Youth Sailing School

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Youth Camps & Programs at BYC

BYC sailing school offers day camp, clinics and off-season training. Enrolling your child in our programs will allow them to work towards a CANSail level through the Ontario Sailing Association.

You do not need to be a member to enrol in our sailing school.

BYC has a long tradition of great coaches, amazing waters and the best location on Kempenfelt Bay to learn to sail.. All our instructors are fully qualified CanSail Instructors. The school owns a fleet of boats, ranging from Opti-style prams to 420s for race training, plus motorized safety boats.

Not only will your child learn how to sail Vibes, Lasers, Laser II’s or 420’s – they will enjoy fun and games in a safe environment.

Parents be assured that the coaches are not your typical camp instructors. Coaches have spent years training as sailors and achieved national instructor certification through Sail Canada. Certification includes everything from first aid, water safety, teaching, lesson planning, leadership and most importantly sailing.

Using Sail Canada’s CANSail programming – our instructors maximize as much time on the water as possible with an emphasis on practical sailing as well as sailing theory, rigging and boat maintenance. More importantly, our instructors and coaches teach their lessons by doing and showing rather than talking and testing.

From Olympic day to pyjama day, two weeks of Sailing School will be the most fun your child will have all summer!

Our monthly graduating sailpast tradition is a fun night for parents and campers to get together. All parents are encouraged to join in the fun and sail with your child.

2024 Sailing School Information & Dates

Select your child’s CANSail level to learn more about the individual programs, dates and pricing.

*Recommended for ages 8+


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

Youth Sailing Camp

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


My child has never taken sailing lessons before. What program should I sign them up for?

As a beginner, they should enroll in CANSail 1. After completing this level, they will be able to progress on to the next. All BYC’s sailing school levels are taught by Sail Canada certified instructors.

Will my child receive their certification after completing a session?

This depends on the sailor. Many sailors strive to complete their CANSail 1 or 2 in a two-week session each. It often takes longer to complete higher levels as they include more difficult requirements. Some sailors may choose to just focus on having fun instead!

Why should a sailor complete their CANSail levels?

The CANSail levels are a great system to use to achieve a well-rounded dinghy sailing education. By completing each level, a sailor is able to become better and better at the sport which can open up many opportunities. Achieving CANSail levels can also be the first step to becoming an instructor.

Can I register a sailor for only part of a session?

Unfortunately, this is not possible in immediate registration. All sessions are set up to run for two weeks each. Since we have limited spots in our sailing school programs, it is important to make use of all the ones we have. Should we have an opening closer to the start of a course, it could be possible to enroll for the first week of the two-week session.

What should my child expect when attending sailing school?

The sailing school is run just like a day camp with the focus being on learning how to sail. A normal day will include 2 on-water sessions, brief land lessons, a lunch hour, and lots of fun games! We spend about 3-4 hours on the water sailing each day.

Is all necessary equipment provided?

All boats and learning materials are provided by BYC in all of our programs. The only thing you need to bring is personal gear such as a PFD, close-toed shoes, and weather-appropriate clothing including a change of clothing as the sailors do get wet. A towel is also nice to have.

What clothing should I my child wear sailing?

Close-toed shoes, sun protection, and a PFD are always a must. In cold weather, it is common for sailors to wear fleece, or a wetsuit. A waterproof outer layer can help keep water out to stay warm. No cotton! In warmer weather, a bathing suit, rash guard, or quick-dry clothing can be all that is needed. It is always a good idea to pack for any possible weather conditions and whatever you wear, keep in mind you could be swimming in it. Make sure to label any gear with the sailor’s name to avoid any lost items.

What swimming requirements are there for taking sailing lessons?

No specific swimming level is needed. However, since sailors will be constantly on and near the water, they must be able to swim and be comfortable in the water. A swim test is done at the beginning of each session which requires sailors to swim approximately 30 feet, tread water for 1 minute, and put on their PFD in the water. Regardless of swimming ability, a PFD must be worn by all sailors at all times while on the water.

What should I pack for lunch?

Just like any sport, it is important you eat well when sailing. A healthy lunch should include lots of fruits and vegetables as well as protein and carbohydrates to sustain the sailor throughout the day. Most importantly pack lots of water! Staying hydrated is important for a happy, healthy sailor.

What if I am unable to drop off or pick up my child at the beginning or end of sailing school hours?

Fortunately, we are now offering a before and after care program! You can register for this in the same place you register for sailing school.

What happens if it is raining?

 As long as it is safe, we sail in all conditions! Sailing in the rain is a fun experience as long as a sailor is dressed properly! It is a good idea to pack rain gear in case of this but on a warm, rainy day, a sailor may choose to just wear their bathing suit and get wet! If there is any chance of a thunderstorm, no sailor will be allowed on the water and if instructors decide that wind speeds are too high for their sailors to handle, they will be kept on land until it is safe again. We often take advantage of these occasions to teach on-land lessons and play even more fun games!

I am an adult interested in sailing but I have no experience. Is there a program for me?

That is what our Adult Learn to Sail program is for! This program will go over the basics of sailing including boat manoeuvres, sail theory, and seamanship skills. This course is taught using Vibes, Lasers, and 420’s by Sail Canada certified instructors.

I am an adult who has sailing experience and would like to improve. What program should I register for?

 If you have completed the Adult Learn to Sail course or are confident in your basic sailing skills, you are eligible for thé Monday night Adult Learn to Race program. This course focuses on racing in order to dive into more complicated boat manoeuvres, race tactics, rules, and how to sail a racecourse. This course is taught using Vibes, Lasers, and 420’s by Sail Canada certified instructors.

I would like to learn to sail or improve my skills in sailing using a larger keelboat. What program should I enroll in?

Keelboat courses at BYC are available to take at BYC for both beginners and experienced sailors. These courses are run using Mirage 24’s and are led by certified keelboat instructors.

Do I need to be a member of the Barrie Yacht Club to participate in Learn to Sail programs?

No, you don’t have to be a member. Our goal is to provide sailing opportunities to everyone who is interested in the sport!

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