Successful completion of Sail Canada’s Basic Cruising Standard.

Course Description

This is one of the entry level courses in the series of Sail Canada courses on sailing keelboats and on cruising. It
develops the student’s ability to take command of and operate (with assistance of competent crew) an auxiliary
powered sailing vessel, by day, in light to moderate conditions. Basic boating skills are developed under sail and
power with a focus on operation of the vessel as both crew and skipper. Individuals with minimal practical on water
experience should consider completing the Start Keelboat Sailing standard before attending for this training.
This course introduces the operation of a cruising keelboat both as a powered vessel and as a sailboat. Terminology
used in describing the boat and on water activities is taught and used throughout the course. Practical topics under
power include simple maneuvering skills as well as departure from and return to dock. Basic sailing skills are
developed including sail selection, the use and positioning of sails to provide propulsion, and the operation of the
vessel with crew. Required and recommended safety equipment is discussed as is the handling of emergencies that
might be encountered while day sailing. The basic rules for avoiding collision with other vessels are explained and
this information is applied during the practical sessions. The meaning of weather forecasts is clarified and the impact
of weather on vessel operation, crew behavior, and on water activities is discussed. The curriculum includes an
elementary introduction to the Canadian navigation system and to the basic use of charts and tide and current tables.
The program may be offered in a day sailing or live aboard format. It is envisioned that the day sailing format will
be taught in not less than 27 hours of which at least 18 hours should be devoted to practical sessions on water. In a
live aboard format the course may be offered over a period of 4 or more days. A challenge of the standard may be
accomplished in a minimum of 4 hours afloat plus completion of the written examination.


To be able to cruise safely 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.