Sail – Learn to Cruise Standards

Sail Canada  Learn to Cruise

Learn to sail and obtain your Sail Canada Learn to Cruise (formerly the Canadian Yachting Association Learn to Cruise – CYA  LTC)  Basic Cruising certification under the instruction of our Sail Canada LTC instructor.

The Sail Canada LTC Basic Cruising certification states that the successful graduate is able to cruise in familiar waters and to act as both a skipper and capable crew member on a sloop rigged sailboat of 6 to 10 meters in length in moderate wind and sea conditions during daylight hours.

The Sail Canada Basic Cruising course consists of both Ashore and Afloat skills in accordance with the standards set out by the Sail Canada.

Sail Canada LTC Basic Cruising course topic overview:

  • sailing terminology;
  • safety equipment and procedures;
  • rules of the road (Colregs – collision regulations);
  • basic weather and navigation (buoys, charts, tides and currents);
  • engine operation;
  • boat handling under sail/power;
  • crew overboard recovery procedure;
  • tying knots;
  • anchoring and docking;
  • sail theory – true and apparent wind

What makes us different!

  • we have our Advanced Coastal Cruising certifications;
  • we are Sail Canada and American Sailing Association instructors so we can provide a unique perspective on topics that are dealt with differently between the two organizations;
  • our instructor, Les, has written a book on advanced coastal cruising currently in use by a number of sailing schools in the United Sates;
  • we have ocean sailed in different parts of the world;
  • we teach to individual needs from students with ‘no experience’ to students who want a ‘refresher’;
  • we teach the course requirements but we also teach outside of the course to expand your sailing abilities

Our 2 weekend Sail Canada Basic Cruising certification sailing course is offered just 40 minutes West of Edmonton on Lac St. Anne.

Course schedule 2018:

  • Weekends of June 16th & 17th and June 23th & 24th;
  • Weekends of July 14th & 15th and July 21st & 22nd;
  • Weekends of August 11th & 12th and August 18th & 19th;
  • we may offer a four day (weekday) course if we have two or more people interested – please contact us.

For more information please contact us at: 780 499 4295 (Les) or email: [email protected]

Sail  Canada  – Learn to Cruise Standard
(Basic Cruising)
(Standards as set out in the Sail  Canada International Log Book)

Section I: Terms and Definitions
The candidate must be able to:
1.     Identify and describe the following:
Hull and keel                                       Gooseneck
Bow, beam and stern                           Boomvang and topping lift
Fenders                                               Shackles and fairleads
Deck and cabin                                    Cleats and winches
Rudder and tiller/wheel                       Pulpit and pushpit
Cockpit and self-bailing cockpit         Stanchions and lifelines
Gudgeons and pintles                         Main, jib and storm jib
Mast and boom                                   Genoa and spinnaker
Spreader                                              Head, tack and clew
Shrouds and stays                               Luff, foot and leech
Tangs and turnbuckles                        Battens, hanks and slides
Chainplates                                         Cringles and reef points
Running rigging                                   Standing rigging
Roller and jiffy/slab reefing                 Sheets and halyards
Telltales                                               Outhaul and cunningham
Spring and breast lines                        Roller furling
2.     Describe the following with the aid of diagrams: ahead, abeam and astern, forward and aft;
3.   Define and be able to identify these terms from a diagram:
Port                                         Underway
Starboard                                 No way
Windward                               In Irons
Leeward                                  Beating
Tacking                                    Sailing by the lee
Gybing                                    Running
Close Hauled                           On a tack
Port tack                                 Luffing (of sail)
Starboard tack                         Heading up
Leeway                                   Bearing away
Wash                                       Wake
Reaching (Close, beam and broad)
Section II: Gear and Equipment
The candidate must be able to:
4.   List from memory:
a)       the Department of Transport (DOT) required items forthe candidate’s boat (Safe Boating Guide),
b)       the rules for care of PFD’s and Life Jackets,
c)       the recommended method of testing for buoyancy in a PFD;
5.   Describe
a)        the reasons for keeping gear and equipment stowed in assigned places in a cruising boat.
b)        the frequency of maintenance of a recreational boat and its equipment so that it is capable of functioning at all times,
c)        the minimum items recommended for a waterproof emergency kit

