Frequently Asked Questions

How old does my child need to be to participate in Tackers or the Junior Sail Training program?

These courses are open for children aged 7 years and older. We do offer a Little Tackers program for children younger than this – click here for more information.

Do you have to be a member of Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron to participate in a course?

No, one of the great things is you do not need to be a member of the Club to participate.

Do participants need to be able to swim to participate in Tackers?

It’s best if you have some ability to swim however all participants will be wearing life jackets at all times.  In the first session, the instructors will supervise the group in a 25m swim with their life jackets on.  Parents/guardians are encouraged to talk to the Tackers Club Leader or the Tackers Instructor if they have any concerns.

Are the Tackers out sailing on their own?

When you start to learn to sail, it will be sailing in pairs.   This can vary with the different sizes of the participants. The Instructors also take into account the sailing ability and confidence of the participants in the given weather conditions.  There are usually 6-10 boats in a group and there will be an Instructor and an Assistant Instructor in a safety boat supervising the group.  The safety boat stays on the water all the time the you are sailing.

What types of boats are used?

We use International Optimists, Pacers and Access 303 dinghies.  They are ideal boats for their use in our training fleet due to their stability and layout.  They have plenty of buoyancy and perform well with even with the weight of adult sized instructors aboard, should they need to help the participants.

Can my child sail on the same boat with their friends during the course?

Yes, however if required the instructors will allocate the children into teams if children come to the course on their own.  Instructors will allocate specific teams for reasons associated with ability, safety, behaviour &/or confidence.

What if I’m a little nervous about sailing?

Our Instructors have years of experience in teaching juniors and adults how to Sail.  Our primary aim is to provide a fun, exciting and safe boating experience.  Please don’t hesitate to discuss your concerns prior to the lesson with the Instructor.

What safety precautions are there for participants?

Being a recognised Discover Sailing Centre means that we adhere to Yachting Australia standards to ensure participant safety; fulfill our duty of care obligations; receive support from Yachting Victoria and national promotion of our programs, have access to qualified instructors and fulfill our community and member expectations.

Are the instructors qualified?

Yes, the instructors and assistants are qualified with their Yachting Australia Instructors Certificates and are trained specifically for the courses we run.  All of the coaches are very experienced dinghy sailors.

What happens at the end of the course?

At the conclusion of the course students will receive a certificate as well as information regarding further courses and club programs.  Instructors will be available to discuss sailing pathways and general advice for those looking to continue their sailing experience.

How can parents/guardians be involved?

Tackers and our Junior Sail Training program is fully supervised by Yachting Australia qualified Instructors and Assistant Instructor employed by the Club. They oversee the session planning, delivery, and make sure the kids have fun and develop their skills and confidence in a safe environment. If a parent or guardian would like to be involved in sail training as a volunteer, there are many off-water roles available, please contact our Sailing Office.