Frequently Asked Questions
For junior sailors
Why do my kids need to take a swim test?
In order to be US Sailing Certified Sailing School, we must follow their guidelines. It ensures the Instructor that the student would be comfortable if/when the boat capsizes (flips over) and the student is left swimming in the water. Even if students have already taken some sort of swim test, it is still required for us to test their abilities. The goal is to see how your son/daughter responds to cold water and directions while in the water. The swim test is administered the first day of sailing class; and the student must pass the test before stepping foot in a boat.
What does the swim test consist of?
1. Take off their PFD (Personal flotation Device or lifejacket)
2. Jump/slide/walk into the water and swim roughly 25 yards.
3. Tread water for 2-3 min. (long enough for them to sing me happy birthday twice or tell a joke)
4. Instructor will then toss them their PDF, in which they will put on in the water.
Note: Swim tests should be nothing to worry about! Most kids have no troubles passing, and even find it fun! Everything they will need to know about passing the test will be taught on the first day of class.
What if my child does not pass the swim test?
The instructors are always willing to work with the child privately and some even hop in the water with them! They are also welcome to try the test a few times in a row or the following day.
Can my child wear a wet suit during the swim test?
Wetsuits are only allowed if the sailor is planning to sail in a wetsuit for the whole session, usually for medical reasons—the idea is that the test is given in conditions at least as difficult (no PFD/lifejacket) as those present during an accidental capsizing.
What does my son/daughter is the capsizing drill? And why do they need to do this drill?
Part of small boat sailing is the possibility that you may capsize (flip the boat over). When the winds are heavier and the waves higher; the chances that you may capsize are increasingly probable. In order to be a safe and enlightened sailor; your son/daughter must be able to right their boat and get back in. This is also taught on the first day so that if/when it happens throughout the week your child will be prepared.
What should my child wear/bring to sailing school?
It is important for your son/daughter to understand that when you go sailing you WILL get wet. Here’s a quick check list of things to wear/bring:
--> Swim suit
-->Closed toed shoes**
-->PFD (Personal Flotation Device...life jacket)***
-->Outer clothing (i.e. shorts, shirts, pants, ect.)
-->Rain jacket or poncho
-->Sailing gloves (not need but recommended)
-->Sun screen (sun burns are no fun!)
--> WATER! (dehydration is an all too common issue in sailing)
-->Sunglasses (protect your eyes please!)
-->Hat (Baseball caps work best)
**For the safety of your child's feet the US Sailing association requires students to wear closed toed shoes. Some examples include: Sneakers, Keens, watershoes, sailing boats; however crocs are not acceptable (do not stay on when in water).
*** Type II and III only please as outlined by the USCG criteria. PFD's will be aviable for sailors, although many students prefer their own.
What if the weather is bad on the time of the clinic?
Unfortunately Beaver Island is not always sunny and breezy. However, clinic classes will always convene; even if the weather is not favorable. We will sail if it is drizziling and a bit breezy. But WE WILL NOT SAIL IF...there is a thunderstorm warning or if one is in affect, if it is too windy (determined by the instructor), if visibility is low. This is left up to the descretion of the instructor. We have dry indoor facility where you/your child can learn about the art of sailing, play games, learn sailing knots, learn sailing terms, and will learn about many other facets that sailing includes and must be taught while out of the boats. Unfortunatley, refunds can not be given on the account of poor weather.
Can I ride out in the boat with the instructor?
No. Just as parents are not permitted to walk the sidelines at a football or basketball game, or sit in the dugout at the team ballpark, we do not permit parents to ride on the chase boats during class. It is an important for your child to focus sole on what the instructor is telling them to do. Often, although with good intensions, the parents can inhibit their children's learning both out in the boat or in the classroom. It is also against US Sailings regulations to have un- needed personal to ride in the boat. Parents are however more than welcome to watch from the shoreline.
Do you offer any kind of discount?
Yes. Please see the "Fees" section for more details.
What if my child is ALMOST 8?
Some exceptions will be made for students who will be turning 8 near the time of their session. Please contact EISS with inquires.
Where is EISS located?
Near the intersection of Bay st. and Main st on St. James Bay. Take Main st. towards the light house: Once you pass McDonough's Market on your left, EISS is on the right hand side (bay side); if you hit the Toy Store, you've gone too far.
Can my child sign up for more than one clinic?
If they attend more than one clinic, will they learn new things?
Yes. There may be some repetition in the curriculum for the student, but given the complexity of the sport this repetition (otherwise known as "time on the water") is beneficial to them.
What is the student to instructor ratio for clinics?
Usually no more than 6 kids to 1 instructor at a time.
All boats are "day-sailors" EISS does not have any "cabin-cruisers" (larger family sized boats) available for use in any programs.