When getting into sailing, the first question to ask is "what kind of boat do I wish to sail? Keelboat or dinghy?" Once you have answered this, you can find a sailing school that offers the appropriate courses for you... So what is the difference between both types sailboats?

Consult the list of FVQ accredited schools that offer dinghy sailing and cruising courses. 

Consult the list of the courses offered by the different sailing schools. 





A dinghy  is a boat that has a removeable centerboard or daggerboard.

Dinghy sailing is normally learned in small boats, measuring approximately 15 feet in length, that can capsize if the crew loses control of the sailboat. The absence of a keel makes the boat light, nimble, adaptable and fun to sail. The Laser, 420 and 29er are examples of dinghies. Schools that teach sailing in this type of boat are refered to as dinghy sailing schools.


Photo of a Laser (dinghy), courtesy of Philippe Dormoy and Luka Bartulovic





Photo of keelboat, courtesy of G. Boulanger 



A keelboat is a sailboat with a ballasted keel that prevents the vessel from capsizing.

Usually, a keelboat has a cabin in which sailors can sleep and/or cook. These boats are generally bigger than dinghies, measuring in at around 20 feet and up to even one hundred feet for mega-yachts. For long-distance sails or for cruising, keelboats are normally used. Schools that teach sailing on this type of boat are thus refered to as cruising schools.

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