Adult Sailing School


Our Adult Learn to Sail Program is taught over a series of weekday evenings (6:00 pm-9:00 pm) or Saturdays (9:00am – 4:30 pm) throughout the summer. No sailing or boating experience is necessary to join the program. All participants, however, must be comfortable swimming while wearing a personal flotation device (PFD or Lifejacket).

Our Adult Learn to Sail courses are designed to get you on the water as quickly and as often as possible. You will begin by learning the basic skills needed to safely handle a sailboat. Through brief, but informative, on-land lessons and fun and challenging on water drills you will work on the knowledge and skills required to attain your nationally recognized CANSail certification. We provide the equipment (dinghies up to 16 feet) and the qualified coaches (that are fully trained and certified by Sail Canada) to make your learn to sail experience an unforgettable one.

Conestoga’s Adult Learn to Sail Program is open to both club members and non members.  Participants who purchase a membership and complete a CANSail 1 course can continue to sail the Club’s boats and participate in Tuesday Practise Nights for the remainder of the season.

Weekday Evening Courses

Session Dates Availability Member Non-Member Register
CANsail 1 (A)
Tuesday’s & Thursday’s: June 6, 8, 13, 15, 20, 22
Open $200 $300 Register
CANsail 1 (B)
Tuesday’s & Thursday’s: June 27, 29, July 4, 6, 11, 13
Open $200 $300 Register
CANsail 2 (A)
Tuesdays & Thursdays: August 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 14
Open $200 $300 Register
CANsail 2 (B)
Saturday July 8, Monday July 10, Wednesday July 12, Saturday July 15
Open $200 $300 Register
CANsail 3/4
Saturday July 22, Monday July 24, Wednesday July 26, Saturday July 29
Open $200 $300 Register
Women on the Water
Friday June 23th, Saturday June 24th, Sunday June 25th 
Open $200 $300 Register

CANSail Courses

The Adult Learn to Sail Program follows the nationally recognized CANSail levels. Our coaches are Sail Canada certified and courses cover the basics of sailing in a safe and fun environment.

CANSail 1 (Previously White Sail 1 and 2)
Prerequisites: Comfortable swimming with a personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket
CANSail 1 is a program aimed at introducing basic sailing concepts to participants with some or no sailing experience lessons and activities both on and off the water. The curriculum includes water safety, knots, rigging, terminology, points of sail, sail trim, tacking & gybing and capsizing. By the end of the course, participants will be able to comfortably sail around a course with a partner. Each individual’s progress towards the CANSail-1 level will be tracked through their personalized CANSail-1 checklist.

CANSail 2 (Previously White Sail 3)
Prerequisites: CANSail 1 Certificate
CANSail 2 is a program aimed at building on the basic sailing concepts introduced in CANSail 1 through lessons and activities on and off the water. The curriculum includes mark roundings, advanced sail trim, boat balance and body positioning, stopping and accelerating, and righting a turtle boat. By the end of the program participants will be able to sail independently in double sailed boats (aka double handed) under instructor supervision. Each individual’s progress towards the CANSail-2 level will be tracked through their personalized CANSail-2 checklist.

CANSail 3 (Previously Bronze 4)
Prerequisites: CANSail 2 Certificate
CANSail 3 is a program aimed at introducing advanced double handed boating skills to participants. The curriculum includes self rescue, advanced sailing terminology, rudderless sailing, and sailing backwards . By the end of the program participants will master basic double-handed helming and crewing skills. Each individual’s progress towards the CANSail-3 level will be tracked through their personalized CANSail-3 checklist. Please note that sailors wishing to achieve the CANSail 3 standard will require 2 or more weekday evening or weekend sessions.

CANSail 4 (Previously Bronze 5)
Prerequisites: CANSail 3 Certificate
CANSail 4 is a program aimed at introducing spinnaker work and trapezing in a double handed Club 420 sailboat. The curriculum includes spinnaker terminology, trapezing technique, anchoring and flying spinnaker.. By the end of the program participants will be comfortable with their spinnaker skills and trapezing and will advance their double handed boat handling skills. Each individual’s progress towards the CANSail-4 level will be tracked through their personalized CANSail-4 checklist. Please note that sailors wishing to achieve the CANSail 4 standard will require 2 or more weekday evening or weekend sessions.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION


Our Adult Learn to Sail Program is suitable for adults of all ages. The Adult Learn to Sail Program uses dinghies up to 16 ft. These are small boats and require individuals to shift their weight quickly. Participants should also expect to get wet. Participants must be able to (a) swim 50 meters wearing a life jacket (b) tread water, and (c) provide their own MOT approved personal flotation device (lifejacket) of the proper size.


