Crimson Sailing Academy

at Harvard

Crimson Sailing Academy is a great opportunity for kids ages 11 to 17 to learn in a fun and safe environment at Harvard University. Our campers come back year after year. Experienced FJ and 420 sailors, who are passionate about sailing, will assist Coach Bern and act as great role models for campers. With a maximum of only 24 sailors per session, our experienced staff is able to tailor instruction to individual camper's needs.

The camp is taught in a new fleet of boats at Harvard's cutting edge facility in the heart of the Metro Boston area, conveniently accessible by T. The kids learn to sail on the Charles River in responsive two-person Collegiate FJs and 420s. These simple trainers offer the responsiveness and performance needed to really understand the forces of wind and water that make a sail boat work.


We offer two comprehensive levels of instruction in small groups to ensure individualized instruction. New CSA campers with previous sailing experience will be assessed by our instructors to determine appropriate course placement.


11 - 17 year old beginners
Two-week long curriculum.
Mates will learn the basics of sailing both on land and on the water assuming no prior instruction.

beginner sailor
  • reading the wind
  • parts of the boat and sail
  • points of sail
  • knots
  • rigging and derigging
  • tacking and gybing
  • sailing upwind
  • man-overboard recovery
  • capsize recovery
  • docking


11 - 17 year old intermediates
1st time Ensigns will improve upon their basic skills. In addition to reviewing Mates' skills, they will also learn:

intermediate sailor
  • basic roll tacking and gybing
  • how to read telltales
  • lifts and headers
  • sailing upwind efficiently
  • hiking
  • planing
  • right of way rules
  • basic racing

Returning Ensigns will continue to improve intermediate-level skills and learn new techniques, including higher wind sailing, trapezing, flying the spinaker, steering with weight and sails only, etc.


This summer we are offering 3 two-week long sessions for Mates and 6 one-week long sesions for Ensigns only.

NOTE:  There is a maximum of 24 campers per week. We are in the process of hiring instructors, and the capacity of sessions may change depending on staffing levels. Some weeks may have fewer than 24 campers.

Mate Schedule

July 2024
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 Session I 13
14 20
21 Session II 27
August 2024
28 3
4 Session III 10
11 17
18 19 20 21 22 ...

Status: Registration is open

Session I : July 8 - 12 & 15 - 19

Session II : July 22 - 26 & July 29 - August 2

Session III : August 5 - 9 & 12 - 16

Ensign Schedule

July 2024
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 Session I A 13
14 Session I B 20
21 Session II A 27
August 2024
28 Session II B 3
4 Session III A 10
11 Session III B 17
18 19 20 21 22 ...

Status: Registration is open

Session I A : July 8 - 12

Session I B : July 15 - 19

Session II A : July 22 - 26

Session II B : July 29 - August 2

Session III A : August 5 - 9

Session III B : August 12 - 16

Daily Schedule

  • Each session will run Monday - Friday from 9:00 - 4:00.
  • The Sailing Center will be open from 8:30 - 4:30 to facilitate drop-off and pick-up.
  • Please note that class will be held even in inclement weather -- there is plenty we can learn on land.

Must Haves

  1. Sailors must provide a coast guard approved life jacket
  2. Mates only: Sports helmet with chin strap (bike, rollerblade, ski, ... etc)
  3. Lunch and portable snacks
  4. Water bottle
  5. Sunscreen
  6. Towel
  7. Change of clothes


Ensign - 1 week : $600

- $550 if registered by May 1

Mate - 2 weeks : $1200

- $1100 if registered by May 1

A Typical Good Weather Day

9:00 - 9:30
Class session outlining goals for the day
9:30 - 10:00
Rig and prepare
10:00 - 12:00
On the water instruction
12:00 - 12:30
Lunch on land
12:30 - 1:00
On land instruction
1:00 - 3:00
On the water instruction
3:00 - 3:30
Derig and clean up
3:30 - 4:00

Registration - Four Requirements

Reserve a spot with full payment and registration form. All other materials are due prior to camp.

  1. 1.

    Sailor must be between the ages of 11 and 17 by August 31. No exceptions will be made.

  2. 3.

    To reserve a spot, full payment must be made. If paying by credit card, please email us so we can send you a link for payment. If paying by check, make the check payable to Crimson Sailing Academy. Mail all materials to

    Crimson Sailing Academy
    P.O. Box 335
    Belmont, MA 02478

    Early Registration Discount:

    Register by May 1.