Section III: Safety

The candidate must be able to:
6.   Describe:
a)        The purpose of a safety harness and dangers of improper attachment in a cruising boat,
b)       The purpose of pulpits and lifelines;
7.   Identify the required navigation lights for a vessel:
a)       under sail; under power and at anchor and describe the angles of each;
b)       for an unpowered vessel less than 6 meters in length;
8.    Describe the effects, treatment and prevention of hypothermia including:
a)        Define hypothermia and describe the major areas of heat loss to the body,
b)        Describe treatment for mild and severe hypothermia,
c)        List correct actions to be taken by a victim in cold water to increase survival time;
9.    Describe the precautions taken to prevent undue magnetic influences to the vessel’s compass;
10.  Describe the common sources of fire and explosion and list the methods for preventing such occurrences and actions to be taken in the event of an onboard fire;
11.  Describe safe refueling procedures;
12.  Identify a scuba diving flag;
13.  Describe:
a)       The danger involved in re-charging batteries,
b)       How to safely launch flares,
c)        The types of signals used to indicated distress;
d)       List the actions to be taken in case of a capsize;
14.  Describe the uses, capabilities and limitations of a yacht radar reflector;
15.  State the dangers of overhead power lines.
16.  Describe
a)        Reasons for filing a float plan and who the plan should be filed with;
b)       Items of important information which should be included in a Float Plan,
c)        Reasons for completing a pre-departure check-list;
Section IV: Rules of the Road and Canadian Regulations
The candidate must be able to:
17.  Apply Rules 12 – 17 of the Collision Regulations by means of diagrams;
18.  Identify and describe the following:
             Pleasure craft                  Power driven vessel                Sailing vessel                   Recommended gross load capacity
                Capacity plate                  Recommended safe limit of engine power
19. Identify
a)        Four considerations in determining the safe speed to operate a vessel,
b)       The actions and precautions to be taken in reduced visibility,
c)        Responsibilities when operating in a commercial traffic lane;
20. Demonstrate knowledge of regulations applying to boaters:
a)        Identify the minimum required publications for operating a 10 meter pleasure vessel in unfamiliar waters,
b)       Describe the guidelines for licensing and how a license number must be marked on a vessel,
c)        Identify the principal acts / legislation that a pleasure craft operator should be knowledgeable about, and the areas covered by each including:
              Canada Shipping Act                        Small Vessel Regulations,
                  Boating Restriction Regulations      Contraventions Act
                  Collision Regulations                        The Criminal Code of Canada.
Section V: Weather
The candidate must be able to:
21.  State three sources of marine weather information;
22.  Interpret the marine weather forecast applicable to the area of operation, and describe how to apply the information:
a)        Determine whether it is safe to set sail in the candidate’s boat, and
b)       Decide what changes are forecast for the next six hours and what effect these should have on the day’s planned activities,
c)        Identify the wind speeds associated with
Light winds                   Moderate winds            Strong winds
Small craft warning       Gale warning                 Storm warning
23. Describe local weather hazards, how they can be identified, the normal warning time available, and the actions to be taken to reduce/avoid effects.
Section VI: Duties of the Skipper and Crew
The candidate must be able to:
24.   List the main responsibilities of the skipper and crew as listed below:
a)        Safety of crew and boat,
b)       Briefing on location and operation of lifesaving and other safety equipment prior to getting underway,
c)        Assigning duties,
d)       Instruction in the safe use of the boat’s equipment while underway
e)        Obligations on observing an accident or vessel in distress,
f)        Actions to demonstrate respect for other boaters and other’s property;
a)        Obey skipper;
b)       Assist skipper
Section VII: Seamanship
The candidate must be able to:
25.  Describe the sequence of sail reduction as wind speed increases;
26.  Describe the danger of your lee shore;
27.  Understand the use of a Canadian Hydrographic chart of the local area:
a)        a chart
b)       aids to navigation
a)        depth of water
b)       distance scale
c)        buoys and their significance
d)       types of bottom (sand, rock, mud and clay)
e)        under water/surface hazards: kelp, cable, rock, shoals, cribs, wrecks, currents
f)        light symbols
g)        beacons
28. Use of Tide and Current Tables to find:
1.        times and heights of tides at reference ports
2.        direction and rate of current at reference stations
29. Describe:
a)       the features of a secure anchorage
b)       the holding characteristics of commonly used anchors
