Basic Cruising

Learn the skills to sail and skipper a small keelboat up to 30 feet.  This comprehensive, hands-on, learn to sail course will teach you everything you need to know to get you started in sailing.  Successfully completing this course will give you the skills to sail without needing an instructor onboard.  This course is perfect for the beginner sailor, for dinghy sailors looking to transfer their sailing skills to keelboats or for current sailors looking to refresh their sailing skills or to attain their National certification.



Become the confident sailor you’ve always wanted to be with our hands-on learning approach in this Basic Cruising course.  This internationally recognized course is taught by our professionally trained & nationally certified Sail Canada coaches.

Basic Cruising course on the Ottawa River.

OBJECTIVE: To teach you the basic skills and knowledge required to helm (steer) and/or crew on a sailboat of up to 30 feet in length. Upon completion of the course, participants will be able to sail safely and efficiently, under sail or power, in moderate wind and sea conditions.


What Makes Advantage Boating Different? 


  • Instruction by a Sail Canada professionally trained & certified instructor
  • Small class size assuring practical hands-on learning
  • Access to our online basic cruising learning materials allowing you to start your learning immediately
  • A copy of Advantage Boating’s Basic Cruising reference text
  • Option to join our bi-weekly instructor-led theory review sessions at no additional costs
  • Pleasure Craft Operator Certification card (PCOC; $75 value)
  • For students in Ottawa – Membership to 2 sailing clubs in Ottawa upon course registration ($680 value)
  • Two complimentary “Grad Sails” on members’ private boats (COVID permitting)
  • Sail Canada student fee
  • Basic Cruising exam, certification & logbook
  • Famous “LIVE.LOVE.SAIL.” T-shirt after you write the exam (Value – Priceless!)





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Daytime, evening and weekend options – Ottawa, Montreal & Kingston courses:

  • A maximum of 4 students per boat can be accommodated
  • In Ottawa and Montreal, courses are taught on our 22 – 24 foot keelboats
  • In Kingston taught on our 30 foot keelboat
  • 28 hours of hands-on instruction for groups of  4 students
  • 21 hours of hand-on instruction for groups of 2-3 students

FEES (per person):

  • Ottawa & Montreal:  $815 + HST View Schedule
  • Daytime (Kingston): $1160 + HST (contact us to schedule; minimum of 3 students)

Live-Aboard course options  –  Kingston & the Caribbean courses:

  • A maximum of 4 students per boat can be accommodated
  • Offered in Kingston (summer season) or Caribbean (winter season)
  • Kingston courses are taught on our 30 foot sailboat
    • Taught over 5 days for 3 – 4 students
    • With 2 students, course becomes a 4 day semi-private course
  • Caribbean courses are taught on a 40 – 45 foot sailboat over 7 days

FEES (per person).

  • Kingston live-aboard: $1375.00 + HST View Schedule (* Provisioning not included). COVID UPDATE:  At the moment we are unable to run live-aboard courses under the current COVID restrictions.  We are optimistic that as COVID cases continue to drop and more vaccinations are administered that the situation will improve as the 2021 sailing season progresses.  We will update our website and add additional live-aboard courses as the situation allows.  Please note that we are experiencing a high demand for our 2021 live-aboard course.  If you are interested in taking a basic cruising live aboard course with Advantage Boating, please let us know by sending us an email to info@advantageboating.com 
  • Caribbean live-aboard:  See our Caribbean Course Page

Private courses options:

  • On board our vessel or your vessel
  • To accommodate individuals, couples, families or groups
  • We can create a custom course to meet your specific needs
  • Ottawa or Kingston

FEES:  Contact the office to arrange (info@advantageboating.com)

Basic Cruising Challenge:

Have you been sailing for a long time but you’ve never received your certification?  Bring along your crew and you can challenge this course.  3-4 hours on the water sailing assessment & a written exam.   Contact us in the office for more details.





CERTIFICATION AWARDED: Sail Canada Basic Cruising (Skipper) Standard  or Sail Canada Basic Cruising (Crew) Standard & Pleasure Craft Operators Certification.

Get Started Now!

  • Review the course schedule to find a class that suits your needs.
  • Register by adding your course choice to your shopping cart and proceeding to the checkout or calling the office at 613-721-8683.
  • Take the on water course.
  • Complete your certification by writing the final exam.
  • SAILING FOR LIFE:  Next steps once you’ve completed your Basic Cruising (Skipper) certification.

Sail Canada Learn to Cruise Pathway