Boating Lifestyle

Boating Lifestyle

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What To Expect From a Sailing School

Q: What are the benefits of attending a sailing school?

A: Perhaps the greatest benefit of a sailing school is the opportunity to learn a comprehensive curriculum that will provide you with a good, solid understanding of the basics of sailing from trained, professional instructors. Typically they are well versed in all aspects of sailing and have the experience and knowledge to equip you to be as successful as possible. The stronger your basic knowledge, the better equipped you will be to enjoy your time out on the water. Even if you are not a beginner, you’ll find that sailing schools can expand and enhance your current sailing knowledge to make you a better sailor.

Q: How can you best analyze the differences between schools?

A: Just like any other school or university, no two are alike. In many cases, the schools will naturally want to showcase the ways they differ from other schools which will help you to compare them and choose a school that best fits your learning style, goals and needs.
Three of the most obvious differences are between – commercial vs. community-based schools – schools that teach on small boats vs. bigger boats – and, schools that do or don’t offer certification. Spend some time researching and comparing, asking questions and learning so you find the best environment for what you want to learn. You may also want to find one where the instructors are certified.

Q: What are the estimated costs of going to a sailing school?

A: The range here is fairly large. A program that offers complete course materials and a certification exam at the end will usually run somewhere about $500 or so.When doing your research, ask specific questions about the pricing so you can compare the options and be sure you know exactly what you are paying for and what to expect.

Q: How much can you really expect to progress at a sailing school?

A: Sailing schools provide a structured environment where students can learn sailing skills and knowledge in a thorough and efficient manner. A sailing school is only the beginning. After taking a course, you then need to practice what you learn as much and as soon as possible upon completion. So while a course will give you accelerated acquisition of skills and knowledge, you then need to sail following instruction to secure and put into practice what you’ve learned. 

Q: What’s a typical day like at a sailing school?

A: Most sailing schools use a combination of classroom and onboard training. Quite often, the boat is the classroom. So students might start the day either in a classroom or on the boat at the dock. They would review what has been accomplished so far, then outline the knowledge and skills that will make up that day’s lessons. Most of the rest of the day will be spent sailing.

Q: In summary, what are the main benefits of attending a sailing school?

A: People who attend sailing school learn according to a well developed curriculum. They are assured their instructor is a trained, certified professional. Perhaps the most important benefit is that students learn in a controlled, safe environment.

Q:How do I take the first step?

A: Talk to a sailing school representative at a boat show, or have a look at the Canadian Yachting Association website ( to find an accredited school that’s near you as well as answers to any other questions you may have . You could also check out the major consumer sailing publications that usually include advertisers. Talk to other sailors in your area who may have good references and recommendations. The great news: there’s a legion of qualified professionals who want to help you get started in sailing! They’re easy to find once you decide to look, so don’t wait a moment longer to get started!

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