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Boating and Sailing Information

This is 2020 UPDATED information!

The Recreation Department WILL BE HOLDING BOATING AND SAILING LESSONS once again this summer for Quincy Residents Only! Lessons for returning participants will begin on Monday, July 6, 2020.

Registration will begin on Friday, June 18, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. on

About the William F. Ryan Boating and Sailing Facility

This facility is named for William F. Ryan, the city’s first full time director of recreation, serving from 1955-1975. For over 50 years the instructors at the William F. Ryan Boating and Sailing Facility have taught the city’s children ages 8-16 the fundamentals of boating. We have a very experienced and friendly staff that enthusiastically teaches youngsters the fundamentals of rowing, canoeing and sailing.


The William F. Ryan Boating and Sailing Facility is located in scenic Merrymount Park. The boating facility is located on Black’s Creek, a pristine saltwater lagoon ideally suited for boating and sailing.

Directions to the William F. Ryan Boating and Sailing Facility

You can reach the facility by going through the main entrance of Merrymount Park located on Merrymount Parkway which begins at Adams Field. Proceed up the hill and go through the Pageant Field parking lot. There you will find two granite columns that are separated by a dirt road. Follow this dirt road down the hill and eventually into the facility parking lot.


Registration for First Year Participants will be held once an opening date for the Lincoln Hancock Pool is established.

Our rowing course is dedicated to all first year participants and is designed to foster them with basic boating knowledge and skills. First year participants will learn the parts of a boat, the parts of the oar, how to tie three essential boating knots, and how to properly row a rowboat. In order to be eligible to take rowing, all first year participants must complete a swim test. This swim test is held at the Lincoln Hancock pool. In order to pass this swim test, children must be able to swim three lengths of the swimming pool, float for one minute, tread water for one minute, and complete a surface dive. After students effectively display that they have knowledge of these basic boating skills, they will need to take a rowing test. Upon passing this rowing test students have the choice of entering into either canoeing or sailing class, during the time that they signed up for rowing class.

Canoeing and Kayaking

In our canoeing and kayaking class we teach students the basics of both canoeing and kayaking. We teach the children how to correctly paddle canoes and kayaks, how to safely and properly enter and exit these boats, and how to correctly steer and maneuver canoes and kayaks.

During canoeing and kayaking class we take students on journeys throughout the many creeks that branch out of the lagoon. These undisturbed creeks, abundant with wildlife, offer the students a chance to demonstrate their canoeing and kayaking abilities.

Adult Kayaking

You’ve seen the kids do it, now it’s your turn! The facility now has an adult kayaking program to enable Quincy residents to enjoy the rapidly growing popularity of this activity. Five full size adult kayaks on a first come first serve basis throughout the day after a period of instruction. There will be a time limit if participants are waiting.

Beginner Sailing

The William F. Ryan Boating and Sailing Facility is fortunate to have a fleet of O’Day Widgeons, that are ideal for the beginner or experienced sailor. In our beginner sailing class we teach students the art of sailing. Students will learn the different parts of a sailboat, how to tell the direction of the wind, how to properly fold a sail, and dock a sailboat, the three major points of sail, and also how to come-about and jibe (how to turn the boat).

Intermediate Sailing

The Intermediate Sailing class is only for participants who have completed at least three years of beginner sailing and can effectively display their sailing skills. The Boating and Sailing Supervisor must approve any promotion to this level of sailing. In this class students begin to learn the fundamentals of sailboat racing.

Advanced Sailing

The Advanced Sailing class is only for participants who have completed at least five years of sailing lessons and can effectively display their knowledge of sailing and racing. The Boating and Sailing Supervisor must approve any promotion to this level of sailing. In this class students engage in competitive racing with other members of the class.

***Special Events***

As of June 15th, Nautical Day and Quincy Bay Race Week will not be held in 2020.

Nautical Day
- On the last day of the boating season we have a family cookout at the William F. Ryan Boating and Sailing Facility. This is a great end to the boating season. We have many activities, a grill to cookout on, and all the boats ready to allow your children to show you what they learned over the summer.

Quincy Bay Race Week- This is a sailing event organized by the local yacht clubs that Quincy Recreation participates in every year. A select group of sailors from our advanced class participate in races out in Quincy Bay. This is a fun and great opportunity for students to display their knowledge of racing and sailing proudly to their family and the boating community.

Adult Lessons

We not only offer sailing lessons to the youth of Quincy, but also to adults. Our Adult membership includes two lessons, which are an hour and a half long. These lessons are made by appointment and provide knowledge of basic sailing. After taking these lessons adults will be able to sail and dock a sailboat. Upon completion of these lessons adults are welcome to come down and take out a sailboat on weekday evenings and weekend afternoons inquire at the Boathouse for days and times.

Family Boating

On Fridays from 4:00pm-7:30pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 12:00pm-6:00pm we offer family boating. During these times families with experienced participants may come down to the William F. Ryan Boating and Sailing Facility and use the rowboats, canoes, kayaks, and sailboats.

How to Register

2020 Boating and Sailing Registration Thursday, June 18, 2019 online at Registration will continue as long as openings exist.

Membership Prices

Family*  *A family membership pays for any youth lessons as well as adult lessons.

- $35
Introductory Kayak and Canoe - $15*

*Fee may be applied to a season membership on the day of the introductory class only.