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Are you new to sailing?
The right sailing program for you might be just down the street!
Dinghy (Small Boats)
Dinghy sailing is a simple, inexpensive way to get started in the sport in small boats. The fundamental basics of sailing are most easily learned in dinghies. Many dinghies are designed for both youth and adults though some, like the Optimist, are designed specifically for youth sailors. Dinghy sailing can provide a lifetime of enjoyment through recreational and competitive sailing. Generally, dinghies are under 22 feet in length. They include a wide assortment of designs that typically have centerboards or daggerboards. Because of their size and simplicity, many dinghies can be sailed by just one, two, or three people.
Learning to sail is part dream, part great instruction, and part hands-on experience. Most youth start sailing in dinghies many adults do too! Many youth and community based sailing programs offer learn to sail courses for adults in small boats.
If you are looking to learn how to sail on a more stable platform, small keelboats might be the way to go for you. This type of boat has a weighted keel that counter-balances the force on the sails. US Sailing Accredited Keelboat Schools offer up to seven levels of courses where you can accumulate skills and experience with each level of certification. This Learn to Sail Certification Program starts with Basic Keelboat and progresses on to whatever level you choose. Having a US Sailing Keelboat Certification may make it easier for you to rent or charter a boat, but it will give you the ability to sail with confidence.
Not every learn to sail location is a US Sailing Accredited Keelboat School. Ask if they offer learn to sail courses on small keelboats.
One Design Racing
Competition naturally results when sailors and boats get together in the same place and sail around each other. It is normal for a sailor to want to test his or her skills against other sailors. The way to do that is by racing. For one design sailors, there are many options when it comes to formats for racing.
Fleet Racing is a type of racing in One Design classes where all boats of the same type race against each other at the same time on the same course. The winner of a One Design fleet race is the boat who crosses the finish line first.
More Fleet Racing information to follow as page is built out- a redirect link to a Fleet Racing page will be placed here.
Team Racing is a type of racing where one team (comprised of two, three or four boats) competes against another team in the same kind of One Design boat. The team who wins the race between the two has a lower combined score than the other team using low point scoring (first =1 point; second = 2 points; third = 3 points, and so on).
Match Racing is a type of racing between two One Design boats. It is one boat vs. the other boat. The winner of the race is whichever crosses the finish line first with any or all obligations/penalties satisfied.
Adaptive Racing may also be referred to as Para Sailing, and is for sailors who have a disability (physical, vision-impaired, intellectual, cognitive, etc) who are participating in an event with other sailors with a disability. Most of these races take place in One Design boats that have been adapted for the sailor to aid independent operation of the boat. Many of these races take place at events that include clinics. Para Sailors may also be found racing in "Open" events against able-bodied sailors.
Ratings Racing/Portsmouth Yardstick
Ratings racing is a type of fleet racing and is typically done by a fleet comprised of a variety of one design boats. This may be a great solution for an organization or location that doesn't have enough of any single kind of one-design boat to create its own fleet but when grouped together can form a combined fleet.
Portsmouth Yardstick is one of the most widely used handicapping system. It is based on average historic performance data of a class to assign a "rating" to each One Design boat in the fleet. The Portsmouth Yardstick is a handicapping system that allows multiple classes of one designs and other smaller boats to sail on the same starting line and race course with corrected time results. The winner is determined by the formula provided in the rating rule.
US Sailing has partnered with the RYA to create a more robust platform for Portsmouth Yardstick Racing using the PYOnline platform.
The new PYOnline platform is exclusively for US Sailing member organizations. PYOnline will produce updated ratings for each class after a day or event of sailing.
- PY Online streamlines submitting race results digitally, with the potential to update ratings on a daily basis.
- Each Club has their own portal in PY Online allowing local updates to specific classes for better racing based upon local conditions.
- The ratings will become more accurate over time, ensuring that competition stays fresh on the water. This means no one boat or class is guaranteed a win or loss based upon ratings alone.
- US Sailing will update the national ratings for a given class on an annual basis, based upon the ratings used by the individual clubs.
Portsmouth Yardstick racing becomes better, more robust and more fun with more clubs and sailors participating. Please consider adding a mixed fleet racing event or series to your calendar. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or to discuss how PYOnline can help your organization.
A PHASE II BUILD OUT FEATURE that is currently under construction.
What class is right for me?
This section will provide sailors with an interactive tool to help sort through various one design classes by answering a few questions. It will enable sailors to find a boat that best meets their needs. Please be patient as we work on this feature.
As we build this out, the search will filter through information based on a series of questions on things like:
- Youth or Adult
- Total number of crew
- Physical stature
- and other search options
Sail and Kite Boards
Land and Ice Boat
Are you an experienced sailor looking for a place to get out on the water?
If you are an experienced sailor, you may find yourself traveling or looking locally for a place to race or just go sailing. Visit our FLEET FINDER SEARCH to see what class fleets are close to home or near to where you might be traveling.
