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Sailing Programs

The DYC’s Flying Scot Sailing Program 

The DYC maintains a fleet of club-owned 19-foot Flying Scot sloops for the use and pleasure of members and families, subject to conditions outlined in this handbook. The program includes sailing classes, racing, social activities, and independent pleasure sailing of the boats for qualified DYC Flying Scot sailing club members. 

Expenses are funded by fees charged to participants and all aspects of the program are performed by volunteer members, including maintenance and repairs to the boats and equipment. Please remember the boats are your property and should be treated with care. Please report any maintenance requirements you encounter so we can keep our fleet in top shape. 

The complete calendar of DYC Flying Scots events is available at: For more information on the Flying Scots program please email

Eligibility: Who May Use the Boats 

To sail a DYC-owned Flying Scot, you must either: 
       • Test for and obtain a Flying Scot sailing card from the FS committee 
       • Be enrolled in the sailing class, or 
       • Be the guest of a Flying Scot member who holds a Skipper Card and is on board the boat 

A sailing card is obtained by passing a sailing test given by a qualified member of the FS committee. Non-member guests may enroll in the novice sailing class on a space-available basis. SAILING CARDS ARE NOT AWARDED TO NON-MEMBERS. Non-member guests are never allowed to use a DYC Flying Scot unless a qualified member is with them in the boat. Non-members enrolled in the class will be provided with an identification card for use with DYC security for class events only. A non-member is allowed to take the sailing class only once without joining the club. 

The Complete Flying Scot Rules 

More Information on Sailing Cards 

Contact a Flying Scot Sailor (Membership Roster)

Sailing Instruction for Beginners and Intermediates 

The DYC Flying Scots are used for learn-to-sail programs for adults at all levels. We offer a series of beginner and intermediate sailing instruction opportunities throughout May through August. Classes are taught by accomplished volunteer instructors. Instruction is geared to individual levels of ability and experience. The program is intended to provide instruction toward earning DYC Helmsman and Skipper cards and ultimately participation in pleasure sailing and racing events. 

There are no age limits for the class. We welcome class members from teens through senior citizens. As a practical matter, pre-teens and younger teens normally take the Club’s junior sailing classes first. 

For more information on this year's program, click here or download the 2015 file here

Advanced Class  

We also offer an advanced class for members who have earned Skipper cards by the time the Advanced Class begins. The Advanced Class focuses on the use of the spinnaker sail, on racing techniques, and on heavy-weather sailing skills. Participants may be awarded Racing Skipper cards if sufficient progress is made. 

Racing Programs 

The DYC Flying Scot program engages in a number of authorized racing programs. These include intra-club races, races sponsored by the Interclub Flying Scot Committee against other boat clubs in the area, races sponsored by the Detroit Regional Yacht-Racing Association (DRYA), and races sponsored or sanctioned by the Flying Scot Sailing Association (FSSA). 

Eligibility: Each DYC Flying Scot racing on Lake St. Clair must have a Skipper or Racing Skipper aboard. Helmsmen may race in events on the River without a Skipper aboard. Selection of a crew is at each skipper’s option, except as noted and subject to the usual Helmsman restrictions. 

Boats and sails are assigned for most races in advance. DYC Skippers and Racing Skippers who wish to have a seasonal boat assignment must apply to Asset Manager (Bob Cowles) in writing by May 1. Anyone with a seasonal boating assignment must participate in a majority of the DRYA events, must be a DRYA member, must keep the boat and sails in good repair, and must wash the bottom of the boat on a regular basis (at least every two weeks), including within two weeks of haul-out at the end of the season. 

For individual regattas, seasonal boat assignments take priority, but extra boats are usually available for individual racers. To get a boat assignment for an individual race, come to the Flying Scot dock on race day in time to scrub and rig an unassigned boat. 

Cancellation policy: A skipper with a seasonal boat assignment who will not be sailing on a particular race day should release the boat by noting it on the bulletin board at the Scot shed or by calling the Asset Manager (Bob Cowles) or the FS Racing Chair. 

No-show policy: If neither the skipper nor crew of an assigned boat is at the Scot dock by one-half-hour before the announced tow departure, the boat may be re-assigned by the FS Chair or designee. 

Types of Races 

FS Spring and Fall off-the-dock series 
These are informal racing series held in April and October each season and open to holders of DYC sailing cards. The Racing Chairperson will make skipper and crew assignments at the dock prior to racing. Skipper and crew will alternate on the helm from race to race. Trophies are awarded at the FS banquet at the end of the year. 

Thursday Off-the-Dock races 
This is a series of races held on specified dates by the Club’s Sail Yacht Race Committee. Normally the Novice class will participate in these races, with either an instructor or a class member at the helm. Individuals with the appropriate sailing card may also participate if boats are left over after Novice class assignments. 

DYRA regattas 
This is a series of races held mainly on Saturdays on the DRYA “C” course on Lake St. Clair. 

Inter-Club races 
This is a series of lake and river races held in competition with Flying Scot programs at other clubs including the Edison Boat Club, the Detroit Boat Club, and Crescent Sail Yacht Club. 

FSSA events 
Among events sponsored by the Flying Scot Sailing Association open to DYC Skippers and Racing Skippers are Michigan/Ontario Districts held each year at a different site; the Flying Scot Midwinter Championships held in March; and the North American Championships held in different locales each year. Anyone wishing to take a Club-owned boat to one of these out-of-town events must apply in writing well in advance to the FS Chairperson or Asset Manager. 

DYC Novice Championship 
This is a race or series of races held near the end of the season and open to any Novice who has not previously participated in this race in a prior year. 

DYC Men’s and Women’s Club Championships 
These annual events are traditionally held on Labor Day weekend. Participation is by invitation and qualification requirements will be determined by the racing chair and announced prior to the races. 

Inter-Club River Championships 
These are races held each September to select the top racers, including a Novice competition, from among the FS classes at various clubs. Both men’s and women’s races are scheduled. 

Fun Races 
Frequent informal races are part of racing at the DYC. Evening and weekend impromptu races may be announced via e-mail or in class. In addition, organized fun races such as a Husband-and-Wife Race (in which spouses sail with each other) a single-handed race for qualified Racing Skippers and an off-the-dock skipper's challenge are a part of social picnics. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How many people are part of the DYC Flying Scot program? 
Our roster includes about 100 continuing members. In addition, each year we welcome dozens of new sailors through our sailing classes. 

Is there a limit on Novice or Advance Class membership? 

The only limits that may be imposed are based on the availability of boats and instructors. Waiting lists are available for both classes should there be a need for them. 

How do I become an instructor? 

We welcome and encourage new instructors. Generally, a newcomer to sailing will take both our Novice and Advanced classes, obtaining a Skipper or Racing Skipper card, before beginning to instruct others. Sailors who join the DYC Flying Scot program with a lot of experience can begin instructing immediately upon successfully testing for a Skipper’s card. In all cases, see a committee member to make your interest known. 

Are rides available on the bigger boats at the DYC? 

The Flying Scot program is an excellent way to join the larger DYC family. Many skippers of the bigger boats will be happy to invite you aboard either for race crewing or for pleasure sailing. 

How long should it take to get my Helmsman or Skipper card? 

Many complete beginners who come to class regularly earn their Helmsman card during their first year. Some also get a Skipper card that first season but many earn their Skipper card in their second year in the class. A second year of the class is half-price for anyone repeating the DYC program.