Introduction to Cruising


This program provides the newcomer with a taste of what cruising under sail is all about. It is an opportunity to experience first hand what sailing is about without committing to a full Learn to Cruise Program. The program can be shared as a couple, or a group. You and your friends or associates will spend the day cruising aboard a sailing yacht with the opportunity to experience many aspects of operating the vessel.

Your CYA certified instructors are veteran sailors with extensive and varied experience. You will be able to draw on their knowledge and experience to gain insight into cruising, boat selection, boat operation, chartering and provisioning. The educational components of the program will include basic terminology, ­ the language of sailing, readying the vessel and getting under way, basic sailing both as helmsman and crew.

Basic Cruising

The Basic Cruising Course is designed for the prospective cruising sailor who has minimal or no sailing knowledge or experience. The student is taught the necessary skills to safely sail local waters in moderate winds and sea conditions during daylight hours. The student will learn to perform the duties of both skipper and crew of a 24 – 29 foot sailing vessel.


This course is offered in two formats.

The first is comprised of the student attending classroom lectures covering the ashore knowledge element of the program. This is accomplished over an eight week period generally held in the off season (late fall, winter, or early spring) and followed by three full days on the water during sailing season.

The second format is 5 full days at a harbour where the theory and practical components of the course are delivered in a combined format.


  • Section I Terms and Definitions

  • Section II Gear and Equipment

  • Section III Safety

  • Section IV Rules of the Road

  • Section V Weather

  • Section VI Duties of the Skipper and Crew

  • Section VII Seamanship

Intermediate Cruising

 Intermediate cruising offers the skipper the opportunity  to develop those skills required for bareboat chartering. The course is taught in familiar waters on sailing yachts of 8 to 12 meters in moderate sea conditions. The emphasis of this program is on the water skills with additional components dealing with yacht systems, provisioning, navigation and living afloat.

Prerequisites for the program are the Basic Cruising Standard, acting as skipper for at least 10 day sails, Coastal Navigation, current First Aid Certificate, VHF Radio Operators Certificate and applied knowledge of the skills learned in Basic Cruising.

This is 5 day live-aboard course that includes text book and provisioning. Just bring your gear, a sleeping bag and a pillow.

Prior to the program there will be an introduction and briefing meeting to discuss the itinerary and plan menus for the trip. 

Crewmates, You Can Do It

Crewmates, You Can Do It - is a two day hands-on interactive workshop that will help the candidate prepare for the unforeseen situation where they are left to take control of a vessel. The course has both a classroom and on water portion giving the candidate the opportunity to execute many of the maneuvers and protocols used in emergency situations.

The objective of the program is to create a comfort level for the candidate, that is usually crew,  to take charge of the vessel should they be placed in unforeseen situations.