FAQs

What pre-requisites do I require for one of your beginner sailing courses?
No pre-requisites are required – only a desire to learn how to sail and have fun.

How long does the Basic Learn-to-Cruise course take?
The courses in Ottawa last a minimum of 28 hours. They can be taken over two consecutive weekends, four weekdays – Monday to Thursday, or eight weeknights – either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays. The emphasis on the course is on the practical, with about 85% of the course being taught either dockside or out on the water. Numerous, practical on-the-water courses are offered from early May until the end of September.

What types of practical boating programs do you offer?
Advantage Boating is a proud member of Sail Canada and provides education in three different Sail Canada “Learn-to” systems.

  • Learn-to-Cruise – keelboat instruction
  • Learn-to-Power – powerboat instruction
  • Learn-to-Sail – dinghy instruction

What types of boats do you use?
For our local Learn-to-Cruise courses we use boats that range in size from 22 to 24 feet in length. The boat you will learn on will most likely be a Tanzer 22, a Sonar, or a Shark. All boats are safe, comfortable and a pleasure to sail.

Our live-aboard courses in Kingston and the Caribbean are taught on boats ranging in length from 30 to 45 feet.

What is the typical size of one of your classes?
For our practical on-the-water courses such as our Basic Learn-to-Cruise course we allow a maximum of 4 students per course thereby giving everyone lots of practical hands-on time in each of the different positions on the boat.

What does the course fee include?
Sent to you before the course begins is a pre-course package that includes your textbook and other resource material so that you can get a head start. Also included onboard your vessel is all safety equipment, including lifejackets. The course will be taught by a certified Sail Canada instructor and upon successful completion of the course you will be awarded with the Sail Canada Basic Cruising Standard. You will also have the opportunity to obtain your Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card at no extra fee.

What is the difference between Sail Canada and the Canadian Power Squadron (CPS)?
Sail Canada (www.sailing.ca) and the CPS (http://www.cps-ecp.ca) are the two largest organizations providing boating education in Canada. The CPS primarily offers classroom only education during the off season (September – April) whereas the majority of Sail Canada courses emphasize practical on-the-water courses, although classroom courses like coastal and celestial navigation along with the mandatory boating education courses are also offered as classroom courses by Sail Canada.

What opportunities exist for those that don’t have a boat after taking a course?
Check out our Keelboat Syndicate.

What is the difference between a dinghy and a keelboat?

A dinghy is generally sailed by one or two people and the boat usually ranges from 6 feet to 18 feet long. A dinghy requires the weight of the skipper/crew to keep the boat upright and prevent it from capsizing. See our dinghy Learn-to-Sail courses in the Learning Centre.
A keelboat is larger in size then a dinghy. It has a large (usually lead) fin attached to the bottom of the boat that does the work of keeping the boat uprights. See our keelboat Learn-to-Cruise courses in the Learning Centre.

Where can I take windsurfing lessons?
Try calling Mr. Joe’s Boardsailing Academy at 224-6137. He offers lessons on weekends during the summer.

What are terms for payment and refunds?

–  Payment accepted by Visa, Mastercard, cheque, or cash.
–  Daytime or Evening (on-the-water) courses:  $300 minimum or 50% deposit required for all courses when booking.  Balance is due 45 days before course start date.
–  Live-Aboard (on-the-water) courses:  50% deposit is required at time of booking.  Balance is due 45 days before course start date.
–  Classroom Navigation courses:  $200 deposit is required at time of booking.  Balance is due 30 days before course start date.
–  All other classroom courses:  Full payment is required at time of booking
–  Any course subject to discount, promotion or price incentive must be paid in full upon the date of registration.
–  For daytime or evening courses, one change prior to 30 days of course start is allowed.
–  For live aboard courses, one change prior to 45 days of course start date is allowed.
–  Each subsequent course change or will be charged a $50 service fee.
–  Course refund (less a $50.00 service charge) will be offered prior to 30 or 45 days of a course start date (see below).
–  For daytime or evening (Ottawa or Kingston) courses, no refunds are offered within 30 days of course start date.
–  For live aboard (Ottawa or Kingston) courses, no refunds are offered within 45 days of course start date.
–  No refunds are offered after course start date unless the course is cancelled by Advantage Boating.
–  Full refunds are offered for programs cancelled by Advantage Boating.

–  Fees, dates, boats, location and courses are subject to change without notice.
–  Gift Certificates are non-refundable and have no cash value, but are transferable.
–  Gift Certificate expiry dates are noted on the certificate.

Where can I have sails repaired in Ottawa?
Call Rick Race of DOYLE Ottawa Sailmakers. 832-3456.