Welcome to Michigan Sailing!

We're so excited to have you on our team! To get started, let's get some of your questions answered. The FAQ is split into 5 sections:

Practices & Meetings
Team Operation

Practices & Meetings

How many days am I expected to attend practice?

We don't have a practice requirement on our team. You control your sailing destiny! Sailors sign up for specific practice days at the start of the semester. They are expected to attend each practice on the days they sign up for. For example, if a sailor signs up for Tuesday and Thursday, they are expected to attend every Tuesday and Thursday practice. Tell us what days you can come by filling out the practice availability form.

What happens if I can't go to a practice?

If you email the Coaches and the Captains at least 24 hours in advance there is no penalty. If you notify us within 24 hours of practice you will lose 1 attendance point. If you fail to notify anyone you will lose 3 attendance points. Attendance points are how we track your attendance. You get one point for every practice and meeting you attend. The number of attendance points you have does influence your regatta selection.

Where is practice hosted?

We practice at Baseline Lake, it is 20-25 minute drive from central campus. We all carpool there so no need to worry about transportation!

When is practice?

We practice on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday leaving campus at 3pm and arriving back at 7pm.

How do carpools work?

Carpools leave from South Quad, CCRB, and Pierpont Commons. Carpools leave at 3 PM. If you have class that ends at 3, we will wait for you but please be as early as possible! Carpools are sent out before each week of practice. You will be added to the carpools once you fill out the practice availability form.

What are practices like?

Here is a typical practice schedule:
3:00 - Carpools leave Ann Arbor
3:25 - Arrive at Base Line and start rigging/putting gear on.
3:35 - Coaches give chalk talk and explain drills
3:45 - Launch
6:00 - Return to Shore and Put boats away
6:15 - Debrief
6:30 - Leave Base Line
7:00 - Drop off in Ann Arbor

We sail in our fleet of 12 FJs usually. We may break out JYs or Lasers from time to time if it is appropriate. Read this guide to learn the details on how we like to take care of our FJs.

What happens in the winter when the lake is frozen?

Our season ends in early to mid November. After this point we stop practicing until we start back up again at Spring Break (we do a Spring Break trip to Florida every year). We still meet for meetings every week and a executive board member will usually hold optional office hours so you can keep up your skills. We also still have social events so you can keep up with the team socially.

I really want to get good at sailing! How can I learn more outside of practice?

A board member usually holds office hours once or twice a week where you can go and learn a lot more than you can from small chalk talks. This is more question based so come with all of the questions you can think of! It's a good idea to write all your questions down that you have at practice and bring them up later when there is time. Office hours is perfect for this. There are more office hours in the winter than there are in-season. You should also check out the resources page -- it has guides that can help sailors at any level.

Do I have to pay dues if I come to practice?

You can come to two practices without paying any dues, excluding the Friday practice that is specifically indicated for new sailors (including that practice, you can attend three without paying dues). If you attend a third regular practice, you are required to pay a semester's worth of dues. 

What? Where? When? Meetings.

Meetings are held every Monday at 7 PM. They last about an hour. The location is sent out the morning of, along with information about the agenda for the meeting. Generally, the location is in Mason Hall (room varying). Meetings are the time for the Captains to catch you up on everything that is happening with the team behind the scenes, hear about regatta results, and learn a bit more with chalk talks from the Sailing Development Chair, Connor Goulet.


How much are dues?

$225 for one semester or $400 for the full year. You are also required to buy $30 worth of team apparel--we want you to look like you are a part of the team!

If you attend more than 3 practices or attend a regatta, you are required to pay dues for the semester.

What if I can't afford dues?

If you are in a strenuous financial circumstance which renders you unable to pay dues at the normal rate please talk to someone on the Executive Board. We may not be able to help you in full but we can try and get you sailing one way or another. Please only inquire about this if you are in serious financial need. The team is entirely self-funded and cannot afford to reduce dues for everyone.

How do I pay dues?

Dues must be given to our Treasurer, Max Ellsworth. They can be given to the treasurer by cash or check. The check should be made out to "The University of Michigan" with "Sailing Team" in the memo.

