All undergraduate students are welcomed to join the sailing team. Whether you have sailing experience or not, we encourage you to explore the sport of sailing and the reward of making friends for a lifetime.

Membership dues

In order for us to operate, we have an operational budget partly funded by the University’s Club Sports Program and membership dues of $125 per member. Other financial contributions come from Alumni and fundraising.

Membership from freshman members is collected at the end of the Fall semester to ascertain their commitment to the Team. Spring dues will be collected for any members that join over the winter.

Note: if you are cannot afford the membership dues, speak to the officer corps to have your dues waived or establish a payment plan.

Members Weekly Meetings

Place: Guyot Hall, 101 Lecture Hall

Time: Mondays, 10:30pm

Attendance to weekly meetings is important. Regatta reports are presented and important topics of discussion are put forth before the team.


Visit our website that includes history, photos, schedule, past results, contact information and complete list of members.

For valuable information, we have a temporary site that includes tutorial videos, rules, tricks and tips

Email List

Email is our primary method of communication. Contact Team’s Secretary to be added to the team’s email list.

Email regarding practices is sent out by Practice Captain.

Email regarding regattas is sent out by Regatta Captain.


We practice in the Fall and Spring. We are exposed to various weather conditions and it is important to dress properly for practice. Life jackets and drysuits are mandatory.  Those who cannot afford such gear should speak to the officers to borrow one of the team’s four drysuits or borrow from other members appropriate gear until you purchase your own.

We recommend for you to have the following: Lifejacket, sneakers/boots, spray top, spray pants, gloves and drysuit.

Buying Your Own Gear

We have established relationships with vendors that provide us with the lowest prices possible, exempt of tax and shipping and a no hassle return policy that also warrants our equipment for several years.

To order gear, contact the Gear Chair.

He/she will provide you with pricing and availability on Gill, Musto and Henry Lloyd life jackets.

Money is to be collected by the Treasurer or you can also paid for gear directly at the store when picking up your order.

Van Certification

We encourage members to become van certified. This would allow you to drive the van to regattas and practices, helping with the driving responsibilities. If you are interested in becoming van certified, ask the Regatta Captain about the required forms and procedure.

Officers must obtain van certification.

Florida Trip

The annual winter training trip to Florida is one of the best perks to being on the sailing team.  During this week, you’ll bond with the team, enjoy a week of sunshine in the heart of the New Jersey winter, and make drastic improvements as a sailor.  Princeton sailing team, like all teams as far north as we are, does not sail during the coldest months of the year.  We put away the boats sometime before Thanksgiving, and do not resume sailing until March.  The Florida trip is a way to get back on the water and prepare for the spring season. 

The trip occurs during intersession, the weeklong period between fall and spring semesters, which means that no one has any work and can focus on sailing and hanging out with the team.  While our specific destination has changed over the years, we choose a city with good sailing, good weather and a fleet of boats for rent.  We have gone to St. Petersburg and Ft. Myers in recent years.  We stay in rental houses, where we cook group meals and relax after a full day of sailing.  The cost is usually around $500, which covers boats, meals, houses and transportation.


Officer elections are held during the second week of November.

A candidate is nominated for a position and is asked to speak of his/her qualifications and participate in a question and answer dialogue. The candidates are sequestered during periods of discussions amongst the team. The candidate is chosen once the vote is unanimous among voting members.

Officers Weekly Meeting

Place: Guyot Hall, room 10

Time: Mondays, 10:00 pm (schedule permitting)

Officer Corps


Regatta Captain

Practice Captain



Fleet Captain

Satellite appointments:

Recruiting Captain

Fundraising Chair

Social Chair

Gear Chair

Duties of Officers

The Commodore shall represent the Princeton University Sailing Team in all affairs concerning the Team and shall chair the meetings and oversee fundraising operations. Commodore is responsible for communication with alumni board. He/she shall have the right to delegate responsibilities to willing members of the team in order to manage activities

The Regatta Captain shall be responsible for organizing and managing all the information and logistics for the team attending regattas. He/she is responsible to allocate housing from Alumni and make hotel reservations for coach when applicable. He/she is responsible for creating a package of information containing all details such as direction to regatta, directions to hosting alumni housing, van reservation etc.  For a regatta hosted by Princeton, further responsibilities include but are not limited to, securing a race committee, securing proper support boats, training of race committee, judges, securing the necessary personnel, and other resources. The regatta captain is also responsible for all interaction with MAISA and ISICA.  The Regatta Captain is responsible for going to the annual MAISA meeting and work with the Commodore for regatta selection for the academic year.

