FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How old does my child need to be to participate? The Course is open for children between the recommended ages of 7 to 12 years of age for Tackers 1 and up.
What if my child is nearly 7 years old?
We are able to take children from 6 years of age and generally leave the decision to parents as to whether their child would be ready for the program. It’s important to consider their ability to listen to and carry out instructions, their ability to be tolerant of and engage well with other children, their ability to concentrate or stay on task for a reasonable period and overall good behaviour.
Do you have to be a member of the NCYC to participate in Tackers?
No, one of the great things about Tackers is you don’t have to be a member of our club to participate. In fact at NCYC, kids receive an honorary club membership during their participation in the program.
Do kids need to be able to swim to participate in Tackers?
A competent standard of swimming ability is desirable, however the children will be wearing lifejackets at all times. Parents/guardians are encouraged to talk to our Sailing Academy Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org) or the Tackers Instructor if you have any concerns.
What type of boats will the kids be sailing?
The Tackers program is only delivered in a boat called an ‘Ozi Opti’. This boat was specifically designed for the program, based off an ‘Optimist’ junior racing dinghy. The boats allow two kids to sail together and as they gain confidence and move up from Tackers 1 to Tackers 2 they are able to sail the boat alone. They are ideal boats for their use in our training fleet due to their stability and layout. They have plenty of buoyancy and perform well with even with the weight of adult sized instructors aboard, should they need to help the participants.
Are the kids out sailing on their own?
When kids start sailing in Tackers 1 they will be sailing in pairs. This can vary with the different sizes of the participants. The Instructors also take into account the sailing ability and confidence of the participants in the given weather conditions. There are usually 6-10 boats in a group and there will be an Instructor and an Assistant Instructor in a safety boat supervising the group. The safety boat stays on the water all the time the kids are sailing.
Can my child sail on the same boat with their friends during the course?
Yes, however if required the instructors may allocate the children into teams if children come to the course on their own. Instructors will allocate specific teams for reasons associated with ability, safety, behaviour &/or confidence.
What if my child is a little nervous about sailing?
Our Instructors have years of experience in teaching juniors how to sail. Our primary aim is to provide a fun, exciting and safe boating experience. Please don’t hesitate to discuss your concerns prior to the lesson with the Instructor.
What safety precautions are there for participants?
We take safety very seriously. We have on and off water policies that our instructor’s follow and use to base their decisions upon. When on the water all participants must wear PFD1’s (Australian Standards Approved) which we supply. The theme of water safety runs throughout the course. The NCYC Sailing Academy and its instructors adhere to policies and procedures set by our governing body; Australian Sailing.
Are the instructors qualified?
Yes, the instructors and assistants are qualified with Australian Sailing Dinghy Instructor and Assistant Instructor Certificates and are trained specifically for the Tackers courses. Our Instructors are also trained in Powerboat Handling and hold First Aid Certificates. All of the coaches are very experienced dinghy sailors themselves.
Do the kids need any special clothing to participate in Tackers?
No, there is no special clothing needed. We recommend kids wear clothes and shoes that they don’t mind getting wet – swimmers, boardshorts, rash shirts, maybe a wetsuit if you have one and a pair of old sandshoes or slip on wet-shoes. Always remember to bring a hat for sun protection. The kids can bring a towel and a change of clothes as we have change room facilities in the main clubhouse, including showers.
Where do we go when we arrive at the Club?
When you arrive at the Bay Sailing Centre, please meet your Tackers Leader downstairs on the grass opposite the clubhouse. Please keep an eye out for cars on the public thoroughfare.
Do I need to provide snacks & lunch?
Our weekly Tackers sessions run for 2.5hours so we generally don’t stop for snacks – we’re too busy having fun! Our Tackers Instructors can take food with them should a child require something within this period. During our school holiday courses where we run for longer periods, we do encourage the kids to bring lunch & snacks with them in an easily transportable bag/pouch. These will be taken on the safety boat. It is very important that the kids bring a waterbottle with them. Please ensure your child’s name is clearly written on all items.
Where will the children be sailing?
The children will sail directly out in front of the Bay Sailing Centre, launching from the sandy shores of Soldiers Point. Parent will be able to watch from shore or from the balcony whilst enjoying a coffee!
How long will it take to complete the Tackers program?
We do not limit the number of times a child completes a course level, in fact we encourage children to spend as much time as they need at each level rather than just the minimum hours prescribed. We recognise that some children take a bit longer to gain confidence or to learn certain skills and we can work to accommodate that. It may take several sailing seasons to complete all three levels of Tackers confidently.
What can kids do when they finish Tackers?
There are three levels to the Tackers program which kids can progress through. When they finish Tackers 3 – Sailing Fast! they can progress to a program called Green Fleet. This is a program that introduces kids to fun racing. We conduct our Green Fleet on Sunday mornings during Spring and Summer. Follow this link to find out more . . .
What can the kids do when they are too old for Tackers?
We have a great keelboat program available for the kids that are too old or are too tall for Tackers. Our OutThere Sailing Program is suitable for kids 11 to 17 years and is conducted at NCYC in Newcastle in our fleet of six inshore keelboats called Force 24s. The program runs on Wednesday afternoon and during school holidays. Follow this link to find out more . . .