You can fulfill your apparel requirement by buying things from our store. Note: you should buy it directly from our Fundraising Chair, Murphy Vandervest, to get the team member discount.

Does the team special order count towards my $30 of apparel?

No. Each year the team orders a specialty item like team bags, Patagonia better sweaters, Musto jackets, etc. This purchase does not count towards the $30 requirement. 

If you have cool ideas for team special orders, talk to our Fundraising Chair, Murphy Vandervest.

What do dues cover?

Dues cover the costs of nearly all team activities like the following: van rentals, gas, housing, regattas we host, coaching, fleet maintenance, and most social events.  They do not cover food at regattas, personal gear, or regatta fees (which are generally $10/person so the host team can provide breakfast and lunch).

What can I participate in without paying dues?

You can come to two regular practices as well as the Friday practice indicated for new sailors without paying dues. You can also come to all of our Monday Meetings. You are also welcome at public social events.


Please check out the Gear Guide for a more detailed overview of what gear you will need.

What gear do I need for warm weather sailing?

Warm weather sailing occurs in early fall and during Spring Break. You will need a lifejacket (one will be provided if you don’t have one), hat, tech tees, quick-dry shorts, deck shoes, gloves, watch, bailer (if crew), and sunscreen.

If you don't have all of these items, no worries! For your first few practices you will only need to bring yourself, workout clothes, and sneakers that you don't mind getting wet.

What gear do I need for medium weather sailing?

Medium weather sailing occurs throughout the fall season. You will need a lifejacket, spray pants, dinghy boots or deck shoes, neoprene or wool socks, gloves, hat, tech tee and/or spray jacket, watch, bailer (if crew).

What gear do I need for cold weather sailing?

Cold weather sailing occurs late in the fall season and throughout the spring season. You will need a lifejacket, drysuit, dinghy boots, neoprene or wool socks, gloves, winter hat, buff, watch, bailer (if crew).

How does the drysuit rental program work?

We offer a Drysuit Rental Program to make drysuits more affordable. The rate for renting a drysuit is $80 a year. The Sailing Development Chair, Jake Orhan, is in charge of the allocation of drysuits. If you plan on sailing 4 years, we highly recommend buying a drysuit since buying one is cheaper than renting for 4 years.

If you rent a drysuit you are in charge of taking care of it. The drysuits are numbered and you will be charged for any major damages if we think you were irresponsible with it.

Check out this interest form on the Drysuit Rental Program to learn more. Disclaimer: the number of drysuits the team owns is limited and we can not guarantee that everyone will get a drysuit.


Our regattas are when we travel around the country to compete against other schools. The vast majority of regattas are on the weekends and take place mostly in the Midwest and on the East Coast.

How do I go to a regatta?

Signing up for Regattas is easy! Just hop onto our Regatta Sign Up Sheet and write your name next to the regatta you wish to attend. The Regattas are color coded on the sign up sheet to show the type of regatta you are signing up for. We encourage everyone to sign up for every Regatta. If you are worried you are not skilled enough for a particular Regatta, don’t worry about it and sign up anyway. Nothing bad can come out of signing up! If you sign up for regattas and don’t get selected, it still shows that you are committed to the team, which could help you in future selections.

What types of regattas are there?

There are many types of regattas! This can be pretty confusing so feel free to reach out to anyone if you have questions.

MCSA In-Conference Regattas: The MCSA In-Conference events are usually used for development of less experienced sailors. MCSA Regattas are grouped into three tiers (A, B, C). Tier A events are more serious and are all conference championship qualifiers, Tier C events are less serious and more focused on improving, and Tier B events are somewhere in the middle. If you are brand new to sailing, Tier B & C events are perfect for you. They will provide you with a real regatta experience at a level you can compete at.

MCSA Conference Championships: These are the most important regattas of our season. With the exception of Fall Championships, every MCSA Championship is a qualifier a National Championship. We will always try to send our most competitive team to these events, with the goal being to win. Not only do most of these events qualify us for National Championships but it also gains us bragging rights within the MCSA.

