Summer Phone: 920-854-7107

Learn to Sail at the EYC

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Ephraim Yacht Club 2019 Education Schedule

WeeksJune 17-21June 24-28July 1-5July 8-12July 15-19July 22-26July 29-Aug 2Aug 5-9Aug 12-16
IntermediatePowerboat Skills

Powerboat SkillsBeginnnerOpti RacingRacing
AfternoonNo ClassesOpti RacingBeginnerBeginnerBeginner
AdventureIntro to Lasers
Opti Racing
Women's ClassAdventurePowerboat SkillsIntro to LasersPowerboat Skills
Powerboat Skills
Women's Class



All group lessons meet Monday through Friday.  Morning lessons meet from 9:00 AM to noon.  Afternoon lessons meet from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM.

Students are welcome to take both morning and afternoon classes during the same session (e.g., Beginner class in the mornings and Adventure Sailing in the afternoons.)

Classes & Training at EYC

Education Overview

Ephraim Yacht Club Sailing Classes


The Sport of Sailing. Sailing is a lifetime sport which is athletic but does not require unusual coordination, size or strength. Girls and boys participate in lessons and compete in races together. Sailing is social and at the same time rewards individual initiative and learning. Sailing is low-impact and is very safe. EYC students and parents consistently comment that the student completed lessons with a great feeling of accomplishment. Sailing is also tremendous fun!

Lesson Overview. The EYC offers sailing lessons during its summer season to junior and adult members of the EYC. The EYC operates one of the oldest and largest sailing schools in the Midwest. Each year the EYC teaches hundreds of students with a US Sailing certified staff of up to 16 instructors. Our enthusiastic and well-trained instructor staff receives great feedback from parents and students! The EYC maintains a fleet of 55 sailboats (Flying Scots, 420s, Lasers and Optimists) for use in its lesson program. The EYC’s lessons include on-shore and on-the-water instruction, nomenclature, sailing theory, safety, seamanship, boat handling, sail trim, and boat care. Both group and private lessons are offered.

Enrollment. Advance online enrollment is required for group lessons. For private lessons, online enrollment is not available; instead, call the EYC at (920) 854-7107 during the summer, or stop by the EYC during open hours to make an appointment. **ATTENTION** In order to benefit from 2017 lesson pricing, registration must be completed by 2 pm on the Friday two weeks before the start of the class. For example, if enrolling in a Session C class, registration must be completed by June 22nd at 2 pm. After that deadline passes, registration is still possible, but each class will cost an additional $25.00. If a student has registered for a class early, but needs to change classes due to promotion inside the two week limit, the $25.00 fee will be waived. We anticipate more classes than usual filling this summer. To secure your preferred session and 2017 pricing, please register early!

EYC Membership Required. Each student must be an EYC member in good standing. Students under the age of 25 must belong to the EYC within a family membership or as a student member. Students 25 and older must have a membership in one of the following categories — Single, Young Adult, Family or Senior. Please note–Student memberships are no longer available for purchase through lesson registration. They must be purchased through Club Express. Please contact Membership Volunteer, Lisa Gifford, at for more information.

Scholarships. Scholarships funded by the Aaron R Moore Scholarship Fund are available to students ages 7-16 who are year round residents of Door County and who would not be able to enroll but for this fund. Students granted scholarships can enroll in any EYC sailing session. The scholarship process is simple and confidential. Parents seeking scholarships should contact the EYC Scholarship Chair at prior to membership and lesson enrollment. Application should be made as soon as possible and prior to July 1.

Safety. Safety is the EYC’s number one priority. All EYC instructors undergo safety training as part of their US Sailing Level 1 Small Boat Instructor course, and all EYC staff take part in annual pre-season in-house safety training. The EYC strictly enforces its PFD rule for instructors and students engaged in sailing lessons. Safety concepts and techniques are integrated at every level of the EYC’s sailing instruction program. All EYC students must know how to swim, and must be comfortable swimming alone, in deep water, and in open water.

