Learn to Sail FAQs

Learn to Sail > FAQs

Learn to Sail 2021 Information and Frequently Asked Questions

Due to Covid-19 our Learn to Sail program may be modified in 2021.

When will registration open?

PYC Members with family memberships will be able to register in early-April. Non-member registration will open 2 weeks after that, in mid-April. If anyone has issues regarding finances, including payment for multiple weeks up front, please contact the Director directly and we will work it out.

Please keep in mind there is limited space as all of our programs are of a fixed number. Due to Covid-19 we may have even more limitations on the number of students we can accommodate each week. I suggest joining our club to get family member discounts and priority registration (2 weeks before non-family-members). Our courses have filled up the last 2 summers so if you do not get the weeks you want, use the waiting list.

Information about joining PYC can be found on the website under Membership. PYC has made changes to memberships this year so all members, even returning members, must go to our website, Membership tab, print the Membership Application Form,  fill it in, take a picture and email it to the address provided. Payment can be made easily and quickly by e-transfer to PYC. No family-member discounts will be granted until 2021’s family membership has been paid.



Below is a list of the most common questions parents and guardians ask about our Junior/Youth Learn To Sail programs. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Elizabeth, the Learn To Sail Director.

CANSail Levels 1&2, 3&4: General Information

  • Ages: Students must have finished Grade 3 (and be at least age 8).
  • Dates: July 5- August 27, 2021, including August 2nd
  • Times: Classes run full week, Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 4:00pm
    • Children must be dropped and picked up between these hours. In the interest of safety, please note that the instructors are not authorized to provide supervision before or after this period. Parents must provide written permission to the Director for their children to leave the PYC premises at any time.
  • Prices: *2-week sessions are strongly recommended
    • Members: 2 week session: $280, 1 week session: $150
    • Non-members: 2 week session: $330, 1 week session: $190
  • Discounts: For members, additional weeks, and additional child in family - can be applied when you register online
    • Additional Weeks: $5.00 discount each additional week when registering multiple weeks at one time
    • Additional Child in Family: $5.00 discount each sibling
    • Member discounts do not apply to Outport Members (or Wet Feet)

How do I register for Levels 1&2, 3&4?

  • Registration will be completed On-Line. You can access registration on our Youth Registration page.
  • PYC family-memberships have early registration. Two week sessions are given priority for registration.
  • Non-member registration opens on April 20th.
  • Payment will be through this on-line program. Please remember to start with the once per year $25 fee. Some of this fee is used by CANSail at the provincial and national level to support sailing and learning to sail. The CANSail system allows skills gained at one club to be recognized at another club.
  • Tax Receipts: Remember to keep your receipts to apply for both the federal and provincial “Children’s Fitness Tax Credits” on your income tax return.
  • Receipts will be sent directly to you from the On-Line registration program. If you did not get a receipt, it might be getting filtered as spam, depending on the filter settings of your personal email or work. This is more common with work emails because of IT restrictions, so check your spam folder.
  • If you can't find the receipt, not to worry as you can always log into your account by going to page (cansail.checklick.com) and entering your login credentials. Go to the course and click on the word receipt to the right. You can print this yourself.

What is Wet Feet?

We partner with HRM Recreation for the Wet Feet program. Wet Feet is designed to give younger sailors a fun introduction to sailing and boating safety. Students will sail for 1/2 day and do recreational activities for 1/2 day.

  • Ages: Students must have finished grade Primary (ages 5-8)
  • Dates and Prices:   August 3-6 (4 days) $108, August 9-13, (5 days) $135. Since we could not offer Wet Feet last year, we have decided that this year you can register for one week only so we can give more youngsters an opportunity to try sailing. You can register for a waiting list and will be accepted for a second week only if the courses do not fill up.
  • Times: Classes run from 9:00am to 4:00pm. Note that August 2nd is a holiday and there are no Wet Feet classes. (We do hold classes for the older students in CANSail Levels 1-4.)
    • Children must be dropped and picked up between these hours. In the interest of safety, please note that the instructors are not authorized to provide supervision before or after this period. Parents must provide written permission to the Director for their children to leave the PYC premises at any time.

How do I register for Wet Feet?

Register by phone at 902-889-4050 or in person at HRM Recreation, 7900 Highway 7, Musquodoboit Harbour (M-F, 9:00am-4:00pm). Summer registration for Wet Feet will open June 2nd.

  • If you already have a RecConnect account, you can register online.They accept Cash, Cheque, Debit, Visa, Mastercard and Amex.
  • Tax Receipts: Remember to keep your receipts to apply for both the federal and provincial “Children’s Fitness Tax Credits” on your income tax return.

Does my child need to have a certain swimming level?

  • Our sailors are required to wear life jackets anytime they are near or on the water - on the boat ramp and beach, on the wharf, and in boats. This is strictly followed – no exceptions. Wet Feet sailors don’t need to have any level of swimming – it’s their instructor’s job to get them comfortable with the water. (To get their “feet wet.”)
  • The oldest sailors will be required to swim in deep water with their life jackets on. Early on in lessons, they also take the infamous tip test – a controlled tip of their boat - so they will be prepared and more comfortable with a surprise tip.  (Dinghies are designed to tip, and on hot days they sometimes even end up sideways in the water “accidentally” on purpose). 

Do classes fill up? How can I ensure a spot for my child?

