Sailing school underway

June 24, 2014

Ludington_youth_sailing_school_1By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief. 

LUDINGTON — The Ludington Youth Sailing School is in its second day and its founder is very happy. The current weekly session has 7 students, with a total of 60 that have signed up throughout the summer.

“I am ecstatic,” said. Gary Ferguson, president of the organization’s board. “I couldn’t be happier. We have 60 students signed up so far but would ideally like 120.”

Current students come from a wide area. While there are students from Ludington, Scottville, Free Soil and Pentwater, there are also students from Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Other students signed up for other sessions are coming from southeastern Michigan, Indiana, Texas and Georgia.

Ludington_youth_sailing_school_2“A lot of the kids will be here on vacation with either their parents or grandparents,” Ferguson said.

The current class consists of students ages 8- to 13-years-old. However, there are older teenagers registered as well.

Sailing lessons are taught by certified instructor Tom Hilton of Pentwater, along with three high school-aged assistants. All lessons are based on the peninsula west of the yacht club just west of Copeyon Park. Sailing takes place on Pere Marquette Lake.

Ferguson said Hilton teaches under the guidelines of the U.S. Sailing Association.

The classes are 3 hours a day for five days and cost $100; sessions are available in the morning and afternoon. Ferguson said class sizes will be limited to 10 students.

Class sessions are June 23-27, June 30-July 3 (4 day period for $80), July 7-11, July 14-18, July 21-25, July 28-Aug. 1, Aug. 4-8, Aug. 11-15. Scholarships are available for students who show a financial need.

For more information, call Ferguson at 231.690.3710 or go to

The school has received major financial support from the Community Foundation of Mason County and from private donors.

Donations may be sent to Ludington Youth Sailing School, PO Box 132, Ludington, MI 49431.