Don't see a class fleet represented, reach out to your class administrator and have them contact: OneDesign@ussailing.org to learn how they can add fleets to the Fleet Finder Search.
This page is continually being updated with new additions of fleets, so check back regularly.
Class Governance Resources
- Certified Race Officer Insurance. US Sailing extends its commercial insurance for the benefit of US Sailing’s certified race officers, certified judges, and certified umpires, and to non-certified officials acting as volunteers for US Sailing (collectively referred to as Certified Race Officials (CRO)). Each specific scenario determines if US Sailing’s insurance is primary, excess, or does not apply. Learn More
- SafeSport - SafeSport training is a free online course that provides education and certification on sexual misconduct, emotional and physical misconduct and understanding your responsibilities around mandatory reporting. Learn More
- Ten Commandments for Successful One-Design Management by Gay Lynn
Race/Regatta Management Resources
Whether you are running an event for the first time or an experienced event planner, US Sailing has the tools to help you succeed.
- Regatta Management Planning Manual
- Regatta Registration and Scoring Platforms
- Secrets of Successful Events
- Find a Race Official (Race Officers, Judge, Umpires, Classifiers, Measurers at all levels- Club, Regional, National, International)
- Become a Race Official
- Race Committee 101 is a New US Sailing training program that provide an overview of race committee functions for those who are interested in learning more.
- Sample Waivers - Regatta and Non- Regatta Templates
- Race Participation
- Fleet Building
- Other Articles of Interest
We are in the process of collecting articles and information that will help a broad spectrum of one design classes and fleets with the topics listed above. If you have an article or information that you can contribute to this section, please send it via email to:
US Sailing is committed to fostering a fun, healthy, and safe environment for all sailor athletes.
- Covid-19 Resources
- SafeSport - SafeSport training is a free online course that provides education and certification on sexual misconduct, emotional and physical misconduct and understanding your responsibilities around mandatory reporting
- Life Jacket Association -COVID-19 Virus: Cleaning & Storing your Life Jackets
- MTI Lifejackets - COVID-19: Recommended Methods for PFD Sanitization
- Cold Assessment Reference Card- Hypothermia
Rules Related Topics
Tools for Organizing Your Team:
Providing a boat website with features the skipper and crew will use throughout the sailing season.
Enabling crew members to indicate their availability and you to select who will race.
Providing an extensive set of crew / team management tools.
Bringing crew and captains one click closer.
Crew Finder - Short Notice
Helping everyone spend less time organizing and more time on the water.
Taking the work out of play.
Crew Medical & Health Insurance - Specialized health insurance with worldwide overage for professional sailors, coaches, instructors, Olympic team members, collegiate sailing athletes, paid crew/captains, and international cruisers who are members of US Sailing. Learn More.
One Design Insurance Program. Specialized insurance for one-design boats under 30-feet. Can be purchased online. US Sailing members may be eligible for a10% discount. Learn More.
Content to follow - under construction
- Tuning Your Boat for Performance by Chris Snow
- The Finn Channel - Also available on YouTube:
Tactics & Strategy
Content under construction
- North U is offers live and on-demand webinars on tactics and sail trim. US Sailing members are being offering special pricing on these sessions. Visit the North U website and use promo code USS20NU to save 25% and gain access. The North U Trim Webinar is a series of 4 sessions. Purchase individual sessions at $30 each (regularly $40) or all 4 session for $108.75 (regularly $145).
- Youth Racing Central- US Sailing Members Only Feature- Login with your member ID and password- Youth and Adults Welcome
- Become an Instructor
- Safety as Sea - Our Safety at Sea experts set high standards for the most authoritative and proven methods for keeping sailors safer while they enjoy the sport. Countless hours of research conducted by our dedicated volunteers have allowed US Sailing to provide instructional materials, publications, courses and seminars that are made available to all interested sailors. These educational opportunities include our widely popular Safety at Sea Courses.
One-Design Event Calendar (add your class events here)
US Sailing One Design Calendar
*Membership with US Sailing required to access this feature through a "My US SAILING" account - Join/Renew Today
U.S. Championships and Olympics
Stay Healthy - Fitness and Training
- The Starboard Portal Fitness Friday with Sailing Performance Training CLICK HERE scroll down to the Fitness Section on the page for a complete list of videos. Tune in for live classes each Friday.
THE ONE DESIGN LINE Archived Issues
Archived Editions of THE ONE DESIGN LINE:
*If you have an idea for a future edition of The One Design Line send an email to: OneDesign@ussailing.org
To subscribe to the One Design Line e-Newsletter, fill out the quick form at the top of the One Design Central webpage.
My Class, My Story: The Ensign
'Every class has a story. One woman takes her man on the road and out of his comfort zone in the Ensign.'
