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Learning at the Helm (LATH)


Learning at the Helm (LATH) is an introduction to sailing open to anyone 18 and older, who is interested in learning about sailing. We meet on the deck at Hamilton Creek Marina at 5:00 pm every Tuesday, April through September. The goal of LATH is to share our passion for the sport and promote sailing within Percy Priest Yacht Club (PPYC). Qualified PPYC skippers will provide a basic introduction to sailboats and on-the-water sailing instruction each week. Besides giving newcomers a great way to try out a new sport, we have a great time on the lake. Our fun-filled evenings give everyone a chance to experience the thrill of sailing. Sailing is one of few sports that can be enjoyed by an individual as well as an entire family.


After two evenings of sailing in our LATH program, if you like the sport of sailing and would like to continue to expand your sailing skills, we encourage becoming a Provisional PPYC Member.  You will then have the opportunity not only to continue your sailing lessons in LATH, but to access PPYC University educational courses and to participate in PPYC social events.  As a Provisional Member of PPYC you will enjoy all privileges of a regular member, except voting rights, for a year at a total cost of $160.  You will have the opportunity to receive a LATH Certificate of Completion while sailing the beautiful waters of Percy Priest Lake. It is recommended that you attend many of the PPYC University educational courses included in your membership to aid you in reaching your goals. It's up to you to make it happen this summer by learning, participating and being at every LATH you can possibly attend! Have your LATH skipper sign off on your masteries so that you can keep track of your progress toward a LATH Certificate of Completion!  Help us reach our goal of having at least twenty new PPYC members through our LATH program who have also achieved a LATH Certificate of Completion. 

How to join PPYC

Because space on boats is limited and spots can't be guaranteed, you need to register in advance each week. Those who have registered through the website will have priority over those who just show up at the marina, for placement on sailboats.  Registration through the website allows the LATH directors to plan ahead so that participants can get out on the water as soon as possible. 

Register for LATH 

Anyone participating in the LATH program for the first time must sign a Waiver and Release Agreement that will cover you for the season.  

Download the Leaning at the Helm (LATH) Waiver & Release 2018 PDF

LATH is a rain or shine event, although we never set sail in thunder, lightning, or severe wind. When sailing isn't possible due to conditions, a Chalk Talk (classroom style) lesson is conducted on the clubhouse deck. It is the responsibility of each participant to check the weather prior to heading to the lake and make the decision to attend or sail accordingly.

It is important that LATH participants come prepared for sailing by bringing the following:

  • Comfortable and loose-fitting clothing for ease in moving around the boat, and as appropriate for the expected temperature
  • Rain jacket if rain is expected
  • Soft soled shoes with white soles (no thongs, dress shoes, hiking boots, etc.)
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Bottle of water
  • Sunscreen (lotion, not spray)
  • A PFD (personal flotation device, i.e., a life jacket) is also recommended.  All boats will have the number of PFDs required, but if you have your own, it would be good if you brought that with you.  

Please feel free to contact the Sailing Director,, if you have any questions. We look forward to you joining us Tuesday evenings and hope you are quickly bitten by the sailing bug!

View Photos from LATH