Youth Learn to Sail

The focus of the Youth Learn to Sail program is to teach the fundamentals of sailing in dinghies, with the aim of instilling a life-long love of sailing. We follow Sail Canada’s CANSail dinghy program, which includes lots of time on the water in a safe, fun and active learning environment. 

The Youth Learn to Sail program is for ages 8 to 17.  If you are an “older” beginner sailor, see our adult program.

Youth Program – Summer 2021


CANSail 1 to 4 courses are delivered through two-week sessions.

Session 1 -June 28 to July 9
Session 2 – July 12 to 23
Session 3 – July 26 to August 6
Session 4 – August 9 to 20

CANSail 5-6 is taught over a four-week period, from July 26 to August 20.

All our courses run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. including Canada Day (July 1) and the Civic holiday Monday (August 2). Students may be dropped off after 8:45 a.m. and must be picked up by 4:15 p.m. Parents/guardians must not leave their children unattended at the Sailing School or Collins Bay Marina outside these hours.

All planned programming and dates for 2021 are subject to change without notice in accordance with public health requirements in effect.


CANSail 1+2 – $650 per session
CANSail 3+4 – $675 per session

CANSail 5+6 – double-handed  – $1350 per four-week course
CANSail 5+6 – single-handed  – $1225 per four-week course

Generally, not less than two sessions of instruction are needed to complete CANSail level 1 through 4. Students must successfully demonstrate all of the required skills prior to completing each level. Weather and wind conditions may limit the amount of on-water time available to demonstrate the prescribed skills and is beyond the control of the Sailing School. Students are encouraged to sign up for two sessions each summer in order to build the sailing knowledge needed to achieve each level. Two-week sessions are offered to accommodate busy summer schedules and for those who are keen to maintain their interest in recreational sailing. 


CBYC full members: Any children or grandchildren of CBYC full members receive a $25 discount (per course).

Early registration: All registrations paid in full by May 1 receive a $50 discount (per course).

Multiple registration: All sailors who register for more than one course, and/or families with two or more siblings enrolled, receive a $50 discount (per course).

Other benefits

Collins Bay Yacht Club provides all sailing school students (including families of our youth students) complimentary associate membership in the club for the current season. This allows students and their families to take part in regularly organized dinghy races, to try crewing in keel-boat races, and to participate in club social activities.  We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to discover the great boating community we have at CBYC and Collins Bay Marina.

How to register

The session dates appearing on this page show current planning at the CBYC Sailing School for the coming 2021 season. At this time, however, we can not be 100% certain what public health restrictions will be in place this summer or what affect they might have on the courses we are able to run.

Pre-registration for Youth Learn to Sail sessions is now open. Click here to pre-register.

The pre-registration form covers student profile info, personal information and photo consent, as well as session options. A $200 deposit is required within 10 days of completing the form to confirm your pre-registration. Deposits are payable by etransfer or cheque.

Spaces are limited: Pre-registration will only be considered complete once your deposit is received.

Course descriptions

CANSail 1+2

CANSail 1no experience required. Supervision is provided by our Sail Canada certified instructors both ashore and on-water. Using Topper Topaz 14′ dinghies, our instructors take each student through the basics of sailing, including rigging a boat, points of sail, rules of the water and general sailing safety. Our ratio of instructors to students exceeds national and provincial guidelines. CANSail 2 completes the basic double-handed skills and knowledge of CANSail 1, with more emphasis on skippering and sail trim to maximize speed and control.

The Sailing School firmly believes students learn best from hands-on instruction. Two or three students per boat rotate through the various tasks involved in sailing. And, while we try to maximize time on the water, there is also lots of time for games and other fun activities. Minimum age is 8.

Use of a personal flotation device is mandatory for all students when on the water.  Feeling comfortable on and in the water are important prerequisites.

CANSail 3+4

CANSail 3+4 covers intermediate sailing skills. The successful completion of both CANSail 1+2 is a prerequisite. Students focus on sailing in stronger winds, sailing theory,  boat handling, use of spinnakers, and introduction to tactics. For CANSail 3+4 the norm is two students per boat so sailors can develop the teamwork required in double-handed racing. The preferred training boat for CANSail 3+4 levels is C-420s.

CANSail 5+6

CANSail 5 fully integrates boat handling with tactics and strategy. Sailors are also introduced to rig tuning aspects and their relation to boat trim and conditions. CANSail 6 advanced sailing trains sailors to perform all skills in all conditions in order to achieve accurate sailing. The successful completion of both CANSail 3+4 is a prerequisite. The double-handed course is taught using our C-420 dinghies. Single-handed sailors must bring their own Laser Radial.

CANSail 5+6 sailors are also expected to participate in at least one local/area regatta, which requires parental support to assist with the transportation of boats and supervision of students (while they are ashore).

What to bring

  • A Department of Transportation, Canada, approved personal flotation device – properly fitted (PFD/life jacket)
  • A packed lunch and snacks
  • At least 1 full litre of water
  • T-shirt and shorts
  • Quick dry shoes (non-marking water shoes or canvas runners are good choices)
  • A dry change of warm clothing and footwear
  • A bathing suit and a towel

Being exposed to wind, water and strong sun, we also recommend:

  • A full cover hat with brim
  • UV sunglasses with safety lanyard
  • Appropriate sunscreen
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Rain gear when inclement weather is predicted

To learn more

About our School

About the CANSail Program

Still have questions?

If you need further information or have questions, contact us.