UCLA Sailing's programs are designed for beginners as well as for those individuals with previous sailing experience. Each class builds on the skills learned in preceding sessions, teaching student sailors how to handle more challenging boats and circumstances.

 

 

The focus at the MAC is HANDS-ON training. Our skilled and friendly instructors are dedicated to helping you progress from the introductory Sailing I course taught in Capri 14.2s through the Sailing II-IV performance-oriented classes taught in Lasers and Vanguard 15s. After passing a class's written and practical exams, you are welcome to rent that class of boat.

The UCLA Marina Aquatic Center is primarily an instructional facility so most of our sailors have learned to sail on our boats by taking our classes. This enables us to be sure that everyone sailing our vessels in Marina del Rey and on Santa Monica Bay is able to safely operate the boats in the conditions they are likely to encounter. All sailors at the upper qualification levels are eligible to use equipment they have qualified for at the lower levels.

Qualification Levels

Qualification Level

Equipment

MAX Wind

Sailing Area

Sailing I—Introduction to Sailing

Capri 14.2 — Training Sails

10 knots

Entrance Channel

Sailing II —Vanguard 15

Vanguard 15 — Training Sails

14 knots

Entrance Channel

Sailing II —Laser

Laser — Radial Sail
Laser — Regatta Sail

14 knots

Entrance Channel

Sailing II - RS Vision Reefed Sails
14 knots/16 knots 14/16 knots
Entrance Channel

Sailing III—Vanguard 15

Vanguard 15 — Regatta Sails

16 knots

Entrance and Main Channel to E Basin

Sailing III — Laser

Laser — Radial Sail
Laser — Regatta Sail

16 knots

Entrance and Main Channel to E Basin

Sailing III — RS Vision Trapeze Harness 16/20 knots Entrance Channel
Spinnaker— RS Vision Gennaker 16/20 knots Entrance Channel

Sailing IV —Vanguard 15

Vanguard 15 — Regatta Sails

20 knots

Entrance and Main Channel to E Basin

Sailing IV — Laser

Laser — Radial Sail
Laser — Regatta Sail

20 knots

Entrance and Main Channel to E Basin

Sailing IV —RS Vision Trapeze Harness - Gennaker 18/24 knots Entrance and Main Channel to E Basin

Outside Ocean Sailing —Vanguard 15

Vanguard 15 — Regatta Sails

15 knots (on the bay)

Santa Monica Bay within 3 NM of MDR North Entrance

Outside Ocean Sailing— Laser

Laser — Regatta Sail
Laser — Radial Sail

20 knots (on the bay)

Santa Monica Bay within 3 NM of MDR North Entrance

  • Laser Radial sails are designed for sailors weighing 150 pounds or less.
  • If the 10-minute wind speed exceeds 15 knots or there are any gusts of wind of 20 knots or more during the past three hours, ocean sailing is expressly forbidden for V-15s or Lasers.
  • Under No Circumstances may Lasers be sailed unaccompanied outside the marina regardless of the qualification of the skipper. Lasers sailed outside MUST be in the company of another monohull, the skipper of which must also be Outside Ocean Sailing Qualified.
  • Personal Flotation Devices are available at the MAC and are required to be worn at all times while on the dock and while sailing.

Theoretical Knowledge

The written tests consist of a multiple choice exam ranging from 25 to 50 questions. A score of 80% or higher is passing. All lower level written exams must be taken and passed before moving onto the higher levels. You must take the written exam(s) prior to the practical skills portion. Taking the written exams is free. The dockmaster may give you the written exam during regular business hours, but it is best to call in advance to make sure they will be able to do so (weekends are generally very busy). There are many good books to review basic sailing theory and terminology. We also have an in-house manual that has information specific to the UCLA Marina Aquatic Center and its vessels. You can purchase this from the Dockmaster for a nominal fee or download it as a PDF file.

Practical Skills

To test out of each level of sailing classes you will need to demonstrate proficiency in sailing the vessel at the appropriate qualification level. You must complete a practical skills evaluation for each type of vessel (Capri 14.2, Vanguard 15, Laser). If you are doing a Skills Evaluation at the Sailing II level, we will require you to also demonstrate your proficiency on the Sailing I level vessel (Capri 14.2). At a minimum the practical exam will include:

Rigging/De-rigging:

Rig and de-rig the vessel. This includes the ability to tie basic knots such as the cleat hitch, figure-eight knot and bowline.

Launching/Docking:

Safely launch and dock the vessel. Demonstrate awareness of wind direction and local traffic patterns. Our dock is generally a lee shore.

Tack & Gybe:

Tack & gybe effectively in the wind conditions.

Sail Trim:

Demonstrate appropriate sail trim for the current conditions and for any given point of sail.

Capsize Recovery:

Successfully right a capsized vessel, preferably using the "Scoop" method on the double-handed monohulls (Capri 14.2 & V-15).

Man Overboard Recovery:

Successfully retrieve a (simulated) man overboard, at least using the "figure-eight" method. The key is that the vessel is completely stopped alongside the MOB before bringing "him" aboard.

General Seamanship:

At the instructor’s discretion you may be asked to demonstrate any skills deemed appropriate for the level being tested out. This may include additional practical skills, knots, answering general knowledge sailing questions as well as judgment-based scenarios.

The practical skills exam is just that, an exam. Either you are able to perform the required skills and answer the questions or you are not. It is not a lesson. The instructor will only teach you about local knowledge and the MAC's policies and procedures.

Already know how to sail small boats? Experienced sailors coming to the Marina Aquatic Center may demonstrate their skill by completing a Skills Evaluation and Orientation (SEO) at the appropriate level(s) (see table above). If you feel that you can demonstrate that you already have the skills you would have learned in our Sailing I or II classes, then a SEO is for you. There is a SEO for each boat's beginning level class. The SEO for each level will include testing on both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. (Please note that in order to take the Outside Ocean Sailing evaluation one MUST complete the corresponding Sailing III and IV classes. You may NOT take the Outside Ocean Sailing evaluation without having taken Sailing III and IV!)

A SEO session will take approximately two and a half hours including rigging and de-rigging. Allow additional time prior to that for the written exam. Call 310-823-0048 to schedule a Skills Evaluation and Orientation. When taking a practical exam it is best if you provide your own crew. You also should bring a change of clothes (you will get wet during the capsize recovery). PFDs are available at the MAC and are required to be worn at all times while onboard.