Nanaimo Yacht Charter - About Us

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Meet Our Instructors

Here at Nanaimo Yacht Charters & Sailing School, we are honoured to work with a team of experienced and fun instructional skippers.

Instructional Skippers

Ian MacPherson began sailing at a young age before becoming a worldwide yacht delivery skipper. Just prior to Ian’s 30th Birthday, he launched his 40′ long-distance cruising sailboat, an Endurance Ketch, named ‘Baraka’ that he had spent five years building in Durban. Ian then spent the following ten years cruising the world with Shari and 2 young daughters.

Ian went on to manage the Caribbean, Greek and Eastern Mediterranean charter operations of one of the largest charter companies in the world. However, of all the places that Ian has sailed internationally, Beautiful British Columbia’s cruising ground he still rates as one of the finest in the world. Ian first began the annual Fall circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in 2002 and still teaches the Yachtmaster Offshore with Celestial Navigation aboard a flotilla of advanced level sailors at the CRYA and IYT standards.


Andy Den Otter is available as a monohull or catamaran sailing skipper and instructor, to teach from introductory to YachtMaster.

Andy has been sailing everything from windsurfers up to 55 ft ocean cruisers on the Caribbean, Pacific, Mediterranean, and Atlantic for the last 30+ years.

He has a real passion for teaching and loves teaching and sailing Canada’s West Coast. Andy is often chartering with his own friends and families as well as introducing new families couples and groups to BC’s Coastline!



Dave Martin has sailed thousands of Ocean miles and is also an experienced power yacht Instructor.

Dave holds a Sail Yachtmaster Instructor Evaluator Ocean and Coastal Skipper Power designation. He is the Instructor Coordinator for the Canadian Recreational Yachting Association, having trained numerous instructors in both sail and power categories.

As one of our most experienced Instructors in British Columbia, Dave has taught courses for Nanaimo Yacht Charters Team since 2002.  Whether you are wanting to learn to sail, operate a powerboat, master Coastal Navigation or practice the fine art of Celestial Navigation, Dave can meet your requirements in a safe, fun and comfortable sailing environment!



Gillie Hutchinson has always loved the sea and has extensive sailing experience locally and internationally.

Since 2016, Gillie has skippered private groups on her second boat, a 36ft Catalina, to Desolation Sound, the San Juan Islands and the Gulf Islands of B.C. as well as many international charters and courses.

Gillie’s goal has always been to empower other women in the sport of sailing and is convinced that women teaching women is a good fit. She taught well over 200 new sailors in the nine years she operated LadySail, and inspired many of her students to live the dream and buy their own boats, sail off-shore, or become instructors themselves. She believes “it is never too late to reinvent yourself”, having started her sailing career at the age of 50, and in August 2019 was interviewed for CBC French television. Gillie is bi-lingual and enjoys instructing in French as well as English. She plans to keep calm and carry on sailing!


Jack Dale is a seasoned instructional skipper having acquired over 50,000 miles of coastal and blue-water sailing since he began cruising the Salish Sea since 1984. As a delivery skipper, his passages also include an Atlantic Crossing from Cape Town to Brazil, Victoria to Maui, the BVI to Panama, Northern Atlantic and Southern England.

Jack is an avid racer and has taken part in many Swiftsure Races, the Van Isle 360 and racing on Galveston Bay.  He is a qualified to teach up to the Yachtmaster Ocean Instructional Evaluator level.





Tracy Sarich sails extensively throughout Puget Sound and the Southern Coast of British Columbia, including the West Coast of Vancouver Island on her own 54’ cutter sloop.

Her nearly 20 years of sailing experience includes offshore boat deliveries between San Francisco and Seattle, the Baja California Peninsula, and South Florida.  Tracy’s teaching focuses on her biggest passions – sailing education, advancing women in the sport, and leadership development for building strong teams and confident, capable skippers.





These customer-driven instructional skippers contribute to empower safe boaters to make sailing and navigating this Coastline accessible to everyone!

We are also happy to promote and grow our contracted Instructional Skipper database, please contact to further discuss your sailing background and availability to join our team.

The company is privately owned and not affiliated with any other charter company.



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Nanaimo Yacht Charters & Sailing School Ltd
1690 Stewart Ave Nanaimo BC BC Canada V9S 4E1
1-250-754-8601 / 1-877-754-8601 Start Price 1000 CAD
Nanaimo Yacht Charters & Sailing School Ltd
1690 Stewart Ave Nanaimo BC BC Canada V9S 4E1
1-250-754-8601 / 1-877-754-8601

Nanaimo Yacht Charters & Sailing School Ltd.
1690 Stewart Ave Nanaimo BC, Canada V9S 4E1

© 2007-2022 Nanaimo Yacht Charters.

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Setting Sail in 2022

We look forward to welcoming everyone this year whilst maintaining a safe and healthy environment for everyone who visits our facilities.  Social distancing, mask wearing, vigorous cleaning protocols, and other measures will continue this year to ensure the health and safety of our guests and staff.

For information about COVID-19 testing and/or travel related issues, please consult official government guidance for up to date information.