Mariners is all about adventure for young men and women aged 14-18. Members learn nautical skills and how to sail a variety of boats, from 14 ft. Capris to 38 ft fully equipped yachts, not to mention the 100′ Tall Ship ‘Spirit of Dana Point’. There’s plenty to choose from with day sails, weekend trips, an annual week-long summer cruise and exciting weekend competition events with other Seascout groups.
The instructional part of the program is divided up into a fall and spring session comprised of 12 weeks each whereas the recreational sailing and racing runs all year long.
Instruction involves 12 weeks per session of Wednesday evening classes for 2.5 hours each. There are 8 separate classes ranging from beginning to advanced boat handling. On-the-water training takes place on weekend days during fall and spring seasons. The culmination of the training results in the Quartermaster Cruise, where the Mariner skippers one of the large boats to Catalina and back with their own handpicked crew.
At the end of both seasons (fall and spring) there is an assessment of seamanship skills with Sea Scouts from around the country. Events are often held in San Francisco or San Diego onboard a US Navy ship. The different Seascout groups compete in sailing, rowing, and general nautical skills. These events have turned out to be some of the most popular with the members.
Members can come down and go sailing on the vessel of their choosing, and for which they are qualified, most Saturdays and Sundays year around. Mariner’s fleet of sailboats is one of the best on the west coast.
Almost all the sailboats in Mariner’s fleet are set up for racing. There are a number of different series to meet the skill level and interest of the seaman or group. Mariners often set up their own fun races and fly around in Dana Point Harbor. On Thursday evenings in Spring there is a racing series for the larger boats off Dana Point. There are also a number of races for the one and two man boats in Newport, Mission Bay and San Francisco Bay.
For all these activities qualified supervision is paramount. The volunteer staff is made up adults who have spent countless hours on the open ocean as well as working with youth. They are fully trained through the Boyscouts adult training programs.
The adults are not the only supervision that is provided. Mariners are taught to supervise each other. Through all the fun the goal is to develop safe boating skills in every Mariner. By the time a Mariner graduates as a Quartermaster they will be one of the safest and most knowledgeable skippers on the water.