EYC Staff /Instructors

2019 EYC Staff /Instructors

The Ephraim Yacht Club employs a staff of experienced and enthusiastic sailors. All have received US Sailing Level 1 certification. Many of the Senior staff have also received Level 2 certification. All staff are Red Cross CPR and First Aid certified. Most of our staff have “grown up” at the EYC and learned to sail on Eagle Harbor. Many of the Senior staff sail for their college teams and compete during the school year. They all look forward to sharing their love of sailing with the students.

Tommy Papenthien: Sailing Director

This is Tommy’s fourth year at EYC and first year as Sailing Director. He is a US Sailing Level 1 and Safe Powerboat certified instructor.  Since beginning sailing at age 8, Tommy has grown to love Lasers because of the agility and freedom they provide. Racing Lasers in high winds conditions is his favorite thing about sailing; whereas, helping kids gain confidence in their sailing skills and advance from beginners to racers is his favorite aspect of teaching. Although he enjoys all EYC events, donut day ranks the highest. Outside of sailing, Tommy races bikes at the college level and also skis and rock climbs. Tommy is a rising sophomore at the Colorado School of Mines majoring in Mechanical Engineering, and he looks forward to seeing everyone out on the dock!

Abby O’Rourke: Head Instructor

This is Abby’s fifth year teaching at EYC and she is a Level 2 US Sailing certified instructor. She has been sailing at EYC since the 1st grade. Abby enjoys watching her students’ sailing skills improve, as they evolve from beginners to confident racers. One of Abby’s favorite things at EYC has been participating in the Junior Activities, and she still enjoys them today! On Saturday mornings you will find Abby racing Flying Scots with friends. This fall, Abby will be a Junior at Miami University studying abroad in Luxembourg, and she is currently the captain of the Miami Club Sailing Team. Sailing at the collegiate level has allowed her to compete in both 420’s and keel boats. Thanks to her EYC experience, Abby continues to meet and travel with new friends in the world of sailing!

David Morof:  Principal Race Officer

David is a rising sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, Madison as a Quantitative Economics and History double major. He has been sailing for 11 years and is excited for another year at the EYC! Currently, David has his Level One US Sailing certification. During the summer, David loves to take out a laser and cruise around Eagle Harbor. He will be joining the EYC staff for his fifth year as a Principle Race Officer. David really enjoys connecting with the youngsters at the club and instilling a genuine love for sailing. Personally, he enjoys physical fitness and racing with his friends around the club.


Will Andersen

Will Andersen will be a senior at Gibraltar High School in Fish Creek this fall. He is on the sailing and cross country team in the fall and plays on the golf team in the spring. Will has his Level 1 US Sailing instructor certification. He has spent the entirety of his summers in Door County on Kangaroo lake and has grown up being on and around boat. Will started sailing camp at the EYC when he was 6 and has been sailing ever since. His favorite EYC event is the goulash junior activity because he loves the mystery surrounding what the goulash will taste like.

Liam Anderson

Liam Anderson is a rising junior at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago. Liam has been sailing since he was six years old and will be getting his U.S. Sailing Level 1 Certification this spring. His favorite type of boat to sail is the 420, which he currently races with the Saint Ignatius sailing team. Liam has sailed for ten years with Chicago Yacht Club, and this will be his first summer sailing Eagle Harbor.  He’s new to EYC, but has enjoyed visiting Door County with his family. Liam is looking forward to teaching!

Margaret Gheorghita

Sarah is US Sailing Level 2 certified and has taught sailing for six years at EYC, Sturgeon Bay, and Lake Lanier Sailing Club in Atlanta. If it’s Saturday morning or Thursday evening, you’re guaranteed to find her racing in a Flying Scot. Sarah loves the sport of sailing because it teaches leadership, critical thinking, and creates life-long friendships.

William Gheorghita

William is a junior at the University of Southern California, where he’s majoring in environmental studies and minoring in business administration. He has been sailing at the EYC for more than a decade and this is his sixth year as an instructor. His favorite sailboat to compete in is the Laser. He enjoys coming back year after year and watching his students advance through the levels to become the best sailors they can be. William has many favorite EYC events, but one that stands out to him is Regatta Weekend and Bratfest.

