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FAQ + Policies

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What should my sailor bring with them?

  • Closed-toed shoes with a back/strap and non-marking sole, that can get wet. (Crocks, Keens, old sneakers, 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, and a fleece or rain jacket for windy cooler days.
  • Small bag/backpack for extra jacket/fleece, a towel, and a water bottle or snack.
  • Guppies and Water Sports students should plan to bring a snack. All other students will not be given "snack time" during class, but are welcome to eat afterwards.

What is the Program Cancellation Policy?
Prior to June 1st any cancellation out of a program incurs a $50 administration fee deducted from the balance refunded. On or after June 1st, provided NCS can fill the program spot, cancellation out of a program/lesson will incur a $75 administration fee deducted from the balance refunded. If NCS cannot fill the program/lesson the entire fee will be considered non-refundable. There are no refunds offered for missed programs/lessons or programs/lessons cancelled due to bad weather.

I need to transfer to another session, what is the Transfer Policy?
Prior to June 1st, any transfers between programs incurs a $10 transfer fee. On or after June 1st, provided NCS can fill the original program spot, any transfers incurs a $75 transfer fee. If NCS cannot fill the original program spot the parent will be responsible for the entire program fee plus the transfer fee.

Where can I find NCS policies?
They are listed at the bottom of this page.

What happens if it is raining?
NCS Classes are always held, regardless of weather. If light rain, classes are held at the normal sites and scheduled times. If there's a threat of thunder, severe storms or hurricane, class will be held at an alternate location.This may be the Nantucket Boys and Girls Club (on Surfside Rd.) - or at the Coffin School (site of NCS Main Offices, on Winter St.)

If weather is iffy please call the STUDENT HOTLINE 508.228.6212 45 minutes before class for the current status, location 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. If you need to leave a message call the Main Office, 508.228.6600.

When classes are held inside, you will be greeted by an instructor at the front of the building for normal check-in and check-out procedures. All inside activities are geared towards sailing and include: designing and building an anemometer, designing and building a wind clock, boat part baseball, sailing term jeopardy, design your own yacht club burgee, knot-tying relays, etc.

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 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; be able to follow instructions when in the water; and have basic swimming skills.

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, nerves, or simply being tired. NCS instructors are trained 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.

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, 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.

My student has begun sailing Optis/420s. What kind of technical gear should they have?

Check out this West Marine gear guide page and consider the items below:

  • Life Jacket (PDF) - NCS provides these for all students. Check out Annapolis Performance Sailing for a more sleek PDF's they must be US Coast Guard Type III approved.
  • Whistle - All sailors should have a whistle attached to their life jacket for safety. Annapolis Performance Sailing & West Marine both sell whistles.
  • Sailing gloves - Longer days on the water call for sailing gloves to prevent blisters. West Marine and Annapolis Performance Sailing have great options. West Marine, Gill and Harken make great Junior Gloves with 3/4 fingers.
  • 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 or Annapolis Performance Sailing websites under "Foul Weather Gear" or "Apparel." The top should be a pullover, allowing for a seal at the neck.
  • Technical Shirt or Rash Gaurd - 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.
  • Footwear - Sailors in compteitive boats may prefer a more technical shoe. Sailing shoes should always have a closed toe, dry quickly, and stay put. 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 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/ Head Instructor. 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 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!

NCS Policies


Youth Program Cancellation Policy
Prior to June 1st any cancellation out of a program will incur a $50 administration fee to be deducted from the balance refunded. On or after June 1st, provided NCS can fill the program spot, any cancellation out of a program/lesson will incur a $75 administration fee deducted from the balance refunded. If NCS cannot fill the program/lesson the entire fee will be considered non-refundable. There are no refunds offered for missed programs/lessons or programs/lessons cancelled due to bad weather.

Program Transfer Policy
Any transfers between programs incurs a $10 transfer fee per sailor.

Private Lesson Cancellation Policy
Cancellations 72 hours prior to a lesson incurs a $50 administration fee deducted from the balance refunded. No refunds offered for missed or cancelled lessons within 72 hours. In situations of bad weather (determined by the instructor) the first lesson, if possible, will be taught on land as a "chalk talk" and future lessons affected by weather will be rescheduled, based on availability, or issued a refund.

Registration Payment Policy
Payment is due at time of registration. Nantucket residents who are applying for a scholarship must submit an application for each sailor as soon as possible or not later than a week after registering. Once the scholarship has been granted and applied, any and all remaining balances are due in full. If your account has a balance, the registration is not considered valid until full payment is received. All balances must be paid two full weeks prior to the start of a session or you will forfeit your spot in class. Registrants are responsible for any fees that are incurred due to bounced checks or returned payments.

Late Pickup Policy
The NCS programs, and the NCS instructors teaching them, are set to a tight schedule during the summer months. With that in mind, parents/guardians must make every effort to arrive to pick-up their child(ren) at the designated end time from each NCS Program. If a parent/guardian is later than 15 minutes to pick-up their student, the students NCS account will be charged a $20 late pick-up fee.

Sun Smart Policy
Students are expected to come prepared for sun exposure with sunscreen applied, hat, sunglasses, water bottle, t-shirt and shorts. It is the responsibility of the student/parent to exhibit safe sun behavior. Students are taught about the importance of safe sun exposure at the first day of every session. NCS instructors are educated on signs of excessive sun exposure: sunburn, dehydration, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and the proper first aid to administer in these cases.

Shoe Policy
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, Keen (closed-toe) sandals, even an old pair of gym sneakers. Flip-flops are not allowed and black-soled sneakers will mark up the boats. Students without proper footwear will not be allowed to sail.

Women's Clinic Cancellation Policy
Should you need to cancel your enrollment for a clinic, you must do so by 12pm noon the day before the clinic is scheduled to take place. If you do not cancel and do not attend the clinic, you will still be responsible for payment. 

Women's Clinic Extreme Weather Policy
In the event of extreme wind or heavy rain, Women's Clinic will be held on shore or at the Coffin School; NCS instructors will provide an in-depth chalk-talk and on-shore lesson plan. If a Women's Clinic student is enrolled for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc. class where a chalk-talk is given or class is cancelled completely, they can opt not to attend the chalk-talk, and use the credit towards a future Women's Clinic or receive a credit for the full amount of the class to be used towards rental equipment at the Jetties Sailing Center.

Membership Policy
NCS requires that anyone who wishes to participate within an NCS youth program must be an active NCS member for the current season. If an account is found to not have an active NCS membership in place, NCS will add the minimal membership level ($75) to the incomplete account. Accounts without proper memberships may be at risk for losing their spot within the NCS program. Depending upon the membership level you purchase, all or portion of your membership fee is considered a tax deductible donation to NCS, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and are therefore nonrefundable. To learn more about the NCS membership levels, click here.

Thursday Rhodes Racing Damage Policy
Please note that if, during Thursday Rhodes Racing sessions, there are damages to an NCS boat, competitor's boat and/or race committee/support boat, beyond the normal wear and tear on the boats, the participants in the offending boat will be held responsible for the damage and a $100 damage fee will automatically billed to the participants' account.  Every sailor in a boat will be held responsible for damage to the whole boat, unless the instructor deems the damage resultant from the reckless or negligent behavior of a single individual aboard.


Click Here to view our Parent/Student handbook

for an in-depth overview of our programs.



P.O. Box 2424, Nantucket, MA 02584
NCS Office: 508-228-6600 | Jetties Sailing Center: 508-228-5358
© 2017 Nantucket Community Sailing, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization