Adult Sailing School

The Oakville Yacht Squadron Sailing School has been proudly serving the Oakville community since 1965, teaching many youth and adults to sail at our great waterfront setting.

Adult Sailing School Program

The OYS Sailing School follows the Canadian Yachting Association (IMG_7468CYA) Learn to Sail program. Whether you are looking to try something new, lea
rn to sail or want to buy a boat in the future, this is the place to start.
The OYS Sailing School Adult program provides a safe and enjoyable introduction to sailing and boating while also learning the basics of cruising and racing. The program is designed for all learning objectives and levels of experience.

CYA certificates are awarded upon successful completion of a set of practical skills and demonstrated knowledge at each level.

Sailing School Instructors

All OYS Sailing School Instructors are trained and certified by the Canadian Yachting Association.

Safety Policy

The safety of students and instructors is the highest priority for the OYS Sailing School. All students and instructors are required to wear a PFD at all times while on the water. Students must provide their own PFD. Each boat is equipped with a VHF radio to enable instructors to be in constant contact with the school and local rescue units (TOWARF and the Halton Police) Daily weather reports from Environment Canada are consulted and the Head Instructor determines if it is appropriate for on the water instruction to be cancelled. Land based instruction is planned in that event.

Learn to Race at OYS

We offer Adult Learn to Race courses in August, with greater emphasis on racing fundamentals, for those who have already completed a Learn to Sail program. Adult Learn to Race students will be competing in the August Thursday Evening Race Series using a club Sonar.

All adult students are invited to show up at the Crew Bench before 6:00 pm on Wednesday or Thursday nights during the racing season – senior club members are always looking for more crew! The Crew Bench is located at the southeast corner of the clubhouse under the sign. If you are interested in racing regularly, please check the Crew Bench page.


Adults will be sailing on a class of keelboats called Sonars, which are 23 feet in length as well as Capri 25s, which are 25 feet in length. A maximum of 4 adults will be paired with 1 instructor per boat.

Introduction to SailingIMG_7505

The purpose of the Adult Sailing program is to teach basic sailing skills and to provide an introduction to sailing that is both safe and enjoyable. Some of the skills include:

  • Basic boat handling and sail trim
  • Water safety
  • Knots
  • How to rig and de-rig a boat
  • Basic weather patterns
  • Fundamental sailing terminology and skills
  • Self rescue techniques

Learning to Cruise

Our program touches on the development of basic cruising skills such as:

  • Hazard identification
  • Anchoring
  • Docking skills
  • Right of way rules

Learning to Race

Our program introduces the skills necessary to successfully skipper or crew a racing sail boat. Some of the skills include:

  • Advanced sail trim and theory
  • Introduction to the international rules of racing
  • Racing start sequences
  • Introductory tactics

Schedule & Fees

Our fees are $600 plus HST for either the 5 day program or the 8 evening program.  For specific dates please check out our online registration.

For further information about our sailing school programs, preferably e-mail us at or telephone (905) 338-9379.


Sailing school registration for 2018 opens January 1st.

Please note our cancellation policy: 10% administration fee for cancellation up to 48 hours of program start, 25% within 48 hours and no cancellations, only rescheduling, within 24 hours.