Youth Sailing Lessons

In 2012, the Canadian Yachting Association (now Sail Canada) launched the new CANSail Learn-to-Sail Program. The CANSail dinghy programming was developed under the framework of Long Term Sailor Development, and has been designed with the sailor’s age and developmental stage in mind. CANSail programming is designed to be a set of progressive Learn-to-Sail standards focused on providing sailors with a solid foundation of core skills. The CANSail system allows sailors to learn and progress in any type of boat and consolidate key skills before adding more complex skills.



Want your child to explore what sailing and our programs are about? Then enroll in TASTE!

Your child (ages 5-12) will be given the opportunity to sail one of our Optimist sailboats while under the close supervision of a CYA certified sailing instructor, in the safe confines of the Yacht Club basin.

This course is just 2 days and with an emphasis on safety and fun, will leave you with a taste for more!

Enroll early as this is very popular and class size is limited.

The CANSAIL Program


CANSail “Wet Feet” (Ages 5-8)

The introductory CANSail program is specifically designed for students ages 5-8. This is a two week long half day introductory Learn to Sail experience. Young sailors will have fun while learning skills such as safety, rigging, balance, steering and sail trim. Sessions are offered in two week blocks, currently conducted as a morning only program. If a full day program is required to match parent/guardian schedules please contact us to discuss potential accommodations.

CANSail Levels 1-2 (Ages 8+)

  • CANSail 1 – Introduction to sailing. CANSail 1 teaches sailors the fundamental sailing skills including basic sheeting, steering, and boat handling on all points of sail. Sailors can sail within defined boundaries set by an instructor
  • CANSail 2 – Basic sailing. CANSail 2 teaches sailors to adjust their bodies and boats for changes in direction and wind speed while sailing, and to perform boat-handling manoeuvers in a controlled manner while in a controlled setting.



  • CANSail 3 – Intermediate sailing. CANSail 3 teaches sailors to integrate the fundamental boat handling manoeuvers and balance with basic tactics and strategy as well as applied sail trim. Sailors are exposed to a greater variety of conditions and participate in a club race or club training camp.
  • CANSail 4 – Advanced sailing. CANSail 4 teaches sailors to perform advanced boat handling manoeuvers in a variety of conditions. Sailors can successfully execute manoeuvers in competitive settings and for tactical and strategic purposes. Sailors participate in a one to two-day local regatta.



  • CANSail 5 – Basic integration of racing. CANSail 5 fully integrates boat handling with tactics and strategy. Sailors are also introduced to the concept of rig tuning and its relation to boat trim and conditions. Sailors participate in a one to two-day local regatta.
  • CANSail 6 – Full integration of racing. CANSail 6 fully integrates boat handling, sail trim, and rig setup with racing. Sailors train to perform all skills within a competitive race setting in order to achieve accurate sailing within a regatta and in all conditions. Sailors participate in a regional or provincial regatta.


The CANSAIL “Wet Feet” program is a half day (mornings) two week long introductory programs for beginning sailors ages 5-8. If a full day “Wet Feet” program is required to match parent/guardian schedules please contact our Sail Training Register – Lynz Jackson to discuss potential accommodation(s).

For the CANSAIL program we offer a choice of half day (morning or afternoon) or full day learn to sail programs. The half day sessions are 4 weeks long and the full day sessions are 2 weeks long.

Note: Club membership can reduce Sail Training Course Fees. The Club offers both Social and Active Boating memberships. If you have multiple students in the program, or wish to pursue boating, a Social Membership may be advantageous for you. Please contact the SYC office for membership details.

Learn how to sail!