As a sailing destination, there are few places in the world that match the beauty of British Columbia's majestic mountains, quiet coves, friendly ports, pristine Provincial Marine Parks and the abundance of coastal sealife. Since 2004, our Gulf Islands cruising and learning adventures have prepared our students with the sailing knowledge, seamanship and boat-handling skills required to become competent, confident and responsible skippers and crew.
Gulf Islands Cruising
2018 Cruise & Learn Dates:
- March 23-26 (Nanaimo - Saltspring Island) Full
- April 16-20 (Vancouver - Sidney)
- April 22-26 (Sidney - Vancouver)
- May 13-18 (Vancouver - Saltspring Island)
- May 21-25 (Saltspring Island - Victoria)
- May 27-June 1 (Victoria - Vancouver)
- June 9-15 (Vancouver - Sidney) 2 spots left
- June 16-22 (Sidney -Vancouver) 1 spot left
- June 23-29 (Sidney - Vancouver) 2 spots left
- July 28-August 2 Private
- September 15-21 (Vancouver - Pender Harbor) Full
- Sept 22- 28 (Pender Harbor - Vancouver)
- October 20-26 (Vancouver - Saltspring Island)
2019 Cruise & Learn Dates:
- March 26-29 (Nanaimo - Saltspring Island)
- April 14-18 (Vancouver- Sidney)
- April 22-26 (Sidney-Vancouver)
- May 12-16 (Vancouver - Saltspring Island)
- May 19-24 (Saltspring Island - Victoria)
- May 27-31 (Victoria - Vancouver)
- June 9-15 (Vancouver - Sidney)
- June 16-22 (Sidney - Vancouver)
- June 23-29 (Sidney - Vancouver)
- September 15-21 (Vancouver - Pender Harbor)
- Sept 22 - 28 (Pender Harbor - Vancouver)
- October 20-26 (Vancouver - Saltspring Island)
VSC Cruise & Learn includes:
5, 7 or 14 days of VSC certified professional Gulf Islands sailing instruction on Beneteau 36.7 sloops equipped for coastal and offshore cruising.
Enrolment in up to 3 NauticEd Courses for 7-day or 2 courses for 5-day Cruise & Learn - includes VSC Instructor support and navigation drop-in clinics.
Choose from: VSC101 Qualified Keelboat Crew(Beginner - 2 days ), VSC203 Day Skipper Certification (Intermediate 3-5 days), VSC204 Bareboat Charter Master (Intermediate 3-5 days), VSC205 Coastal Navigation (Intermediate 2 days)), VSC506 Spinnaker Fundamental (Intermediate 2), VSC322 Advanced Coastal Skipper (Advanced 7 days ) VHF Radio Operator Certificate (Maritime) and exam, Canadian Pleasure Craft Operators Course (PCOC) and exam.
self-paced NauticEd pre-course theory and Gulf Islands sailing knowledge for each course
NauticEd cloud-based LOG Book and Sailing Resume
Mediterranean Anchoring and Mooring Endorsement
All aboard meals are supplied by the VSC Bosun and prepared by the student crew, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages are included
Fresh linens/ sleeping bags, towels and facecloths
Use of CCG Type 5 inflatable Personal Flotation Device ( life jackets), tether and harness
Personal preparation for what to wear, bring with you and study by your Cruise & Learn Instructor here at our Vancouver sailing school.
Use of 2 Kayaks and 8HP RIB Dinghy
Fuel and moorage fees are included
Carl Richardson, Chief Instructor, Vancouver Sailing Club
Instructor Credentials- RYA Yachtmaster Cruising Instructor, RYA Professional Practices & Responsibilities, NauticEd Captain Rank Instructor and SPC Examiner, Industry Canada CCG ROCM VHF Radio Instructor & Examiner, ASA206 Advanced Coastal Cruising and ASA214 Cruising Catamaran Instructor.
Professional Sailing Certifications- RYA Yachtmaster Offshore (MCA), NauticEd Captain Rank Level 5, ASA Advanced Coastal Cruising, Marine CPR AED First Aid, Industry Canada (CCG) SVOP, TC Marine Emergencies ME3, ISAF (WorldSAILING) Safety at Sea.
" Sailing is all about the joy of harnessing the power of the wind, meeting friends in new places and discovering the world like the first explorers did centuries and millenia ago. With over 42,000 NM logged under sail and a full- time professional sailing Instructor for the past 14 years, I have had the privilege to assess, instruct, examine and certify more than 1650 students on cruising keelboats 24-52 feet and cruising catamarans 38-48 feet. My lesson plans use proven teaching methods that assist my students in acquiring sailing knowledge, seamanship, operational vigilance and practical boat-handling skills for all conditions. My favourite C&L destinations are BC's West Coast , the Inside Passage including Howe Sound, Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound and the Discovery Islands. I also enjoy Instructing Cruise & Learn adventures in Greece, British Virgin Islands (BVI), the Grenadines, Antigua and the Turks & Caicos Islands- 67 weeks in the past 12 years. My international cruising and racing plans for 2018 will take me to Shanghai China, the BVI, St Lucia and the Grenadines, Nova Scotia, Chicago, Texas and Toronto.
