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Coastal Learn to Sail Courses

GOING CRUISING AGAIN!  Sorry but we have temporarily shut down OFV operations until 2018.  We are heading off cruising again, this time to Alaska.    After preparing the boat over the winter we will be heading north in spring 2017 and will be returning sometime in the fall when the weather gets too chilly, too rainy or both.  Wishing you fair winds and see you when we return!

Three Day Personalized Cruise & Learn Coastal Sailing Courses in the Scenic Gulf Islands around Vancouver

Learn to sail correctly and safely aboard a full sized cruising keelboat
and earn International Sail and Power Association (ISPA) certification.

Learn to Sail Aboard Sarah Jean II

Sarah Jean II Sailing Training

We offer two cruise & learn ISPA certification courses. Each course is taught over three days and two nights on the water aboard Sarah Jean II, our well equipped Saga 43.  This is the minimum time.  For an additional fee these courses can be stretched out by one or two days for a more comfortable learning pace.

Each course includes a very comprehensive ISPA Workbook. These will be supplied to each student in advance of the sailing date and must be completed before we set sail. This is the Shore Based Component of the course. You can complete it at home at your own pace. We will assist you and answer any questions you may have as you work through the books.

The Competent Crew course, the first in the ISPA Certification series, also includes your ISPA Logbook where each level of knowledge and skill you complete will be certified by your ISPA instructor.

On the water you will receive expert instruction. We are a boutique sailing school. We sail with only one couple aboard. This ensures individualized training. You will learn to sail our boat as if it is your own. Plan the sailing day, choose a route, raise and trim the sails, practice your navigation and set the anchor at the end of the day. Have fun while building your knowledge, skills and confidence!

Course 1 – ISPA Competent Crew

ispa_comp_crewBasic Sail. The holder is certified to live aboard a sailing vessel as crew. In an emergency to substitute as skipper. The holder is competent to sail a vessel under 30 ft where no navigational hazards exist within, within 5 miles of safe harbour, during daylight hours only, in light to moderate wind conditions. The course includes:

  • Sailboat components and terminology

  • Points of sail – procedures and sail trim

  • Crewing responsibilities

  • General seamanship

  • Anchoring and docking

  • Line storage and knots

  • Safety equipment

  • Emergency procedures

Prerequisites None – this is an entry level course 

Course 2 – ISPA Day Skipper

ISPA Day SkipperIntermediate Sail. The holder is certified as the skipper of a live aboard sailing vessel, to be responsible for the safety of his/her vessel and crew while day sailing in familiar waters, within 10 miles of safe harbour, during daylight, in moderate wind and sea conditions using basic navigation skills. The course includes:

  • Intermediate cruising knowledge

  • Anchoring and docking

  • International buoyage system

  • Basic navigation

  • Collision regulations

  • Passage preparation and planning

  • Marine weather

  • Tides and currents

Prerequisites: Competent Crew Sail

Where We Sail

These courses will be held in the protected waters of Gulf Islands or Howe Sound near Vancouver. Locations for the start and end of your course will vary and will be worked out individually based on where we have been sailing prior to your course, where you are travelling from, ferry schedules and other factors. In some cases it will make sense for you to walk aboard a BC Ferry and meet us in the Gulf Islands where we can pick you up and take you to the boat. We will set this up for maximum convenience for you while ensuring we make best use of our time together for sailing and instruction.

What is Included

Beth Cooper Sailing Training Vancouver

  • Three Days and two nights of sailing and instruction aboard s/v Sarah Jean II
  • Accommodation in your own private cabin with king size bed and heater
  • Linens & towels
  • Separately enclosed shower with a good supply of hot water
  • Three hearty meals per day and snacks
  • Mustang inflatable PFD’s with integrated harness and tethers
  • Use of inflatable kayaks and kayaking life jackets
  • Fuel and propane used on the voyage
  • Any marina fees
  • Full access to all ship manuals, cruising guides, charts and other reference materials
  • ISPA Course Manual
  • ISPA Logbook with Competent Crew course
  • ISPA Certification and registration in the ISPA database
  • Answers to all your questions
  • Our undivided attention

What Students are Responsible For

  • Transportation to or from departure and arrival ports
  • Shore accommodation before or after the voyage, if required
  • Foul weather clothing and waterproof, non-marking footwear and related sailing gear
  • Alcoholic beverages – permitted only in moderation and only at anchor
  • A minor fee for ISPA online database registration when the course has been completed

Student Qualifications

  • Our focus is on preparing couples for coastal cruising. We accept one couple per course.
  • The Day Skipper Course requires Competent Crew certification.
  • We accept only non-smokers. This means no smoking for at least the past 6 months.

Pricing & Payment Schedule

  • ISPA three day Competent Crew or Day Skipper course: C $950 per person ( US $730 @ 1.3 exch ).
  • Bluewater Cruising Association (BCA) member price: C $900 per person.
  • A deposit of C $250 per person is required at the time of booking. Full payment is required one month prior to the voyage departure date.
  • A fee of $250 per person will be charged for a cancellation made one month or more before the voyage departure date. After this date there will be no refund unless we are able to find replacement students. Trip cancellation insurance is recommended.

Payment Options

Our preferred method of payment is Canadian dollar cheque or bank draft. For our Canadian customers you can also pay us by INTERAC e-transfer. You can also make payments by PayPal or credit card but a processing fee will apply. We will call you to do the credit card transaction by phone for best security, rather than using email. When you contact us to enroll in a course we will work out the most convenient payment method for you.

How to Apply for a Learn to Sail Voyage

  • Please contact us by email. Please apply as a couple giving us both names.
  • Let us know which course interests you or if you want to go for the five day combined course.
  • Let us know the approximate dates when you are interested in sailing with us, along with your travel plans before and after the course.
  • We will review our schedule and contact you to discuss sailing course date and location options.