For over 60 years Little Traverse Sailors has offered a community based 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).
Green Fleet: Beginner sailors
Blue Fleet: Intermediate (can sail a boat on their own, rig, launch, dock, sailing to a destination and back)
Red Fleet: Advanced (has completed Blue Fleet and is able to sail all points of sail, and will learn the fundamenals of 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.