Curriculum The week begins with a mandatory swim test followed by an in-the-water capsize drill. Sailors then receive basic sailing and safety instruction, on-the-land and boat rigging instruction. Regardless of experience, and weather permitting, each youth will sail on the first day. Each of the following days includes a chalk talk and on-the-water instruction. Usually the week includes a long-distance sail to Deep Creek Yacht Club at Deerhaven and back, and each week concludes with an awards ceremony.
Pin System DCSS’s curriculum allows sailors to progress through a series of levels at his or her own pace. Each level includes a list of criteria and is accompanied by a certificate and pin. The levels for each boat, Optimist and Laser, include yellow (beginner), green (intermediate), red (intermediate-advanced), blue (advanced), silver (racing) and gold (advanced racing). Sailors begin learning basic boat rigging and de-rigging, identification of parts, safety, knot tying and basic boat handling, then move to more advanced drills and racing rules. Seamanship, sportsmanship and willingness to try are highly valued and encouraged.
Mandatory Swim Test All sailors must pass a swim test that includes swimming 50 yards alongside of the dock and staying afloat, in place, for up to a few minutes.
Boats DCSS has a fleet of Optimists and Lasers with full, radial and 4.7 rig options. New and smaller (under 90 lb) sailors usually sail Optimists. Heavier, older, or more experienced sailors usually sail Lasers with the appropriate size rig and sail. Wind conditions may also dictate which boat is most appropriate for each sailor, and the type of boat may vary during a given week. Sailors are welcome and encouraged to bring their own Optimist or Laser and parents receive a discount of $50 per week for providing their own boat.