The Practice Captain is responsible for organizing practices. This includes sending out a list of the attendees of a practice 24 hours before practice, organizing transportation and creating a practice plan by coordinating with the coach. He/she should establish the expectation that all members schedule their classes to be able to attend 2 practices per week. If members do not fulfill their requirements in a reasonable way, they will lose certain privileges, including the ability to attend the spring training trip over intersession. The Practice Captain is also responsible for coordinating with the Recruiting Captain to recruit high school sailors and new sailors from amongst the Princeton student body. He/she shall create an EAP (Emergency Action Plan) for RYC.

The Treasurer shall be responsible for keeping the finances for the Team, and shall assist in fund raising operations. The Treasurer files all receipts relating to expenses and costs, shall manage the endowment account, the club sports account, and donations account. The treasurer shall maintain records of money used during each semester, shall write budget report to be put forth to Princeton Club Sports. The Treasurer shall submit expense reports for boat maintenance and regattas for reimbursement. The Treasurer shall collect dues from members. The Treasurer shall collect money from members when ordering gear.

The Fleet Captain shall be responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of all boats and related equipment. He/she shall have the power to call work parties to help accomplish this task. The Fleet Captain must maintain a maintenance log on all boats including the chase boat. He/she shall manage all aspects and logistics of boat moving and see that trailer and boat registrations are current.

The Secretary shall be responsible for taking minutes at meetings, and all clerical work and correspondence of the Club. He/she shall also be responsible for all historical documents. The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping the present members and Friends of Princeton Sailing and Alumni informed of events. The Secretary shall maintain a database of contact, membership, and attendance information on team members. The Secretary shall archive regatta reports and practice reports and send regatta reports to FOPS. The Secretary shall also produce a biannual newsletter at the conclusion of each season to be sent to sailing friends and alumni.


Meeting Spot

We meet at 1:30 pm SHARP on the lawn behind Frist Campus Center and leave immediately to drive to Raritan Yacht Club. We arrive back on campus around 7:00 pm.

Class Scheduling

It is important that you schedule your course load to allow you to attend at least two practices per week. Sailors are required to attend two practices per week with only two missed scheduled practices per season allowed. Sailors must establish set skipper/crew pairs at the beginning of the sailing season.

We practice on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday between 1:30 and 7:00. It is possible to pick classes you desire to take and practice twice a week so please make every effort to coordinate your work/class schedule with sailing. In order to be competitive, you must adhere to a consistent practice schedule.

Weekly Schedule

Tuesdays: Race Drills, Fleet/Team Racing

Thursdays: Race Drills, Fleet/Team Racing

Fridays: Race Drills, Fleet/Team Racing


1:30 pm Leave from Frist Campus Center

2:20 pm Arrive at RYC and Change

2:30-3:00 pm Chalk Talk, Rig and Launch

3:15 pm Begin Practice

Return to Dock 40 mins before sunset

De-rig boats

Debrief & Change

Return to Campus

Practice Attendance

In order to be eligible to attend the team’s annual training trip to Florida, and enjoy the other benefits of being a full member of the team, team members must meet a minimum standard of attendance at practice and regattas. A team member shall earn one point for every practice he attends and one point for every day of a regatta he attends. Every season the team officers should recommend that every team member attend at least two practices a week and two regattas a season, and establish a minimum point goal consistent with this recommendation. This point total should allow for each sailor to miss up to three practices a season, and will serve as a prerequisite for membership in the core group and attendance on the Florida trip. Exceptions to this rule may be made at the discretion of the officers.

On the Water Practices

All boats are arranged in numerical order; please put boats back in their places. This ensures a rotation of all boats so that they all get same degree of wear and use and keeps the fleet competitive. Skipper and crew names will be recorded in corresponding boat number boxes on the practice log.

Practice Checklist



•Water bottle

•Sun protection

•Proper sailing gear

Everyone stays on the docks until all the boats have been de rigged and put away:

•Boats must be properly tied down, with lap line and shroud lines

•Secured halyards

•Main sheet tied

•Plugs out

•Sails rolled and stowed

•Rudders, tillers, sails, bailers secured inside the boat neatly

•Boats drained

•If a sailboat has capsized, special care should be taken to rinse with fresh water hardware and parts; sails with mud should be washed before being stored

Things person running practice must check:

•Boat tied up in slip

•Motor out of the water

•Hose down if necessary

•Marks, anchors and rope placed in crates and stored

•Place key inside the console

•Clean up trash and make sure everything is put away

•Lock doors to bathrooms, and storage areas


During drills and practice races avoid ANY contact with other boats. It causes damage to the equipment.