c)       suitable rode makeup and handling
d)       scope requirements when anchoring for lunch, overnight and rough weather
30. Describe the immediate action to be take for the following circumstances:
a) springing a leak                 f) dragging anchor
b) steering fails                      g) running aground
c) grounding at anchor         h) broken halyard
d) fouled propeller                 i) fire
e) standing rigging fails
31. Describe the one commonly accepted use for each of the following knots, bends and hitches:
a) Reef knot                            d) bowline
b) figure eight                          e) clove hitch
c) double sheet bend               f) round turn & two half hitches
32.  Describe the use of the VHF radio for receiving weather reports and making emergency calls.
(18 hours minimum) Recommended vessel is a 6 – 10 meter sloop rigged keelboat.
Section VIII: Preliminaries
The candidate must be able to:
1.    Demonstrate on land the correct method of putting on a personal flotation device in the water;
2.    Demonstrate the correct use of a heaving line;
3.  Carry out a check of the vessel’s gear and equipment in accordance with CYA Cruising Boat Checklist and  demonstrate use and care of onboard equipment;
4.    Select, bend on, check and stow sails;
5.    Coil a line and secure (sea coil);
6.    Properly stow lines and fenders;
7.    Demonstrate how to belay a cleat;
8.    Demonstrate safe winch techniques with particular emphasis on:
a)       possible high strain on sheet/halyard
b)       how to avoid riding turns (and how to clear)
c)       position of hands/fingers
d)       winch handles – fitting and removal.
Section IX: Maneuvering Under Power
The candidate must be able to:
9.    Start auxiliary engine on vessel, observing commonly accepted safety practices;
10. Come to a full stop with stern one half boat length away from a buoy using reverse. (The objective of this maneuver is to know how much distance is required to bring a vessel to a full stop. Vessel is to be kept on a straight course while the maneuver is being carried out);
11. Manoeuvre a vessel under power to a position alongside and parallel to a dock portside to and starboard side to not more than two feet off without the aid of lines, without the stern passing a given mark at any time during the maneuver;
12. Apply Rules 5 through 18 of the Collision Regulations as applied to a vessel under power;
13. Set a anchor under power in water more than 3 meters in depth so as not drag when tested under engine power at half-throttle astern;
14. Raise anchor with boat ready and get under way;
Section X: Boat Handling Under Sail
The candidate must be able to:
15. Hoist the basic sails while under power/at anchor, or mooring (head to wind, main sail first), set appropriate luff tensions, and flake halyards;
16. Apply Rules 5 through 18 of the Collision Regulations as applied to a vessel under sail;
17. Act as skipper giving correct commands and responses while demonstrating the proper techniques of beating, reaching and running; tacking and gybing; heading up, bearing away, luffing and heaving to; using the following commands and responses:
Commands:                           Responses:           Alert:
“Head Up”                                                           
“Bear Away”                                                        
“Ease Sheets”                                                       
“Harden Sheets”                                                   
“Ready About”                       “Ready”                “Helm Alee”`
“Ready to Gybe”                    “Ready”                “Gybe Ho”
18. Reduce sail by reefing and shake out a reef while keeping vessel under control, either at the helm or controlling the sails, as commanded by the skipper;
19. Demonstrate skipper’s actions/commands while under sail from the time a member of the crew falls overboard without warning until the crew is safely recovered. Consider the crew ove4rboard wearing a PFD and able to assist him/herself. Include the following minimum actions:
a)       Sound alarm “Crew Overboard”
b)       Deploy marker and buoyant object(s)
c)       Appoint and maintain a lookout
d)       Triangle method of return (under sail)
e)       Describe at least two methods of getting a person out of the water and back aboard
The student must be able to perform returns under both power and sail. For these maneuvers the crew can consist of three or more, but the student is to describe the actions to be taken if one member of a two person crew falls overboard also, with the vessel under sail.
20.     Lower sail while under power or at anchor or a mooring.
Section XI: Making Fast and Snugging Down
The candidate must be able to:
21. Secure a vessel to a dock to prevent excessive movement and set out fenders correctly;
22. Stop auxiliary engine and secure when departing vessel for night, observing commonly accepted safety practices;
23. Demonstrate how to secure a vessel for the night using appropriate dock lines;
24. Tie the following knots, bends and hitches within 30 seconds each: figure 8, double sheet bend, bowline, round turn two half hitches, reef knot and clove hitch.