Learn To Sail – Keelboats

Sailing a Sonar – a 23 foot sailboat

Our Learn-to-Cruise courses in Ottawa are taught aboard one of our 22-27 foot keelboats (Sonar, Tanzer 22, and C&C 27).  A keelboat has a keel (fixed appendage) on the bottom of the hull that provides the sideways resistance needed to counter the force of the wind on the sails. The keel is usually made from lead or cast iron which provides the ballast to help keep the boat upright.

In Kingston, our Learn-to-Cruise courses are taught on a well-equipped 35-foot keelboat. During the winter months, we offer 1-week sailing courses leading to national certification in the beautiful warm waters of the Caribbean on a 40-43 foot keelboat.

The boats we use for our programs are safe, comfortable and a pleasure to sail.  Each of our on-water courses has a maximum of four students. This gives each participant lots of hands-on time and plenty of opportunity to practice in each position on the boat.

Our courses are taught by Sail Canada certified instructors who undergo extensive national training.  Sail Canada and International Yacht Training (IYT) Certifications including ICC are available.

Available Courses:

Sailing and smiling faces.

Start Keelboat Sailing: It’s time to get your feet wet & discover sailing!  This course aimed at those who have no prior sailing and minimal boating experience.  This one-weekend course is an introduction to sailing and boating.  By the end of the weekend you will start to have an appreciation for sailing and how to make a boat move through the water using the wind.

Basic Cruising: Designed for first time sailors who want to learn how to sail and be skipper of a small keelboat. This is our most popular Learn-to-Sail course and is often the first course people take if they are new to sailing or looking to obtain a good foundation on how to sail on a keelboat.

Youth Keelboat Programs: Designed for youth (aged 13 – 17) who will be working toward achieving their Junior Crew (Beginner level) or Junior Skipper (Intermediate level) certification depending on age and sailing experience. Sailors will be taught aboard our 22′-24′ keelboats in a fun, safe and hands-on environment.

Learning to sail in the Caribbean

Basic Refresher / Mileage Builder: Our Basic Refresher and Mileage Builder courses allow you to further develop and practice your sailing skills with a certified Sail Canada instructor on board.  Sail on the Ottawa river, the stunning waters of the 1000 Islands and Kingston or down in the Caribbean.  These courses will have you sailing bigger waters, longer stretches and sometimes even overnight passages.   These are excellent next step to furthering your seamanship skills in preparation for handling of larger cruising boats.

Intermediate Cruising: Recommended for people who are interested in owning or chartering a boat. It places emphasis on practical training while living aboard.

Advanced Cruising: A challenging course. Objectives are to act safely as skipper and crew of a sailing cruiser of 10 – 15 meters, any modern rig and inboard engine, operating within 100 miles of shore by day and night in coastal or inland water in any weather.

Instructor Training: Have you ever thought about being able to share the joy and beauty of our sport?  Do you enjoy teaching others?  Consider becoming a Sail Canada cruising instructor.  We are always looking for enthusiastic instructors who are eager to share their passion of sailing with others!