You do not need to own a boat in order to learn to sail at the CYC. The CYC’s fleet of Vanguard Prams, Optimist Dinghies, and Sonar keelboats are Club owned and therefore ensures the greatest number of sailors can participate at all levels.

The CYC owns 14 Prams, 14 Optimists, and 2 Sonars, all available to junior sailors during their classes, and after class hours for private lessons. Sailors who participate on the Opti Race Team are able to use the CYC boats at the regattas at no additional fee.

Vanguard Pram

The Vanguard Pram was designed to perform much like an Optimist. In sailing mode, the Pram features a molded-in mast step and a simple rig and blade package. The stable hull shape and bulletproof, unsinkable construction make the Pram a fantastic choice for new sailors. Its open cockpit design and built-in seating makes it comfortable for children.

  • LOA: 7'7”
  • Beam: 3'6”
  • Sail Area: 35 sq. ft.
  • Hull Weight: 77 lbs.

The Optimist Dinghy

The Optimist is a 7'9"' pram with a single sprit-rigged sail.

The Optimist or Opti is an excellent learning platform and teaches young sailors the basics in a safe and proven boat. There are over 150,000 Optimists being sailed all over the world. Optimists are used for our more experienced sailors, including our Race Team where sailors can continue to race them up to 15 years of age, if you can fit!

Why the Optimist?

From the International Optimist Dinghy Association:

  • Optimists are designed for kids. They can handle them without danger, fear or back-strain.
  • Single-handed is best. They didn't learn to ride a bike on a tandem.
  • Over 150,000 kids in over 110 countries cannot be wrong.
  • Over 80% of all Olympic sailors who participated in the 2012 London games learned how to sail in an Optimist.
  • Builders on five continents provide ample opportunities for travel sailing.
  • The only dinghy recognized by the ISAF* exclusively for under 16 sailors. (*the world organizing body for sailing)


The Sonar is a 24 foot keel boat and offers the perfect balance of safety and technicality. It is a great learning boat, while also providing racers many opportunities for fine-tuning for speed. The CYC owns two Sonars which are used for lessons, charters, and Team Racing on Thursday nights throughout the summer. Contact a member of the Sailing Committee or the Sailing Director Noah Pasackow if interested in joining the fun!

Learn more about Sonar

Marblehead Team Racing