Certified Keelboat/Cruising Instructor

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For more than two decades, boating instruction standards have been developed by Sail Canada to ensure safety, consistency and enjoyment for all students across the country.

The CANSail Program promotes the growth of safe and fun small-boat sailing. The Barrie Yacht Club, in partnership with OntarioSailing, offers CANSail Learn-to-Sail Instructor and Coach Development Courses throughout the year.

How to become a keelboat or cruising instructor

There are two ways to become certified as a Sail Canada Keelboat Cruising Instructor:

  1. Participate in a Start Keelboat Sailing (SKS) Instructor Clinic.  (link to Courses page)
  2. Participate in a Basic Cruising Instructor Clinic.  (link to Courses page)

Please note that each clinic requires prerequisites, see below for an overview of the prerequisites. During a clinic, participants are evaluated on professionalism, teaching abilities, lesson content and sailing knowledge. We encourage theory preparation beforehand.

If you are an experienced instructor qualified according to the standards of another national or international sailing program (e.g. RYA, ASA, US Sailing, etc.) you should consult with Sail Canada for guidance on how to obtain credentials for instructing in a Canadian context.

Cruising & Keelboat Instructor Pathway

Cruising / Keelboat Instructors Prerequisite Chart


Keelboat Instructor page on the Sailing Canada Website

View Sailing Canada PDF Presentation about becoming an instructor

View recorded presentation about becoming an instructor

The Barrie Yacht Club is always looking for experienced sailors to join the ranks of certified cruising instructors. If you want to share your passion for sailing and refine your boat skills and knowledge, consider becoming a certified instructor.

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Telephone : 1-705-728-4440


1 Johnson Street
Barrie, ON, Canada
L4M 1E1

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Home 9 Learn 9 Keelboat Instructor

CANSail 1 and 2 introduce fundamental sailing skills. As the first step in learning to sail a small boat, you’ll learn about the different parts of the boat, and learn some basics sailing skills – like tiller steering and proper body position. Level 1 and 2 typically require at least two weeks of sailing per level to allow sailors time to learn and demonstrate the skills required. These classes are geared towards sailors ages 8 through 19+.

CANSail 1

Learn to sail part one! Fundamental sailing skills and knowledge are taught in this level. No experience needed! Taught in small, doubled-handed boats and supervised by our Sail Canada certified instructors both ashore and on water. This is a very fun and safe introduction to basic sailing. Adventures on the private Barrie Yacht Club beach, fun team-building games, and tons of on-water excitement during these two week sessions! The minimum age to start is 8 years old. First-time sailors should sign up for this level. Based on a number of factors (age, athleticism, experience) they will either begin working on their iCANSail checklist or their CANSail 1 checklist. Typically, young athletes start their sailing career by completing their iCANSail checklist, which introduces them to the fundamental movements and theories of sailing. They will become comfortable with being on and in the water, using the basic sail controls, and working in a team. In some cases, they will begin working on their CANSail 1 checklist from the start.

CANSail 2

Learn to sail part two! This level introduces more complex versions of introductory skills learned in CANSail 1. Sailors are expected to take the helm more often (steer the boat), and begin to fine tune their boat handling skills in order to ready themselves for intermediate sailing. Still at the fundamental stage of athlete development – this is still a very fun-centred level, involving plenty of on-water adventures and games.

Before and After Camp Extended Care

Available for sailors who need to be dropped off or picked up outside of our regular hours. The BYC Sailing School Program is flexible for those guardians who need to take some extra time. Extended hours in the morning will be offered from 8 – 9am and in the afternoon from 4 – 5:30pm.

Short Weeks (4 Days) $80
Long Weeks (5 Days) $100
CanSail 1 & 2 Dates & Pricing

CANSail 1

  • July 3 – 14; 9am – 4pm; $800.00 + HST
  • July 17 – 28; 9am – 4pm; $800.00 + HST

CANSail 2

  • July 31 – August 11 (no camp Monday August 7); 9am – 4pm; $720 + HST
  • August 14 – 25; 9am – 4pm; $800 + HST
  • August 28 – September 1; 9am – 4pm; $400.00 + HST *Not recommended for first time campers*

*Family Pricing Discount Available*

What is CANSail

The CANSail Program is Sail Canada’s national training program for sailing in dinghies. The program is made up of core standards that promote progressive training of core dinghy sailing skills and knowledge. CANSail programming means lots of time on the water in a safe, fun and active learning environment. Sailors learn the skills and enter into fun and challenging experiences suited to their age and stage of development. The programming is designed to get – and keep – sailors excited about sailing for life!

Why CANSail

CANSail is designed to be a set of progressive learn to sail standards focused on providing sailors with a solid foundation of core skills. It allows sailors to learn and progress in any type of boat and consolidates key skills and solid experiences before adding complex skills.

Youth Sailing Camp

2 sailboats launching at the Barrie Yacht Club
Camp Life
adult sailing on Kempenfelt Bay in Barrie Ontario