Are you a non-profit organization?
The WaterFront Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Federal tax-id is 11-3529597.
The WFC Operates on public land managed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Town of Oyster Bay (TOB). Our services rely on the support of these government agencies.
Where are you located?
Our facility is located at 1 West End Avenue, Oyster Bay NY, 11771.
- What types of sailboats do we have?
- • Sonars: The Sonar is our 23-foot long keelboat. We use it for most of our sailing programs including learn to sail courses, community sailing, and WFC racing. We also offer private lessons and rentals on sonars. If you are comfortable with sailing and would like to rent on your own, you can complete a safety sail.
- • Hobies: These are our catamarans (double-hulled sailboats). We have clinics specific for these boats.
- • Sunfish: These are an old favorite – we have clinics for these as well!
- • Mariner 36: We have a Mariner 36, known as the Ambiance for rental. She holds up to 6 people. In order to rent with us, you must complete a Cruising Checkout Sail. (We also offer a Basic Cruising Course.) We have hourly, daily, and overnight options for rentals. If you would like to rent but do not have adequate sailing experience, you can schedule a captained charter. We’ll set up a captain to take your group for a harbor tour at your convenience.
- • Other: Optis, prams, and 420s are used in our youth programs.
- How can I schedule a private lesson or a safety sail?
- • Private lessons as well as safety sails are usually scheduled about a week in advance over the phone.
- • Give us a call at (516)-922-7245 and provide us with the dates and times you are looking to plan your lesson and we will find you an instructor.
- What do I bring and do for an adult sailing program?
- • Dress for the weather—sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, windbreaker, rain jacket, or whatever Mother Nature calls for.
- • Please wear close-toed shoes with a captive heal or back strap (no flip-flops).
- • For your upcoming sailing program, we suggest that you bring a reusable water bottle, and a quick, easy snack (i.e. granola bar).
- • Arrive about fifteen minutes before your class time, so you have time to check-in with the front desk staff, get a lifejacket, and meet your instructor.
- • Parking is available right in front of our building, across the street, and just west of our building in the Beekman Beach parking lot.
**If you are here for a full-day program, please bring a packed lunch.
**Participants in our Sunfish Clinics and Hobie programs will get wet! It's a good idea to have a bathing suit on for our capsize drills!
- What are Safety Sails?
Safety Sails are $20 and take about an hour to an hour and a half out on the water. Instructors evaluate you on basic sailing skills such as tacking, heave-to, mooring pick up, man overboard recovery, and reefing. All skills will be graded on a 1-3 scale, with 3 being the highest score. To pass you must achieve at least 16 points and may not receive a "1" in any skill area. These sails are usually set up about a week in advance over the phone. Sunfish, Hobie, and Cruising boat Safety Sails are good for life! Cruising Safety Sails are a bit more intensive and last 4 hours. The fee for this is $100.
**If you proceed with a safety sail, but are unsuccessful, you may apply the pre-paid safety sail and first two-hour rental fee to future community sailing classes or a private lesson. Your instructor will also provide you with an improvement plan to help you reach your goal!
- What are Orientation Sails?
Sonars require an Orientation Sail each year after a Safety Sail has been completed ($10). Orientation Sails follow a similar format to the Safety Sails.
- Where can I find the blank copies of medical forms I need to submit?
- • There is no specific form from our office that must be filled out, rather a general copy of a physical as well as immunization records or any notice that your child is medically cleared to participate will work.
- • We do require these forms at the latest, the day before your child's selected session begins.
- What do you need for Junior Summer Programs?
- • Bathing suit
- • Light layers
- • Closed-toe, captive-heeled shoes
- • Hat, sunglasses
- • Reusable water bottle
- • Towel (2 for Bay Bucs & Sound Swash)
- • Warm layers
- • Waterproof jacket
- • Change of clothes
- • Sunscreen
- • Packed lunch
- • Bay Bucs & Sound Swash: morning snack
- • Bay Bucs: afternoon snack
- What does a swim check entail?
*All programs except Bay Bucs have a Swim Check that includes the following:
- • Swim checks are performed in deep water, alongside the dock with staff nearby to render assistance as needed. For most programs*, participants must enter the water without a lifejacket and in sailing clothes (including shoes), swim unassisted for 25 yards, and tread water for 1 minute.
***Sound Swash and Lil Luffers tread in water with their life jacket on
***First Mates and Skippers: The camper removes his/her life jacket and steps off of a ladder into the water. S/he swims about 30 feet with the instructor walking along the dock next to him/her. S/he turns and swims back to the ladder then puts on the life jacket while in the water
- Ultimately: Participants must demonstrate comfort in deep water, in their sailing clothes. Other than during the Swim Check, they will have their lifejacket on while in, on and near the water.
