Cost overview:

  • Family membership (all)                        $115
  • Cost / skipper (all)                                 $10
  • US Sabot (family owned) storage         $125
  • Charter boat: RS Tera / skipper            $250
  • Chart boat: RS Feva / skipper               $265

What is SBSSA?

SBSSA is a low cost sailing organization based on the family unit. No experience is necessary to start. Skippers learn to sail with their parent in the boat (sometimes, parents learn at the same time, or hire alumni to help). SBSSA offers sailing options for sailors from 8 to 16 year old. When a novice, the boat used is a US Sabot which costs $400-$600 and can be sold again once the skipper is ready to move onto a different type of boat. More advanced skippers will sail on club-owned boats, the RS Tera and RS Feva. 

The organization is focused on teaching sailing, seamanship and the combination of self-reliance and team work. In addition to weekly regatta (every Sunday), there are multiple activities to bring the community together: picnic, instructional days, work-day, out-of-town regatta, parties, fun days etc... Skippers and families develop long term relationships. Sailing is an excellent co-ed activity with skippers from 8 to 16 years old. For new sailors, being with older and more experienced skippers is motivating. While growing up every year, skippers have more responsibilities and become role models and helpers for younger ones.

SBSSA offers a progression path from beginners to advanced boats:

  • US Sabot for novice and B/C fleets
  • RS Tera: single handed for A fleet
  • RS Feva: two-person boat with gennaker for experienced skippers >13 years old

Examples of total cost:

  1. Total cost: 1 skipper - novice (US Sabot) (+you own the boat)                 $250
  2. Total cost: 1 skipper - A-fleet (RS Tera) (club boat+ your main sheet)      $375
  3. Total cost: 1 skipper - >13 years old (RS Feva) (club owned boat)           $390

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 can be found at under the Members tab of this website or in attachment here.

There will also be the first Hut Meeting on Thursday March 22nd at 6:00 pm (location: Marine Center Classroom - 125 Harbor Way - Harbor - Upstairs - Above Harbor Market & Deli). 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 and evolved 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 8th 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 (A-fleet) and RS Feva (2-person boat) (>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, B fleets on US Sabots. When ready to move onto A fleet, skippers will sail on new skiff boats, the RS Tera. And eventually they are ready to sail on a two-person boat with gennaker, the RS Feva fleet. Many SBSSA sailors eventually join the High School sailing teams or continue enjoying sailing on diverse types of boats. It is a life-long skill that may bring you and your family great pleasure along the years.

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, fundraising 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. For a few of the club activities, everyone has to participate such as being on the safety boat during the race, organizing the race (race committee) twice during the season (with another experienced family) and participating with the only fundraising event in October.

What is the cost?

The annual fee has remained very low (see above) 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 ($400-$600) and you will be able to sell it when ready to move to other boats. For A-skipper, you will be able to charter a club-owned boat, the new RS Tera: you will be assigned a sail you are responsible for, and you will need to purchase and care for your own main sheet. For older skippers, you will be able to charter the two-person club-owned boats, the RS Feva. 

If 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


Cell:     805-679-1258

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