Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club Burgee

Adult Sailing Program

Adult Sailing Update – February 2021

Revised Cancellation Policy

The Club will waive its cancellation fees should the government cancel our sessions at any time before they are currently scheduled to begin in June.   Should the government cancel all such classes after they begin we will prorate a students’ refund plus a $25 fee for the Introduction to Sailing course manual, however no refunds will be issued if the student him/herself cancels once a session begins.

The Royal St-Lawrence Yacht Club, the gateway to Montreal’s playground on Lac St-Louis, offers three levels of sailing education to adults - both members and nonmembers.  We will introduce you to the life-long joys of sailing aboard our fleet of Shark keelboats in the evening or during your weekday “staycation”.

We also invite you to sample our hospitality and experience our excellent facilities.  While you are taking the course you (and your family) are granted an interim membership and are entitled to enjoy our dining room and bar, swimming pool and our renowned, clay tennis courts.

If you are already a Club member, you may take advantage of discounted class fees and, once you have successfully completed the course, can enjoy unlimited daytime sailing on any of the Shark sailboats owned by the Club. Continue to enjoy what you’ve learned while sailing any day of the week aboard our Canadian Coast Guard approved Sharks.

Graduates of our Adult Sailing school are invited to join our dedicated Facebook page to stay in touch, arrange sailing dates or to simply keep up to date with what’s happening at the Club.

Not sure you want to join yet?  You may continue as an interim member for the remainder of the sailing season (i.e. to September 30) once your course has finished simply by paying the regular monthly membership fee. If you decide to become a full member after that, we will credit 100% of the interim membership fees you paid towards your full membership initiation fee. What a deal!

We offer three programs -

Introduction to Sailing

Under the guidance of CanSail® certified keelboat instructors, you will learn the basics of sailing aboard our fleet of six 24 ft Shark keelboats (they cannot capsize) in a 25 hour course comprising water safety, wind knowledge, rigging, points of sail, tacking, jibing, sailing on a run or reach, crew overboard drills, seamanship, knots, navigation and more! We’ll even have you participate in several fun races towards the end of the course. Don't pass up the joy of sailing.

Lessons both on and off the water give novices a non-intimidating opportunity to learn the basic skills of sailboat handling and care. Even experienced sailing crew will benefit by practicing their helmsmanship under a variety of sailing conditions. 

''What did you like most about the course?''

  • Having access to different instructors with different teaching methods.
  • Surpassed all my expectations.
  • Good mix of theory and practice.  Great instructors!
  • The people and being on the water.

Safety procedures and navigation rules for avoiding collisions are explained and applied during the sessions. The curriculum includes an elementary introduction to the Canadian navigation system and the essential uses of marine charts.

Refresher Courses

Are you keen to get back out on the water though consider yourself a bit rusty?  Have you completed a Learn to Sail program though would benefit from additional, supervised time on the water before you feel confident to skipper a Shark or your own?  We offer these as full days on the water sessions to help you get back up to speed safely, to increase your hours of experience, test your knowledge of sail trim, boat handling and of course the all-important knots!  This course is geared to graduates of our Learn to Sail program.

Learn to Race

Nothing hones one’s sailing skill more quickly than racing!  This 15-hour course taught by some of our Club’s most experienced, local and internationally acclaimed racers is NOT about turning you into an Olympic athlete, however, it is designed to be an enjoyable way to gain added sailing experience leading you to be more comfortable in competitive or tight sailing situations.  Only our student’s smiles are bigger than the spinnakers at the end of the day. This course is geared to those having successfully completed the Learn to Sail program.

It’s about:

  • learning the strategies and tactics that can make a performance difference and, at the same time, make racing safe, exciting, fun and maybe a bit challenging
  • learning the rules of racing while reinforcing the basic rules of navigation, which are essential to safe sailing
  • fine-tuning your helming and sail trimming skills
  • getting more experience in boat handling, including starts

Scheduling and Course Selection

Introduction to Sailing

We offer both twice weekly evening and weeklong weekday courses. These courses are very popular. Our courses in 2019 filled to capacity early on, thus we urge you to book early for 2021 if interested.


May 24 to June 23, 2021 (10 evenings) CANCELLED

 Session 1 – Mondays and Wednesday 18:30 to 21:30

June 28 to July 28 (10 evenings) FULL

Session 2 – Mondays and Wednesday 18:30 to 21:30

There is a maximum of 18 students per session.


July 26 to July 30, 2021 (five days) FULL

Session 1 – Monday through Friday inclusive from 10:00 to 15:30

There is a maximum of 12 students per session.

Refresher Courses

Saturday, June 5, 2021 from 10:00 to 16:00 hrs.

Saturday, July 10, 2021 from 10:00 to 16:00 hrs.

Saturday, August 7, 2021 from 10:00 to 16:00 hrs.

Introduction to Racing, Weekend

Saturday & Sunday, July 24-25, 2021 from 9:30 to 15:30


The cost of the Introduction to Sailing course is $ 716.25 including taxes for non-members including interim membership to use all of our facilities, including the dining room and bar, swimming pool and our tennis courts; and $596.67 including taxes for Club members.

Each Refresher Course will cost $149.47 taxes included for members and $ 173.38 taxes included for non-members.

The Introduction to Racing program is a very modest $448.41 including taxes for Club members.

What to bring to each class?

  • Pen and notebook
  • Lifejacket, Ministry of Transportation approved
  • Towel and a change of clothes (in case you get wet!)
  • Sneakers with light-colored soft soles (sandals do not protect the top of your feet and can scuff the deck on a boat)
  • Dress according to the weather: rain jacket or foul weather gear, if it is raining (although we hold the theoretical classes inside when the weather is not conducive to sailing).

If you are unable to attend a lesson, please advise the office at (514) 631-2720.


Our program uses Sail Canada’s Basic Cruising Skills textbook as a guide for the course. While the instructors are comfortable in both English and French, the language and terms of boating usage used in the course are primarily in English. 

The course is very comprehensive, but not overly technical. It includes excellent pictorials of boats, terminology, wind-sail relationships and knots. We suggest that you only skim this guide prior to starting the course, as you will review the appropriate chapters in detail prior to each lesson, which will reinforce your learning experience. This textbook is included in the price of this course.

Clothing & Equipment

Lac St-Louis weather can be different than that on land. In early summer, it is cooler; in fall, it is often warmer. You may be exposed to wind, rain, spray, cold and heat, and strong direct and reflected sunlight. You must provide your own Transport Canada-approved life jacket, which must be worn at all times while on the water. If you’re uncertain about how to dress, ask your instructor about the day’s anticipated weather

For More Information, and to Enroll 

If you wish to enroll or have any questions, please contact us at:


Phone: (514) 631-2720

 Application Form