“The foundation of the program is teaching basic skills, and there is a hardy core of volunteers who enjoy sharing their passion with newcomers almost every evening of the week,” says Franny Charles, MIT’s long-time sailing master.
MIT’s recreational sailors also can procure a sailing card and use the fleet; more than 3,000 cards are issued annually. As a result, the MIT Jack Wood Sailing Pavilion on the Charles River is a hub of activity all summer long. The facility is open seven days a week from April 1 through November 15.
A variety of sailboat types allows students to challenge themselves. MIT has more than 100 boats, including:
31 Tech dinghies
24 Club flying juniors (used by the racing team)
6 420s (also a racing boat)
6 gaff-rigged catboats
6 laser class Olympic boats
1 foiling catamaran
1 foiling moth class sailboat
1 1902, museum-quality, 51-foot Herreshoff sloop suitable for sailing around Massachusetts Bay
+ various sailboards