Dinghies are small sailboats ranging from approximately 2 to 7 metres in length. These boats are a great way for children, youth, and adults to learn the basics of sailing. Dinghies are popular recreational boats and are featured in sailing regattas around the world, including at the Olympic Games.
In dinghies, sailors use their body weight to balance the boat. Dinghies are usually rigged on land and launched each time sailors take them out on the water. Key features include an open cockpit and a removable or pivoting board instead of a keel. There are many different types of dinghies. Some are designed to be sailed solo while others require 2-3 people.
It’s not unusual to get splashed while out on the water in a dinghy, so it’s important to be prepared. Dinghy sailors should also be comfortable with swimming.
The CANSail program curriculum, designed by Sail Canada, sets the national standard for skills and knowledge related to dinghy sailing. Many Ontario Sailing member organizations offer CANSail lessons. These include community sailing clubs, yacht clubs, and summer camps for children. Not only are dinghies lots of fun, and easy to learn, CANSail dinghy lessons can also help build sailors’ confidence, athleticism, and teamwork skills. Dinghy sailors often develop an enthusiasm for the sport that lasts a lifetime
To find CANSail lessons for children, youth, or adults in your community, visit our FIND A MEMBER ORGANIZATION page.
For more information on the CANSail standards and program curriculum, check out Sail Canada’s resources on dinghy sailing.