InformedBoater Academy
Instructional Philosophy and Offerings

After 4 decades of teaching sailing, I have discovered a number of things. First, sailing might not for everyone, but for those who discover sailing is their passion, the sport provides so many avenues to enjoy boating, sailing and cruising. To find out if sailing is something you want to do, scroll down to Learn to Sail: The Introduction on this page.

Second, for some people, there is absolutely no doubt sailing is for them, but they have never had the opportunity to get out on the water. If that describes you, Learn to Sail: The Basics is the solution. At InformedBoater Academy, we take a unique approach to learning to sail. Rather than large group lessons with a boat full of students, we know you have greater success with instruction that is tailored to your specific needs.

Our specialty and passion is cruising. The freedom to sail a new waterway, set your anchor in an unfamiliar anchorage, celebrate sunset, cook and share an onboard meal and spend the night 'on the hook'. OK, that's the Hallmark moment – but it is possible with the right instruction and onboard experience. We have schedule 7 opportunities for you to Learn to Cruise (The Basics) to prepare you for owning your own boat or chartering in the islands. This is a 5-day live aboard experience based on Sail Canada Intermediate Cruising Standard. It is a bit of work, but worth every moment. Read on to find out more ...

Learn to Sail: The Basics
(Sail Canada Basic Cruising) 
Click to download SC standard

This is one of the entry level courses in the series of Sail Canada courses on sailing keelboats and on cruising. It develops the student’s ability to take command of and operate (with assistance of competent crew) an auxiliary powered sailing vessel, by day, in light to moderate conditions. Basic boating skills are developed under sail and power with a focus on operation of the vessel as both crew and skipper. Individuals with minimal practical on water experience should consider completing the Start Keelboat Sailing standard before attending for this training.

If you possess some boating experience (power or sail) we can begin with a 3-hour on-water assessment. Then we prepare a detailed learning plan for you based on Sail Canada's Basic Cruising Standard.

Ashore Knowledge (theory) is provided by both online video based learning and text - both authored by your instructor, Rob MacLeod.

Lesson Prices (up to 3 people)

3-hour lessons:
   Your boat - $195.00
   Our boat - $285

18-hour lessons:
   Your boat - $1170
   Our boat - $1710

Learn to Cruise: The Basics
(Sail Canada Intermediate Cruising)
Click to download SC standard

This live aboard course follows the Basic Crew or Basic Cruising standards in the Sail Canada keelboat and cruising training system. Students will participate in operation of the vessel as crew and as skipper. The vessel will be operated under sail and power while making daytime passages. The ability to act as skipper and crew in operation of a sailing vessel by day in unfamiliar waters will be developed, while building the skills and experience needed for live-aboard cruises and bareboat charter.


Requirements prior to taking the standard:
  • Sail Canada Basic Cruising Standard
  • Sail Canada Basic Coastal Navigation or Coastal Navigation Standard
  • ROC(M): VHF with DSC endorsement
  • Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card
Recommended prior to taking the standard:
  • Recognized standard first aid and CPR certificate
  • Sail Canada Intermediate Coastal Navigation Standard

Learn to Sail / Cruise: Online Learning

Learn to Sail: The Basics

Learn to Cruise: The Basics

(under development)

Learn to Navigate: The Basics

(under development)