Do I have to know how to sail to rent a boat? What is the Open Sailing Checkout?
Yes, someone in your group, who will be in the boat with you, must pass our Open Sailing Checkout. Come to the Jetties Sailing Center to take the quiz. If you pass, you're approved to take out a small sailboat (Sunfish, Laser, Hobie) off the beach anytime. To finish your checkout for a large sailboat (Rhodes, Marshall Cat), we'll also bring you out to the boat for a verbal review of rigging. We'll then have you complete a short sail (with one of our instructors still on board!) - where we'll look to have you drop the mooring, go for a short sail and demonstrate a tack and a gybe, and then retrieve the mooring again. As long as we feel confident that you can safely rig and sail and get back home again, you're welcome to go sailing!
If you or someone in your group is not able to pass the Open Sailing Quiz, we would love to have you book a sailing lesson with us and help you work towards this goal of sailing on your own.'
How do I get approved (checked out) to sail a boat on my own?
Come on down to the Jetties Sailing Center anytime and take our Open Sailing Quiz. If you pass, you're approved to take out a small sailboat (Sunfish, Laser, Hobie) off the beach anytime. To finish your checkout for a large sailboat (Rhodes, Marshall Cat), we'll have you take the test, and if you pass, we'll also bring you out to the boat for a verbal review of rigging and getting on and off the mooring. As long as we feel confident that you can safely rig and get on and off the mooring on your own, you're welcome to go sailing!
Do I have to know how to SUP or Kayak to use this equipment?
No. Our instructors are able to offer you quick tips right on the beach to get you feeling comfortable and launched. We also have a resource guide at the site with additional tips for paddling, which you're welcome to review before heading out.
Do I have to know how to Windsurf before renting a board on my own?
Yes. Our windsurf instructor will offer a verbal checkout – reviewing the basics with you on-shore if s/he is unfamiliar with you as a student. If our instructor feels confident that you'll be safe on the water, then you'll be free to rent equipment from us. NCS will refer you to take a lesson if you are unable to pass the verbal checkout.
Can I reserve a boat?
Yes. you can call up to two weeks ahead to our Jetties Sailing Center to reserve a Marshall Cat 15 or a Rhodes 19 for open sailing. You can also book a lesson in advance. Both reservations for open sailing (rental) and lessons can also be done online here. (This site is only active starting two weeks in advance of our opening day each year in June.)
**Small boats – Sunfish, Lasers, Hobie Getaway, may not be reserved in advance over the phone. See below.
Can I reserve a SUP, Kayak, Windsurfer or Small Sailboat in advance?
Yes, but in person. You can only reserve a paddleboard, sailboat, kayak or windsurfboard in person and within one-hour of using the equipment. For example, if you come down to our site to rent a SUP and they're all out on the water being used, we'll get you on our reservation list for the next available. But you must be present when the board or boat comes off the water, otherwise it goes to the next customer.
Do you limit rental activities when it's really windy?
Yes. Safety is always our first priority. If it's too windy for us to safely monitor equipment and people on the water, we'll start limiting the type and number of rentals. For example, we may not be renting big sail boats off moorings (Rhodes 19s, Marshall Cat 15s), but we might still be renting SUPs and kayaks. Or we might rent big sail boats, but require that students put in a reef, or only use the main sail and not the jib. Rental activity on windy days is always at the discretion of our Manager on duty. Often this is a judgment call, but please remember, we have your and our safety in mind.
I damaged a piece of equipment (NCS or private) – now what?
First off, please let us know! When you return to the beach, please let the JSC Manager know what happened. We'll work with you to fill out an incident report form, so we have a record of what happened and can properly orchestrate repairs and contacting the Environmental Police or Harbormaster if-necessary. Per the terms of the NCS waiver, customers accept full responsibility for all losses, costs, and damages incurred as a result of their participation in the activity.
I want to check out Coatue – can I paddle or sail over?
Our Open Sailing Area prohibits sailing and watersports customers from crossing the ferry channel, so no, we do not allow people to visit Coatue.
I want to check out Brant Point – can I paddle or sail over?
Yes, Brant Point is within the boundaries of our Open Sailing Area and customers are welcome to paddle or sail down and beach their boat (small sailboats only – not Rhodes 19s or Marshall Cat 15s). We ask that if people do beach their boats (and remember, you still need to return to the JSC within the allotted time for your rental) that you stay with the kayak, paddleboard or sailboat. In other words, when we perform our 'head counts' on the water, we need to be able to see you – with your equipment. So don't beach it and wander off! We also ask that you use great care when walking your equipment up onto the beach. Scratched bottoms are slow for everyone!
I am interested in renting a J/105 (35' Keelboat) – How do I do this?
Our J/105s provide a great environment and opportunity for family and friends to sail together (up to 6 guests). Lessons are offered Mon – Sat afternoons from 1:30 – 4:30pm. To make a reservation, please call the NCS Main Office at 508-228-6600. Please note that these sails DO NOT leave from the Jetties Sailing Center. Instead, we greet and pick-up guests in downtown Nantucket at the pier at Children's Beach on Harbor View Way.
How old must a child be to join on equipment?
At NCS, we have life jackets (USCG Type III-approved) for children as young as 5 years old. Children must wear a US Coast Guard-approved Type-III life jacket (PFD) when using our equipment.
Can I bring my pet with me?
NCS has a no pets policy at the Jetties Sailing Center.