A View of the Sailing Season

Commodore's Message:

Hello to new skippers, returning skippers, alumni and families,

It is my pleasure and an honor to welcome you to SBSSA. The start of the 2018 SBSSA sailing season is right around the corner. Our first sailing day will be Sunday April 8th. Mark your calendar. The complete calendar of all events will be published shortly.

There will also be the first Hut Meeting on Thursday March 22nd at 6:00 pm (location: TBD). This page will be updated once the location has been finalized.

2018 is the 70th year of SBSSA long tradition of teaching boys and girls aged 8 to 16 to sail, and race around the beautiful and safe waters of Santa Barbara harbor. Being part of SBSSA community, means fun on the beach, strong family ties, long time friendships, while fostering healthy child development, independence, seamanship and sailing skills. SBSSA has lasted because it carried its strength and successful traditions while adapted to its time to evolve with the needs of its members.

What is the Santa Barbara Seashell Association (SBSSA)?

It is a family run organization that teaches sailing, seamanship, self-reliance, confidence, responsibility, and sportsmanship, and at a low cost. The family component of the activities is key in the many years of SBSSA’s success. Sailing takes place on West Beach most Sundays (and some Saturdays) from April 6th to October 7th with a few weeks break during the summer. There is at least one out-of-town event in Mission Bay (San Diego) in July that gives the opportunity of sailing in a different, beautiful and calm area. There are also many other events including picnics, parties, sailing on different types of boats etc.

Skippers sail on US Sabots (single-handed) before moving onto RS Tera (single handed) once in the A-fleet and onto RS Feva (2-person) (>13 years old). Most skippers join with little to no sailing experience and grow to become fine recreational and competitive sailors. Skippers progress through the years from being a Novice (and sailing with their parent) to the C and B fleet on US Sabots. A fleet skippers will sail on the new RS Tera (single handed skiff-type boat). And then, older sailors will sail with the RS Feva fleet, a 2-person boat. Many SBSSA sailors eventually join the High School sailing teams.

When do I sail?

A typical Sunday starts around noon at the launch ramp to rig the boats to be ready for the “mast meeting” at 1:00 pm.  Each Sunday includes three races with the skippers, interspaced with a race for the adults.  Boats are generally all put away around 4:00-5:00 pm. This is an all-volunteer family organization and everyone must help out to make it work.  We always need help with teaching, scoring, safety on the water, race course set up, equipment maintenance, relationships with the community, social activities and club organization in general.  Whatever you like doing or interested in learning, you will be able to utilize your skills while being part of the long SBSSA tradition and become part of the local sailing community.

What is the cost?

The annual fee has remained very low because SBSSA funding relies heavily on our unique annual fundraising event: the Wine Tasting and Yacht Tour the first Saturday of October. The event marks the end of the season and every parent participates by getting silent auction items, preparing appetizers and desserts, selling tickets and helping on the day itself. It is a wonderful and fun event to prepare for and enjoy. 

When your skipper is a novice, you will need to purchase your own boat (US Sabot) for a relatively modest sum ($300-$600) and you will be able to sell it when ready to move to other boats. For A-skippers and above, you will be able to charter club-owned boats: RS Tera then RS FevaIf you have questions, please do not hesitate to call or email.

On behalf of the 2018 Board, I welcome you to SBSSA and look forward to seeing you very soon.

Catherine Gloster


Commodore 2018

Email:   commodore@sbssa.org

Cell:     805-679-1258

Santa Barbara Seashell Association

PO Box 3075

Santa Barbara, CA 93130

SBSSA Photographer,
Feb 5, 2018, 8:29 PM
Webmaster SBSSA,
Mar 20, 2016, 12:24 PM