What clothes or other gear do I need?
The only special clothes I recommend are sailing gloves to protect from rope burn. Cycling gloves often do not have long enough fingers to protect adequately. Otherwise you will ned casual clothes much as the same as on a camping trip. You will also need to bring a sleeping bag and pillow on Live Aboard courses. A suggested packing list is included in the pre course material. You will wear a PFD while in the cockpit or on-deck if you are seriously getting into sailing keelboats I recommend getting an inflatable PFD, or we can provide an inflatable PFD on the boat.
What is the minimum age for the programs?
The courses are designed for adults. We do not take minors unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Bear in mind that most students are in their mid 30’s upwards.
What happens if I do not meet the standard by the end of the course?
The standard consists of two parts a written test and a practical on-water skills continuous assessment.The instructor will provide feedback on progress through the course so there should be no surprises. We do not expect perfection but need to be confident all the on water skills can be done safely without further coaching at the end of the course.
If you do not pass the written exam it can be re-taken after 14 days. We can make arrangements for this to be done locally if you do not live in the Kingston area.
If you are not successful in the afloat skills then other options exist. It is possible you may be uncomfortable in command but are capable of meeting the competent crew standard. Alternatively further coaching and assessment can be provided after the course (at additional cost).
What is Included in the Fee?
The course fee includes all pre-course materials and the course text book. It also includes cost of the examination and registration with Ontario Sailing (CYA provincial member). The Basic course also includes the CYA International Cruising Logbook and if you don’t already have it, the Pleasure Craft Operators Card. The course fee also covers the boat fuel costs and pumpout and dockage at Collins Bay Marina
Live aboard course fees do not include.
- Eating out (usually one evening meal you cover your own expense)
- Food- the students buy provisions for the boat and cook meals as part of the course.
- Dockage/pumpout while away from Collins Bay Marina usually around $20 per student.
The Day course fees all boat costs but do not include any costs of food
The Course Package Includes…
- 8 days of cruising and learning in the B.V.I.s
- all boat expenses and required taxes applicable in the B.V.I.s
- accommodation and superb cruising aboard a large modern Beneteau 47′ yacht.
- Provisions for all breakfasts and lunches and 4 dinners (other dinners are ashore at your expense)
- all texts and course materials International cruising logbook and CYA certification fees.
I have sailing experience but no qualifications, I want to take Intermediate do I have to take the basic course first?
The Intermediate standard is the third level in the Sail Canda Keelboat Standards and is the recommended certification for skippering a Bareboat Charter. It is reccomended that you have experience as skipper of at least ten day sails (or equivalent), and can apply the knowledge and skills in the Basic Cruising Standard
You should review the Canadian Yachting Association Basic Cruising Standard to make sure you can sail confidently at least at Basic level and have experience as above . Basic cruising is a pre-requisite for Intermediate but it is possible to take and pass the Basic written exam before an Intermediate course. During the Intermediate course your existing skills will be assessed to make sure you are sailing at a basic level while coaching you to intermediate skill level. The Intermediate exam would be taken on the course as normal. There is no guarantee that you will meet the Intermediate standard and there is an extra charge for the additional materials and basic exam. Because there is no time in the advanced course to develop intermediate skills, Intermediate Cruising is a prerequisite for Advanced students. If you have keelboat sailing qualifications from another country or Power Squadron qualifications, please contact us to discuss options.
Do I have to take the exam?
The exam is part of the standard so if you don’t want to take the exam you cannot get the certification. I would strongly suggest that you do take the exam while on the course. All the knowledge that you need for the exam is covered in the course. If you don’t pass it can be taken again, however most people pass first time.
Do I have to be fit and strong?
There is some physical activity in sailing a larger boat. Some strength and stamina is required to operate the winches etc. If you have some underlying condition such as cardiac disease, asthma or diabetes which may restrict activities or be exacerbated by boating, please check with your physician. There is a simple medical questionnaire which is sent to you before the course. You will need to fill it out and please bring along any emergency medication that you may need such as nitroglycerine, Epipens or inhalers and let us know where they are kept just in case. You should bring enough supplies bearing in mind emergency response service times might be up to an hour. There is more information on the level of fitness required in Physical requirements If you have any concerns please check with your family physician.
Can you accommodate someone with allergies?
If you are allergic to certain foods or insect stings please advise us. There is a simple medical questionnaire which is sent to you before the course. You will need to fill it out and please bring along any emergency medication that you may need such as EpiPens and let us know where they are kept just in case. You should bring enough supplies bearing in mind emergency response service times might be up to an hour. You should let the crew know about any food allergies so that they can be accomodated in the provisioning. In an extreme case you can bring your own food and keep it separate from the other provisions.
I own a boat, or I want experience on a boat larger than 30', can I arrange a private course?
If you want experience in a larger 40-47 ft boat check out our North Channel Premium Intermediate courses or our BVI courses.
