Sailing for Schools Policy


This program is conducted by the Training Centre to fulfil the following objectives:

  • To provide an insight to sailing and encourage teenagers to becomesailors at some future time. In accordance with the primary Objective of theMcCrae Yacht Club (The Club) i.e. “To promote and encourage sailing generally in any shape or form by amateur yachtsmen as defined by the Rules of the Victorian Yachting Council Inc trading as Yachting Victoria”
  • To provide sailing for local schools as a community service and to encourage as many as possible to become members of The Club.
  • To provide an income for the Training Centre to assist in providing boats and equipment that benefits all the activities of the Training Centre of The Club.

The Sailing For Schools activities are aimed at both Primary and Secondary schools as follows:

Primary Schools

Years 5 – 6 are conducted in Opti Trainer dinghies with all activities being restricted to within 200 metres of the shore line, while Secondary school activities are carried out using Pacer Dinghies sailed in the race area of the club and on occasions a passage along the beach to a picnic area.

Age suitability

The Primary program is suitable for Year 6 Students. The Secondary program is suitable for Year 7 to Year 12 Students.

Instructor:Student Ratio

The Instructor Student ratio is Approximately 1:6. A typical group is 18 – 21 Students. Staff for the program consists of 1 Senior Instructor, 2 Instructors Assistants and 1 Group Supervisor (responsible school teacher).

Instructor experience

The staff involved in presenting this program should be qualified as follows:
Instructor – Yachting Australia Endorsed Sailing Instructor
Instructor’s Assistant – McCrae Yacht Club approved Instructor’s Assistant and holder of Recreational Power Boat Licence.

Group Supervisor

A teacher appointed by the particular school, and shall have knowledge of the student’s physical ability and hold a Current Senior First Aid Certificate. (Note: It is preferable that this be the regular class teacher)

Participant experience

Participants in the program must be confident in the water and be able to swim 25m while wearing a PFD.

Instructor responsibility

The Instructor is responsible for (but with the assistance of the instructor¹s assistants) the overall presentation of the program which includes the safety of all participants. He/she is also responsible for the decision to modify the program to suit prevailing conditions at the time, and to make the decision to go on the water or not.

Group Supervisor responsibility

The Group Supervisor is responsible for the well being of all participants. This is not to say that they are responsible for the technical safety aspects of the program, but rather if a participant is unwell, suffering from cold or injured then it is the group supervisors responsibility to provide care or arrange appropriate treatment.

Participant responsibility

Participants are to work together as a team and make every effort to keep the boat upright (except during capsize practice) and call for assistance if required.

Safety equipment

Sailing on the water will only take place when rescue facilities are available for emidate use.PFD’s will be provided by the Yacht Club and are to be worn at all times while afloat. Protective clothing is to be provided by the participants (see below).

Participant equipment and appropriate clothing

This is an out doors activity exposed to the elements and participants must be prepared to go into the water. Sun screen is required even on overcast days. Participants shall have their own wet suit or warm woollen pullover, and a spray jacket is required to keep the wind off. Old sneakers are recommended but not essential.

First Aid requirements

This is the School Group Supervisor’s responsibility. However, if the School Group supervisor is unable to carry out their responsibility for any reason then the Instructor must be ready to provide first aid care, arrange for an Ambulance or other transport or medical assistance as may be required at any time.

Safety briefing (including emergency response)

The crew of each boat are responsible for each other and if they require assistance they are to wave to attract attention. If the conditions on the water become unsafe for any reason then the instructors are to remove the crews from the boats (leaving the boats at sea) and return them to the shore.

Typical School Activity Description

This activity while not specifically mentioned in the Department of Education Guidelines, is a specialised activity that requires special supervision and a responsible attitude from the participants to achieve on water safety aspects of the sport. The program presents a challenge to the students which emphasises the need for team work. The program is designed to teach the basic fundamentals of working together as a team to take control of a sailing dinghy.

The format of the program is as follows:

  • Classroom/ Blackboard
  • Safety briefing, PFD’s, Signals and How to Call for assistance.
  • Sailing. What makes a boat go and stop. Points of sail. Parts of the boat. The use of models and props to
  • reinforce the theory.
  • On the Beach
  • Rigging the boat, pointing out the parts of the boat.
  • Put on PFD’s ( each to be checked by an instructor).
  • In Shallow Water
  • Reinforcing all previous theory.
  • Capsize and recovery practice.
  • Tacking Practice. (Each boat crew is checked by an instructor prior to leaving the beach).
  • On the Water
  • Boats leave the beach one at a time and head out to a marked area to sail.
  • This area is supervised by instructors in RIB’s
  • Return to the Beach
  • Boats are de-rigged and put away.
  • Debriefing, preferably prior to the students shower and dress for departure.


This activity can be conducted in 2 hours or spread over 3 hours depending on the school requirements. As the students can become cold or lose concentration, the on water component should not exceed 1 hour, as this has a effect on the safety aspects of the activity.


As a great deal of time is spent in preparation for school activities, such as: unlocking, locking up, cleaning, launching and retrieving patrol boats, setting up the classroom, putting away the sailing boats, drying PFDs and generally packing up, it is important that we conduct at least 2 sessions per day.