By John Cutler
On a warm spring day in 2006, Houston YC’s harbor was alive with sailboats, large and small, coming and going from their slips. Signal flags fluttered from the club’s yardarm, and masthead vanes pointed into the 10-knot afternoon southeasterly sweeping across Galveston Bay. This was not my first visit to Pier 10, home of the club’s Ensign fleet. Many times before I’d walked the dock to admire the Ensigns, wondering which one might be the best fit for me, and on this occasion a blue hull caught my eye. Its skipper deftly headed her into the breeze and coasted into a slip. As I watched, I could imagine myself at its helm.Click here to continue reading.
If you are interested in submitting a My Class, My Story article, contact: DaveReed@sailingworld.com
US Sailing Member Benefits
To access these and other member benefits, please log into your My US Sailing account and look at Member Coupons and Benefits on the sidebar.
- Education and Training- Access to US Sailing Programs
- U.S. and World Championship eligibility
- US Sailing Store - Save 25% (certain restrictions apply) Member- only pricing on US Sailing products including publications from the US Sailing Store
- Sailing World - Special Member Pricing $15/1 yr Because of our strong partnership with Sailing World and Cruising World, US Sailing has secured the lowest subscription rate offered anywhere. US Sailing members pay only $15.00 for a year-long subscription to either publication. Take advantage of this discount when renewing online or call our office at 401-342-7900.
- SailorsHealth Insurance - Gowrie Group offers US Sailing members access to the SailorsHealth Insurance Program which is a creditable, annual health insurance plan brought to you by GeoBlue. This best-in-class annual health insurance plan features worldwide coverage, domestic coverage, prompt access to doctors and hospitals, English speaking customer service, paperless claims, and more.
- SailFlow- Save 30% on SailFlow Plus or Pro memberships or purchase a bundled package including the WeatherFlow Wind Meter and a free one year SailFlow Plus Membership for $34.99. Visit SailFlow’s website to redeem
- MTI Life Jacket discount: 15% off online orders. Log into your MY USSAILING account for details
- Speed Smarts -US Sailing members have NEW and EXCLUSIVE access to special editions from Dave Dellenbaugh’s Speed & Smarts archives, specially curated by Dave, himself. Take your racing skills to the next level and visit Dave Dellenbaugh’s Speed & Smarts member benefit webpage. Enjoy and good luck on the racecourse!
- North U offers live and on-demand webinars on tactics and sail trim. US Sailing members are being offering special pricing on these sessions. Visit the North U website and use promo code USS20NU to save 25% and gain access. The North U Trim Webinar is a series of 4 sessions. Purchase individual sessions at $30 each (regularly $40) or all 4 session for $108.75 (regularly $145).
- Hobie Polarized: Save 25% off the retail price of Hobie Polarized Sunglasses. Visit hobiepolarized.comand use coupon code USSHP2020
- Sail1Design-Sail1Design’s Job Board is available to US Sailing members at a 15% discount. Setting up your listing by creating a membership with Sail1Design and login to your account. Add your US Sailing member ID to your Sail1Design member information profile. Once this is automatically verified, you will see new Career Center and Marketplace posting/pricing categories appear.
- Expertvoice- sailors looking for product discounts
- Membership with USSA provides sailors opportunity to the appeal process
- Portsmouth Yardstick- Popularly used to rate centerboard boats, smaller keelboats, and multihulls. Portsmouth Yardstick is often used for local fleet races around the country. Learn More
- McLaughlin - 15% off any items on Optistuff.com excluding boats, sails and clearance items. Optistuff.com represents much more than just parts of the Optimist Dinghy. You can also purchase parts for a Laser, I-420, C420 and sailing apparel. Use promo code: USSailingMember (case sensitive)
- West Marine - Use your USSA Digital Membership Card to access 15% off your purchase of $100 or more with West Maine. Click here to learn how to link your West Marine Coupon to your USSA Digital Card.
- MTI Life Jacket - 10% off wholesale prices. 15% off for CASE PACKS. Visit the MTI website for program details.
- Gowrie Group Insurance
- One Design Insurance Program - Specialized insurance for one-design boats under 30-feet. Can be purchased online. US Sailing members may be eligible for a10% discount. Learn More.
- The Burgee Program - Club and Organization Insurance.
The only comprehensive insurance program developed to meet the distinctive needs of yacht clubs, community programs, and sailing organizations. US Sailing members eligible for a 10% discount on the marine components of the program. Learn more.
- US SAILING STORE - Save 25% (some restrictions apply) Member-only pricing on US Sailing products including publications from the US Sailing Store
- World Cup Supply - Save 15% off your custom sublimated pinnie order from World Cup Supply.
- Kinder Industries - Receive 15% on fleet orders from Kinder Industries.
- Nominate you National/North American or World Champion (Must be a US citizen) for the annual Championship of Champions Regatta.
- Promote your One Design Class as the boat used for the Championship of Champions.
A Special THANK YOU to the 45 Volunteers From:
- Six Working Parties who took on topics identified from the One Design Sailors and Classes Survey from October 2019
- 62 One Design Classes
- 23 states across the country
It is through your passion, dedication and contributions that we were able to create this interactive webpage for One Design Sailors and Classes.