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TACKERS sailing program

  • Jan 20 / 2020

TACKERS sailing program

TACKERS is a fun, games-based sailing program aimed at introducing children aged 7 to 12 to sailing in a fun, safe, accessible and affordable way. TACKERS is all about having a great time with other kids, playing loads of games and going on adventures while learning how to sail together. The kids sail in small boats. They sail in pairs in TACKERS 1 and progress to single-handed sailing in TACKERS 2-3. It’s a great way to meet new friends and the kids have a chance to sail with others in their group. Kids don’t need to have any sailing experience or be a club member to participate. All the equipment, including boats and life jackets are provided.

Williamstown Sailing Club is an Australian Sailing accredited Discover Sailing Centre and offers three TACKERS training programs for children during the summer school holidays. Our qualified Instructors and Assistant Instructors are accredited by Australian Sailing to deliver these programs:

TACKERS 1 – Having Fun

This course aims to provide children aged 7-12 with a fun, safe and affordable way to get into sailing.

TACKERS 2 – Tips & Tricks

This course aims to build on the fun participants had in TACKERS 1, to progress their sailing skills.

TACKERS 3 – Sailing Fast!

This course aims to build on skills learned in TACKERS 2 and focuses on advanced sailing skills through games and adventures on the water.

  • TACKERS 3 – Sailing Fast! | 13 – 17 January 2020 |   1pm – 5 pm Sorry – Fully booked!

Use the links above to register online. If fully booked, please email tackers@williamstownsailingclub.org.au to join the waiting list.

Program fees

  • WSC sailing members: $275 per course
  • Others: $300 per course

Note that a payment gateway fee of 2% + $1.60 applies to all online transactions.


Williamstown Sailing Club, Corner of Stevedore Street and The Strand, Williamstown, Victoria.

Further information and enquiries

Please email enquiries to tackers@williamstownsailingclub.org.au

Saturday morning sailing with the ‘Green fleet’ from 9:30am-11:30am

To complement the TACKERS courses, Williamstown Sailing Club offers Tackers Fleet sailing on most Saturday mornings throughout the season.

This is supervised sailing to practice the skills leaned in a TACKERS course, rather than formal instruction. It is free for members.

There are three levels to the TACKERS program which kids can progress through. When they finish TACKERS 3 – Sailing Fast! most children are ready for what we call the Junior Squad sailing at Williamstown Sailing Club. This is supervised sailing on most Saturday mornings of the sailing season (9:30am-11:30am) with many of the participants practicing the skills needed to take part in competitive racing.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have to be a member of Williamstown Sailing Club to participate in TACKERS courses?

No, one of the great things about TACKERS is you don’t have to be a member of a club to participate. The kids receive an honorary club membership during their participation in the program. We’d love all Tackers kids and their families who participate in Tackers to go on to become members.

Do kids need to be able to swim to participate in TACKERS ?

Participants must be water confident. Some ability to swim would be preferable, however they will be wearing lifejackets at all times. In the first session, the instructors supervise the group in a 25m swim with their lifejackets on. Parents/guardians are encouraged to talk to the TACKERS Centre Leader or the TACKERS Instructor if they have any concerns.

What type of boats will the kids be sailing?

The TACKERS program is delivered in a boat called an Ozi Opti. This boat was specifically designed for the program and is an ideal introduction to dinghy sailing. The boats allow two kids to sail together and as they gain confidence and move up from TACKERS 1 to TACKERS 2 they are able to sail the boat single-handed. The boats have built-in buoyancy which means they provide extra stability.

Are the kids out sailing on their own?

When kids start sailing in TACKERS 1 they will be sailing in pairs. There are 6 boats in a group and there will be an Instructor and an Assistant Instructor in a safety boat supervising the group.

The safety boat stays on the water all the time the kids are sailing.

Do the kids need any special clothing to participate in TACKERS?

No, there is no special clothing needed. Here is what you need to bring when you go sailing with TACKERS:

  • Clothes & Shoes – wear ones that will protect you from the sun and that you don’t mind getting wet and will keep you warm on cold days. A wet suit is not essential but can be a good idea.
  • A change of clothes and shoes.
  • Towel
  • Drink bottle, lunch and snacks.
  • Hat – to keep you warm and protect you from the sun.
  • Sunscreen – we have more available at the Club
  • …and loads of energy!

What do you cover in TACKERS 1?

This course is designed for kids aged 7 – 12 who’d like to have fun and learn the basics of sailing through games on and off the water. By the end of the TACKERS 1 course, the participants will be able to:

  • Steer with tiller extension under towing paddling power
  • Tie a figure 8 knot, round twice and two half hitches
  • Tack (push turn)
  • Gybe (pull turn)
  • Reach around a figure of 8 course using both tacking and gybing
  • Sail with tiller extension
  • Sail upwind and downwind by following the safety boat

You will gain your TACKERS 1 completion certificate.

What do you cover in TACKERS 2?

This course aims to build on the fun participants had in TACKERS 1, to progress their sailing skills. By the end of the TACKERS 2 course, the participants will be able to:

  • Get out of irons (no-go-zone) on their own
  • Safely gybe (pull turn) the boat
  • Correctly use the tiller extension
  • Sailing around a triangle course, including:
    • Upwind – on a close hauled course tacking through the ‘no go zone’
    • Downwind – with centreboard up
    • Reaching – correct sail position
  • Demonstrate a 360 and 720-degree turn

You will gain your Tackers 2 completion certificate.

What do you cover in TACKERS 3?

This course is designed for participants who have completed TACKERS 2. By the end of the TACKERS 3 course, the participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate the correct method and understand the theory of roll tacking and gybing
  • Stopping the boat in a confined areas for a period of time
  • Sail backwards
  • Understand the theory behind gybing and can demonstrate the action downwind
  • Show a sound knowledge of the five essentials:
    • Centreboard position
    • Boat trim
    • Boat balance
    • Course made good
    • Sail trim
  • Start and finish races on a triangle and trapezoid course
  • Always use tactical mark roundings in races

You will gain your TACKERS 3 completion certificate.

How can parents/guardians be involved?

TACKERS courses are supervised by Australian Sailing qualified Instructors and Assistant Instructors from Williamstown Sailing Club. They oversee the session planning, delivery, and make sure the kids have fun and develop their skills and confidence in a safe environment.

Parents/guardians are welcome to stay and watch the sailing from the upper deck at the Williamstown Sailing Club whilst the program is underway, but don’t need to stay. Non-members need to sign in and out by completing our visitor book.

Who should I contact to find out more?

Our Junior Sailing Coordinator is Andrew Graham, and our TACKERS course enrolment co-ordinator is Andrea Taylor. We’re here to answer any questions that parents/guardians might have. The easiest way to contact us is by emailing tackers@williamstownsailingclub.org.au