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Old 28-01-2012, 13:08   #1
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Learn to Sail in Vancouver

I have been power boating in the Great Lakes (Ontario)for over 30 years. I would like to learn to sail and I'm considering taking a "live-aboard" sailing course out of Vancouver. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 28-01-2012, 13:17   #2
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Re: Learn to sail in Vancouver

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I have been power boating in the Great Lakes (Ontario)for over 30 years. I would like to learn to sail and I'm considering taking a "live-aboard" sailing course out of Vancouver. Does anyone have any suggestions?
There are lots of choices out of Vancouver. The larger ones are Cooper Boating (CYA and IYT) and Blue Pacific (ISPA). There are some smaller one-boat operations as well.

I would also look at Vancouver Island as it is closer to the cruising area. Vancouver is day away. Cooper is also in Sidney and Powell River (mainland) Island Cruising (ISPA) is in Sidney and Comox. Nanaimo Yacht Charters does both ISPA and CYA. Desolation Sound Charters is also in Comox. Comox and Sidney both have airports with regular flights. Nanaimo also has a small er airport.

If you want comments on any of these, please PM as I have worked for most of them.
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Old 28-01-2012, 13:28   #3
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Re: Learn to sail in Vancouver

Thanks for the info. I don't know the Vancouver the area at all. I would like to try to sail for a week or so to see if I like it. I'm eventually hoping to retire and do the live-a-board. I'm looking for a small operator that can walk me through the course. I had my Power Squadron Certificate already and I've always been interested in tryiny my hand at sailing.
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Old 28-01-2012, 13:32   #4
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Re: Learn to sail in Vancouver

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I have been power boating in the Great Lakes (Ontario)for over 30 years. I would like to learn to sail and I'm considering taking a "live-aboard" sailing course out of Vancouver. Does anyone have any suggestions?
I did my advanced CYA with Berkana Ventures, a sailing school out of Vancouver. It's basically a one-man operation, although the owner/instructor also teaches through Cooper. I personally loved the course and the skipper (Jim Lavers). He's a classic salty-old-dog. Knows his stuff well. Is hands-off (lets students learn), but was always there with a watchful eye and recommendations for improvement. He also teaches from his own boat, a wonderful Valiant 40 -- a great boat.
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Old 28-01-2012, 13:34   #5
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Re: Learn to sail in Vancouver

That's a great plan. I'd recommend coming out sometime other than summer. You miss a lot of skills when there's only very light wind (light wind sailing is important, too, of course, but important to learn when to reef, etc.) and it may be cheaper earlier or later in the season.

Sounds like jackdale has the most complete answer as to schools. I used cooper. I agree that the Victoria and Sidney schools will be closer to the gulf islands.

I prefer CYA over ISPA, having taken the former and compared notes with a friend taking the latter. CYA seems to be much more widespread, as well. I see that jackdale has instructed both, so he may have an opinion. For what you're doing, the instructor is probably the more important factor, but it's generally impossible to evaluate the instructor before you start the class. I had one very bad instructor and it made things miserable.
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Old 28-01-2012, 13:36   #6
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Re: Learn to sail in Vancouver

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I did my advanced CYA with Berkana Ventures, a sailing school out of Vancouver. It's basically a one-man operation, although the owner/instructor also teaches through Cooper. I personally loved the course and the skipper (Jim Lavers). He's a classic salty-old-dog. Knows his stuff well. Is hands-off (lets students learn), but was always there with a watchful eye and recommendations for improvement. He also teaches from his own boat, a wonderful Valiant 40 -- a great boat.
Did my advanced and offshore with Jim as well. He is amazing. Unfortunately for the OP, he doesn't do beginner or intermediate trips, just the advanced stuff.
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Old 28-01-2012, 13:39   #7
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Re: Learn to sail in Vancouver

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Originally Posted by maybe View Post
Thanks for the info. I don't know the Vancouver the area at all. I would like to try to sail for a week or so to see if I like it. I'm eventually hoping to retire and do the live-a-board. I'm looking for a small operator that can walk me through the course. I had my Power Squadron Certificate already and I've always been interested in tryiny my hand at sailing.
Any of the schools I listed can provide you with the experience you seek. They tend to have 4 students on board. Most of the beginning courses are 5 days, but you could arrange a week. It is a great place to learn; the navigation can be challenging and the scenery is spectacular.
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Old 28-01-2012, 13:40   #8
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Re: Learn to sail in Vancouver

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Did my advanced and offshore with Jim as well. He is amazing. Unfortunately for the OP, he doesn't do beginner or intermediate trips, just the advanced stuff.
Really? Jim lists Beginner and Intermediate on his website ... perhaps he's offering them through Coopers? If so, I'd encourage the OP to seek him out. He's a great instructor for those who don't want/need to be spoon-fed.
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Old 28-01-2012, 14:18   #9
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Re: Learn to sail in Vancouver

Thanks for the information everybody. I'll check out the area and courses that that you've mentioned. I'm hoping to book sometime either early June or end of June.
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Old 28-01-2012, 14:30   #10
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Old 28-01-2012, 14:34   #11
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Re: Learn to sail in Vancouver

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Thanks for the information everybody. I'll check out the area and courses that that you've mentioned. I'm hoping to book sometime either early June or end of June.
I would recommend early June - fewer crowds and better winds.
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Old 28-01-2012, 14:42   #12
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Re: Learn to sail in Vancouver

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Really? Jim lists Beginner and Intermediate on his website ... perhaps he's offering them through Coopers? If so, I'd encourage the OP to seek him out. He's a great instructor for those who don't want/need to be spoon-fed.
Interesting. I was sure that a couple years ago he told me he didn't. Either I'm remembering wrong, or he's changed his mind.

Berkana Ventures Sailing School: CYA Sailing Courses, Instruction, and Expeditions in Vancouver, British Columbia
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:07   #13
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Re: Learn to sail in Vancouver

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here.
kind regards,
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