Adult sailing lessons - Glenmore Sailing School

Glenmore Sailing School Adult sailing lessons

Glenmore Sailing School adult programs range from complete beginner to advanced. All staff are Sail Canada certified, knowledgeable, and active members of the sailing community, and are enthusiastic about sharing their passion for sailing.

Outdoor lessons have ended for the season. Looking for winter options? Try our indoor sailing theory classes.

About the program

All CANSail programs are run in dinghies (small one-person to three-person boats) that are launched daily from the boatyard. Beginner’s programs generally use our 420s, which are most commonly sailed with two people.

All areas of basic sailing skills are taught:

  • Boat components
  • Terminology
  • Knots
  • Rigging
  • Sail hoisting
  • Steering
  • Boat balance
  • Sail adjustment
  • Sailing upwind (tacking)
  • Capsize procedures (simulation on dry land)

Dinghy classes

Adult evening classes run two nights a week for a month, from May to September. The weekend classes run either one day a week for a month, or two days a week for two weeks. The first level for adult classes is Intro to CANsail. This class is designed specifically for those with no previous sailing experience. The goal is to develop basic boat knowledge, skills, water safety, and to become comfortable in a sailing environment.

For our students with some previous sailing experience, we offer CANSail 1&2. This course covers all the basics of boat handling. Topics covered include:

  • Boat safety
  • Boat balance
  • Steering with a tiller
  • Sail trim
  • Heading up and bearing off
  • Tacking and gybing

The school provide boats, lifejackets, and all safety equipment. Students are required to bring:

  • closed-toe non-slip footwear
  • change of clothes, including underwear
  • rain gear such as a rain jacket or rain pants, according to weather

View our Adult CanSail Registration chart.

For all adult dinghy classes, students will be sailing right away - the best way to learn is to get on the water as soon as possible. Instructors will brief you on how to stay safe, and students will discover a lot more by getting into a boat (and back out again), sailing on a course, and trying things out. Students will get to spend some time on the helm and some as crew. Students can expect teamwork, fun, and a safe learning experience.

Registering for a course

The entrance point for sailors with previous experience will depend on individual skill level. If it has been a long time since you sailed, or if you only received a small amount of sailing instruction, you may wish to start at the beginning, in our entry point for adult sailors.

If you have sailed more recently, or are confident in your sailing ability, you may wish to register in CANSail 1&2. It might be possible to change levels after the first session, if you are found to be at a higher or lower skill level than what is being offered by the class. All changes are dependent on instructor availability. Please see the Adult CANsail Registration Chart for more information.

Advanced dinghy programs

A number of programs are geared towards adult students who have completed their CANSail 2 checklist. First, they can choose to continue with adult evening classes by taking CANSail 3&4 class. This combined class is for students working on progressing their skills, and sailors of a variety of advanced skill levels are welcome.


Programs are designed with safety in mind. PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices) must be worn at all times, both on and near the water. All staff at the Glenmore Sailing School are trained in First Aid and CPR, and are qualified under Sail Canada. Additionally, Glenmore Boat Patrol is always on duty monitoring reservoir activity, so are always ready to help during lessons.