Big Boat Program


Huguenot Yacht Club is excited to relaunch its Jr. Big Boat Program program for the bigger and older kids (ages 14-16.) This program, dubbed the Offshore Racing Team (OST), is designed to introduce the many different aspects of big boat sailing and racing; extending experience beyond traditional dinghy sailing.

This once a week program is open to sailors currently enrolled in the HYC Junior Sailing Program. The schedule will be adjusted to prevent conflicts with JSA events and clinics.

The OST is an opportunity for teens 14-16 to sail with an instructor, or coach, on 26-40 foot well-outfitted sailboats. The OST is structured around the use of a volunteered big boat lent for use to the OST by a club member, owner, or volunteer who receives no compensation for the use of the boat or its equipment.

By participating on the Team new sailors will learn the ropes on a big boat platform – or experienced junior sailors can apply their small boat sailing skills to a new challenge.

The Team highlights fun, social activity and teamwork. With OST skills, teens can be valuable crew on cruising boats and club racers. The OST offers an introduction to Big Boat sailing through a framework of skills designed to provide teens with the resources to participate in overnight cruises, weekend or evening race series, and distance races.



The curriculum is both intense and loosely followed.  Like dinghy sailing, it will depend on the wind and weather.  Each year the program is tailored to meet the needs, as closely as it can, of as many sailors as possible.  Coaches and Instructors also strive to give each sailor individual attention as much as possible.


• Rigging and De-rigging 
• Crew Positions and Boat Handling
• Big Boat Terminology Safety Awareness (participate in STC Safety at Sea)
• Rules of the Road and Racing Rules of Sailing
• Seamanship and Sail Maintenance
• Nautical Environmental Awareness


On big boats, crew positions are many and varied:  Helmsman, Navigator, Main and Foresail Trimmers, Pit, Mast and Foredeck.  Sailors will be expected to learn the fundamentals of all of these positions.  As the season progresses, sailors will specialize in one or two positions. By the end of July the Team will be familiar with their primary and secondary responsibility in a variety of situations.


Understanding how to get places and knowing where you are is an important life skill, for a sailor it is especially important, it is essential.  All sailors will learn and demonstrate proficiency in many facets of navigation on the water: they will be able to plot courses and pilot boats, know how to interpret the weather, and learn safe boating practices.

The JSALIS has an Online Navigation Course. Sailors can learn navigation basics at their own pace.  One-on-one and group instruction will also be given as needed.


Sailors will learn seamanship rules of the road, demonstrate their knowledge of marlinspike (knot tying and splicing), and familiarization with boat maintenance and repair.

OST sailors will need to demonstrate knowledge of certain knots and where and when to use them.  Being familiar with these knots and how to tie them ahead of time will be beneficial.  Instructors will expect the older kids to help the younger beginning sailors to learn the knots. Knots to know:  Figure-8 Knot, Rolling Hitch, Bowline, Clove Hitch, and Sheet Bend.

OST sailors will also be expected to demonstrate splicing and whipping:  Eye-Splice in three-strand-line, whip the bitter end of a line, and a Brummell Splice (eye splice the 12-strand-plaited-line.)


• All all sailors have to participate in both sessions except by special permission

• When a sailor signs up for the OST, participation is mandatory. Since this is a team effort, if a sailor needs to miss an instruction or practice, they need to clear this with the Coach well in advance.

• The Schedule:  Mondays or Fridays: ½ day training on the water

• All OST members will participate in the STC Junior Safety at Sea Seminar.

• All members of the OST will take the JSALIS Navigation & Seamanship Test.

• All members of the OST will participate in the JSALIS Marlinspike Seamanship Contest.

• The evaluation of the Director of the Big Boat Program will be final determination of the child's eligibility

• Registration is limited to 8-10 sailors



The scope of the program is such that we may not be able to use the same boat for every practice session or event.  Thus the following is a list of the possible boats that may be used on a case by case basis:

Soulmates (Custom Goetz 40), Apsara (J109), Sirius (J33), Deviation (J88), Upsetter (J80)




HYC Jr. Big Boat Program (Calendar of Planned Events)