Basic Cruising Course

Basic Cruising Course

Basic Cruising Course

The World of Sailing Awaits You!

The 19 Wing Comox Yacht Club is a member of Sailing BC and by affiliation Sail Canada.  Each year, the Club offers a comprehensive Sail Canada accredited Basic Cruising  Course (BCC).  Upon successful completion, members will receive an internationally-recognized certification and be trained to act as a skipper on any of the Club keelboats!

What's Involved?

The Basic Cruising Course consists of home study, in-class training, practical on-water sailing, a knowledge test, and a skills test.  Classroom and on-water training normally takes about 40-50 hours.  The full Sail Canada curriculum is available HERE.  In-addition to the BCC, members wishing to exercise command privileges are required to have (or obtain) a Restricted Radiotelephone Operator's Certificate - Marine (ROC-M), as-well-as a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC).  The ROC-M is usually offered as an adjunct to the Basic Cruising Course for those who need the certification, while the PCOC is most commonly obtained through self-registered online training.

Classroom Training:

Every 19 Wing Comox Yacht Club BCC member will get a copy of Sail Canada's Basic Cruising Skills textbook to study and keep.  The formal classroom discussion is done over two weekends.  The first Saturday & Sunday are full days of training (normally conducted at the Club facility).  The following Saturday  (half-day) is when the knowledge exam is written. 

BCC members who study the book and complete all the practice quizzes in-advance of the classroom sessions are the most successful on the written exam.  While acting as a skipper, the safety of yourself, your crew/guests, and your vessel itself, depends on the skills and knowledge that you learn during your training;  it is highly recommended that members fully engage with their textbook and all aspects of the course!

On-Water Training:

This is the best part!  The Club Training Officer will build 3-student + instructor crews (largely based on what days/times the members are available to train).  Our instructors are enthusiastic Club members whose passion is sailing.  You'll spend a short time alongside (dockside), learning vessel systems and how to get ready to sail.  Soon after,  you'll head-out into the waters off HMCS QUADRA/Goose Spit and experience the exhilaration of sailing!    Each on-water training session is 3-4 hours, and members typically take a minimum of 8 trips to become proficient.   On-water sessions will be recorded in your Keel & Power Logbook, and after completion of your training, the Club's Sail Canada-certified examiner will join your crew (without your instructor) on a final trip to ensure that you are ready to command a vessel on your own.


  • The Basic Cruising Course tuition is $300, including textbook, logbook, vessel use, exam fees, on-water skills test fees, registration with Sail Canada and all the taxes;
  • Active Club membership is required when taking the course;  please consult the membership section to determine yearly fees;
  • For those who are new to being sailors, you'll need to obtain a ROC-M and PCOC.  The ROC-M is normally offered by the Club in-conjunction with the Cape Lazo Power & Sail Squadron for $150, while the PCOC can be done entirely online with the Power Squadron for $50.

Who Can Apply & How Students Are Chosen:

As space is limited and applications for the Basic Cruising Course normally exceed capacity, we have fully transparent priority loading criteria:
  • First priority are Regular members; 
  • Second priority are Ordinary Members; and
  • Third priority are Associate Members.
Please consult our Membership Page to determine priority status. 

Because there is a significant time commitment to take this course,  we have found that a number of first-priority members decide that they are unable to plan for all the training, once they fully appreciate the scope.  As such, it is common to have both Ordinary and occasionally Associate Members being able to be registered.  As a component of the registration process, the Club Training Officer contacts all applicants and an in-person or telephone interview is the last phase of applicant selection.

When Does the Course Run:?

During normal years, the Club schedules the Basic Cruising Course from April to early June.  With COVID shutting down Spring training for both 2020 and 2021, a Fall 2021 course has been tentatively planned.  It is anticipated that regular scheduling will resume in Spring 2022.

When Can Applications be Made?

The tentative Fall 2021 course is already fully-subscribed, with a significant waiting list.  Applications for Spring 2022 can be sent after January 1st, 2022.  An email request to be added to the student waitlist for the next course should be sent to