  • A government approved personal floatation device (PFD)
  • Sun screen, hat and sunglasses with retainers
  • Swimsuit and Towel
  • Appropriate clothing for the forecasted weather (jacket, rainwear)
  • At least one complete change of dry clothes (shirt, shorts, long pants, underwear, sweatshirt)
  • Windproof jacket
  • One pair of non-slip shoes that will get wet
  • One pair of shoes that will stay dry for the car ride home
  • Water and water bottle
  • For those attending on Saturdays-a lunch and plenty of water to drink (there is a fridge in the Clubhouse to keep things cold and a BBQ available)
  • For those attending on Weekday evenings please feel free to bring your dinner up to the Club for either before or after your lessons (there is a fridge in the Clubhouse to keep things cold and a BBQ available)


  • The Conestoga Sailing Club’s Sailing School requires 2 weeks’ written notice for a full refund less a $50 service charge on any course.
  • Written refund requests received less than 2 weeks before the beginning of the course require a medical certificate. Upon submission of a medical certificate a full refund less a $50 service charge will be issued.
  • Written requests for a refund after a session has begun and before the session ends will only be considered when here is a medical reason supported by a medical certificate. If the refund request is accepted, the refund shall be pro-rated based on the number of days not used less a $50 service charge.
  • Requests for refunds made after the session has ended will not be considered.
  • No refunds can be made due to poor weather conditions.
  • The Conestoga Sailing Club reserves the right to cancel any Youth Learn to Sail course that does not meet the minimum 10 students and will issue a full refund.
  • The Conestoga Sailing Club reserves the right to cancel any Adult Learn to Sail course that does not meet the minimum 4 students and will issue a full refund.


 

FAQ's

What time does the Adult Learn to Sail program operate?
The weeknight Adult Learn to Sail program operates from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. The Saturday Adult Learn to Sail program operates from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. All participants may make use of the Club facilities directly preceding or following their course.

How do I get to the Sailing Club?
The Conestoga Sailing Club is located about 30km northwest of Kitchener-Waterloo on Conestoga Lake, north of Highway 86, halfway between Elmira and Listowel. Public transit is currently unavailable. For directions please click here.

What if there is bad weather forecasted?
Our coaches constantly monitor the weather conditions and adjust lessons accordingly.
If it is raining, with no severe weather, we go out sailing as per usual. Make you come prepared with appropriate clothing. If we cannot go out sailing due to extreme weather or too much wind we continue on with the on shore components (such as learning knots and other classroom instruction) of our program in our indoor classroom.

What safety measures do you have?
Our instructors are all qualified in life saving and first aid. A life jacket or PFD must be worn at all times when sailing on the water and on the club docks. We ensure that there are always an adequate number of instructors by limiting enrolment. Whenever students are on the water, there are instructors in support boats in attendance to provide assistance.

What are Tuesday Practise Nights?
All Adult Learn to Sail participants may make use of our Tuesday Practise Nights during their program. Practice nights are designed to get you out on the water in a semi formal setting to practice your sailing skills and ask questions of the coach on hand. Practice nights will run each Tuesday night starting in June. There will be an instructor present at the club from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The instructor’s job will be to answer any questions, set up marks for on water practice courses and operate the on water safety boat.

What is CANSail?
CANSail is a national curriculum designed by Sail Canada. Sail Canada’s CANSail dinghy curriculum offer the best parts of the CYA’s “traditional ” White / Bronze / Learn-to-Race / Silver / Gold program with an updated progressive pathway to learn and develop in fundamental dinghy sailboat handling skills, and sets the foundation for athlete and sailor-leadership development regardless of type of dinghy being used (single handed or double handed).
CANSail programming means lots of time on the water in a safe, fun and active learning environment, with relatively less time spent in a classroom. Sailors learn the skills and enter into fun and challenging experiences suited to their age and stage of development. The programming is designed to get – and keep – sailors excited about sailing for life! 6 CANSail levels of standard promotes teaching and progressive training of core dinghy sailing skills.

Who do I contact if I have any questions?
Please let us know if you have any questions! The fastest way to get an answer to your question is to email us at information@kwsailing.org. During the summer months, you can also call us at (519) 638-5241.

Register now for summer sailing schools!