$1875 per person for 7 days, $1375 pp for 5 days, $875 pp for 3 days- Military, Group and Private rates are available on request
"Sleek as ClaraALLEGRO is, it is not the boat; not the gorgeous waters; or that adventure that comes in hand, but that comfortable and confident attitude that comes with the skills you impart. Damn, that was fun. You will certainly see me again for the Advanced Coastal Cruising"
- Marc Hess, Fredericksburg, Texas, NauticEd Certified Bareboat Chartering Master
Each day following a healthy breakfast prepared by the crew, your instructor leads you through:
- the morning Gulf Islands sailing lesson focused on seamanship and the skippers duties
- Prepare and file our Sail Plan
- 2-3 hour late morning sail led by Acting Skipper and Navigator
- lunch afloat often hove-to for a BBQ in a quiet cove- review of seamanship lessons learned that morning
- 2-3 hour afternoon sail, passage completing the days Sail Plan
- late afternoon anchoring, mooring or docking lesson - review of Skippers lessons learned
- yacht and dinghy maintenance focused on rigging and equipment- "Safety is First"
- preparation of the Sail Plan by Acting Skipper and Navigator for next day
- Course knowledge, seamanship and boat-handling skills objectives are posted for next day
"One year ago I had to start from ZERO. A few weeks ago I sailed a 36 ft sailboat from Nanaimo to Vancouver in 20 knots of wind with "my" crew and me at the helm in a completely comfortable and safe way. An unforgettable feeling and I owe it all to Carl Richardson (VSC Instructor)."
-Wim Arits, VSC204 Bareboat Cruising Master and VSC504 Competent Keelboat Racing Crew Certified
In addition to our Gulf Islands sailing schedule of 5+ hours per day you are encouraged to take our RIB dinghy and to shore for seaside hiking, and snorkelling. We also have 2 kayaks for your use.
Our meals are designed to be healthy, delicious and light. Safe cooking aboard is taught in our galley complete with gas stove & oven, refrigerator-freezer and deck mounted barbecue:
Breakfast is continental with fresh fruit juices, cereals, muffins, tea and coffee
Lunch includes soup or salad and sandwiches with variety of teas, soft drinks or milk
For dinners we alternate between local PUBS/ Cafes or students assisting aboard in preparing barbecued fresh turkey, salmon, chicken, lamb or beef served with baby vegetables, pasta and salads. Desert is a locally sourced sweet surprise.
Sleeping and Living Aboard
Each of the three private cabins include:
- hatch & fan ventilation
- forced air heat for spring and fall sessions.
- two (2) salon couches can also be used as berths
- fresh laundered color- coded sleeping bags, towels and face cloths
- non-allergenic soaps and body lotions are included
- FILTERED hot & cold pressurized water for sinks and shower to keep the crew comfortable
It is requested that your personal gear is stowed in one duffle or soft walled bag. Bring enough clothing for 4 days only as we will be stopping at full service marinas equipped with washing machines. We recommend that you bring your own personal care products in an easily stored kit. For recommendations on clothing to bring please see our RESOURCES link.
"Carl was a fantastic (VSC) instructor for the entirety of my 7 days sailing with him. He made sure to allow me to put my skills to practice with minimal intervention, unless it was required. His instructional methods are very well developed and leaves a student with a great dealof confidence. He is very approachable, and entirely professional. I would recommend Carl for anyone who is interested in learning to sail, or those who simply want to improve their skills with an experienced sailor."
- LCdr. Derek Walter. Winnepeg, Manitoba, NauticED Certified Bareboat Charter Master
Learning to Sail at the Vancouver Sailing Club is rewarding:
- CONFIDENT, RESPONSIBLE and PREPARED - our focus is developing your sailing knowledge, seamanship and boat-handling skills for personal competence and safety in the context of having F U N and A D V E N T U R E.
- Progress at your own pace - each course includes a NauticEd eLearning pre-course study that can be completed anytime and anywhere where you have Internet access or an iPad or Android device- the on-the-water practical instruction and certification is provided by Vancouver Sailing Club's flexible year-round sailing schedule from our downtown Vancouver docks, the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and new international cruising grounds.
- RECOGNITION - NauticEd.org Cruising Course Certifications and Coastal & Ocean Mileage Builders are respected qualifications for international Bareboat Chartering and Yacht Insurance Companies worldwide