How is Advantage Boating handling the COVID-19 situation? (Tuesday March 17, 2020)
Keeping you Safe. The outbreak of COVID-19 is a highly unusual and rapidly evolving situation.  As a small business, we are doing our best to mitigate risks for our students and act in a socially responsible manner while continuing to offer our services during these anxious times.  As the COVID-19 situation evolves hourly/daily, we at Advantage Boating continue to monitor developments both locally and globally.  Among other public health notices, we are following official guidance and recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Ottawa Public Health. We will be communicating updates to you as they occur through Facebook, e-mail, and our website.

We continue to offer our online and home-study courses which are not effected by the current health situation. Registration can be completed directly through our website www.advantageboating.com.

As we speak, the river is still frozen and our boats are still on the hard awaiting spring.  Our first on the water courses do not begin for several months.  We remain optimistic that the current situation we find ourselves in will sort itself out by then.  In the mean time, rest assured that if you do register for a course which then needs to be cancelled by us as a result of COVID-19 situation, you will have the option to either reschedule for a later date or be issued a refund.

As indicated by public health and the government of Canada, by each of us doing our part we can all help stop the spread of the coronavirus and we will be able to resume our regular activities and passions like sailing sooner than later.  If you have any specific questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us by email at info@advantageboating.com.


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 (22-30′ sailboats)
  • Learn-to-Power – powerboat instruction (owner provided)
  • Learn-to-Sail – dinghy instruction (14′ sailboat)

I want to learn how to sail, which course should I take first?
We have three courses for the beginner sailer.  If you want to learn to sail in a dinghy (14′) you should take our CANSail 1/2 course.  If you want to learn to sail on a keelboat (22-24′) you should take our Basic Cruising or Start Keelboat Sailing course.

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.

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.

What is the difference between Start Keelboat Sailing and Basic Cruising?
Start Keelboat Sailing is a 14 hour course.  After successful completion of the Start Keelboat Sailing course you will be competent to act as crew onboard a smaller keelboat in up to moderate winds.  Basic Cruising is a 28 hour course.  After successful completion of the Basic Cruising course you will be competent to act as skipper onboard a smaller keelboat sailing in light to medium winds in familiar waters during the day.  Our Basic Cruising course includes a membership at both the Nepean Sailing Club and Britannia Yacht Club.

How long does the Basic Cruising (Learn-to-Cruise) course take?
Our Basic Cruising course is a 28 hour course.  You have the option to take the course over two consecutive weekends, four weekdays – Monday to Thursday, or eight weeknights – either Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The emphasis of 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.

Which courses offer a membership for Nepean Sailing Club and Britannia Yacht Club?
We are proud to be partners with both the Nepean Sailing Club and the Britannia Yacht Club.  Students registered in our Basic Cruising course are eligible for a membership to the Nepean Sailing Club and Britannia Yacht Club.  Students registered in our CANSail 1/2 course are eligible for a membership to the Nepean Sailing Club.  Upon registration in either our Basic Cruising or CANSail 1/2, we will forward your contact information to the appropriate club(s) who will then reach out to you with instructions on how to activate your membership.   Note:  some restrictions apply, please contact us in the office info@advantageboating.com for further details.

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 ( https://www.cps-ecp.ca) are the two largest organizations providing boating education in Canada.  The majority of Sail Canada courses emphasize practical on-the-water learning leading to National certification in both larger (keelboats) and smaller (dinghy) sailboats.  Sail Canada also offers Nationally recognized classroom courses such as coastal and celestial navigation and race management courses.  Sail Canada also offers other Government of Canada required boating education courses such as VHF-ROC(M) and PCOC.  Sail Canada courses are recognized around the world.  The CPS primarily offers classroom only education during the off season (September – April).

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

What are terms for payment and refunds?

Local:  Ottawa & Kingston Courses – Payment:

  • All prices in Canadian Funds
  • Payment accepted by VISA, Mastercard, cheque, cash or e-transfer
  • Daytime or Evening (on-the-water) courses:  $350 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 45 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.

Local:  Ottawa & Kingston Courses – Course Change:

  • For daytime or evening courses, one change prior to 45 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.

Local:  Ottawa & Kingston – Courses Refunds:

  • Course refund (less a $50.00 service charge) will be offered prior to 45 days of a course start date (see below).
  • For daytime or evening (Ottawa or Kingston) courses, no refunds are offered within 45 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.
  • No refunds are offered for home-study courses.
  • 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.

Is Advantage Boating a Member of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario?
Yes.   TICO #50024581