Tack and Jibe on the Whistle

It is important to stay close for this to be effective. The drill can be started with a Rabbit Start or with a One Minute Starting Sequence using two marks.


1 whistle = TACK

2 whistles = STOP (whistles will then be blown for 5-4-3-2-1-GO)

3 whistles = 360


1 whistle = JIBE

2 whistles = TRANSITION (from reach to wing-on-wing and vice versa)

3 whistles = 360

Variation of Tack and Jibe on the Whistle

We start with a 3 minute race start, all boats on Starboard tack.  We Tack on the whistle to a windward mark and round the mark to Port. Those that round the mark first must do 360 turns while waiting for last boat to round.

Once last boat rounds, we start Jibing on the whistle downwind to start line.

Mark Roundings

Mark rounding drills vary in form. We will use three common drills; single mark, double mark and short course triangle. These are defined below.

Rabbit Starts

A boat shall be chosen to be the rabbit. The rabbit rounds a leeward mark and sails closehauled on a PORT tack. All other boats set up partly luffing about 2 boat lengths apart to sail towards the rabbit on a STARBOARD tack. When the Rabbit is closehauled on PORT, all boats sail to the Rabbit and MUST duck behind the rabbit and sail closehauled on STARBOARD. The rabbit then tacks to STARBOARD and the whole fleet sails together. This is a good way to practice ducking and to start tack and jibe on the whistle drills.

Mystery Starts

Drill starts off like a normal 2 or 3-minute dinghy sequence to 30 seconds; 5-4-3-2-1-GO can be signaled at any point after 30 seconds with no prior warning.

Up or Down Starts

Using a normal racing sequence the fleet starts the race but soon after

starting signal and CLEARING the line, the RC boat will indicate “up”, to continue racing to the windward mark or “down”, to indicate racing to the leeward mark.

“Pig in the Middle” (Team Racing Drill)

Using a Rabbit Start three boats begin an upwind leg. The first place boat must attempt to cover tack the second place boat to allow the third place boat, his teammate, to move into first place. The second place boat must in turn cover tack the third place boat and attempt to escape the cover tacking of the first boat.

Practice Races

Below are diagrams to the most common race courses.

•Current is a factor, use it to your advantage

•Avoid getting caught in the anchor line of the chase boat

•Sail the shifts (lifts and headers)

•Sail your tell tales

•Sail Fast

Prior to sequence:

Determine if course is square and define favored end. Sail to center of starting line and luff into wind. If bow of boat turns towards RC boat, then that is favored end. If the bow points towards pin, pin is favored end.

Sail mini course towards windward leg, to determine which side of course has better wind and the effect of the current.

                               First Lap                             Second Lap

Windward Leeward

The Windward Leeward can also be modified so that the start line is located halfway between the leeward and windward marks, so that the finish is at the windward mark, or so that the sailors must complete a different number of laps.

Triangle Windward Leeward

The Triangle Windward Leeward can also be modified so that the start line is located halfway between the leeward and windward marks, so that the finish is at the windward mark, or so that the sailors must complete a different number of laps. The course can also be simplified to a basic Triangle course, without any windward leeward laps.


The Diamond can also be modified so that the start line is located halfway between the leeward and windward marks, so that the finish is at the windward mark, or so that the sailors must complete a different number of laps.


The Trapezoid can also be modified so that the start line is located halfway between the leeward and windward marks, so that the finish is at the windward mark, or so that the sailors must complete a different number of laps.

Digital N (Team Racing Course)

The Digital N consists of 4 or 5 legs. First, the sailors sail an upwind leg to a windward mark. The windward mark is rounded to starboard, and then another windward offset mark, to the right of the windward mark, is rounded to starboard. The fleet then sails downwind to a leeward mark that is set to the right of the starting line (as shown in the diagram above). The fleet can round an additional leeward mark offset to the right of the leeward mark (although this step is optional), and then finishes upwind at a finish line set to the right of the windward mark and the offset (as shown in the diagram above.

Variation: Digital N in a Box: To reduce the number of marks needed, sailors complete the same first three legs as above but sail upwind after the third mark, round the offset mark on port and then finish downwind on the original starting line.


New recruits are the life line to the team’s future. We often hosts sailors interested in attending Princeton.  It is everyone’s responsibility to make recruits feel welcomed. We must be amicable, accommodating and accepting as a matter of courtesy and fellowship. It is the role of the Recruiting Captain to remain in contact with these recruits. We are ambassadors of Princeton, PUST, and the sport of sailing.


A first aid kit is found in the chase boat along with a handy book of emergency care. A VHF radio is on board the chase boat. Use channel 16 for a Pan Pan or Mayday call. Speak slowly and clearly.

