Arts (NISDA) building, you have gone too far.
- Please Note: Do not drop your sailor(s) off on the main road and there is no parking on Wauwinet Road. You're welcome to use the Land Bank parking lot (before the harbor) if you want to park and walk down.
If you have any further questions, please call the Nantucket Community Sailing Office at 508-228-6600.
I have a concern or issue to whom should I talk?
Serious concerns should be brought to the attention of the Program Director. Otherwise, the Head Instructor will be your first contact for resolving most issues. They are the hands on day-to-day program facilitator and will usually have the answer; they are also empowered to make decisions and correct problems. The best time to talk to the Head Instructor (and your child's individual instructor) is at the end of class. If this is not convenient, please call and leave a message at the Main Office asking the Head Instructor to follow up with you.
My student has begun sailing Optis/420s. What kind of technical gear should they have?
- Life Jacket (PFD) - NCS provides these for all students. Check out West Coast Sailing, West Marine or MTI Lifejackets for a more sleek PFD. PFDs must be US Coast Guard Type III approved.
- Whistle - All sailors should have a plastic whistle attached to their life jacket for safety.
- Sailing gloves - Longer days on the water call for sailing gloves to prevent blisters. West Marine and West Coast have great options. West Marine, Gill and Harken make great Junior Gloves with 3/4 fingers. You can also use Atlas full-finger gardening gloves!
- Spray Top - Spray tops keep sailors warm and dry from spray in windier conditions. Gill and Henry Lloyd make junior dinghy/spray tops/smocks. Visit West Marine website under "Foul Weather Gear" or "Apparel." The top should be a pullover, allowing for a seal at the neck.
- Technical Shirt or Rash Guard - wicking/synthetic/non-cotton apparel - Sailors who are on the water all day should not be wearing cotton! Any long-sleeve wicking top is great for sun protection, especially under a spray top; it dries quickly and doesn't chafe when wet.
- Sunglasses (Polarized) - Sailing on the water all day can damage eyes. All sailors should wear eye protection. These should also have croakies.
- Footwear - Sailors in competitive boats may prefer a more technical shoe. Sailing shoes should always have a closed toe, dry quickly, and stay put. Quick-drying sneakers/Keens are great, and particularly for sailors in the 420, dinghy boots are great. Gill, Zhik and Ronstan make boots, all of which can be found on the West Coast Sailing website.
- Spray Pants - 420 sailors, especially in the shoulder seasons, tend to wear spray pants along with spray tops on colder days. These aren't really necessary for most of the summer although more advanced 420 sailors may choose to buy a pair, for colder/rainy days on the water.
What if my child has a learning disability, IEP, or medication?
Should your child have any learning disability, IEP, or medication that might not be indicated on their application, or that needs further certification, please speak with the Program Director. This will enable us to help your child have a positive and rewarding experience at Nantucket Community Sailing.
What if my child gets hurt?
Any time an instructor is required to administer first aid (for an injury or incident of any size) they will complete an injury report. In the event of a serious injury we will notify the parent.
How can I volunteer?
As a non-profit organization we rely heavily on volunteer participation. Please click here to see our most up to date volunteer needs and how you can help!
Youth Program Cancellation Policy
Cancellations made prior to June 15th will incur a 10% cancellation fee per session of enrollment. Cancellations made after June 15th are non-refundable. Refunds will not be given for sick or absent days nor for bad weather days.
NCS does not require a Membership to participate in sailing classes. However, we strongly encourage participants to purchase a Jetties Sailing Center Membership to take full advantage of sailing and water sports throughout the summer. A Jetties Sailing Center membership includes complimentary kayak, paddle board and sailboat rentals as well a 25% discount on all private lessons.
Registration Payment Policy
Islander Early (Nantucket Island Residents) Payment Registration
Payment is not required at time of registration, as this will allow NCS administration to apply requested scholarships to each sailor's account. Nantucket Residents who are applying for a scholarship must submit a scholarship application to the NCS office by Monday, January 22, 2024 at 4:00pm. Once the scholarship funds are applied, the NCS office will contact you with your balance due. Payment may be made online, by calling the office, or via our autobill on Friday, February 16, 2024.