We specialize in private tuition. We will teach on your boat, providing it is suitable, well maintained, insured and has all safety equipment required by the small vessel regulations (this is listed in the safe boating guide). We will not teach on your boat if it does not meet these criteria. Call us for pricing. We can also run private courses on our CS30,Tanzer 7.5 or we can arrange to charter a larger boat on a private or semi-private Basis.
Where can I park my car during the course?
The courses start and finish at Collins Bay Marina in Kingston. Free parking is provided.
I'm nervous about being on a sailboat or I'm a non-swimmer
Many peple are nervous the first time they are on a sailboat. In particular when the boat heels they feel uncomfortable at first. It is natural for a sailboat to heel but efficient sailing means the boat should not tilt by more than a small amount, around 15 degrees. The weighted keel resists heeling and the boat is designed not to capsize so, unlike dinghy sailing, none of our training involves entering the water. During the courses we learn to control the heel of the boat and especially if a crew member is nervous we sail very conservatively until their confidence builds. All our courses emphasize safety. We all wear PFD while the boat is underway and if conditions dictate a harness.
What's next- how do I get to enjoy my new found skills after I have taken a course?
So after you complete a course we hope you continue to higher levels with us. Many students do return and we recommend that you practice the skills you have learned before your next course. Options include:
- Boat ownership If you are ready to take the plunge, and right now prices of sailboats are depressed- I can help former students with general advice on suitable sailboats. I have a number of contacts who can help with opinions and I can provide links to various websites.
- Crew on a Race boat This is an excellent way to get more experience. Racers are generally looking for crew with some sailing experience and racing is an excellent way of improving your skills with an experienced skipper. If you live in the Kingston area Collins Bay Yacht Club has short course races on a Thursday night and longer races on many weekends through the summer and fall.(Race Schedule)
There is a Crew Bank where you can sign on to volunteer. If you don’t live in the Kingston area contact your local yacht club.
- Join a Yacht ClubMany clubs offer membership to non-boat owners and several offer a membership which includes use of club boats. For example in the Ottawa area Sailshare at Napean Sailing club or Britannia Yacht Club.
- Charter a Boat With internationally recognized Intermediate CYA qualifications and /or IYT ICC you wont need a skipper to Bare boat Charter throughout the world with our contacts with charter companies and knowlege of cruising grounds why not contact us to set up a bareboat or skippered charter.
Sail Quinte charters a beautiful Catalina 350 out of Waupoos/Bay of Quinte,
Delphia Yacht Charters offers charters out of Port Credit.
Canadian Yacht Charters offers charters out of Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island cruise the beatiful North Channel I can attest to the quality of the boats and their professional friendly service -well worth the trip.
Links are provided for information Wavelength Sailing does not necessarily endorse the products offered.
Can I bareboat charter with you?
We specialize in sail training and our insurance covers the boats and Instructor when courses are taught by a certified Instructor Our boats are enrolled in the Transport Canada Small vessel Compliance program as recreational Sailing School vessels. We cannot charter our boats, however there are a number of charter companies you may wish to consider.
I want to charter in Europe do I need additional qualifications?
Many European countries require charterers to have an International Certificate of Competance which may be considered as an International License. We provide courses and examinations either as stand alone courses or as part of an Intermediate course to grant an ICC through International Yacht Training More details are on the ICC information page.
What is the difference between International Certificate of Competence and International Bareboat Skipper?
The aspects of practical sailing and operation of the boat for
International Bareboat Skipper (IBS) or
Intermediate Certificate of Competence (ICC)
are equivalent to Intermediate standard but there are different examinations for these certifications.
The ICC is a requirement to charter in many European countries (see website).
Both ICC or IBS are accepted as Bareboat Skipper qualifications in in Croatia.
If you successfully complete IBS and need an ICC you can get one by applying to International Yacht Training -you do not need to take further exams or practical tests.
Both last for 5 years after which they can be renewed for an administration fee without any need for further testing or exams.
I'm from the USA are Sail Canada Certifications recognized here?
As of 2016 there is no longer a reciprocal agreement between Sail Canada and American Sailing Association so we no longer recognize each others qualifications. You can challenge the standard in either system. We do also offer offer International Yacht Training Certification – International Crew, International Flotilla Leader and International Bareboat Skipper which are universally recognised worldwide. Contact us for more information.
What if the weather is bad?
The Instructor will judge if the weather is unsuitable for sailing eg. too little wind, too much wind ,probability of thunderstorms etc. We do not reschedule for rain so make sure you have raingear! In periods of bad weather, if possible, the course will be re-sheduled to substitute ashore lessons for the on-water training .
We do however need a minimum of 18 hours on the water teaching afloat skills for Basic courses and 32 hrs for Intermediate. In the event of protracted bad weather we will reschedule the course or accommodate students on other courses to ensure sufficient on-water time.
We cannot refund course costs for weather related issues.