Falmouth Harbor Sailing School 

Teaching the community the art and science of sailing since 1990


The Opti classes are separated into three levels of ability.  A student needs to be at least 8 years old.

Opti 1 is the class for the beginner level Opti Sailors who are at least 8 years old.  Students will learn the basic parts of the International Optimist Dinghy Class and basic boat handling skills. Sailors begin sailing in pairs and progress towards sailing alone as their comfort level increases.  Sailors must demonstrate the objective skills, as well a comfort and proficiency sailing alone before they advance to Opti 2.

Opti 1 is offered Monday - Friday 8:30am - 11:00 am

Opti 2 is for the intermediate level sailor and participants should have completed Opti 1.  Opti 2 sailors are learning to single-hand their boats.  Sailors will learn proper weight placement, practice tacks, jibes and learn to basics of sailing around a racecourse.

 Opti 2 is offered Monday - Friday 10:30 am - 1:00 pm

Opti Racing is the class for a sailor aspiring to race competitively.  Some of the topics covered include advanced boat handling techniques, racing tactics and strategies, and the Rules of Racing.  These sailors should be prepared to travel to regattas.  Boat ownership is strongly encouraged.  8 weeks is recommended.

Opti Racing is offered Monday - Friday 1:30 - 4:00 pm

This introduction to sailing class is for children aged  7-10 with little to no sailing experience.  The class teaches the fundamentals of on-the-water safety, seamanship and terminology. Sailors will learn basic sailing skills: rigging and stowing of all necessary equipment, hoisting and dowsing sails, sail trim and steerage.  They will learn to row, set an anchor and basic knot tying.  The classes are taught in a larger boat with at least one instructor on board for every six students.   At the end of two weeks each eligible student will be evaluated for placement in Opti 1.  Instructors will decide on promotion of students.  Material may be repeated in successive sessions.

​Learn to sail is offered Monday - Friday 9:00am -12:00pm​



The 420 Classes are for the older student (12 and up).  These classes are also divided into three levels of ability.

420 1 is for the beginner, and it covers basic double handed boat handling and the rules of sailing and boating. Sailors will learn to rig and derail a 420, learn to steer and trim on all pints of sail and learn to trapeze. 

 420 1 is offered Monday - Friday 8:30 am -11:00 am

 420 2 is for the intermediate sailor.  The class covers more advanced boat handling techniques with emphasis on use of the trapeze and spinnaker. The class will also focus on defining sail trim and basic racing tactics.

 420 2 is offered Monday - Friday 10:30 am - 1:00 pm

 420 Racing is designed for the sailor who wants to learn advanced team and fleet racing tactics and strategies. Sailors are selected for the racing team by the instructors and program director. Sailors will compete at regattas and team races in the area throughout the summer.

420 Racing is offered Monday - Friday 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm


Falmouth Harbor Sailing School offers private lessons to children and adults of all ages. Whether you are in town for a couple days or have lived in Falmouth your entire life, we welcome the opportunity to share the joy of sailing in beautiful Vineyard Sound.

Lessons are generally offered on our sail boats which comfortably sit up to 6 people, including an instructor. Private Lessons can be scheduled on weekdays between 11:30AM and 4:00PM or on weekends by appointment. Private Lessons are also an excellent way for students to advance skills learned in classes and can be done in Optis or 420s

Rates: $60.00/hr for 1 person and $30.00/hr for each additional person in the same boat.  We recommend two hours for each lesson.​