Many accredited sailing schools offer cruising courses. From introduction to sailing, to advanced cruising, each person can find the right experience. 

Cruising Standards

To learn how to sail a keelboat, sailors pursue the following Cruising Standards: 

Introduction to Boating

Course Objectives:

  • Novice boaters are introduced to safe practices when preparing to leave the dock, while underway, and when returning to dock.

This standard may be taught in a sailing vessel or a powerboat. Expect the vessel to be less than 12 meters in length.

Basic Crew Standard

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Safely cruise in familiar waters as competent crew of a sloop rigged keelboat of 6 to 10 meters with an outboard or inboard motor in moderate wind and sea conditions by day.

Basic Cruising Standard

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Safely cruise in familiar waters as both skipper and crew of a sloop rigged keelboat of 6 to 10 meters with an outboard or inboard motor in moderate wind and sea conditions by day.

Intermediate Crew Standard

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Safely cruise in familiar waters as a crew member of a sailing yacht of 9 to 12 meters, sloop rigged with an inboard engine, in moderate wind and sea conditions by day.
  • Emphasis in placed on on-water skills at a level acceptable for bare boat chartering for extended cruises in coastal waters

Intermediate Cruising Standard

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Safely cruise in familiar waters as both skipper and crew of a sailing yacht of 9 to 12 meters, sloop rigged with an inboard engine, in moderate wind and sea conditions by day.
  • Emphasis is placed on on-water skills at a level acceptable for bare boat chartering for extended cruises in coastal waters.

This standard allows the rental of sailboats without a captain in coastal waters. 

Advanced Crew Standard

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Safely cruise as the crew of a sailing cruiser of 10 – 15 meters, with any modern rig and inboard engine, operating within 100 miles of shore, coastal or inland water by day and night in any weather.

Advanced Cruising Standard

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Safely cruise as the crew and skipper of a sailing cruiser of 10 – 15 meters, with any modern rig and inboard engine, operating within 100 miles of shore, coastal or inland water by day and night in any weather.

Offshore Standard

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Safely cruise as skipper and crew in a keelboat on an offshore passage navigating by celestial and electronic means without visual reference to terrestrial objects.

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Navigation Standards

Coastal Navigation Standard

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate the navigational theory required to safely navigate a vessel in coastal or inland waters.

These concepts are introduced in the Intermediate Cruising and Power Standards. The practical application of this standard is completed and evaluated in the Advanced Cruising Standard.

Advanced Navigation Standard

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate the navigational theory required to safely navigate a vessel on a multi-day voyage in tidal waters, in all conditions of visibility and weather, in accordance with a prepared passage plan, and applying the principles and techniques of safe navigation aided by conventional and electronic instruments and radar. 

This standard is comprised of four (4) modules to be taught and evaluated independently. To be awarded the standard the student must complete all the modules. There is no time limit for this to be completed nor is there a required sequence.

Celestial Navigation Standard

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Demonstrate the celestial navigation theory required to safely navigate a sailing cruiser on an offshore passage. 

The practical application of this course is completed as part of the Offshore Cruising Standard.

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Cruising Instructor Standards

Certification Process

Prerequisites

 

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For more information on the standards above, please visit Sail Canada .

 

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