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Severn Sailing Association
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Summer Program FAQs


Do I need to be a member for my child to sail at SSA? Yes. Members of SSA and their children sail in our program along with children of non-members who would join our newly created Junior Club Membership program. Please click here for more information about the program.


Are there member discounts? Children of SSA voting and associate members and Junior Associate members receive a 25% discount.


How do I become a member? Please contact the SSA office at 410-268-8744 or for information.


When should I sign up? Sign up early to avoid conflicts. For the past three years, the majority of our summer classes have sold out by early spring. 


How do I pay? Payment is required at time of registration. You can sign up and pay via credit card on our website. If you would like to pay by check, please contact the office 410-268-8744 to come by to complete the registration and payment process in person. 

What is the refund/cancellation policy? The following refund/cancellation policy will be in effect beginning January 16, 2017. Any classes cancelled at least 30 days prior to the start date will be granted a full refund (less processing fees), classes cancelled less than 30 days but before the 1st day of instruction will be given a 50% refund (less processing fees) and no refunds will be issued once class begins. Please note, that while Junior Club membership is non-refundable, you are still able to enjoy its benefits regardless of your participation rate in Junior Program activities.


Are classes prorated if I have to miss part of a session? No. Every year we have to turn many sailors away and put others on waiting lists because we operate on a first come, first serve basis. Under these circumstances we cannot justify prorating.


What course should my child take? As a general rule, 6-8 year-olds should be in the Harbor Rookies class; 9-11 year-olds should be in an Optimist; and sailors 12 and older, or those weighing more than 100 pounds, should learn in 420s or continue racing in Optis.


Do I need to own my own boat? No. Most classes use SSA-owned boats, particularly at the beginner and intermediate level. This information is outlined in the class descriptions. However, if a class is full, bringing your own boat may allow us to fit you in the class. Opti Chesapeake Racers and all Travel Team participants are required to have their own boat. 


Is there a lunch program? No. Lunch may be available for purchase with our snack bar operators, but we do not supply lunch. 


Who are your coaches? All of SSA's coaches are at minimum US Sailing Level 1 as well as First Aid and CPR certified. Several coaches also hold higher US Sailing certification and/or are former lifeguards. Learn more about SSA's Junior Program staff.


What about supervision before and after class? Please be on time dropping off in the morning and be prompt picking up at the end of the session. We cannot offer supervision outside of our normal class times.


It's raining, storming, cold, etc., is there class? We will always put safety first at SSA, but will not cancel for inclement weather. We have at least one staff member in the office at all times to monitor radar for thunderstorms, in addition to all coaches being trained to run safe, fun classes. We will hold class inside in the case of thunderstorms, but will sail in all other weather. Come prepared!


What do I bring? Everyday sailors need to bring closed-toe shoes (e.g. tennis shoes, Crocs, neoprene sailing boots), not flip-flops; a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved life jacket, a.k.a. Personal Flotation Device (PFD); sunscreen; and a water bottle. It is also recommended that sailors bring a towel, snack, and change of clothes. There's a good chance that sailors will get wet every day. So that everyone can stay hydrated this summer, we are again asking that each family consider donating one case of water to the program to be shared.


Where do I get sailing clothes? Annapolis is full of sailing shops. Some offer discounts up to 20% if you mention you will be participating in the SSA program. We recommend APS on Severn Ave, Helly Hansen on Main St., Fawcett's, or West Marine.


Do you have a carpool set up? No. We cannot organize carpools, nor can we give out personal information of other families in the program. If you would like to carpool, our orientation night and/or the first day of class are good opportunities to meet other parents.


Can I stay and watch my child sail? Parents are welcome to watch from a distance. Our experience has shown that most young sailors learn best without the distraction of a parent. All of our coaches are trained to run safe and fun classes, and appreciate being able to do so without parental input during class. Please ask the Junior Program Director directly if you have any questions.


I lost my… did you find it? We have a lost and found on the lower floor of the SSA clubhouse, near the locker rooms. Please make sure to label everything very clearly with your name and phone number. With almost 400 junior sailors participating in our summer program, we have a very full lost and found by the end of the summer. Unclaimed items are donated to Goodwill at the end of each season.


What do the colored fleets for Optis mean? The United States Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) has organized sailors in different fleets, designated by colors, to make racing as fair as possible. White fleet is for skippers who are 10 and under. Blue fleet is for skippers who are 11 or 12. Red fleet is for skippers who are 13, 14, or 15. Green fleet is for any age Opti sailor who is a racing beginner, and is designed to give sailors racing experience before sailing in their designated fleet. See for more info.


Is there swimming? Sailors will need to pass a short swim test on their first day. This is done in our protected basins while wearing a PFD and shoes. It is to make sure sailors are comfortable in the water. Also in the first two days of class, capsize recovery will be learned.


What are mid season and end of season awards? These are two evening activities that bring together families, sailors and coaches for a night of relaxing and socializing. Everyone has the opportunity to reflect on the season as certificates are distributed to each sailor and awards are given to exemplary sailors. 


SSA Racing

Most weekends--and many weeknights--around the year, there's some sort of one-design racing happening out of Severn Sailing Association. Check out the calendar to see what's going on these days!

SSA Junior Program

SSA runs a year-round program to develop skills and a lifelong love of sailing in our younger sailors. A summer program and fall and spring high school sailing programs are just the tip of the iceberg.