Program Overview

For over 60 years Little Traverse Sailors has offered a Learn to Sail Program for youth ages 8 to 18 on the waterfront in Harbor Springs, MI. More importantly, the experiences at Little Traverse Sailors have inspired generations of sailors to keep sailing for a lifetime: whether to race, cruise, explore, or simply to “mess about in boats.”

Our learn to sail program is structured to progress students through 3 levels within a fleet system that represent increasing skills and experience. Sailors work with our instructors and coaches to develop their skills to advance to the next level. The skills for each level are calibrated to build on-the-water confidence and techniques, as well as off-the-water knowledge (such as knots, rules of the road, and safety information).

Schedule + Rates

Youth Learn To Sail

Our classes run Monday – Friday. Students can sail a half day or full day. It is recommended that beginner to Intermediate sailors attend the AM session while Intermediate to Advanced Sailors attend the PM session.

We STRONGLY recommend attending a minimum of TWO WEEKS in order to achieve basic sailing skills.

2021 Rates

Learn to Sail AM – 9am to 12pm
$225 for first week, $150 for any additional weeks

Learn to Sail PM – 1pm to 4pm
$225 for first week, $150 for any additional weeks

Learn to Sail AM+PM – 9am to 4pm*
$450 for first week, $300 for any additional weeks


*due to Covid restrictions, the LTS campus is closed from 12pm-12:45pm

** For information on tuition assistance, please see our Scholarships page.

Summer 2021 Additional Information:

Drop off: Please use the Customer Entrance at Irish Boat Shop to drop off your sailor on the lawn next to LTS. Please drive slowly and carefully and respect all signs. Do not drop your sailor off at LTYC or block traffic on Bay Street by stopping directly in front of the LTS lawn.

What to bring: Sailors should have closed toed shoes, a life jacket, bathing suit, towel, sunscreen, hat and a refillable water bottle. If it is raining (with no lighting or thunder) we will sail so rain gear is recommended on those days. It is recommended that your sailor have a bag to store all belongings. LTS has a limited supply of life jackets to borrow. Irish Boat Shop has youth life jackets in stock (tell them you will be sailing for LTS!)

Reminder: the LTS lawn and dock will be closed during the hours of 12noon to 12:45pm. There will be no supervision for sailors during that time.

Covid: While we do not require face coverings at LTS at this time, we support those who want to wear them. We ask that children do not wear face coverings on the water for safety reasons.

Questions: Please email director@littletraversesailors.org with any questions.

Pram Racing

Wednesdays at 5:00 pm LTS offers Pram racing free for program participants.

Pram Racing is a super-simple, low-key introduction to the basics of sailboat racing, designed for our younger sailors. Using our fleet of 8-ft long Prams, we set up a small triangular race course just off the shore along Bay Street in downtown Harbor Springs. The starting sequence is three-minute dinghy-style (with horn countdowns). Several LTS coaches are on hand in coach boats to walk the new racers through the process.

The result is a spectacularly good time! The new racers get a gentle introduction to the sport. They also receive valuable experience in maneuvering their boats in a small area. One-on-one coaching in a good-natured competitive atmosphere is offered to every student. Parents and families are able to see their young sailors in action, in one of the most beautiful harbors in the world.

Who can race: Any sailor in the LTS program is eligible, though it is primarily intended for our younger sailors just getting comfortable with skippering.

What do you need: a lifejacket, sailing footwear, and a readiness for fun!

How much does it cost: Nothing! This is a free activity for all LTS families.