Teen Sailing Programs

Teen Sailing Programs

In the past Michigan Challenge has offered 4-day, 3-night programs for Gold and Blue Star teens. Because of the pandemic, we were not able to offer those programs in 2020, and we will not be having overnight programs in 2021 due to the uncertainties of next summer. However, we will be offering 3-hour day sails for all teens in our partner organizations from 9 AM to 12 noon for 5 days, Monday through Friday.

Michigan Challenge Traditional Sail Training
5-Day Program
Sample Schedule

There’s a lot to learn in a short time! We will pick the most important lessons for the day and the weather, and maybe switch a few around.

Day One
Chain of Command—Who’s the boss?
PFD’s and life rings– What do you wear, and what do you throw?
Man overboard, fire—What to do in an emergency
Companionway safety—It’s a LADDER!
Introduction to the boat—What do you call that thingy?
Cast off –Identify dock lines, leave the dock, and set sail.
Crew explains what they’re doing–Need your help!
Making fast—how to keep that sail from falling on your head
Coiling and hanging—how to keep the boat from looking like a spaghetti factory explosion
Enjoy   the sail—listen to the waves, feel the power of the wind, RELAX!
Lowering and furling sails– keeping those sails from looking like used Kleenex
Docking—Be quiet, be alert, be accurate

Day Two
Buoys and gulls—What are those red and green tin cans?
A touch of physics—what makes the boat go? Why don’t we tip over?
Sail trim—how to make the boat go as fast (or as slow) as you want
Points of sail—how to go where you want regardless of wind direction
How to steer—your turn to steer!
Enjoy the sail—think about the life of a sailor in the 1920’s

Day Three
Rules of the road–Why won’t that freighter get out of our way?
Horn signals–Why is that boat tooting its horn?
Starboard or Port–Which side should I pass that boat on?
Navigation–How do I get from here to there?
Weather–Should I be worried about that big dark cloud?
Safe & Comfortable–Reefing sails in windy weather
Don’t be a-frayed—The most useful knots on a boat
Enjoy the sail—You’re off watch!

Day Four
You’re in Charge!–Where will we go?
Cast off—Be ready with pole or dock line
Raise the sails—How many?
Trim the sails—Luff and puff
Steer the boat–Tack or gibe
Lower and furl the sails—Nice & neat!
Secure the boat to the dock—Bow, stern, spring, and breast lines

Day Five

Since the week’s curriculum is very ambitious, Day Five will cover what couldn’t be covered in the last four days. It is also possible that weather may cancel one of the sails, and Day Five could be a makeup day.

Do you represent a youth organization who would like to provide a one-week program of day sails for your teens? Contact us!

Gold Star Teens


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