Become a Cruising Instructor

Ontario Sailing and Sail Canada are always looking for experienced sailors and power-boaters to join the ranks of certified cruising instructors. Become a sailing instructor if you are looking to share your passion for sailing or powerboating and refine your boat skills and knowledge.

Entry points for the Sail Canada Learn to Cruise and Learn to Power instructor system are:

  • For Keelboat Cruising
    • Start Keelboat Sailing Instructor, or
    • Basic Cruising Instructor
  • For Power Cruising
    • Basic Powerboat Instructor
  • For Navigation
    • Basic Coastal Navigation Instructor
    • Celestial Navigation Instructor

Instructor standards are defined and managed by Sail Canada. Practical instructor training is run under the auspices of the provincial sailing associations. Instructors are certified to deliver specific courses and one instructor level may certify an instructor to deliver a number of standards. For example, the Basic Cruising/keelboat Instructor certification authorizes the instructor to deliver the Introduction, Start Keelboat, Basic Crew and Basic Cruising courses. Certification authority is defined in the Instructor standards. Instructor standards are recognized nationally by Schools delivering Sail Canada programs.

Instructor training is delivered by Instructor Evaluators (IEs) who are trained and authorized to train instructors by Sail Canada.


Ways of becoming a Keelboat Cruising Instructor:

There are in general three ways of becoming certified as a Sail Canada keelboat cruising instructor.  A summary of the process can be seen HERE.

Please note that each clinic requires prerequisites that are indicated on each course description.

  1. Participate in a Start Keelboat Sailing (SKS) Instructor Clinic.  
  1. Participate in a Basic Cruising Instructor Clinic.
  1. If you are an experienced instructor qualified according to the standards of another national or international sailing program (e.g. RYA, ASA, US Sailing, etc.) you should consult with the Sail Canada at the following address: for guidance on how to obtain credentials for instructing in a Canadian context.

Please note that participants are evaluated on professionalism, teaching abilities, lesson content and sailing knowledge. We encourage theory preparation beforehand.


Ways of becoming a Power Instructor:

A summary of the process to become a certified Power instructor can be seen HERE.

There are two pathways:

  1. Participate in a Basic Power Instructor Clinic.
  1. Participate in a Power cross-over clinic if you are already a qualified Keelboat instructor.  These clinics are organized periodically based on demand. If you are interested in becoming a certified Power instructor please email to inquire about clinics.


Ways of becoming a Navigation Instructor:

The pathway to becoming a navigation instructor is by application to Sail Canada. Provide a resume supporting your experience, demonstrate knowledge by completing exams and prepare training materials for the instructor level sought. These materials (resume, exams, and training materials) are submitted to Sail Canada for review and approval. The process is shown HERE.

Instructor level entry points are as a Coastal Navigation Instructor or as a Celestial Navigation Instructor.