  • Some sessions fill up relatively quickly. You must register and pay to ensure a spot.
  • You will see how many spots are available and filled each week with the On-Line registration program, or for Wet Feet by calling HRM Recreation.

Can I change my child’s sailing schedule after registration?

  • If additional weeks are requested, simply go on-line and register for another course.
  • If you want to change weeks, we will try to accommodate the requested schedule change but this will be subject to availability at the time of request. There will be a 5% fee for any changes to registrations.
  • Please contact Elizabeth, the Learn to Sail Director to ask for a change.

Can I cancel my enrolment?

  • Due to scheduling of instructors and in fairness to all sailors, once a sailing class is booked, refunds are not offered for cancellations except under extraordinary circumstances.
  • An administration fee of 5% will be charged.
  • Contact the Elizabeth, the Learn to Sail Director.

What do students need to bring each day?

  • Parents must ensure that each sailor brings the following items to class each day (please label everything):
  • Canadian-approved Lifejacket or PFD (CANADIAN Coast Guard Approved, US has different standards)

  • Footwear: sneakers, beach shoes or sailing-specific “dinghy boots”. For safety reasons, all footwear must be closed-toe. Students will get their feet wet every day as they enter and exit boats. Dry-land activities will be best done with a second dry pair of sneakers.
  • Good-weather clothing: use a “layering” strategy because the temperature can vary throughout the day, and can be very different on land versus on the water. Quick- dry fabrics and a wind-proof outer layer on the upper body is recommended. Clothes will get wet and salt stained most days, and the seats of pants and shorts could get torn or ripped. Always pack a spare set of clothes. We will be selling long-sleeved dry-fit shirts. More info TBA.
  • Foul-weather clothing: a standard rain jacket, rain pants if you have them for colder wet days.
  • Bathing suit and towel.
  • 2021 Masks: This summer sailing students are required to have clean masks for indoor use. If it rains they can go inside and do sailing related activities, and this will require wearing masks.
  • Whistles: Sailors are required to attach a pealess whistle to their PDF. You can buy your own or purchase one from us for $5 cash when you arrive on a Monday.
  • Sun protection clothing: to cover skin on sunny days (long sleeves, long shorts/pants, scarf or collar to protect necks)
    • Sun hat or baseball cap (snug fit recommended).
    • Sunscreen: this will have to be reapplied several times on a sunny day, practice at home, label the container.
    • Sunglasses: with strap around neck - the sun reflecting off the water is hard on eyes.
  • Other
  • Lunch / snacks - must be completely nut free, and kiwi fruit free.
  • Water / beverages (lots of fluids, water bottle to go in coach boat, student’s name easily visible.
  • Garbage: Each student will take home all of their own  garbage (food wrappers, drink containers) at the end of each day.
  • Bug Spray: When the wind is light, especially in the mornings, the bugs can be bad.
  • Each item must be clearly and prominently labeled with child’s name since items will inevitably get misplaced during the course of the day.

What special activities and events are planned this year (weather permitting)?

  • Friday Food: BBQ (hot dog or hamburger), or pizza (small fee applied to cover food costs) dependent on Covid-19 protocols and parent volunteers to support this activity.
  • Theme Days: Pirate Day, Rock Star Day, Cookie Day, etc.
  • Excursions: to local islands: sailing to and swimming, weather/wind permitting
  • Sail the Channel:  weather/wind permitting
  • Parent/Guardian-Child Sailing: details in planning stage, TBA

What facilities are available for storing/heating food?

  • We have a refrigerator and microwave available for students’ lunches and beverages.
  • We ask for your continued support to ensure that our facilities remain nut free.

Financial Assistance

  • Financially challenged families may qualify for up to $300 per child in funding assistance from KidSport Nova Scotia and Canadian Tire Jumpstart and RecKids. Please contact them for details and be sure to allow sufficient time for processing.

CANSail Program Overview: LTSD – Learn to Sail Dinghy (ages 8-18)

  • Wet Feet: (ages 5-8) Designed to give young sailors a fun and safe first sailing experience and learn the basics of sailing. The goal of this class is for participants to learn the basics of sailing while becoming comfortable being in a boat and on the water.
  • CANSail 1&2: Introductory program with a focus on fun, safety, and fundamental skills in any type of boat (single/ double handed). Fundamental stage of the Learn to Sail Dinghy.
  • CANSail 3&4: Progressively builds and develops skills learned in CANSail 1&2 with a focus on keeping the sailor engaged with stage appropriate challenges and learning. Applied skill acquisition in any type of boat (single / double handed). Learn to Sail Fast stage of the Learn to Sail Dinghy.
  • CANSail 5&6: Applied skill consolidation in any type of boat (single / double handed). Learn to Train stage of the Learn to Sail Dinghy. (not offered in 2021)
  • Sail Canada certificates and progress reports will be provided. Reports can be viewed on-line.
  • For more information, please visit Sail Canada or Sail Nova Scotia

Why should I consider becoming a PYC Member?

  • By joining PYC as a family, you are supporting wonderful recreational opportunities for you and your family and other youth in the area. Please join and support this organization so we can continue to offer programming for the youth of the area.
  • Members can participate in family sails for free and can use the club paddle boards and kayaks for free.
  • Senior PYC Members are offered premium rates for their children enrolled in our program, and adult sailing lessons are discounted for members.
  • There are many social events for senior members, including dances, TGIF socials, wine and cheese, lobster supper, Canada Day Events, and our club offers a lovely deck for you to sit and enjoy the view and the company.