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Learn to Sail with us!

Course registration Sailing School AccreditationSailing CourseSailing Instructors
Are you ready to take your first liveaboard course, or during these winter months, it may be the perfect time to complete your shore-based Coastal Navigation theory in preparation for your next Flotilla Skipper course.

Whether it is time to hone your skills or build upon your previously mastered competencies and time on the water to achieve the Bareboat Skipper and International Certificate of Competency (ICC) to charter internationally, we have the course to suit all sailing needs.

We offer all of these sailing courses from the Basics to the Advanced Level to safely skipper or crew a sea-going yacht. Our sailing school, based in Nanaimo on Vancouver Island offers Power and Sailing courses for individuals, friends, couples or families.

Come and explore BC’s spectacular cruising ground exploring the Gulf Islands, sailing along the Sunshine Coast up to Desolation Sound, the Broughtons or Circumnavigate Vancouver Island, while obtaining a sailing certification.

How to Register

Step 1: Explore our wide selection of courses designed for everyone – from those who are new to sailing to experienced individuals looking to advance their certification

  • Check out our Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, or Customized courses to find the course that best suits your experience level
  • If you’re unsure of what type of course to take, feel free to contact us – we’ll be able to gauge your experience and sailing history to recommend an appropriate course to help you get the most out of your on the water sailing experience
  • Click the “Check Availability” button on any course page to fill out a brief contact form letting us know you’re interested
  • In addition to the contact form, you can always reach us via email at or by phone at 1-877-754-8601

Step 2: Contact us to discuss your preferred dates and availability for the type, of course, that best suits your goals

  • We run multiple courses of each type throughout the sailing season, starting as early as March and into November
  • We’ll work with you to find the particular course and course dates that work best for you based on our availability
  • For our ‘set Cruise-and-Learn’ courses, there is a minimum requirement of 2 – 4 students to confirm a course week. We do also work to keep our class sizes small to allow every student plenty of helm time, engaged learning and putting new skills to practice

Step 3: Once your course and dates have been confirmed, fill out our course registration form to hold your seat.

  • Our course registration form provides us with all of the information we need to draw up your invoice, as well as some details on your sailing history that will be helpful for your instructional skipper to help tailor your experience to your individual learning needs

Step 4: We’ll send your registration letter and invoice for the course

  • The invoice total will include the course tuition as well as any exam fees for the practical and written examinations, to be completed during your sailing week

Step 5: Pay the deposit to confirm your spot in the course

  • A deposit of 35% is required to complete your registration and the remaining balance is due 60-days before you set sail.
  • Depending on the course, certification fees, the exact deposit amount, payment options and your registration letter will be included in Step 4

Step 6: Get excited and begin your pre-course studies – your sailing course registration is now confirmed


Our boating and yachting school’s certification programs range from basic to advanced and include a Yachtmaster Offshore course with Celestial Navigation that circumnavigates Vancouver Island~ Our school teaches Canadian Recreational Yachting  Association, (CRYA) and International Yacht Training  (IYT) courses.

Nanaimo Yacht Charters & Sailing School offers a range of sailing course accredited by the main industry sailing bodies, the bodies we work with are:

Canadian Recreational Yachting Association


A non-profit organisation that works with various bodies to promote both sailing and powerboating through member clubs, schools and partners.

CRYA’s mission statement is:

Canadian Recreational Yachting Association is dedicated to the training of both sail and power operators on the water with an emphasis on safe boat handling and the skilful use of pleasure craft while having fun.

IYT – International Yacht Training Worldwide

Operates more boating and sailing organisation in the world.

International Yacht Training Worldwide operates more boating and sailing courses with more Government approvals through more sailing schools, in more countries and in more languages than any other boating or sailing organisation in the world.

IYT was started to:

  1. Standardising yacht training across the globe
  2. Offering the training in a modular format
  3. Courses could be taken in any of our partner schools anywhere in the world.

IYT yachting courses are recognised by 25 different Governments worldwide for commercial use including the British Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).

A unique opportunity to access all of the Sailing theory course materials online for free! Visit and create a user ID profile to gain access to a sequence of courses available by eLearning, downloadable PDF and interactive learning:

  • International Crew
  • International Flotilla Skipper
  • International Bareboat Skipper
  • and the International Certificate of Competency (ICC)
  • Yachtmaster Coastal
  • Yachtmaster Offshore
  • Yachtmaster Ocean with Celestial Navigation

Basic/Competent Crew
Boating Courses

Perfect for those at the beginning of their sailing or powerboating career – these courses take you from nothing to providing you with confidence.
Duration: 5 days & 5 nights sailing through the Gulf Islands
Pricing: The price of our standard ‘Cruise and Learn’ includes the provisions, comfortable liveaboard yacht and instructor

Basic/Competent Crew Boating Courses

All Basic Sailing Courses

Intermediate/Day Skipper
Boating Courses

Ok – you know how to sail and now you want to get more proficient or maybe you want to charter and need certification?
Duration: 5-7 days depending on the Flotilla or Bareboat Skipper, sailing through the Gulf Islands or the Sunshine Coast
Pricing: The price of our standard ‘Cruise and Learn’ includes the provisions, comfortable liveaboard yacht and instructor

All Intermediate Sailing Courses


Advanced Sailing Courses

You can sail, you have extensive experience and now you want to do the real deal or you want to get certified.
Duration – 7-days (Coastal Skipper Advanced) and 14-days circumnavigating Vancouver Island
Pricing – The price of our standard Cruise and Learn includes the provisions, yacht and instructor

Advanced Sailing Courses

All Advanced Sailing Courses


Specialist Sailing Courses

Perfect for those at the beginning of their sailing or powerboating career – these courses take you from nothing to providing you with confidence. Choose your boat, your friends and your itinerary; or sit back and relax, sailing as little or as much as you like!
Duration: A customized charter is based on the weekly 7-day sailing rate
Pricing: Dependent on the vessel chosen, instructional skipper fees, moorage, fuel and  provisioning*

Specialist Sailing Courses

All Specialist Courses

Student Testimonials


Meet your 2021 Sailing Instructor’s

Here at Nanaimo Yacht Charters & Sailing School, we are honoured to work with a team of fantastic, experienced and fun instructional skippers for our Sailing Season!

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 2001 and still teaches the Yachtmaster Offshore with Celestial Navigation annually. This past 2020 season we were lucky enough to facilitate a flotilla of Advanced level sailors at the CRYA or IYT Yachtmaster level.


Andy Den OtterAndy 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 MartinDave 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, comfortable,  skill-testing and times challenging sailing environment.


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 also an avid racer and has taken part in many Swiftsure Races, the Van Isle 360 and racing on Galveston Bay.

Jack is a qualified Sail instructional skipper certification for CRYA up to the Yachtmaster Ocean Instructional Evaluator level, a Coastal Power Instructional Evaluator and an IYT Sail Yachtmaster Coastal Instructor.


Tracy SarichTracy 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 focus on some of her biggest passions from sailing education, advancing women in the sport, and leadership development for building strong teams and confident, capable skippers.  You are sure to have a fantastic, fun and meaningful sailing adventure aboard a sailing course with Tracy!


These customer-driven instructional skippers contribute to the strong team ready to empower safe boaters and sailors while growing the future of bareboat chartering!

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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