Moraine Sailing Club
P.O. Box 15120, Pittsburgh, PA 15237
    LOG IN

Learning To Sail

Learning to Sail at Lake Arthur

May 16, 2022: The Learn-to-Sail program has reached capacity for 2022.
If you would like to be contacted when we open registration for 2023 in January,
please send an email to

  • Small group sailing lessons at your own pace
  • Learn to sail on a Flying Scot and/or Sunfish
  • Instruction both on-shore and on-the-water
  • US Sailing Certified Instructor on each Flying Scot
  • Over 60 instruction hours available throughout sailing season May-Sept
  • Sailboat friendly waters on Lake Arthur at Moraine State Park
  • Discounted CSP membership for remainder of season to certified LTS graduates
  • US Sailing Small Boat Sailor Certification thru successful completion of skills checklist and written test
  • Ages 16 & up (dependants must attend with parent/legal guardian)

Volunteers from Moraine Sailing Club who have become US Sailing Certified Instructors offer sailing instruction to MSC members during regularly scheduled "Learn to Sail" (LTS) days from May until September, 9am – 3pm. (see schedule) The lessons allow you to proceed at your own pace. Each student is given a log sheet for recording their progress. Each time you are at the tiller the instructor coaches you on the next skill you need to acquire. Instructors will “pass” students on individual skills when it is successfully completed without any coaching or instruction during the “test”. Although you can join LTS at any point in the summer, it is recommended to sign up early in the season. On average it takes about 20 hours to become a skillful sailor. Our LTS sessions are 6 hours long, so it could take about 3 to 5 sessions to acquire all the skills.


Skills covered in the LTS sessions

  • Wind awareness
  • Rigging & de-rigging
  • Knots & lines
  • Rules of the Road (right of way)
  • Departure & returning
  • Steering
  • Stopping & starting
  • Tacking
  • Jibing
  • Points of sail
  • Capsize recovery
  • Overboard recovery
  • Getting out of irons
  • Upwind & downwind sailing

How to register for LTS Program

To register for the Learn To Sail program, send in the Membership Application form and fees for both Basic Membership and Learn To Sail.

Lesson day Sign-up Procedure (after initial registration)

LTS participants will sign up online for upcoming lesson days on a first-come basis, specifying either Flying Scot or Sunfish. Space is limited. Sign-ups for each lesson day will be available 2 weeks in advance. Ideally there will be three students (plus instructor) per Flying Scot. Depending on the number of students, we may divide into two groups. The first group will sail in the morning and will do shore school activities in the afternoon (learning essential knots, chalk talks, capsize drills, etc.). The second group will do the reverse.


What to bring to LTS

  • Extra layers – it can be chilly up at the lake
  • Change of clothing
  • towel
  • water bottle and extra water
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • hat
  • lunch
  • Closed toe shoes (no flip-flops)
  • Water shoes for when sailing Sunfish
  • Positive attitude, patience, and a sense of humor (we are volunteers who do this for the love of the sport)

Besides learning how to sail, what does MSC membership offer?

  • Sail without owning a boat – Community Sailing Program
  • Healthy competition and honing skills – scheduled Racing days, all sailboat types welcome
  • Learn to Race practice days
  • Kids’ sailing opportunities – Youth Sail Camp for ages 10-16
  • Camaraderie amongst fellow sailors
  • Organized group sailing events – cruise style, non-racing
  • Multiple picnics and social events throughout the season
  • Opportunity to get involved in a sailing community

Questions? Contact Education Director
Moraine Sailing Club