In 2012, the Canadian Yachting Association (now Sail Canada) launched the new CANSail Learn-to-Sail Program. The CANSail dinghy programming was developed under the framework of Long Term Sailor Development, and has been designed with the sailor’s age and developmental stage in mind. CANSail programming is designed to be a set of progressive Learn-to-Sail standards focused on providing sailors with a solid foundation of core skills. The CANSail system allows sailors to learn and progress in any type of boat and consolidate key skills before adding more complex skills.

CANSail Wet Feet

Young sailors have fun and learn skills such as safety, rigging, balance, steering and sail trim.

CANSail 1

New sailors learn how to properly trim sails and perform basic maneuvers such as tacking and gybing. Sailors also learn basic safety skills, such as capsize recovery and towing.

CANSail 2

Sailors learn to identify wind direction, steer a set course (tacking and gybing), and keep a boat balanced. Physical flexibility is also practiced, as well as seamanship and safety skills.

CANSail 3

Sailing skills are further refined, and new skills are introduced, such as sailing by the lee and sailing backwards. Sailing right of way rules are also introduced, as well as racing fundamentals.

CANSail 4

Sailors practice advanced sailing skills such as planing and surfing, adjusting sail controls and boat acceleration. Sailors are encouraged to get involved in their larger sailing community.

CANSail 5

Sailors learn to round marks properly, steer to promote planing, adjust sail trim for conditions and heading, and practice identifying tide and wind shifts.

CANSail 6

Sailors train regionally and learn how to win races by tuning their rigs, practicing good strategy and tactics, and securing optimal positions on start lines and at mark roundings.

CANSail Chutes & Wires 1

Sailors are introduced to spinnaker and trapeze. Skills include gybing and dousing spinnaker, as well as proper body positions and trapeze movements.

CANSail Chutes & Wires 2

Sailors work on maximizing speed using spinnaker and trapeze. Advanced maneuvers are learned, such as wire to wire tacks. Safety, strategy, sail repair and physical fitness are emphasized.

Download the CANSail Course Selection Guide