Updates to Format of Published Standards

The presentation format of the Cruising, Power and Navigation standards that are posted on the Sail Canada website has been modified to include a consistent level of information for course providers and customers. The new layout includes a course description, recommended minimum course duration, physical requirements for candidates and evaluation methodology as well as the performance objectives. Prerequisites are now described in terms of items required for prior to training and items required for certification.  This has been an ongoing effort over the past year and as translations are completed the final updated versions are being posted to the Sail Canada website.


Updated, New and Retired Standards


The Coastal Navigation standard has been split into two shorter duration standards – Basic Coastal Navigation and Intermediate Coastal Navigation. The existing Coastal Navigation Standard will be retired as of December 31, 2017 and courses leading to certification in this level must have been completed with all student certifications finalized and reported by that date.

Basic Coastal Navigation covers material that is practiced in the Intermediate Cruising Standard. The course covers information on publications, charts, planning, pilotage and GPS basics. This material should be of interest to those using navigation processes that primarily depend on electronics. Intermediate Coastal Navigation builds on knowledge taught in Basic Coastal Navigation and covers material that is practiced in the Advanced Cruising Standard.

Examinations and suggested curriculum plans in support of the delivering these new standards have been delivered to Sail Canada for translation and posting. Navigation instructors should check the member resource area for these documents.


Sail Cruising

Navigation into an unfamiliar harbour or through a constrained area such as a pass are skills developed and coached in both Intermediate cruising (day time activity) and advanced cruising (night time activity). The ability to develop and execute a pilotage plan is a key skill in entering an unfamiliar harbour. A pilotage plan is typically a component of a passage plan and includes the navigation details including   relevant notes and simple diagrams of very specific sections of a Passage Plan where significant attention to detail is required. The pilotage plan is designed to be used at the helm and includes key  turning points, landmark and navigation aids to be used, distances, timing and courses in compass for use in entering or passing through complex and potentially hazardous areas such harbours, bays, marinas, narrow channels. The development of pilotage plans is taught in Basic Coastal Navigation and should be practiced in Intermediate and Advanced cruising.

Changes to the Offshore Cruising Standard have reduced (not eliminated) the requirement for demonstration of celestial navigation skills. Requirements for award of the standard now include completion of the Advanced Navigation standard as well as World Sailing approved Offshore Personal Survival training.

A new Offshore Crew standard has been developed to recognize the achievements of those that wish to gain offshore sailing skills and knowledge without the demonstration celestial navigation skills or completion of shore based Celestial Navigation or Advanced Navigation standards.


Power Cruising

The Basic Outboard Instructor Evaluator standard and the Basic Power Commercial Endorsement have been discontinued. These standards were little used and material taught in these standards is included in other certifications.


Further information on the changes to the presentation and content of standards is available on the Sail Canada website. Look for the document titled “Changes to the LTC & P system June 2017” – the Cruising Panel submission to TCC concerning these changes. Readers are directed to review the Cruising, Power and Navigation instructor standards for information on changes to prerequisites related to the new coastal navigation standards.


Notes on Materials

Basic Cruising exam version A is the primary tool for evaluating student Ashore knowledge.  Basic Cruise exam Version B, the shorter exam, is intended for use only when students are completing a PCOC exam as part of the course. In instances where a student already holds their PCOC card, exam A should be used to evaluate Basic Cruise theory knowledge.

Minor updates have been made to the English language Intermediate Cruising notes. The updated notes have been posted on the member resources section of the Sail Canada website.

The Basic Power text is scheduled to be reprinted in winter of 2017/2018. Instructors with suggestions for amendments to the 2015 version of this text should forward their recommendations to the Cruising Panel via email at Cruising@Sailing.ca .


Reminder Concerning Proof of Physical Competence for Instructors

Update to 2018 policy

Sail Canada is phasing in this requirement. In 2016 Advanced and Offshore instructors were required to complete a Medical in order to be registered to teach these levels. In 2017 the requirement was extended to Intermediate Cruising Instructors. In 2018 all Instructors teaching live aboard courses will be expected to complete a marine medical. Instructors teaching in a day sailing or powerboating environment may complete the medical or may demonstrate physical competence by completing a sailing or powerboating exercise. For these instructors that teach in a day sailing or powerboating environment the requirement will come into force at the time of their next certification renewal. The sailing exercise may be a single handed sail or may be a crewed sail, with the candidates completing all of the components of a single handed sail in each crew position.