Returning Sailor Early (Sailors who sailed in 2023 group classes) Payment Registration
Friday, January 26, 2023 from 12noon EST to Sunday, January 28, 2024 at midnightt EST - Payment is required at time of registration.
Thursday, February , 2024 - All registrations received on or after February 1st, must be paid in full, at the time of registration. If scholarship funds are available, these will be applied to your account and a refund will be issued.
** If payment is not made in full by May 31st, your sailor will not be considered enrolled in the session and may be dropped.
** Please note that registrants are responsible for any fees that are incurred due to bounced checks or returned payments.
General Safety Rules
All individuals participating in NCS programs or using NCS equipment at Polpis Harbor or Jetties Beach are expected to follow these general safety rules. These rules will be reviewed with students on the first day of a new session and posted at the Jetties Sailing Center:
- USCG-approved Type-III PFDs are required at all times when in a motor or sailboat, on a dock, in a kayak or paddleboard, near the water's edge, or in the water. The PFD must be properly worn and zipped.
- Closed-toe shoes must be worn at all times when at an NCS Site or using NCS equipment. If a customer of the Jetties Sailing Center chooses not to wear shoes while paddle-boarding or kayaking, it is at his or her own risk.
- No knives, drugs, alcohol, or other harmful weapons or substances are permitted.
- Personal property (except medication) is the responsibility of the student and not NCS.
- All sailors will maintain proper etiquette, respect and seamanship at all times: No bullying, pushing, shoving, horseplay, fighting, hitting, and profanity. No disruptive behavior, disrespectful gestures, actions or language. Physical violence and bullying (teasing or derogatory/hurtful comments) are not tolerated.
- NCS staff, peers, equipment, and the environment must be treated with respect at all times. No littering on land or water.
- Students must stay in the area designated for class at all times; all boats must stay within hailing distance of the Head Instructor's boat.
- All students/customers will exercise great care in the use of Nantucket Community Sailing's sailboats, safety boats, and equipment.
Student Arrival Policy
Upon arrival at Nantucket Community Sailing sites (Polpis Harbor and Jetties Sailing Center) children and their parents will be responsible for checking in for the day. The Head Instructor, or the instructor who has been assigned to managing the roster, will mark the student's attendance on the roster. Students will then be supervised and gathered by NCS instructors to begin the instructional session. If a student needs to leave the instructional area to use the bathroom, the student must check in with, and be accompanied by, an instructor. The Site Manager (Polpis and Jetties) will know exactly how many children are on site/on-the-water at any given time. After attendance has been recorded on the paper roster, the NCS Site Manager will submit attendance digitally to the NCS Main Office. Attendance sheets will be kept by the Site Manager during the day, and collected and filed by the Program Director at the end of each session.
NCS will reach out to a missing student's family daily. Students who do not arrive while NCS students are still on the beach, will not be a part of that day's class. NCS does not refund fees for days which students have registered for, but fail to use.
Children who arrive to NCS classes without having registered will not be permitted to participate.
Student Dismissal Policy
Students must be checked out verbally– with a parent or guardian visible or by their side – prior to leaving the NCS site(s) for the day. The instructor handling the roster for the checkout period will mark that the student has been picked up. The Head Instructor will be responsible for reviewing the roster at the end of each instructional session to ensure that all students who were checked in were also checked out. Any discrepancies will be resolved by calling the parent. If a student is biking home alone, or going home with another parent, the student's parent must submit written permission to the NCS Main Office by EMAIL (firstname.lastname@example.org). If a student has not been picked up more than 10 minutes after the end of class, the parent will be called. An NCS Instructor will wait with the student. If a parent/guardian is later than 15 minutes to pick-up their student, the student's NCS account will be charged a $20 late pick-up fee.
Students who fail to arrive at the point of pick-up following class, will result in activating the NCS Missing/Lost Student Emergency Action procedures.
Sun Smart Policy
Nantucket Community Sailing asks students to come to programs prepared for safe sun exposure with: sunscreen (min SPF 50) already applied to all exposed areas of the body, including lips; wide brim hat; UV protective sunglasses; water bottle; UV protective long sleeve shirt and shorts. Instructors will remind students to reapply sunscreen throughout the session but it is ultimately each student's responsibility to reapply.
