Opti Sailing Camps – Registration for Ages 8-12

Download Registration Form

Registration fee is $225.  SC Maritime Museum “Friends” members will receive priority registration and discounted registration fee of $200.

To purchase a Sailing Camp Gift Certificate, contact Hope McFaddin at (843) 520-0111 or email sail@sc-mm.org,

What Will Campers Learn?

The SC Youth Sailing Camp will be fun while focusing on safety and learning the following skills:

  • Preparing to Sail
  • Sailing Terms
  • Knot tying
  • Rigging/Unrigging
  • Determining wind direction
  • Points of sail
  • Getting underway
  • Starting and Stopping
  • Tacking and Jibing
  • Rules of the road

Intermediates will learn:

  • Advance sail trim
  • Boat trim and balance
  • Race tactics
  • Advance sailing maneuvers

About the Camp

On the first day of camp, our instructors will evaluate the skill level of campers with previous sailing experience, and place them in a separate advanced group as appropriate.

  • Each camp will consist of five, half-days of sailing instruction, beginning on Monday and ending on Friday. Register for a morning camp from 9 a.m. -12 noon or or an afternoon camp from from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.
  • Campers will sail Optimist Prams, a sailboat designed specifically for kids under 16 years of age. The “Opti” is safe and simple enough for an 8-year old, and exciting and technically challenging enough for a 15-year old.
  • Camp will be held at the SC Maritime Museum. Sailboats will put in at the City docks beside the museum.
  • There will be 6-10 campers per session.
  • Campers will learn and review the essentials of sailing at different camp levels depending on the experience and skill level of the camper.
  • Certified US Sailing Small Boat Level 1 Sailing Instructors will head up this year’s instructional team. The team will include experienced junior instructors and adult volunteers.
  • Registration fee includes a US Sailing course book, a skills logbook and a camp T-shirt. Returning sailors who show up with their text book and red skills log book from last year’s camp will receive a $10 gift certificate for the Museum gift shop.

2021 1/2 DAY CAMP SESSIONS – Each camp last five days


June 7-11 | 9 am – 12 pm
June 7-11 | 1 pm – 4 pm

June 14-18 | 9 am – 12 pm
June 14-18 | 1 pm – 4 pm

June 21-25 | 9 am – 12 pm
June 21-25 | 1 pm – 4 pm

June 28- July 2 | 9 am – 12 pm
June 28- July 2 | 1 pm – 4 pm


July 5-9 | 9 am –12 pm
July 5-9| 1 pm – 4 pm

July 12-16 | 9 am – 12 pm
July 12-16 | 1 pm – 4 pm

July 19-23 | 9 am – 12 pm
July 19-23 | 1 pm – 4 pm

July 26-30| 9 am – 12 pm
July 26-30 | 1 pm – 4 pm


August 2-6 | 9 am – 12 pm
August 2-6 | 1 pm – 4 pm

August 9-13 | 9 am – 12 pm
August 9-13 | 1 pm – 4 pm

August 16-20 | 9 am – 12 pm
August 16-20 | 1 pm – 4 pm

What Types Of Boats Will Be Used?

Our young sailors will learn how to sail Optimist Prams. The Optimist Pram is “quite simply the boat in which the young people of the world learn to sail”. To learn more visit: The International Optimist Dinghy Association .

In 1947 Clark Mills, a well-known boat designer in Florida, was asked by the Optimist Club of Clearwater, Florida to design a small, extremely stable sailboat—one that would be easy to construct and safe for teaching young people between the ages of 8 and 15 to sail. The resulting boat, known as the Optimist Pram, proved to be ideal for young sailors.

The SC Youth Sailing Program has a fleet of 10 wooden Optimist Prams built by volunteers of the SC Maritime Museum.

Why Is The Optimist Pram Ideal For Kids?

  • The Optimist Pram was designed especially for kids under 16 years of age.
  • The simplicity of it’s design makes it an ideal sailing school boat.
  • The Optimist is safe and stable. Kids like the the Opti because they feel like it won’t tip over.
  • The Optimist is easy to handle by one sailor. Single-handed is the best way to learn how to sail. Think about it. You didn’t learn how to ride a bike on a tandem.
  • The Optimist is safe and simple enough for an 8-year old, and exciting and technically challenging enough for a 14-year old.
  • Over 85% of the sailing medal winners in the last Olympics were former Optimist sailors.
  • The Optimist is the only dinghy recognized by the ISAF (International Sailing Federation) exclusively for kids under 16.
  • The Optimist is the largest and fastest growing dinghy class in the world – over 350,000 kids in more than 110 countries sail Optis.
  • Read this excellent article: “Why Choose the Optimist”, by Steve Sherman of McLaughlin Boatworks.

“The Opti is safe and stable. Its simplicity makes it ideal as a sailing school boat…Kids love the Opti because they feel that it won’t tip over on them. They can relax and enjoy themselves and mess about in the boat until, one day, they suddenly realize, “Hey, I know how to sail!” The boat has enough adjustments to be challenging (boom vang, outhaul, sprit halyard, and sail ties). Yet it is not a …maze of lines incomprehensible to a child. The simplicity of the rig allows the skipper to concentrate on what’s really important in learning to sail– wind direction, puffs, shifts, waves, etc.”

Why Choose the Optimist, by Steve Sherman, McLaughlin Boatworks

“You could say that the International Optimist Dinghy is the most important sailboat in the world in terms of the number of people it introduces to sailing. In its overall length, the Optimist is the smallest boat in the US Sailing Hall of Fame. By another measure, it is the largest: No other boat has brought more new sailors into the world than the Optimist Dinghy.”

– Bill Schanen, Editor SAILING Magazine