Learn to Sail


The Surrey Sailing Club offers a wide variety of evening and weekend courses for teens & adults and summer day camps for kids. We are a CANSail training site registered with BC Sailing and Sail Canada. Our instructors teach CANSail levels 1 through 6, starting with basic skills for beginners and progressing to more intermediate sailing skills. All of our sailing courses are taught by Sail Canada certified instructors with a very low student to instructor ratio. Lessons are open to the general public and club membership is not required. Registration includes the BC Sailing and Sail Canada profile program fee.

Evening courses run for various durations from April through September, with daytime lessons available in July and August only. Evening lessons are generally aimed at adults but are open to all students able to manage themselves in a mixed age group.

Courses include some classroom time, but the focus is on-the-water training in our club-owned boats –
C420s, RS Fevas, and Optimists. This is a wonderful way to be introduced to the joys of sailing on the expansive waters of Crescent Beach. Certificates are awarded to all successful students.

Courses offered include:


Adults & Teens:

CANSail Basic (Levels 1/2) - Evenings

CANSail Intermediate (Levels 2/3) - Evenings

CANSail Advanced (Levels 3/4) - Evenings


Parent & Child:

CANSail Basic (Levels 1/2) - Evenings


Children & Teens:

Introduction to Sailing - Daycamp

CANSail Basic (Levels 1/2) - Daycamp

CANSail Intermediate (Levels 2/3) - Daycamp

Junior Race Team


Questions about lessons?

2021 Refund Policy
• 100% refund less a $25 administration fee if cancellation is received at least 10 days prior to the start of the class.
• 50% refund if cancellation is received up to 3 days prior to the start of the class.
• There will be no refund given for cancellations 3 days or less prior to the start of class, or once classes have begun. 
• Exceptions can be made due to illness or injury, with supporting documentation.
• Exceptions can be made due to COVID-19 symptoms or exposure
The Surrey Sailing Club is sometimes forced to cancel courses due to insufficient enrolment or other reasons. If this occurs, you will be notified as early as possible and have the option of a full refund, or a spot in another course at SSC. Registrations made in error and/or contrary to course descriptions and/or requirements are NOT exempt from this refund policy.

Students Should Bring:

  • A PFD (personal flotation device or lifejacket)

  • Shoes that can get wet. Closed-toed shoes recommended (no flip-flops)

  • Clothing suitable for the current weather conditions

  • a change of clothes

  • a towel, waterbottle, sunscreen & hat

  • a snack/drink and lunch for full day programs

  • a notebook, to take notes and record what you've learned. (It makes the first couple of weeks A LOT easier)

  • A light shell jacket or fleece, as conditions on the water can change quickly.

What to expect:

  • Students will be on the water as much as possible

  • Our instructors will endeavour to keep participants sailing in appropriate wind

  • Classes run regardless of weather, although your safety will always be our first priority

  • You will get wet at some point!  Accidental capsizes do happen from time to time. Capsize training is both part of the course, and CANSail curriculum.


When and Where:

  • Classes take place at the Surrey Sailing Club,
    3140 McBride Avenue, Crescent Beach, Surrey.

  • Students should meet at the clubhouse

What is CANSail?

CANSail refers to Canada’s updated sailor training standards. CANSail Dinghy is Sail Canada’s dinghy program for clubs to deliver across Canada. CANSail is a leading sail training initiative to foster performance in sailing and life long participation in the sport.

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! The six CANSail levels promote progressive training of core dinghy sailing skills.


Why CANSail?

CANSail is designed to be a set of progressive learn to sail standards focused on providing sailors with a solid foundation of core skills. It allows sailors to learn and progress in any type of boat and consolidates key skills and solid experiences before adding complex skills. 

CANSail is a progressive system, NOT a pass/fail system. This may result in sailors completing items for more than one level at a time. If a sailor is unable to complete all items on a CANSail level checklist during the duration of a course, they are able to pick up right where they left off, and continue to progress through the CANSail program during their next sailing experience, whenever or wherever it might be!

The CANSail Program

CANSail 1 – Introduction to sailing. CANSail 1 teaches sailors the fundamental sailing skills including basic sheeting, steering, and boat handling on all points of sail. Sailors can sail within defined boundaries set by an instructor.

CANSail 2 – Basic sailing. CANSail 2 teaches sailors to adjust their bodies and boats for changes in direction and wind speed while sailing, and to perform boat-handling manoeuvres in a controlled manner while in a controlled setting.


CANSail 3 – Intermediate sailing. CANSail 3 teaches sailors to integrate the fundamental boat handling manoeuvres and balance with basic tactics and strategy as well as applied sail trim. Sailors are exposed to a greater variety of conditions and participate in a club race or club training camp.

CANSail 4 – Advanced sailing. CANSail 4 teaches sailors to perform advanced boat handling manoeuvres in a variety of conditions. Sailors can successfully execute maneuvers in competitive settings and for tactical and strategic purposes. Sailors participate in a one to two-day local regatta.

CANSail 5 – Basic integration of racing. CANSail 5 fully integrates boat handling with tactics and strategy. Sailors are also introduced to the concept of rig tuning and its relation to boat trim and conditions. Sailors participate in a one to two-day local regatta.


CANSail 6 – Full integration of racing. CANSail 6 fully integrates boat handling, sail trim, and rig setup with racing. Sailors train to perform all skills within a competitive race setting in order to achieve accurate sailing within a regatta and in all conditions. Sailors participate in a regional or provincial regatta.

CANSail Advanced
CANSail Basic
CANSail Intermediate
CANSail Advanced
Race Programs
CANSail Basic