Tommy Papenthien

This is Tommy’s third summer teaching sailing at EYC and he is a US Sailing Level 1 certified instructor. Since beginning sailing as an 8 year old, Tommy has grown to love Lasers because of the agility and freedom they provide. Racing Lasers in high winds are his favorite conditions.Being an EYC instructor was always a dream job for Tommy and helping kids gain confidence in their sailing skills and advance from beginners to racers are his favorite aspects of teaching. Although he enjoys all EYC events, donut day ranks the highest. In addition to teaching sailing, Tommy is a competitive road and mountain bike racer.This fall, he will be a freshman at the Colorado School of Mines.

Derek Waleffe

This will be Derek Waleffe’s third year as an instructor at EYC. Derek is from Madison, Wisconsin, and grew up taking lessons at the EYC during the summer. Just like when he was in lessons, his favorite day of the session is still Donut Day. Derek enjoys sailing all the boats at EYC, and especially likes sailing and racing Lasers. He will be an incoming freshman this year at Brown University, where he plans on studying applied mathematics and will play for the men’s soccer team.


Junior Instructors

Margaret Gheorghita

Margaret will be a senior at the American International School of Vienna. During the year she enjoys playing on the volleyball and basketball teams for her school. She has received her Level 1 certification from US Sailing. She has been spending summers at the EYC ever since she was 8 years old. This summer will be her second year teaching. Her favorite memory was sailing in the NACs in 2012 with former instructor Olivia Demarinis and two friends. Margaret loves the excitement surrounding the regattas, but her favorite event is the Brat Fest at the end of the summer. She has great memories of all the junior and teen activities, sailing in the FJ and 420 series, and jumping off the dock at the end of lessons. She is excited for this summer and the opportunity to pass on her love of sailing and lessons.

Laura Therien

Laura is going to be a sophomore in high school at Collège Notre-Dame, a French high school in Montreal, Canada. When she isn’t out on the lake, you can find Laura on the ice, playing hockey and ringette. Laura will be taking the US Sailing level one certification course this spring. Her favorite boats are 420s and Lasers. She loves racing in the 420 series at EYC and looks forward to the Rich Hall Regatta every year. Laura has been sailing at EYC since she was eight years old. She is excited to be able to show young sailors how much fun it is to be out on the water and to encourage them to race as much as possible. She thinks everything about EYC is fun, but donut day is the best.

Henry Morof

My name is Henry Morof and I am currently a rising junior. I began sailing when I was in third grade and have stuck with it since then. I play Lacrosse and Soccer for my high school, Glenbard West. I also Fence for a club in Chicago. I currently have my level one US Sailing Certification. Also, my favorite boats to race are definitely lasers. I have been sailing for eight years with Eyc and have loved sailing since then because it can be relaxing and fun all at once. My favorite EYC event is for sure the Four Square Activity.

Jack Rebhan

Jack is going to be a Junior at Gibraltar in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. He grew up around boats and started sailing at the EYC at age 10 and now he is on the Gibraltar Sailing team and will revive his level 1 US Sailing Certification this June. When he isn’t sailing he plays baseball and loves fishing. His favorite boat is a 420 and favorite EYC event is doughnut day.

Dock Assistants

Ian McFarlane

I’m Ian McFarlane, a future sophomore at St. John’s School in Houston, TX. This is my first time on the EYC staff. I’ve had several years of sailing lessons at EYC. My experiences in those years makes me look forward to being on the dock for this summer job and making some friends. With luck, I’ll be able to continue to learn a thing or two more about sailing while helping around the dock. When I’m not searching for internships and summer jobs, I enjoy all things music.

Addie Roza

Hi I’m Adeline Roza (I go by Adeline or Addie) and I’m looking forward to my first summer working at the EYC! I live and attend high school in Seattle, where I run cross country and play basketball. In my free time, I prefer to be outside in the sun (did I mention that I live in rainy Seattle?). I’ve been spending my summers in Door County as long as I can remember and learned to sail at the the EYC!

