Courses Offered

Our courses follow the latest guidelines of Sail Canada (previously called the Canadian Yachting Association). These guidelines were developed to ensure consistent teaching approaches across Canada. In addition to new course designs, a central registry ensures students have accreditation which is recognized throughout North America.

Pender Island Junior Sailing is a participating member of Sail Canada, following their approved methodology. Our instructors are trained and certified by BC Sail which falls under the guidance of Sail Canada.

4 courses form the current curriculum. For a more detailed synopsis of each course, refer to “2017 Courses” on this site. PIJS provides official accreditation for all courses currently offered.

CANSail 1 is targeted to beginners and provides the basics of safety and sailing. The course emphasizes sailing and safety fundamentals. By the end of the course, teams should be able to sail with minimum input from our instructor.

CANSail 2 builds on the prior course, honing capabilities to allow students to sail in a variety of winds and seas. Graduates will be able to sail confidently by themselves. We generally aim to end the week with a short multi-leg race where skills are showcased. Our aim is for you to have the skills, control, and confidence to sail without supervision.

CANSail 3 and 4 are targeted for CANSail 2 graduates who will single-hand Laser dinghys and dual person Lasers with a trapeze. We previously referred to this group as our Advanced Sailors. Sailing is in more challenging waters near Mortimer Spit which is closer to the entrance of Browning Bay. Tactical racing decisions including rules of the road and competitive strategies in racing scenarios will prime candidates for future advanced courses. While a lot of fun, this course requires previously displayed sailing competencies

Both CANSail 1 and 2 are offered to kids aged 9 and higher, teens and adults. Depending on the skill set of registered individuals. Flying Junior boats are generally used in both programs. Youth programs assume 3 individuals to a boat with 5 days of land/water training. We match experienced and beginner students in the same boat to enhance security for the newcomer.

The CANSail 3 and 4 courses are offered to teens and adults. Participants are assigned individual high-performance Laser boats used for the one-week session. Based on popular demand, 2 sessions will run concurrently with the CANSail 1 and 2 programs. A BC Sail certified instructor is assigned for the CANSail level 3 and 4 courses and the fleet will find itself in steady winds closer to the entrance of Browning Harbour.

2 thoughts on “Courses Offered

  1. Oliver Gannon

    My name is Oliver Gannon (friend of Dr. Don Williams). After watching the wonderful CanSail sailers today in Browning Harbour, I’d like to find out some more info.
    I’m an adult and used to sail my 21′ Matilda in Browning – however, getting it in and out of the water etc is getting a bit tiresome. Is there any way I can sing up for lessons for Lasers or other small sailboats? ASAP ? Like, this year ?

    Please let me know – ph. 250-629-3508 or cell 604-535-4618. I live on Hamilton Rd very close to the sail club.

    Oliver Gannon

    1. johnonpender Post author

      Hi Oliver. Thank you for your enquiry.

      You are in luck as we doubled our Laser sailing capacity this year. These boats are particularly suited to adults and advanced single-handers.
      If you feel particularly adventurous we also have double-manned Laser 2’s to test your trapeze skills (not for me thanks – lol). We currently have spots available in the 3 remaining course dates. The start dates are Monday July 31st, Monday August 7th and Monday August 21st.

      Courses run from Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 15:00 and cost C$150. For safety reasons, we do require a short (50 meter) swim while wearing a life jacket. We also have a righting exercise but if you are sailing a Laser you will meet that criteria easily!

      We would love to see you and hope you are interested. Our registrar is Allyson Coffey at for registration. If she is not available I would be happy to serve as your intermediary.

      On a personal note, are you by any chance that renowned Jazz Guitarist? If so, I love your “Miles Black” album. Hope springs eternal at meeting a star – lol.

      My coordinates follow, so please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of service as I am on-island until August 4th.
      John Ackermans Mobile: (819) 431-3576
      Calgary 38 Gleneagles Close, Cochrane Alberta – T4C 1N8
      Ottawa 125 Rue du Jockey, Gatineau Quebec – J9H 0E2
      Gulf Islands 3713 Frigate Road, Pender Island BC – V0N 2M2


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