Sail Canada Courses

Have you ever wondered what it is like to sail? How it feels to float and sway amongst the waves in your sailboat? What an amazing feeling it must be to travel thanks only to the wind, sails, and your own skill? Join us to experience all of this while learning and exploring the beautiful waters of Desolation Sound.

1 day

Introduction to Boating

2/3 days

Start Keelboat Sailing

5 days

Basic Cruising Skipper or Crew

2/3 days

Start Keelboat Sailing

duration &
start/end point

Day-sailing format: Two days, 6 hours per day. Cortes Island.


Sailing instructions on a Beneteau Oceanis 400 & Sail Canada certificate.

day-sailing format

$395 CAD/person. Up to 4 independent participants can book one course.

live-aboard format

Can add this SKS course to the 3-day Sailing Tour for $70/person.

Available dates - 2024:
This Standard is recommended for those who want to experience sailing on a keelboat and begin to build basic sailing skills in a relaxed environment and at a comfortable pace.
This is one of the entry level Standards in the series of Sail Canada Standards on sailing keelboats and on cruising. This Standard is the recommended starting point for individuals with minimal or no experience. The course builds basic sailing skills with a focus on operation of the vessel as crew. You will experience in practice the principles of sailing while participating in the handling of a 40-foot sailboat. Completion of this Standard will enable the candidate to competently contribute as crew of a keelboat in moderate daytime conditions.
Participants will be introduced to basic knowledge on boating and sailing, and to safe practices and good seamanship while underway sailing and motoring. This two-day, 6-hours per day course, will take us to the nearby waters of Cortes, Marina and Mitlenatch Islands, allowing you to learn in the unique natural surroundings of Desolation Sound. This Standard provides a great opportunity for those with minimal practical experience to get out on the water with a knowledgeable and experienced individual.

Sail Canada certificate & logbook

Participants will be issued a Sail Canada certificate upon successful completion of this course, and a Sail Canada Logbook.

You can begin recording your participation in Sail Canada courses and events in the included Sail Canada Logbook. For those anticipating future training, a Sail Canada Basic Cruising Skills textbook, used in the Basic Cruising standard, can be provided for $60.

See the Sail Canada website links below for more information and a detailed outline of what is included in the training and what is required for certification:


Things to know

Click to read the details.

This Program is delivered by a Sail Canada certified instructor through our Calma Sailing school, a Sail Canada registered, and Transport Canada licensed Recreational Boating School. Participants will be issued a Sail Canada certificate upon successful completion of this course. A Sail Canada Logbook is included so you can begin recording your participation in Sail Canada courses and events. For those who wish, a Sail Canada Basic Cruising Skills textbook, used in the Basic Cruising standard, can be provided for $60. Safety equipment such as PFDs will be provided. Our sailboat is a comfortable, modern, 40-foot sailing vessel (Beneteau Oceanis 400), with all the required amenities and safety equipment.

Participants ages 16 and up can attend, up to a maximum of 4 participants. Participants under 19 years of age must be accompanied by a guardian. These training sessions will require short periods of moderate upper body exertion, and a moderate level of arm strength. Participants may experience sun, wind, spray, rain and temperatures consistent with the summertime in southern, coastal British Columbia. Underway the vessel may exhibit irregular motion due to wind and waves. We ask participants to refrain from smoking when aboard the vessel.

A lunch. A spare warm sweater or fleece. A light rain-proof or windproof jacket. Hat or toque. Sun-screen. Sporty comfortable shoes with non-marking white/light soles. Long or short pants depending on the weather. Camera.

Fully refundable for the first 7 days after your booking so you can calmly plan your trip, if the booking is made more than 14 days before the lesson start time. Cancel more than 21 days before the start time for a full refund minus a 5% booking fee. If you cancel 21 days or less before the start time you will receive a 50% refund. A 30% deposit is required at booking. Full payment is due 30 days before the start time. A 100% refund will be given if we can’t sail due to extreme weather conditions or safety issues. See our Terms of Service for details.

Prices are shown in Canadian dollars, and are subject to a 5% Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST). All prices are subject to change without notice.

Sailing, it is the ultimate expression of freedom. Join us and begin your sailing adventure.

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We would be happy to discuss other options.
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