ICSA Interconferences: Interconference are events that include multiple conferences from around the country. These regattas are generally more competitive than all MCSA regattas (including conference championships). Most competitors come from varsity programs and are the top sailors in the country. These regattas are used to prepare for Conference Championships and National Championships.

ICSA National Championships: These are the most competitive events in the country. We are only allowed to attend nationals if we qualify at our Conference Championships. We will always send our best team to nationals.

Keelboat Regattas: Keelboat Regattas are competitive events where we send teams ranging from 4-10 people, depending on the boat. Since there are only a few keelboat regattas a year, the selection process is very competitive. You generally need to have keelboat experience before being selected for one of these regattas, although some regattas require less experience. If you don’t have keelboat experience but are interested, ask one of our keelboat sailors about how you can get involved.

How does regatta selection work? Why did/didn't I get selected?

  1. Regatta Selections are determined by the Executive Board. If a member of the executive board is signed up for the regatta, they are asked to leave the room in an attempt to remove bias.

  2. The Captains usually ask the coaches to provide their opinion on skill, while the board provides its opinion on things like crew pairings, experience, and commitment.

  3. The decision making process is different depending on the type of regatta.* Generally the process is as follows:

    In-Conference Regattas are based on team commitment which is mostly demonstrated through practice attendance. All other regattas are based on skill firstly and then by team commitment.

  4. When there is disagreement in the selection process, the team captains make the final decision.

*If you would like to know more specifics, feel free to read our constitution. The rules for selection can be found under Appendix Two.

How many regattas am I expected to attend?

You can attend as many or as few regattas as you would like to! There are no competition requirements.

Where do I stay when I travel for regattas?

A Regatta Packet is sent out by the Travel Chair, Maggie Carroll, the Wednesday before the regatta containing all the specific information about housing, travel, and gear that you need.

Every regatta, housing is completely taken care of by the team. For In-Conference events the host team is required to provide housing. For regattas on the East Coast we often stay with a host family and occasionally will stay in a hotel. We are often unsure how accommodating the host will be, so we recommend that you plan to pack a pillow, extra blankets, and a towel.

If you live on the East Coast and are willing to house us when we travel to your city please let one of our Captains, Sarah Youtt or Kyle Doyle know!

How do I get to the regatta?

We travel using university provided minivans. When we travel everything is paid for by the team except for food. If you have to fill up the van with gas, you can get reimbursed by filling out the reimbursement form, which will be sent out by the Treasurer. Ask our Treasurer, Max Ellsworth if you have questions about reimbursement!

What forms do I need to fill out before I go to a regatta?

What a great question! Check out the Steps to Join page to find out!

Team Operations

How does the team work behind the scenes?

There is a lot that goes on to help keep our team running smoothly. We do this with the help of our Executive Board and support from the Unviersity Recreational Sports Department. 

The Executive Board of seven members is essentially charge of running the team. They get us berths to regattas, organize logistics for regattas we go to and ones that we host, fundraise for boats and other expenses, select for regattas, keep the university happy, interact with the Clubbies, organize practice, interact with coaches, and so much more! Every decision that the team makes comes from the board. If you are interested in the precise duties of each of these positions, check out our constitution.

Where can I find the team constitution?

The constitution contains a lot more specific information on team policies. You can find it here!

Who do I talk to if I am concerned about something?

We highly encourage that you bring up any concerns you have about the team directly to the Captains, Sarah Youtt or Kyle Doyle. If you are not comfortable talking to them please talk to another member of the executive board.

If you have any ideas that you think the team should further explore please let someone on the executive board know! We love new ideas!

How can I get more involved with the team?

The easiest way to get involved is to join the Executive Board. You can run for a position when elections are held in November. You can find more details about how elections work by reading the constitution.

In the meantime, you can talk to our Communications Chair, Jenna Probst, about joining the Communications Committee. You can also volunteer your time to help out with hosting regattas or a multitude of other things that the current EB will inform you of as they come up.