Coach / Instructor Clinics me


If you are an experienced sailor, have a passion for helping people learn and want one of the best summer jobs going, than becoming a certified Sail Canada coach might be for you.


Become a CANSail Coach

New coaches: There are 4 steps to becoming a certified sailing instructor: prerequisites, theory, technical and evaluation.  All instructors have to read, sign and adhere to the Coaching Code of Conduct.  Trained and certified instructors must register with Sail Canada and submit the annual coach/instructor dues to the Sail Canada office.  These annual dues cover instructor liability insurance as well as contributing to program development.




Before attending a clinic, All prerequisites must be scanned and emailed to SailNL, this information is then sent to Sail Canada as part of the registration process.   


All CANSail Instructors must be turning 16 in the calendar year.  The exception is for Community Coaches, who must be 15 years old.


Pleasure Craft Operator Card

First Aid: minimum Emergency level from a nationally recognized provider

Coach Boat Safety: one-day course offered through BC Sailing

Sailing Certificate:

CANSail 1 & 2 Instructor - minimum CANSail 4 or Bronze 5

CANSail 3 & 4 Instructor - minimum CANSail 5 or Bronze 5+LTR or Silver 6

CANSail 5 & 6 Instructor - minimum CANSail 6 or Silver 6 & LTR

Chutes & Wires Instructor - minimum CANSail 5+Chutes & Wires 1 or LTR+Silver




The CANSail Fundamental Course is the required theory portion, and is a prerequisite for all future coaching courses.  The Fundamental is a 2-day course that covers coaching theory, including professionalism, ethics, risk management, safety, skill development, teaching methods and planning a practice.


Ethics: The online ethics exam is offered by the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC)  The ethics module is introduced during the CANSail Fundamental course, and coaches are required to take the online ethics module and exam prior to registration with Sail Canada.  CANSail coaches must take the Instructor Stream exam.




The technical clinic is a very hands-on course using the theory learned in the Fundamental course.  There are 3 levels for the technical:


  • CANSail 1 & 2

  • CANSail 3 & 4

  • CANSail 5 & 6

CANSail coaches can only teach the levels they are certified for (eg. CANSail 3 & 4 coaches can only teach CANSail 3 & 4 unless they are also certified in other levels).  The courses are not linear, so becoming a CANSail 1 & 2 coach is not a prerequisite for becoming a CANSail 3 & 4 coach.  Upon successful completion of the technical clinic, coaches are considered "Trained".  Trained coaches can register with Sail Canada and coach, but must complete an evaluation within 2 years of becoming Trained.




Coaches must complete an evaluation within 2 years of becoming trained to become a Sail Canada Certified Coach.  BC Sailing offers many one-day evaluation clinics throughout the year.  If these dates do not work for you, contact SailNL to arrange an evaluation with a local Evaluator.  Usually individually arranged evaluations from September to June are with race team training with a local team.  During the summer months, it may be possible to arrange for an Evaluator come to your club or school (this may have a higher fee due to travel costs).


Professional Development Courses:


Professional development courses are taught by expert Learning Facilitators, and are for instructors wishing to learn more about different boats and age groups.  These courses are open to all coaches and program directors, including first year instructors.


Program Manager: This module is open to coaches looking to take on an administrative role within their Learn-to-Sail program.  Topics covered include marketing, registration, communication and safety.  This course is not recommended for first and second year instructors.

Wet Feet and Optimist 1 & 2 Module: This one-day module teaches instructors about rigging and technical skills specific to Optis.  There are also discussions on how to teach younger sailors, and a variety of games to keep children learning and interested in sailing.  This module is required to teach Optimist 1 & 2.


Opti Race (CANSail 3) Module: This is a new course offered this year for coaches with some basic Optimist experience.  Candidates will work with Optimist racing team sailors and will focus on developing racing skills and new coaching techniques specific to Opti sailing and sailors ages 10-14; who are interested in racing.  This module is required to teach Optimist 3.


Chutes & Wires: This module is focused on rigging, tuning and double-handed specific skills, like skipper/crew roles and communication. Discussions include how to teach both a skipper and crew at the same time, introduces double-handed roles to sailors of all ages and best practices for a variety of skills.  This course is required to teach Chutes and Wires 1 & 2.


Community Coach: This module is a new course developed by BC Sailing and is supported by Sail Canada.  It is for people wishing to take part in a sailing course as an assistant instructor or volunteer.  This year, Community Coach courses will be taught alongside the Opti module.  This one-day course provides candidates with the tools to assist on and off the water, and includes a series of lesson plans for teaching basic sailing skills.  *Note: Community Coaches may not be eligible under Sail Canada's's Coach Insurance Policy.


Become a Cruising Instructor


Newfoundland and Labrador currently does not have any Learn-to-Cruise Instructors, however there are some great CANSail Coaches who teach “Adult Sailing Programs” in keel boats.  If you are interested in starting a Learn-to-Cruise program at your sailing club we will work with Sail Canada and our provincial sailing partners to organize the required training.



If you have questions about how to become a coach, or are unsure of what courses to register for, email