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Click Here to view our Parent/Student handbook for more information and an in-depth overview of our programs.

What should my sailor bring with them to sail?
Every sailor should wear shoes that can get wet and also have a back and/or straps to them (i.e. Crocks, old sneakers, water shoes or Keens)and sun block (please put on before coming to class).  They should also bring or wear a bathing suit, shorts, t-shirt, hat, sunglasses, and a fleece or rain jacket for windy and cooler days. Also required for each program is a life jacket, but NCS will provide one for every participant in every program we offer.  

Are there any other suggestions on what my sailor should bring with them to sailing school?
Some students choose to bring a small bag or backpack to store their extra fleece, a towel, and possibly a water bottle or snack.   Guppies  and Water Sports Beach Camp students should plan on bringing a snack to class. Other students will not be given snack time during class, but are welcome to bring a snack to eat afterwards.

My student has started sailing Optis/420s; what gear should he or she have for these more technical and competitive boats?
As students progress through our classes and on to our Opti and 420 racing teams (Opti Red or 420 Red class), they often choose to acquire sailing gear designed specifically for longer days on the water and racing.  Below is a list of recommended gear for students sailing more competitively:

  • Life jacket - NCS provides life jackets/PFDs for all students, but racers tend to like a more sleek-fitting PFD.  Check out Annapolis Performance Sailing's website to find a jacket that your sailor likes. Many styles are available, but the PFD must be US Coast Guard Type III approved.
  • Whistle - All sailors - especially those sailing more independently at regattas - should have a whistle attached to their life jacket for safety.  Annapolis Performance Sailing sells whistles on their website, but they can also be found at West Marine or Olympia Sports.
  • Sailing gloves - Sailors who are spending longer days on the water, and in windier conditions, often need sailing gloves to prevent blisters. West Marine and Annapolis Performance Sailing have great options on their website.  Companies like West Marine, Gill and Harken make great Junior Gloves with 3/4 fingers.
  • Spray Top - Sailing in windier conditions can mean getting hit with a lot of spray.  Spray tops are great for keeping sailors warm and dry.  Gill and Henry Lloyd make great junior dinghy/spray tops/smocks.  These can be found on the West Marine or Annapolis Performance Sailing websites- generally under "Foul Weather Gear" or "Apparel." The top should be a pullover, allowing for a seal at the neck.
  • Wicking/Synthetic/Non-cotton Apparel - Sailors who are on the water all day should not be wearing cotton!  Any long-sleeve- for sun protection- wicking top is great, especially under a spray top; it dries quickly and doesn't chafe when wet.  These "technical shirts" or "rash guards" can be found on the Annapolis Performance Sailing website, but Under Armor shirts- often found at an Olympia Sports- can be great too.
  • Sunglasses - Sailing on the water all day can damage eyes. All sailors- especially those competing in regattas- should wear eye protection.  Sunglasses should always be polarized to reduce glare.
  • Footwear - Some sailors prefer to wear a more technical shoe as they become more competitive in the boat.  Sailing shoes should always have a closed toe, dry quickly, and stay put.  At the more advanced level, old sneakers and Crocs fail to meet these latter two requirements.  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 Annapolis Performance Sailing website.
  • Spray Pants - 420 sailors, especially those sailing in the shoulder seasons, tend to wear spray pants along with their spray tops on colder days.  These aren't really necessary for most of the summer sailing done on and around Nantucket, although more advanced 420 sailors may choose to buy a pair, for colder/rainy days on the water.

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.
  • Please note if you see the Nantucket Island School of Design & The Arts (NISDA) building, you have gone too far.

    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 to?
Serious concerns should be brought to the attention of the Program Director. Otherwise, the Head Instructor should usually be your first stop for resolving most issues. S/He is the hands on day-to-day program facilitator and will usually have the answer, as well as being 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.

What happens if it is raining?
Classes are held in all kinds of weather. Except for the threat of thunder, severe storms or hurricane, we will hold class and sail. Dress appropriately and bring a change of dry clothes for after class. Please call our STUDENT HOTLINE 508.228.6212 one hour before class for the status of class, any changes or special instructions. The Student Hotline is an outgoing message only!!! Do not leave messages on the Student Hotline -- we do not check messages! Call the Main Office if you need to leave a message...508.228.6600.

What do we do if we are going to be late?
Please call the Main Office at 508.228.6600 and let them know your child will be late getting dropped off or being picked up, so the instructor can be informed.

What if my child is sick?
Please call the Main Office at 508.228.6600 and let them know your child will be out for the day so they can inform the instructor.

Will there be a swim test?
For many of our programs there will be a swim check on the first day of each new session.  While life jackets are provided and required when on the water, each NCS student should be comfortable in and around the water and have the basic swimming skills. 

Are Optimist sailboats for beginners and Hunter 140's sailboats for intermediate/advanced?
No. Most students worldwide sail in Prams/Optimists until age 15. Primarily the Hunters will be designated for three Beginner students & an instructor per boat. The Prams/Optimists will generally be used for Intermediate & Advanced levels (ages 9-13). Intermediate & Advanced students ages 13-17 will sail in 420's.  View our suggested progression chart to get a visual glance at how sailors can progress through our sailing programs.

Where do the Youth Sailing Classes meet?
To view the programs by location, visit the Schedules & Fees Page.

What if someone else is dropping my child off for class?
Parents are requested to inform the Head Instructor if their child will be arriving and/or departing other than by car, or if someone other than the parent or guardian will be collecting a student from class.

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, an incident with a fellow classmate, or simply being tired. NCS instructors are well versed in the art of coaxing and motivating reluctant students. If you can get them to class, in all but exceptionally rare cases, we can get them out sailing and enjoying it too.

How are learning disabilities and special medications handled?
Should your child have any learning disability or medication that might not be indicated on their application, or that needs further certification, please speak with the Program Director/ Head Instructor. This will enable us to help your child have a positive and rewarding experience at Nantucket Community Sailing.

Where is the Main Office?
The Main Office is located in the basement of the Coffin School 4 Winter Street (side entrance). We share space with the Egan Institute of Maritime Studies and our offices are located on the left side. Summer office hours are 8:30 am 5:00 pm Monday through Friday. Aside from administrative and scheduling needs, you can buy NCS and Opera House Cup Regatta merchandise and gift certificates here.

How do I get to the NCS Main Office/Coffin School?
Head up Main Street towards Bank of America, right on Centre Street, then a quick left Liberty Street (the street in between the Bank and the Methodist Church), take 2nd left onto Winter Street. Coffin School is the big brick building with columns. Take path to side entrance to basement.

What if my child gets hurt?
Any time an instructor is required to administer first aid for a cut, bruise, or banged head, they will complete an injury report. In the event of an 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! 

What can my sailor do after sailing with NCS?
There are a number of great ways to stay involved with the sport of sailing.  Visit our Sailing after NCS page to learn more!