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Home / Juniors / Junior Sailing Courses / Junior Sailing - Frequently Asked Questions
Home / Juniors / Junior Sailing Courses / Junior Sailing - Frequently Asked Questions

Junior Sailing - Frequently Asked Questions

Even if you have sailed with us before, please take the time to read these carefully - there have been many changes over the last couple of years.

We'd like to thank you for booking a course with us and realise that you will probably have lots of questions about the course and the arrangements. We've tried to answer as many of the most commonly asked questions as possible in this document but please don't hesitate to contact us if your questions aren't answered here !

Do I need to do Shore Parent Duty?


If you want your child to take part in junior training, then yes, shore parent duty is a compulsory requirement. We cannot accept your child on one of our courses, unless you or another adult family member can take on this duty. If you cannot fulfil this requirement, then please don't book your child on a course.

Shore Parent Duty can be very relaxing, maybe look at it, as a chance to sit back, have a cup of coffee, read a book and enjoy the view from our balcony.

Do I need to be a club member to book a place for my child on a training course ?

We give first booking options to our members. However if have course places left after our members have had an opportunity to book on, then we will open up these places to non-members. Keep an eye on our website or email for more information.

What age does my child need to be to take part?

Non-members and cadet members must be a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 18 years of age on January 1st 2023 to take part in our junior training program.

Juniors who are part of a family membership need to be a minimum of 8 years of age on the day the course starts.

Our Cara na Mara courses are suitable for 8-9 year olds and trainees who want to take part in a Level 1/Start Sailing course (or above) must be a minimum of 10 years of age on the first day of the course.

What are the other advantages of membership, apart from the summer camps?

The club has a wide variety of activities and facilities for members and their guests. In a normal year, junior members may attend the Pico Club every Sunday from the start of May, and are encouraged to participate in club racing every weekend. Other events such as coaching weekends are organised from time to time, and there are also social events such as BBQs, together with winter activities such as talks and courses. We also encourage the non-sailing parents of trainees to consider joining the club as clubhouse members, our bar should be open again every Friday after junior training as well as after sailing and during events and members are welcome to sign in guests. Or even better try out one of our introductory adult sailing courses contact us for more information on these. However current restrictions are limiting our activities and we are unsure of when we will be able to run them again.

What is the Pico Club give me some info for future reference

The Pico Club is an opportunity for younger club members (either cadet members or part of a family membership) to get out on the water in one of the club's Laser Picos, under the supervision of an instructor. It's not a formal training course and there are no exams, assessments or certificates but it's a great way for younger children to gain a little more experience in helming and crewing.

Current information on Pico Club can be found at During a normal year, on-the-water activities take place most Sundays from May to September, in the future, keep an eye out on the bookable Pico club calendar (here) of the club's website for exact dates and times. Additionally there are various extra-curicular activities throughout the year, these are advertised on the clubs various social media platforms, as they are being organised.

How do I make a booking?

You should use your member login details to log onto our website and find the course your want through either the Book Online or Calendar menu options

When should I book and pay?

As early as possible! The numbers that we can take on each course are limited as there are strict ratios of trainees to instructors for safety reasons.

How do I decide which course is the most suitable for my son or daughter?

The Irish Sailing Small Boat Scheme is a progressive scheme. Take a look at the "Which Course should I choose" guide on the training page of our website at Which Course. If you're still not sure, ask us for guidance!

What happens if our plans change and my child is unable to attend after I have booked and paid?

Our cancellation policy is available to view at the bottom of this page

What equipment do I need to provide?

Required equipment includes:-

  • A wetsuit (a "shortie" wetsuit is usually adequate for summer sailing)
  • Buoyancy aid,
  • Dinghy boots (old runners will do or maybe buy the cheapest pair of runners you can get), footwear is important bare feet are not allowed! Flip-flops and Crocs are not considered suitable
  • Swimming costume for under your wetsuit
  • Cagoule (lightweight waterproof top)
  • We also recommend that sailors wear a pair of board shorts over their wetsuit to protect the wetsuit from snagging on the sharp bits of boats and getting ripped or torn

In addition, if you are arriving in your wetsuit, please ensure that you have change of clothes with you, so that you have a set available to go home in.

All property must be clearly and indelibly marked with your child's name.

Trainees should plan to arrive in their wetsuit on the first day and their instructor will then tell them the plan for the rest of the week.

There is a limited amount of club gear available for use . However, to ensure that it is ready for use, it must be reserved at least 24 hours in advance of a course starting (email A refundable deposit of 50 is also required

Don't forget sunscreen your child will be outdoors almost all day and even on cool, overcast days the sun reflects off the water.

Should my child bring their sailing gear home with them each day?

Yes, gear should not be left in the club, especially in the current climate.

Does my son or daughter have to supply their own boat ?

No. The club has a number of boats for use by trainees. If you do have your own boat, naturally we encourage your son or daughter to use it. Many trainees will want to buy their own boat after a year or two of training and we strongly encourage this please ask our instructors for advice if you are thinking of doing this.

My child has their own boat can I store it at the sailing club ?

If a child is a member, you can apply for permission to store their boat in the club. You can do this by emailing our Sailing Secretary, Paddy at Please be aware that there is currently a Waiting List for boat storage, it is not an automatic 'right'.

What time does the course start and end at each day ?

Courses run from 0900-1700, Monday to Friday. Please ensure that your child arrives on time and that they are collected promptly at 1700.

What about lunch?

Participants should bring a packed lunch and drink. Under the current circumstances, I'm afraid wee are not in a position to provide any kitchen facilities at the moment (so no cold or boiling water, no microwave facilities, no squash).

What happens if the weather is unsuitable for sailing ?

For a sailing course to be as effective as possible, trainees should be on the water as often as possible. Unfortunately, as weather can be unpredictable, this is not always possible, in which case we organise shore-based activities which are a mixture of sailing theory and games. There may be occasions on which we cannot provide shore-based activities, if this happens, refunds will be made for any days cancelled as a result.

Does my child need to be able to swim ?

Yes. They should feel comfortable in the water, be able to swim 25 meters (wearing a buoyancy aid) and be able to tread water for at least two minutes.

Are the children divided up into groups of similar ages ?

Trainees are grouped by ability and experience, rather than by age. In practice, this usually means that children of similar ages are grouped together but there may be a mix of ages in a group.

How do I find out more about future club activities and events ?

You can look at the club website or find us on Facebook and Instagram. However, the most important communications are sent out by email and WhatsApp to members only so the best way of finding out what's going on is to become a member!

My child has special needs and I'm not quite sure if this will work for them..

Please come and talk to us! We try to be as inclusive as possible. Unfortunately, in the current situation, we may not be able to be as flexible as normal. But talk to us and if we'll see if can possibly accommodate you.

Does the club also run courses for adults ?
Yes! Again, please keep an eye on our website here. We hope to run an Adult Sail Training course during the year. In addition, we also hope to run various Powerboat, Navigation, and VHF Courses all of which are also listed in this section. Alternatively, you can email us at if you have any questions that aren't answered on our website.

Last updated 15:17 on 28 November 2023

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