Orr’s Bailey Yacht Club
Orr’s Island, Maine USA

Abbot Fletcher Sailing School


December, 2015

Hello and welcome to the Abbot Fletcher Sailing School.

Since 1995, Orr’s Bailey Yacht Club has offered sailing instruction through the Abbot Fletcher Sailing School on Casco Bay in Harpswell, Maine. The program has provided an enjoyable, safe, hands-on educational experience, making memories to last a lifetime. The consistent involvement of committed OBYC members, parents, and, most importantly, the efforts of our dedicated instructors, has made our program one of the very best in Maine. A word about the school.

The name sake of the Abbot Fletcher Sailing School is Abbot Fletcher. Abbot was a long time member of the Orr’s-Bailey Yacht Club. He raced and sailed on Merriconeag Sound with his grandfather, Rear Admiral William B. Fletcher, in a 32 foot gaff-rigged sloop “Juanona” from the 1930s to 1950s. He later owned a 38 ft. sloop “Majek” in which he had a long and distinguished career, winning dozens of races including multiple Monhegan Island and Marion, MA to Bermuda Races.  Abbot shared his love of sailing with his family and with all who sailed with him, including the Bowdoin College Sailing Team of which he was coach for many years. Abbot’s son, Max, has been an active member of OBYC for many years and carries on his father’s tradition of sail boat racing and extensive cruising. Abbot’s grandson, Christopher, was a founding instructor of the sailing school and served as program director for 2013 and 2014.

We are looking forward to the 2016 season. It may be cold now, but summer is ahead, that is a certainty. You can download and print the 2016 course schedule and application at the bottom of  this page. The medical form is there as well and must accompany the application.

We teach sailing, boating safety and sailboat racing skills to children ages of 8-18. Our instructional programs offer opportunities to develop greater sailing ability, self-confidence, social skills, goal setting, achievement, and an understanding of seamanship and interaction with others in a unique ocean environment. We accept junior sailors from both member and non- member families.  The Abbot Fletcher Sailing School is an organization that encourages diversity and equality. Most of our instructors  began sailing in our Junior Program. We invite all to join us as we grow and learn in a spirit of camaraderie and respect, passing on the heritage of Maine sailing.

The Beginner sessions are held in the morning.  We use our Hunter sailboats, and an instructor is always on board to guide the students to impart the basic knowledge of sailing.  As a sailor progresses, the Opti’s will be introduced so that the student gains confidence to be in an Opti or 420 sailboat in order to progress to the afternoon Intermediate sessions.

Although we no longer offer full-day sessions for the racing teams, will have Opti and 420 sailors in the afternoon sessions.  We will continue the skills needed to be a proficient sailor, using the time for building sailing knowledge.  We will have the markers set up to learn racing skills, but the emphasis will be a skill-based program.  We feel this will prepare any student to enter a full-time racing program or be a part of our non-competitive team should he/she have the desire to do so.

We encourage early sign-ups as classes are limited to 8 students per sessions, and we anticipate they will fill up quickly.  The course schedule for 2016 is attached to the application and can be downloaded from the bottom of this page. Please download all of the documents below as each has valuable information regarding to the sailing school.

Swim Test

A swim test is required on the first day of each class. This is not a difficult test  but demonstrates a student’s swimming ability and comfort level around water.

The test requires the following:

  • Each student swims approximately 30′ while wearing a life jacket.
  • At the end of the 30′ swim, the student must remove the life jacket, tread water for 30 seconds
  • Swim 30′ back to the where they started without the life jacket.
  • Any stroke is acceptable. Please bring a bathing suit, towel and dry clothes on the first day.

We hope you‘ll join us this summer.

Abbot Fletcher Sailing School Committee

For questions or information email us at: afss@obyc.org

For questions regarding fees, payments, date availability, etc., email us at: registrar@obyc.org

NOTE:  As of 5/27/16, the following classes are now closed for enrollment:  Beginner 7/4-7/8; Beginner 7/18-7/22; Intermediate 7/4-7/8; Intermediate 7/11-7/15.  Other classes have limited openings.  It is suggested you check with the AFSS Registrar prior to submitting an application to be sure space remains available. 

Document Downloads: