Youth Small Boat Level 1

Youth Small Boat Level 1 is taught at Gray's Lake Park in Des Moines, Iowa. This is a 20 hour long course taught over four days that includes age-appropriate activities designed to teach basic sailing skills. Each student will have their own small boat.

Students will learn sailing terminology, rigging and derigging a boat, knot tying and line handling, stopping and starting a boat, leaving and returning to the beach or dock, tacking and jibing, capsize and overboard recovery.

Who should take this course?

Anyone between the age 8 of 15. If you have a student younger than eight who might be ready, please contact us.


Ability to swim 50 yards using any stoke and tread water for 2 minutes.

Upon completion of this course the student will be able to confidently sail a small boat on their own. All classes are taught by certified US Sailing instructors.


The course is taught according to US Sailing's Small Boat Sailor Certification. We will cover the beginner general skills and beginner boat handling skills. A US Sailing Certificate of completion will be awarded at the end of the course.

How will I spend my time?

This is a 4 day class, taught the Gray's Lake Concession Stand and Boathouse, Monday through Thursday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. You will have a lunch break so bring your own lunch. We will spend half of our time in classroom instruction and the remaining time on the water.

What should I bring?

Clothes appropriate for sailing (expect to get wet), towel and change of clothes, proper fitting type III life jacket, closed toe shoes, sunscreen, and water bottle.


$225 which includes "Sailing For Kids", US Sailing's "Sailing Smart Activity Book" for young students and US Sailing's "Learn Sailing Right - Beginning Sailing" book for older students.


To register online for this course, select the desired date from the schedule on this page or go to the Calendar to view all course options. 

Youth Small Boat Level 1 Course Schedule - Select one of the dates below to register online.

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