Agne Zukauskaite

Agne ZukauskaiteAgne Zukauskaite will be a sophomore at Gibraltar High School this fall. She first learned how to sail with the Ephraim Yacht Club and ever since then knew she wanted to be a part of the EYC. She took several lessons with the EYC, and plans to take the power boating course this summer as well. Through the winter, she enjoys playing volleyball on her school team as well as a club team. During the summer, her favorite thing to do is be anywhere on the lake, which is why she’s so excited to be working at the EYC. Along with that, she enjoys spending time at the EYC because of the friendly staff, fun lessons, and positive environment!

Two week classes

Two Week Sailing Classes

Two week classes

Beginner Sailing LessonsBeginner An introductory course for students ages 7-17. Students will learn sailing theory and terminology, basic seamanship, helmsmanship, and sail trim. Click here to see the list of skills taught at the Beginner level. Students are divided into multiple class sections based on experience and age. The Beginner class is taught in Optimists and Flying Scots. Upon completion of the skills and testing, instructors will recommend that the student may enroll in Opti Racing, Intro to Lasers and/or Intermediate. The cost for the two week Beginner class in the mornings is $360. The same class in the afternoons is $300. Both classes require a $10 textbook, available for purchase at registration. Parents of seven year olds should consider the size, maturity and water experience of the child before enrolling him or her in this class.

Opti Racing This two week class will be offered in three times; in a one week session from July 6-July 6 in the afternoons, in a two week session from July 9-July 20 in the mornings, and a two week session from July 23-August 3 in the afternoons. The Optimist is raced regionally, nationally and internationally by sailors through age 15, and offers a great opportunity for this age group to improve their confidence, knowledge and racing experience. The class will cover starts, upwind and downwind strategy, and the racing rules of sailing. This class is open to students up to age 15 who have skippered in an Opti series race or regatta. It can be taken multiple times, but completing the class does not qualify the student for the Intermediate class. The cost for this class is $360. No textbook required.

Intro to LasersIntro to Lasers Students who have passed the Beginner class can continue to improve their single-handed dinghy techniques by moving directly to the Laser using the EYC’s Laser 4.7 rigs. The Laser 4.7 is a smaller rig used with the standard Laser hull, allowing students as light as 77 pounds to transition from Optis to Lasers. Students will spend time learning how to rig and sail a Laser. This class will be offered July 9-July 20 and July 23-August 3 in the afternoons. The cost for these dates will be $360.

Intermediate Students will learn double-handed dinghy sailing techniques using the EYC’s fleet of Club 420’s. Students will learn how to rig and sail a 420, including boathandling in a wide range of wind conditions as both skipper and crew. Includes an introduction to racing, including fundamental racing rules and techniques. Click here to see the list of skills taught at the Intermediate level. This class is open to students who have passed the Beginner class and have intructor approval. Students who pass the Intermediate Class are eligible for the Advanced and/or Racing Classes. The two week Intermediate class in the morning costs $360. The class requires a $10 textbook, available for purchase at registration.

Advance EYC Training

Advanced For students up to age 17 who have been promoted from the Intermediate class. This class is taught in the EYC’s fleet of nine Flying Scots with the goal of learning all the skills necessary to obtain an EYC Skipper’s License. (Persons holding an EYC Skipper’s License are able to skipper an EYC-owned Flying Scot without staff supervision.) The class emphasizes correct rigging, seamanship, boathandling in all weather, and spinnaker handling. Some racing instruction and racing-derived drills may occur, but students who wish to emphasize racing should enroll in the Racing class instead. Click here to view the list of skills taught at the Advanced level. The Advanced class is offered in the mornings and costs $360. No textbook required.

EYC Racing

One week classes

One week classes

Beginner In Sessions A, B2, E and F, the Beginner class will be offered as a one week class. See course description under Two Week Classes. The cost for this class (either morning or afternoon) is $180. There is a $10 required textbook available for purchase at registration.