Contact Numbers

Corps officers should have these numbers in their cell phones.

VTS US Coast Guard 718 354 4088.

USCG 718 354 4356

In case of emergency dial 911 FIRST.

It is strongly recommended that the Officer Corps have basic first aid and CPR training.


Home Regattas

Everyone who is not traveling to another regatta is expected to attend and help out with all facets of running the regatta and welcoming and accommodating visiting teams.  Team members’ responsibilities will include helping with safety boats and buoy boats, recording scoring, assisting the race committee, supervising rigging and rotation on the docks, and other tasks as designated by Regatta Captain.

Away Regattas

Sign Up

Regatta sign ups are done a minimum of two weeks in advance as part of the weekly Monday meetings’ agenda. The Regatta Captain manages the sign-ups and coordinates housing and transportation for regattas.  Once you have signed up for a regatta, you will receive an email from the Princeton Travel Database asking to confirm your emergency contact information, which should be done as soon as possible.

Signing up for a regatta is a commitment to the team that cannot be taken lightly.  Without the required number of sailors we cannot participate, and dropping a regatta at the last minute leads to penalties in future seasons.  As such, if you learn after signing up that you cannot attend a regatta, you are responsible for finding a replacement and for informing the Regatta Captain of the switch.

Sailors must attend a minimum of two regattas per season.


Sailors are responsible for their own meals when attending regattas. On occasion, a host family will provide dinner and breakfast for the team or parents may come to watch and bring lunch or snacks, but do not count on it. Be courteous and thankful if someone does provide food.

Keep your expenses small by stocking from a supermarket and making your own lunches.


The Sailing Team will reimburse all reasonable expenses except food. To be reimbursed you must keep your receipts from tolls, gas, and other expenses.

Gift for Host Family

Sailors are responsible for bringing a gift for the host family with them to the regatta. Sailors should spend no more than $20 for the gift. Suggestions include cupcakes from Bent Spoon and chocolate from T-Sweets.

What to Bring



Flashlight or reading light




Chargers for cell phone and computer


Sleeping gear if necessary (Regatta Captain will let you know)



Cash for Tolls

Food or drink (if desired)

Emergency contact numbers

Sailing Gear





Thermal layers: fleece, rash guards

Drysuit, spray gear, wetsuit

Swimsuit if desired


Head Gear: warm hat, cap

Sun glasses

Sun block

Away Regatta Itinerary

Friday: Departure

The Regatta Captain will provide traveling sailors with directions, phone numbers, and addresses for the hosts’ home and the regatta site.

Leave directly from practice or from Princeton as determined by Regatta Captain.  It is important to leave at the prescribed time and to arrive as early as possible as a courtesy to the hosts. While driving, call host family to inform them of your approximate time of arrival.

Make sure you get a good night’s sleep on Friday so you’re ready to compete the next morning.

Saturday and Sunday: Regatta

Arrive at the sailing venue with a positive attitude and positive outlook.

Regatta report time on Saturday is 9 am unless otherwise stated by Regatta Captain. Arrive by 8:45am so you have enough time to rig, change etc. Sunday’s report time will be announced by the regatta hosts.

Fill out and sign RP forms.

Familiarize self with course and rotation. Rig assigned boat as shown on rotation.

Change into sailing gear.

Attend the skipper’s meeting.

Launch boat and sail to course area.  Make sure you take the opportunity to warm up.  You should have time to determine the favored side of the course and favored end of the starting line.

After racing is done for the day

De-rig; be respectful as to how host team likes to have their boats put away.

On Saturday, call hosts to let them know what time you will be back to their place (if applicable).  Find place to eat dinner and do homework.

On Sunday, leave directly from regatta site and return to Princeton.

After Regatta

Write Regatta Report and send finished report to the team’s Secretary prior to weekly meeting.

Write expense form and hand it to the Treasurer.


The Alumni is an important part of the Princeton sailing Team. They serve as mentors and guide the team. They are active in fundraising and it is through their work and donations that we are able to have the fleet of FJs, a coach and a place to sail. They keep us on the water.

Because of our dependence on the Alumni and their contributions, we must show a level of activity and commitment to the sport that merit their generosity.

Regatta, practice and newsletters are done for the benefit of creating a legacy for the Team and to keep our Alumni and friends informed.

The Alumni Board is responsible for timely communication with the Officer Corps regarding the newsletter and other team needs.


This manual is the property of the Princeton Sailing Team.

This manual must be revised by the newly elected Officer Corps.

Senior members, Alumni and Coach can be consulted as to content and major changes.