Able Sail / CANSail Para

What is Able Sail?

For persons with a disability, the sense of freedom and independence associated with sailing is unrivalled. Sailing is one activity where, because of adaptive technology, even people with severe physical limitations can participate equally with able-bodied persons. Sailing enables those with disabilities to enrich their lives and build confidence in a way no other similar activity can.
Disabled sailing programs provide empowerment, motivation and quality of life for people with physical disabilities.
Click here to find out more about Able Sail programs across Canada:


What is CANSail Para?

Sailing is becoming an increasingly popular sport for Canadians with disabilities. Canada’s Long Term Sailor Development (LTSD) framework provides developmentally appropriate programming for sailing from sport entry through learning and training for both able-bodied sailors and sailors with disabilities. The CANSail program is an important part of this long term athlete development and is designed to be a set of progressive learn to sail standards focused on providing sailors with a solid foundation of core skills. CANSail allows sailors to learn and progress in any type of boat and consolidates key skills and solid experiences before adding complex skills. The CANSail Para checklists and rubrics are based on this philosophy of Canada’s LTSD and Sail Canada’s CANSail Program with additional suggestions or adaptations that may help to better evaluate the skills of sailors who have disabilities.

The CANSail Para program is designed to facilitate any adaptations base on boat selection, equipment, timing, or technique needed in order to achieve the required outcomes for each CANSail Para level.


CANSail Para 1 & 2 - Fundamental skill acquisition in any type of boat. Fundamental stage of the LTSD.

CANSail Para 3 & 4 - Applied skill acquisition in any type of boat. Learn to Sail Fast stage of the LTSD.

CANSail Para 5 & 6 - Applied skill consolidation in any type of boat. Learn to Train stage of the LTSD.


CANSail Para Program Guide
It is important to deliver strong and consistent para sailing programs across the country at the grassroots and development levels in which sailors can progress. With that in mind, we would like to introduce the CANSail Para Program Guide.
The guide contains information for Provincial Sailing Associations, program administrators, LFs, instructors, coaches, volunteers and sailors. Topics include an introduction to the CANSail Para Checklist and Rubrics (currently available for Para Programs), Coaching Athletes with a Disability (CAWAD), module guidelines for sailing programs, introduction to system and community alignment, Long Term Athlete Development for Para Sailors, best practices recommendations, info-graphics, posters, a resource library and more.
If you are currently involved in Disabled Sailing Programming, or would like to be, please have a read through the CANSail Para Program Guide.
Think this guide is missing something? We’d love to hear from you! Please e-mail at


Other links
Canadian Paralympic Committee
International Association for Disabled Sailing
Blind Sailing International: