September 14, 2017
Hello and thank you for visiting the Abbot Fletcher Sailing School.
Since 1999, 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 in 2013 and 2014.
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 student to impart the basic knowledge of sailing. As a sailor progresses, the Opti’s are introduced so that the student gains confidence to be in an Opti or 420 sailboat in order to progress to the afternoon Intermediate sessions.
It is highly recommended that a student attend a 2-week session. However, we recognize that some schedules do not allow this commitment. A student with no prior sailing instruction may sign up for a 1-week session only during week #1 of a 2-week session.
Student sailors use Opti’s and 420’s in the afternoon Intermediate 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 on 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.
Information on our 2018 program will be available in December, 2017, so please check back then for further details. We do plan to add a racing class for those who have completed our Intermediate classes and wish to learn racing techniques.
For those interested in a teaching or volunteer position, you can download the 2018 Employment Application at the bottom of this page. All personnel must have certification in First Aid and CPR. Junior Instructors must have passed the US Sailing Level 1 course. The Head Instructor must have completed the US Sailing Level 2 course.
For questions or information email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Sue Baker, Bob Gill, Chris Nichols & Nick Nichols
2018 AFSS Co-Chairs