A north coast sailing club hopes an investment in training boats will see a 'surge' of little 'salty dogs' taking to the sea.
On Sunday the Richmond River Sailing and Rowing Club launched its new fleet of polyethylene sailing dinghies designed for children.
The Ballina club has bought five of the state-of-the-art, light-weight boats from France and will offer junior sailing programs from late October.
The club's training officer Brendan McKeown said the boats bring sailing into the 21st century.
"Kids have been sailing around in boats designed 50 years ago and these are nice and modern," he said.
"They're designed so that if you fall over and capsize you can pull them straight back up and they come up dry and they've got no wires and lots of less things to to get tangled in while they are sailing around.
"They are much faster than the other boats too so the kids have a lot more fun," Mr McKeown said.
Each boat can take up to about 90 kilograms so two children can easily sail together.
The boats have no angles and the open cockpit makes it easy to right if capsized. The sailor just uses his or her foot and body weight to flip the boat back over.
Rigging the boat takes less than two minutes and simplifies sailing for kids.
The club has spent around $15,000 on the boats and Brendan McKeown believes it is money well spent.
"The club's got lots of adult members and we've always had a learn to sail program but we haven't focussed on the 7 to 15 year old kid range before and I think that's the missing thing here," he said.
Mr McKeown said there is a big advantage to having the same type of boat available to teach beginners.
There were plenty of smiles from children as the fleet of little sailing boats took to the Richmond River for the first time.
Brendan McKeown admits capsizing has never been so much fun.
"Just watching the kids sailing and capsizing and smiling when they pull them up.
"It's a bit of a surprise, a lot of kids don't like to get wet but they actually seem happy to be falling in the water and then dragging them up cause it's so simple and they come up and they just start sailing again, it's terrific."