- What happens if my child doesn't pass their swim test?
We let them try it again and make a decision at the discretion of WFC if they can remain in the program.
- Are you a swimming program?
While we are not a swimming program, participants have the option to wade in the water at lunch, during marine exploration activities, paddling and sailing.
- Are kayaks charged hourly?
We have a one-hour minimum rate. After the first hour, we charge by 15-minute intervals.
- What are the age requirements for paddle rentals?
- • Children as young as five are allowed in double kayaks. However, they must be accompanied by an adult (18 years or older).
- • Nine and older are allowed in single kayaks and SUPs, but an adult must be on the water with them.
- • 16 and 17-year-olds can rent a kayak or SUP without being accompanied by an adult as long as an adult (18 years or older) signs the waiver.
- What should I bring with me when kayaking/paddling:
- • Bathing suit
- • Collateral (credit card or cash and ID)
- • Light layers
- • Hat, sunglasses
- • Reusable water bottle
- • Sunscreen
- • Bag for loose items
- • Towel
- What do you accept as collateral?
When renting with us, you must leave an item of collateral at the front desk while you are on the water. For collateral, we accept a credit card or a license and cash. You collect this item when you return and pay for your rental.
- Will you watch my items at the front desk while I am out on the water?
We will hold on to keys but ask that you leave mobile devices in your vehicle.
- Does a rental include a guide?
You will not get a formal lesson when taking out the kayak, but you can ask the dock hands who launch you out for some quick tips before your rental. Dock staff will help you on and off the kayak/SUP and get you started, but they will not go out on the water with you. If you are looking to learn more, please check out of Private Lessons, WhatSUP or Evening Paddle programs.
OYSTER SLOOP CHRISTEEN
- Can I bring food and drink on-board?
Yes! We simply ask you leave the boat how you found her.
- What is the minimum age of a child who can come aboard Christeen?
Children must be three (3) years of age.
- How many passengers are allowed aboard Christeen?
A total of 24 passengers, in addition to captain and crew is allowed aboard during the sail.
- Standard private charters leave from the Waterfront Center, 1 West End Avenue, Oyster Bay, NY 11771. Can we be pick-up and/or dropped off at our dock?
Yes! Christeen can travel to you, if arranged in advance. Your sail and cost must include the time Christeen travels to and from your dock location. Please note Christeen's max motoring speed is roughly 5-6 knots.
- Will Christeen fit at another dock?
Christeen has a draft of about 3 feet due to a centerboard and a length of 40 feet.
- What is Christeen’s availability like for private charters?
Availability is first come, first served. If you know the date and time you would like call right away!
- What if it rains?
Christeen goes out in a light drizzle; only the WFC may cancel a scheduled sail.
- Is there a good place for guests to hang out/ sit before or after their tour?
Yes! People can gather at the gazebo or beach before the sail. Do keep in mind these are available to the public and are first come first served.
- Are there places for people to sit on the boat?
Yes, there are benches and seating for about 10 – 14 people aboard the boat. There is also room on the cabin tops for service trays, food and drink.
- Can Christeen accommodate wheel chairs?
Yes. She can accommodate non-motorized wheel chairs. Please give staff advanced notice.
What is the cancellation policy for programs including Christeen sails?
- • If you cancel more than two weeks in advance, you will receive a full refund.
- • If you cancel between four and fourteen days in advance, no refund is issued, but you may reschedule without penalty.
- • If you cancel within three days of the scheduled date (i.e. less than 72 hours), you may not receive a refund or the opportunity to reschedule – unless appropriate documentation can be provided such as a doctor’s note.
- • Rentals of sonars, hobies, and sunfish may be canceled without penalty.
What if the weather is bad?
- • Cancellations due to weather are at the sole discretion of the Waterfront Center.
- • The Waterfront Center reserves the right to cancel due to weather up to and including scheduled sail times, but we will give as much advanced notice as possible.
- • In the event of a weather cancellation, you may choose a refund or to reschedule your date.
What if I need to cancel a Junior Summer Program?
- • In the event that a participant suffers from an illness or injury prior to their program start date which prevents them from participating in regular activities, the amount paid will be refunded less a $75.00 processing fee; doctor’s note required.
- • Should a summer program participant decide not to attend a program for other reasons, not related to illness or injury, the amount paid is non-refundable, unless a fully paid replacement for the spot is confirmed before the program begins. A $75.00 processing fee applies.
- • A refund will not be issued once a program has begun.