Monday, July 14, 2014

Where to learn to sail around Montreal

First thing you should know: there are keel boats and dinghies.

A keel boat is a sailboat with a heavy keel underneath.  It is stable in will not tip over. It usually has sleeping quarters, a toilet, a navigation station and a place to cook inside, but not always. Smaller keelboats are used for disabled sailors  

A dinghy is a lighter boat.  It will react faster, allowing you to experiment more with the wind. As all things are lighter, sails will be adjusted faster, and you will feel the acceleration from proper sail trim.

I strongly recommend learning how to sail on a dinghy, as it will take less time to understand where the wind is and how the basics work. You will have a head start once you get on a keel boat.  Learning to sail on a dinghy is also usually less expensive per hour. So if your time and money are scarce, you get double advantage: less time required, less time to learn the basics.

The Québec Sailing Federation  will give you a list of the sailing schools in the province.

Most Yacht clubs in Montreal offer sailing courses for adults on dinghies on weekday nights.  Ecole de voile de Lachine also offers introduction sailing classes on weekends on dinghies. An other club that offer learn to sail on dinghies is Pointe-Claire Yacht Club.  Beaconsfield Yacht Club and the Royal Saint Lawrence, offer programs on both dinghies and keel boats. Once again, I recommend dinghies if you do not mind getting your feet wet.

There are sailing schools that focus on keel boats. The program is known as learn to cruise.   Ecole de Voile Gilles Tetrault and Ynot sailing offer beginner lessons on keel boats.

There may be others, please tell me if there is information missing.