NCS will encourage parents of students to follow these sun smart tips, among others, by posting them on the NCS website and by communicating them at parent meetings. Program students will also be taught about the importance of safe sun exposure at the first day of every session. It is the responsibility of the student/parent to exhibit safe sun behavior. NCS instructors will be educated about safe sun behavior at NCS orientation, and will be asked to follow the same recommendations that are given to students. NCS instructors will also be educated on signs of excessive sun exposure: sunburn, dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and the proper first aid to administer in these cases. All NCS students are asked to bring a water bottle (preferably reusable) to class every day. Instructors will enforce hydration and monitor for signs of dehydration.
Student Discipline Policy
The Nantucket Community Sailing discipline policy maintains that each sailor will have three opportunities to rectify any non-rule-following behavior as follows. Nantucket Community Sailing reserves the right to reexamine students' participation in programs, due to behavior, at any time.
1. First 'strike': the Head Instructor will speak with the sailor about his/her behavior and ask that he/she correct his/her behavior moving forward.
2. Second 'strike': the Head Instructor will call the student's parent and the transgression will be reported to the Site Manager and Program Director. The Program Director will report the incident to the NCS Main office (508-228-6600), and it will be recorded in the student's file on CCM.
3. Third 'strike': the student will be suspended from the remainder of the NCS program; The Program Director will contact the students' parents who will be required to immediately pick the student up from class. The student may participate in future NCS programs, under a probationary measure. There will be no refund for lost program days. The Program Director will notify the NCS Main Office (508-228-6600) and the incident(s) will be recorded in the student's file on CCM.
Continued abuse of the rules in subsequent programs: the student will be completely expelled from NCS Programs for the remainder of the summer and may not participate or register for NCS Programs or events until the following season.
Discipline will never include the following:
(1) Corporal punishment, including spanking, slapping or hitting, is prohibited;
(2) No student shall be subjected to cruel or severe punishment, humiliation, or verbal abuse;
(3) No student shall be denied water or shelter;
(4) No student shall be punished for soiling, wetting or not using the toilet.
Some of the most common injuries we experience (shell cuts and stubbed toes) are due to inappropriate footwear. Your child MUST come to class wearing closed-toe shoes (that can get wet!): aqua socks, Crocs, Natives, Keen (closed-toe) sandals, even an old pair of gym sneakers. Flip-flops or bare feet are not allowed. Students without proper footwear will not be allowed to sail.
Private Lesson Cancellation Policy
All bookings, for members and non-members, will require a credit card to secure your reservation and/or pay in advance. If you need to cancel, please contact the NCS Office at (508) 228-6600 or the JSC at (508) 228-5358 (do not leave a message) or email, email@example.com. A NCS staff member will confirm your cancellation and/or rebooking. Please note our cancellation policy for rentals and lessons:
If you cancel within 24 hours or are a no show, there is no refund for lessons and for rentals you will be charged in full the published rate. If you cancel within 48 hours, you will be issued a 50% refund of the lesson or will be charged a 50% of the published rate. If you cancel prior to 72 hours, you will receive a full refund for lessons and will not be charged for rentals.
If you cancel within 24 hours or are a no show, there is no refund. If you cancel within 48 hours, you will be issued a 50% refund. If you cancel prior to 72 hours of rental/lesson, you will receive a full refund.
Please note that if NCS needs to cancel your rental or lesson, NCS will attempt to reschedule. If NCS is unable to reschedule, a full refund will be issued.
As for Weather Cancellations -- Nantucket is a "marine location" with a "marine forecast". This means the wind and weather can affect this rental/lesson. If the wind or weather is not conducive to safe operation, Jetties Sailing Center will cancel the rental/lesson. Customers will receive a full refund for rentals/lessons canceled by Jetties Sailing Center for any reason. Customers may reschedule any rental or lesson in the future at no extra cost. Please remember, in a "marine forecast" the weather can change quickly. Please respect Jetties Sailing Center wind and weather judgements for cancellation. JSC will use the cell phone on file at time of registration to contact you.