Learn To Sail – Keelboats

Keelboats on the Ottawa river

Keelboats on the Ottawa river



The Learn-to-Cruise Levels are taught aboard 22-25 foot keelboats like the one shown here. A keelboat has a large (usually lead) fin attached to the bottom of

the boat, called a keel, that does the work of keeping the boat upright.

The various courses are taught aboard boats that range in size from 22 to 40 feet in length. All boats are safe, comfortable and a pleasure to sail.

Each course has a maximum of four students. This gives each participant plenty of time in each position on the boat.

Our courses are taught by Sail Canada certified instructors who undergo extensive training.  Sail Canada and International Yacht Training Certifications available

Sailing For Life Pathways

Courses available are:

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.

Learning the Basic

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 the 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 (1 or 2 day) and mileage builder (weekend Ottawa/Kingston or week long Caribbean) courses allow you to further develop and practice your basic cruising 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!