  3. 4.
    Swim Test

    Harvard regulations require that all sailors must demonstrate adequate swimming ability by passing the Harvard Recreational Boating Swim Test prior to the first day of class. The test consists of a: Jump or dive into deep water. Surface and swim 100 continuous yards using either front crawl or breaststroke while demonstrating rhythmic breathing. Tread water for 2 minutes. There is no cost to take the swim test. Swim test cards are valid for 5 years

    No alternate proof of swimming capabilities will be accepted. Proof of passing the swim test must be provided by the first day of camp.

    To take the swim test, sailors must go to either Blodgett or Malkin Pools during recreational swim hours. The lifeguards will administer the swim test throughout the recreational hours until half an hour before pool closing. The recreational hours are listed on the Harvard Facility Hours. Please look over the hours for possible pool closings.

    • At the front desk of the pool facility, inform the staff of your intent to take the boating swim test for the Crimson Sailing Academy. Present the Certificate of Registration that was attached to the registration confirmation that was emailed to you. This will allow you access to the pool.
    • At the pool, ask the lifeguard on duty to take the swim test.
    • When you pass the test, you will be issued a card. Please send us a copy of this card. You may send it electronically to or bring it with you to the first day of camp.

    Every sailor must pass the swim test to take part in the camp. If a sailor does not pass the test, they can take it again after improving their skills. There is no cost to take the swim test. If you have concerns about your child's ability to pass the swim test, please have them take it as early as possible. If the child is unable to pass the swim test please notify us prior to June 1st and we will issue you a refund minus a $50 processing fee. After June 1st, the registration fee is non-refundable.

Cancellation Policy


430.151: Physical Examinations by Physician and Certificate of Immunization

  1. Every camper and full time staff person shall prior to attending or after receiving a conditional offer of employment from a residential, travel sports, or trip camp, furnish to the camp the following, prepared and signed by a licensed health care provider:
    1. A health history;
    2. A report of a physical examination conducted during the preceding 24 months; and
    3. A certificate of immunization.
  2. Every camper and full time staff person shall prior to attending or after receiving a conditional offer of employment from a day camp, furnish to the camp:
    1. A current medical history which lists allergies, required medications and any health conditions or impairments which may affect the individual's activities while attending the camp. The medical history shall be signed by a parent or guardian, or by a licensed health care provider, however, in the case of a staff member 18 years of age or older, the staff member's signature shall be sufficient.
    2. A certificate of immunization.
  3. No person known to be suffering from tuberculosis in a communicable form, or having
    evidence of symptoms thereof, shall be allowed to work or attend a recreational camp for
    children in any capacity which might bring him into contact with any camper at such camp.

Proof of Immunizations

Written documentation of immunization shall be required for all campers as follows:

  1. Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine: A minimum of one dose of MMR vaccine(s) must be administered at or after 12 months of age. A second dose of live measles-containing vaccine given at least four weeks after the first, is required for all campers and staff, who will be entering grades K-12 or college in the school year immediately following the camp session (or in case of an ungraded classroom or the camper/staff does not attend school/college, campers or staff five years of age or older). Laboratory evidence of immunity is acceptable.
  2. Polio Vaccine: A minimum of three doses of either inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) or oral polio vaccine (OPV) are required. If a mixed (IVP/OPV) schedule was used, four doses are required;
  3. Diptheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Pertussis Vaccine: A minimum of four doses of DTaP/DTP/DT or at least three doses of Td is required. Where a camper or staff person is seven or more years of age and requires additional immunizations to satisfy 105 CMR 430.152(A)(3), Td is to be substituted for DTaP, DTP or DT vaccine. Effective January 1, 2004, a booster dose of Td is required for all campers and staff who will be entering grades seven through ten (or in the case of an ungraded classroom or the camper or staff does not attend school, campers or staff 12 through 15 years of age) if it has been more than five years since the last dose of DTaP/DTP/DT. For all campers and staff who will be entering grades 11 and 12 (or in the case of an ungraded classroom or the camper or staff does not attend school, campers or staff 16 through 17 years of age) a booster of Td is required if it has been more than ten years since the last dose of DTaP/DTP/DT/Td.
  4. Hepatitis B: For all children born on or after January 1, 1992, three doses of Hepatitis B vaccine are required. Laboratory evidence of immunity is acceptable.

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