Sail Canada programs offer quality, safe & fun learning environments for anyone and support a variety of pathways in sailing; from entry level at any age and ability, to circumnavigating the globe, to succeeding at the highest level of competition and everything in-between.

The CANSail Program is Sail Canada’s national learn to sail program. The CANSail program is taught by trained and certified instructors and it’s curriculum is recognized by World Sailing.

CANSail is focused on introducing and developing sailing skills in a hands on way. Programs progressively introduce and develop the fundamental skills in a safe, fun, and active learning environment with lots of time spent on the water. CANSail programs are tailored to different individual’s age and stage of development – while fundamental skills are consistent, how they’re delivered changes to meet participants where they’re at.

CANSail Programs are delivered by clubs and schools all across Canada, with the goal of fostering strong fundamental skills and lifelong participation in the sport. Sailing clubs or schools may choose to deliver the CANSail program in different formats on evenings, weekends, in full-day programming, and on different sailing equipment.


CANSail progression



Discovery & Introduction

WetFeet – Safe introduction to sailing and the marine environment for little sailors aged five to eight.

ICANSail – Basic concepts are introduced and tried by first-time participants as part of an opportunity to get out on the water and experience sailing.

CANSail 1 & 2 – I have been shown how to sail and can sail independently with supervision.

  • Participants have been shown the basics of wind direction and points of sail, sheet, steering and maneuvering. Participants can adapt to changes in wind speed and direction and preform basic skills in moderate conditions.



CANSail 3 & 4 – I can sail independently and can trouble shoot on the water.

  • Sailors continue to develop the fundamental skills of wind direction, sheeting, steering and maneuvering, beyond a basic understanding. Sailors begin to balance the platform more efficiently, anticipate changes in the wind, and sail in a wider variety of conditions.




CANSail 5 & 6 – I can sail faster & farther.

  • Sailors can now consolidate fundamental skills of wind direction, sheeting, steering and maneuvering, in a wide variety of conditions. Sailors have strong maneuvering skills, can incorporate rig tuning and sail trim to increasingly balance the platform, and can anticipate and plan for changes in the wind around a course.


While maintaining a consistent approach and feel on different platforms, CANSail programs have been tailored to be delivered on dinghies and windsurfers and for able and disabled participants.