JP Frequently Asked Questions
How Our Junior Program Operates
While we schedule activities throughout the day, we are not a camp.
- When not in class or Open Sailing, junior members are free to leave the building if they wish (many of our members take the T on their own to get to and from CBI). Please pre-arrange pick-up with your child each day.
- Outside of class (but during JP hours), Junior members are welcome and encouraged to spend time on the dock, eat, and hang out with their friends.
- Dock staff monitors sailors and paddlers for safety and keeps track of which juniors are on the water through our member database.
- Only Junior Members and CBI staff are allowed on the dock during Junior Program hours.
The Junior Program operates during the following hours:
Summer 2021 (June 14th to August 20th) hours are 8:30am to 3pm on Weekdays. Closed Weekends and Holidays.
We do not provide lunch. We recommend that your child brings a lunch if they plan to spend the day at CBI. Our front office sells light snacks.
Unfortunately, we do not offer busing and there is no parking at our facility. We are on a state park and are unable to add parking to our building — we apologize for the inconvenience. The easiest way to get to CBI is by public transit; we’re a four minute walk from the Charles/MGH stop on the MBTA Red Line, or a 15-minute walk from Arlington Street on the Green Line. If your child is comfortable taking the T to get to CBI, we recommend that, as the footbridge leads to our front door. If you are coming by car, you can drop off your child at Charles Circle near the footbridge and they can walk over. You can also park in 15 minute parking near the intersection of Charles St. and Cambridge St. if you would like to walk over with them.
We have day lockers on our dock but members must bring their own locks. Your child should bring daily:
- A change of clothes
- A re-usable water bottle
- Hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
- Close-toed shoes!
- Snacks, lunch or a couple dollars to buy a snack at the front desk
- Their membership card or $2 to buy a replacement card
A reminder that we sail unless the wind or weather is unsafe (lightning for example). On cooler days, children will want layers which are warm when wet and a change of clothing is crucial!
Community Boating does not shut down due to rain, and all of our classes are offered rain or shine. However, if there is a risk of thunderstorms or other dangerous weather, we will bring everyone off the water and indoors. Most classes continue on land during weather closures.
We do not allow any adults on the dock during Junior Program hours, no exceptions. We will offer family sail days throughout the summer, when parents and relatives can come down and go sailing with their junior sailor, and get a chance to tour the facility and docks.
Community Boating partners with non-profit and government organizations to offer sailing and paddling, enabling us to further our mission of “Sailing for All”. Some of our outreach partners include:
- Ellis Memorial
- Philips Brooks House Association
- Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity (METCO)
- YMCA of Greater Boston
- East End House
- Cambridge Adventure Camp
- Boys & Girls Club – Jordan, Boston
- Moses Youth Center
- Cambridge Youth Programs
- Graceworks Childcare
- Boston Green Academy
- Fayerweather School
- Brimmer Eco Extreme
- Hill House
- Waltham Recreation Department
- Burlington Recreation Department
- Wilmington Recreation Department
For more info, please contact JP Co-Director, Niko Kotsatos, at [email protected].
In addition to group outreach, we work with partners who provide support for our Junior Program. We would like to thank all of our partners for helping make our Junior Program a one-of-a-kind experience for kids in the greater Boston area:
- Aspire Group
- Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program
- ABCD SummerWorks
- Save the Harbor/Save the Bay
- Sailors for the Sea
- SEA Association
- Boston Central
- Rozalia Project
- Zim Sailing
- The Storm Trysail Foundation
- Community Boat Building
- New England Aquarium
- Mass Dpt. of Conservation and Recreation
- EF Education First
- Polar Beverages
Other than Beginner Sailing and SUP, our classes are not designed to confer ratings. They do teach skills that help students pass On-Water Tests. If they’re having trouble with that, there are a few possibilities:
- Don’t worry, many children retake classes before they’re able to master the skills. All sailors will learn at different rates, but they should still be having fun and learning valuable lessons regardless.
- Did the child attend every class session? If not, it’s difficult for them to get enough practice.
- The weather may play a role, as canceled classes or unsuitable wind can make both instruction and evaluation more difficult.
- Our high-performance equipment often requires a moderate level of strength, weight, and/or athleticism to sail safely, and it’s possible that your child is not ready for this rating. Remember they must be able to right a 420 or Laser, or safely dock a 22-foot Sonar to receive those ratings.
We are strict about giving out ratings because a rating allows a child to sail on their own outside of class and to take other juniors sailing with them.
We do also offer occasional Mercury Clinics for those who have already taken Intermediate Sailing, as well as informal instruction as other avenues to hone skills. Lastly, while our instructors use the same curriculum to evaluate the sailors, they are aware that many sailors take the classes more than once, and they make sure to switch up drills and games so the class is not repetitive from week to week.
JP Membership & Registration Questions
All youth who turn 10 before August 31 and do not turn 18 before the first day of the Junior Program.
We strive to make Junior Membership affordable to all. Our fee is on a generous need-based sliding scale from $1 to $395 and includes membership, classes, and boat usage; everything we offer for ten summer weeks! During registration, our fee calculator offers discounts based on household income and family makeup.
Memberships are non-refundable and non-transferable.
We don’t administer a swim test, however we require that all junior members maintain on file a swim proof stating they can swim 50 yards without stopping. Your child can take a swim test at any YMCA by appointment. We also accept
- YMCA Fish Level or above
- Red Cross Level V swimming certificate
- a Boy/Girl Scout swimming merit badge
- a letter on pool letterhead stating swimming ability signed by a lifeguard on pool or school letterhead
- this form completed by a reputable pool/lifeguard
No, and our Junior and Adult Programs operate during different hours. However, Adult Members with guest privileges and a Yellow Rating may bring their children as guests during Adult Program hours.
If your child is a new member, we will hold on to their membership card for them until their first day at CBI, where their instructor will have their card. If they are a returning member, their hard plastic black and yellow membership card is still usable, so please have them bring that. If they don’t have last year’s card, the first card they receive this year will be complimentary. After this point, replacement cards are $2 each.
JP Class Sign-Up Questions
Children may only be signed up by their parent or guardian, but you may leave a note during sign up to request they are placed with a friend (or separate from a sibling if they’re anything like me and my brother).
Students who completed Beginner Sailing in 2019 (or Mainsail prior to 2019) are ready for Intermediate Sailing. This class instructs students on the finer points of sailing, as well as reefing and using a jib. It aims to prepare sailors for their yellow and red tests.
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Depending on the situation, your son/daughter may be eligible for a higher level class. Please contact our Junior Program Director at [email protected] and we will figure out what class is the right fit for your son/daughter.
The prerequisites for high performance classes include red or yellow plus ratings which must be acquired through On-Water Tests. While Intermediate Sailing prepares students for these tests, many sailors will want to retake the class once or twice to help them acquire these ratings. This is normal. If a sailor has not passed the test by week’s end, they can sign up for the class again. We specifically stagger the opening of these classes so they don’t fill all at once, and our instructors vary the activities and lesson plans to keep each week fresh and exciting.
Once a sailor has acquired a rating, they can then register for any classes requiring that prerequisite.
Glossary - JP Lingo & Terminology
Ratings allow sailors to check out certain boats in certain types of wind during Open Sailing.
In order to achieve proficiency ratings, sailors often need to pass on-water tests of their ability (which sometimes occur during class). Confirming proficiencies in this way helps us maintain member safety. Sailors may test for ratings in appropriate wind conditions, during Junior Program hours. However, they may only test for ratings for which they’ve taken the appropriate class (eg. 420 class or previous 420 experience to take a 420 test).
Experienced Junior Members at CBI enjoy a level of independence unrivaled at any other sailing program we’ve seen… all while being in one of the safest sailing environments we know of. Once sailors achieve proficiency (green Mercury rating for example) they may check out that boat in appropriate weather conditions. When not in class, we encourage Open Sailing. Our sailing area is contained and we can see the entire stretch from our dockhouse. Furthermore, we track who is on the water, and monitor the river with instructors in power boats, all to provide a safe sailing area where youth can enjoy unprecedented freedom. Junior members use Open Sailing to test and practice their skills, to teach and learn from friends while on the water, and to explore the confines of our river basin.
Informal Instruction is run in conjunction with Open Sailing. Our staff help match up less experienced sailors wtih Instructors In-Training. They might have the opportunity to practice towards a new rating, learn a new skill, try out a more advanced boat, or even join a race or other game.
Keelboats are any sailboat with a fixed counterweight fin underneath, which provides stability and lateral resistance… These tend to be bigger boats with more stability and more sail area! Our large keelboats, the 22 foot Sonar and 18 foot Ideal are our fastest and most powerful boats on the river. They also allow larger groups to sail, and provide stable teaching platforms for learning spinnakers, or other advanced techniques and concepts. We also have a fleet of keel Mercury’s which are great boats for beginners in heavier wind, but are not as fun or challenging as the centerboard Mercury.
SUP’s are kinda like surfboards, but with grippy, cushy top decks… and a long-handled paddle. Members can check them out for paddle adventure (or a Kayak) or for Open Sailing and hang with friends on the water. The board has a leash and they wear life jackets of course. While jumping in the water isn’t allowed, they fall in occasionally ?