Learn To Sail – Keelboats

Sailing a Sonar



Our Learn-to-Cruise courses in Ottawa are taught aboard one of our 22-27 foot keelboats (Sonars, Tanzer 22, Sharks, C&C 27). A keelboat cannot capsize because it has a large fin, usually made from lead or cast iron, attached to the bottom of the boat (called a keel).  The ‘keel’ does the work of keeping the boat upright.

In Kingston our Learn-to Cruise courses are taught on a CS30 keelboat. In the winter we offer Learn-to-Cruise courses in the beautiful British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean on a 38-42 foot keelboat.


All boats are safe, comfortable and a pleasure to sail.  Each course has a maximum of four students. This gives each participant lots of hands-on time and plenty of time 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 Certifications are available.


Available Courses:

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.

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!