Youth Learn to Sail 2023

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 2023


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

Session 1 – July 3 to 14
Session 2 – July 17 to 28
Session 3 – July 31 to August 11
Session 4 – August 14 to 25


Our CANSail 1-4 programs fully meet Sail Canada requirements, and are designed to allow our CANSail 4 graduates to transition seamlessly into CANSail 5 and 6 at Kingston Yacht Club – or any other Sail Canada accredited club.


COVID-19 Notice: All planned programming and dates for 2023 are subject to change without notice in accordance with public health requirements in effect.  CBYC Sailing School COVID-19 Safety Protocols are outlined below on this page.


COVID – 19 Safety

The health and safety of all our sailors, instructors, staff, volunteers and club members is the top priority of our organization. The majority of programs will be run outside, with as little time spent inside as possible. That said, the nature of dinghy sailing is such that it is not always possible to maintain social distancing or masking while on the water, particularly in a program focused on double-handed sailing. For this reason, all participants and staff must be fully vaccinated, or possess a valid medical exemption in accordance with the Province of Ontario.

At the time of planning, our 2023 COVID procedures include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • proof of full vaccination for all coaches and sailors;
  • the separation of programs (participants and instructors) into limited cohorts, which will remain socially distanced from other program cohorts;
  • masks worn during briefing/debriefings and whenever onshore and appropriate social distancing cannot be maintained;
  • enhanced cleaning; and
  • daily COVID screening before arrival on site.

We will continue to follow official guidelines and recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Province of Ontario, KFL&A Public Health and Sail Canada, as well as any COVID safety protocols in effect for Collins Bay Marina.    


CANSail 1+2 – $750 per session
CANSail 3+4 – $775 per session


Generally, not less than two sessions of instruction are needed to complete each 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 are 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 2023 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.

For online registration and payment click here to go to our Online Registration Storefront

Spaces are limited


Payment Methods


Payment for online registrations: 

We encourage you to defer payment at time of online registration and consider paying by cheque payable to CBYC Sailing School, cash or e-transfer. This will help us avoid the significant credit card service charges, which are surprisingly high; we would rather spend the money on sailing school programs and equipment. Do not mail cash.

Payment for mailed-in/delivered registration:

Made by cheque payable to CBYC Sailing School (mailed with registration form), by cash, or e-transfer to  10 business days prior to session start date. Do not mail cash.


Note that at a significant loss, credit card payment is only available at time of online registration.


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.


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.