Training and Certification

MYCBC – Why Join Us Forums General Discussion Training and Certification

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      Hi all,

      I’m a bit of a student at heart. I was a keener and a PITA at my CPS course, where I of course got the know it all trophy. When I was done I was excited and looked at all the other courses they offer. I think CPS is wonderful and hope they continue to successfully educate boaters so we can all enjoy safer and greener cruising.

      However, I found CPS is lacking in hands on training. A former apprentice of mine found himself involved in sailing in England and the rigors he went through to get an RYA Coastal Day Skipper cert made the CPS boating course look like kindergarten. The main difference was the hands on and logged hours at sea. From what I gather CYA is more like RYA but I haven’t spent the $ to find out. I also don’t want to spend $ to duplicate my previous learning.

      My wife took a 5 day cruise and learn “competent to crew” course where they had no wind and she didn’t get to complete her cert. The sailing organization providing the cert is also not well known and had an internal rift separating power from sail. Not sure insurers or charter companies would look at this at all.

      I’ve also gathered that all these boating courses don’t necessarily mean anything to professionals, but I can’t seem to readily find a professional training school or courses? Where do BC Ferries and Seaspan send there guys? Who certifies them?

      Right now I’m young enough not to rule out operating a charter business or sailing school. I’m always dreaming of a “cool” retirement venture. I would like to continue my training and achieve some more certification but I would like the confidence of knowing the end result will be accepted if I pursue my charter operation.

      So after a long preamble, what organizations are out there? Which organization or certification should I pursue? What have you done?

      I look forward to hearing your opinions and experiences,



      Hey Willy,

      I think that the biggest difference between many of the courses offer by the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron (CPS) and the Canadian Yachting Association (CYA) is the “on the water” component.

      Although CPS offer great stand alone classroom education and has a very broad consumer reach, in most cases they do not include a practical onboard component. While most CYA course curriculums include both classroom and on the water instruction components, as well as both a written onshore knowledge exam and a practical exam to demonstrate the skills learned.

      I have run through the complete CYA Certification program (excluding the offshore component). It is pricey and takes a lot of time – but the skills learned are invaluable both on and off the water. I know we have members that are very familuar with the CPS sailing programs and can probably elaborate more for you.

      As far as;
      – Charters: CYA advanced skipper certification qualifies for most bareboat charters.
      – Teaching Sailing; CYA offers courses to become a CYA Instructor.

      My certifications;
      – I teach Marine Weather courses for CPS.
      – Certified by the CYA as an;
      Advanced Coastal Skipper.
      Advanced Coastal Navigator.
      Celestial Navigator.

      This means I am certified to;
      – act as skipper of a sailing cruiser up to 15 meters.
      – onboard any modern rig and inboard engine.
      – operating within 100 miles of shore.
      – by day or night.
      – in coastal or inland water.
      – in any weather condition.
      – The celestial navigation certification increases to beyond 100 miles from shore and terrestrial landmarks.

      Good luck on your sailing journey 🙂

      “Sail Safe, and Leave Only Wake”


        Hi Darry,

        Thanks for the reply…does the MacFoulie count for something?…I’m sure you’ll teach me a lot. I’m in the White Rock Squadron of CPS.

        My recent research has revealed CYA and Sail Canada are basically one organization which meets all the criteria of ISAF.

        My wife’s course was through ISPA which I think was trying to supercede and unify North American Training. They certify several local trainers and schools.

        CYA seems to emulate the RYA which has broad recognition.

        I looked into one local CYA school which also offers some Transport Canada approved commercial courses. BCIT has a marine campus which provides commercial certification as well.

        I haven’t given up my pipe dream of operating a sailing charter business when the kids are moved out and I guess what I’m looking for is training that will roll directly into being a skipper for hire so to speak. The CYA instructor certification looks like it might cover that.

        I can do my own research I was just wondering if anyone has had first hand experience with the endgame of all the training.




        Although the MacFoulie does not count towards any official certification, you do gain bragging rights in the club to be one of the many members who have been MacFouled 🙂

        MacFoulies are part of our clubs Confidence Cruise Sailing Series that is members sharing their collective knowledge. The Series consists of; (1) MacFoulies (2) Securing for the Night (3) Night Sailing.

        I’ve completed all of the CYA cruising and navigation courses (except offshore) and have gained valuable knowledge from them and to my understanding can be a skipper-for-hire with this certification. I took all of my certifications through Cooper Boating on Granville Island. It was costly and took a lot of time studying and going to the classes but was worth it.

        Alan & Belinda

          We just returned from Nanaimo where we took our Intermediate Cruising standard aboard a C&C 41 for 5 days in the Gulf Islands. We went out with Rex Delay of Altitude cruising corp, the coastal division of Ghost Lake Sailing Academy. He is a CYA (Sail Canada) Instructor. Very laid back casual learning environment. We had some excitement when we had a furler halyard wrap and we couldn’t furl the foresail just as we were approaching Dodd Narrows for the slack tide but we worked as a team and dealt with it.
          The Transport Canada rules are changing for training vessels and they are now going to be treated like a commercial vessel. I don’t know all the details but one of the biggest is they are now required to carry a life raft. This may affect some of the independent instructors due to the added expenses of operation.


            Thanks for the info Cenote.

            Alan & Belinda

              A little video

              Alan & Belinda

                Try this again


                  Great vid, I looked it up on YouTube and liked it. 7kts and change is pretty cool. We have kissed 6.4 but I’m not sure we can squeak a whole extra knot unless we’re surfing downwind.



                  That video looked like great fun Cenote!

                  So glad you were both able to make it finally happen, and congrats on completing yet another step on your lifelong journey of Sea-person-ship 🙂 The CYA intermediate sailing certification process is a great accomplishment. Well done! … and pass my congrats along to Belinda.

                  And – good thing you had your PFD on, because if I’m not mistaking … did you almost take a little slip over the rail near the end of the video clip?

                  Alan & Belinda

                    Haha, I think I tripped on one of the Freddy Flintstone sized jib sheets that this boat had. Rex had taken possession of the boat 1 week earlier and has some rigging work to do. No risk of falling thou.

                    Thanks for the congrats.

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