Intermediate In Session E, August 6-10, there will be a one week Intermediate class in the mornings. See course description under Two Week Classes. The cost for this class is $180. There is a $10 required textbook available for purchase at registration.

Opti Racing Opti Racing will be offered as a one week class from July 2-6 in preparation for the Opti Regatta. Please see the Two Week section for a class description. The cost will be $180.

Sailing ClassesAdventure Sailing Enjoy sailing in beautiful Eagle Harbor with trips planned to Nicolet Bay, Horseshoe Island and Ephraim Beach. Basic skills will be covered in the context of a fun and relaxing atmosphere. This class is a great option for siblings and friends of varying ages and skill levels who would like to sail together. Class will mostly be held in Flying Scots, though other EYC fleets may be used. Open to ages 7-17 in separate, one week sessions. Students may enroll in one or multiple sessions. No required textbook. The cost for this class is $180.

Powerboat Skills Learn the basics of operating a small outboard motor boat, with an emphasis on safety and maneuvering in tight spaces. The majority of class time will be spent on the water with plenty of hands on practice in starting procedures, steering and docking. The class is open to students age 12 through adult, and is a great parent/child class opportunity. We recommend that all students obtain a Wisconsin Boater Education card prior to beginning this class, but it is required for those born on or after 01/01/89. The link for the Boater Education card course is The cost for this course is $180, and there is a required textbook available from the EYC for $16.

Women’s Sailing Class Students will learn and improve on the basics of sailing in a fun, social and comfortable environment. The class will be tailored to the experience and interest of each group and will be taught in Flying Scots. Open to women age 18 and older. Meets 3 hours per day from 1:30 pm till 4:30 pm. No required textbook. The cost for this class is $180 per week.

Private Lessons

Private Sailing Lessons

The Ephraim Yacht Club offers private sailing lessons by appointment. This is a great way to get a lot of instruction in a short period of time. Private lessons might be for you if:

  • Group lessons do not fit your schedule;
  • You want to learn at an accelerated pace;
  • You want intensive instruction to catch up to the other students in your age range;
  • You want to take a lesson together with specific friends or family members;
  • You want intensive instruction in a specific sailing skill; or
  • You feel more comfortable in a one-on-one situation with an instructor.

Private lessons are available to both adults and juniors. Up to four persons can take a private lesson together. The pace and content of private lessons are geared to the individual student(s) and can be taught in any of the EYC’s fleets, Flying Scots, 420s, Optimists or Lasers.

Private lessons are available by appointment. To schedule a private lesson, contact Matt Andersen at, or phone the EYC (920) 854-7107, or stop by the EYC during open hours.

Online signup is not available for private lessons.

2018 private lesson per-student per-hour rate, based on a single instructor:

  • 1 person – $35.00 (example: 3-hour lesson for a single student would be $105)
  • 2 people – $25.00 (example: 3-hour lesson for two students would be $150)
  • 3 people – $20.00 (example: 3-hour lesson for three students would be $180)
  • 4 people – $18.00 (example: 3-hour lesson for four students would be $216)

If private lessons are not for you, and you would like to learn more about group lessons for adults and juniors, please view alternative options on this page.

Education awards

Education Awards

The Larry Lewis Memorial Happy Camper Award is awarded in each lesson session to the most enthusiastic boy and a girl in the Beginner level in each of the morning and afternoon classes. The award is determined by the Beginner level instructors. The awards consist of gift certificates to local businesses.

Sportsmanship Awards are awarded in each lesson session to the boy and the girl who exhibited the most sportsmanlike attitude. The awards are determined by EYC instructor staff. The awards consist of gift certificates to local businesses. The US Sailing Sportsmanship Award is awarded to the EYC member who over the course of the season exhibits the best sportsmanship. The award is determined by the EYC instructor staff. The winner’s name is engraved on a plaque which is kept at the EYC, and the winner also receives a keeper prize.

Please contact the Education Committee at with any questions regarding the lesson program or class registration.