Q. What is the difference between Dinghy sailing (small boats) and Keel Boat sailing (big boats)?

When you picture sailing, an image appears of a sunny cruise on a boat, big enough to lounge on. This is Keel boat sailing. The boat may lean over at times and if you are standing you may have to watch out for the boom but in general there is not much physical effort involved. Dinghy sailing is COMPLETELY different! Dinghy sailing is a sport. The boat will move fast and you will be required to be constantly moving. Dinghy boats can capsize and you may be required to right the boat using your own weight. Furthermore you will have to re-enter the boat from the water using arm strength to pull yourself back into the boat. In Keel boats, there is cleats (teeth) to put ropes into, so you only have to pull ropes to adjust the sails and the rest of the time they are held in place by the cleats. In Dinghy sailing we do not use cleats. You will have to hold the rope in by yourself 100% of the time.  Dingy sailing is physical, and it can be tons of fun! But it is not the same as Keel Boating.


Q. What should I expect from a beginner sailing lesson?

Sailing, like Skiing can be scary if you attempt to something that is beyond your skill level. Unfortunately, unlike skiing, with sailing our skill levels are determined not by Green- Black runs but by how fast the wind is blowing.  During a beginner lesson, we will go over theory, how the wind works, how the boat works and practice the basic maneuvers before going out on the water. For beginners we will not sail in wind that is too strong (above 25km/h or 14 knots) for safety reasons and to ensure the beginners have a confident and positive introduction to sailing. During a beginner lesson you may not get to sail as much as you would like, but PLEASE be patient with your instructor and the weather conditions. We make decisions based on what is best for your progression in the sport.

Another safety point is learning how to self-rescue yourself. During a beginner lesson, you will never be without a safety boat on the water to help you, but it is important to learn the technique for if you accidentally capsize. All beginners will be given a chance to “practice capsize” beside the dock in a controlled environment. You will get completely wet during this exercise and should bring a change of clothes and anything you need to be comfortable in the water (ie. extra layers or a wet-suit). Sailing is a water sport and there is always the possibility of getting wet, either from spray or accidental capsizes.

Physical Literacy
Sailing is a SPORT, and as such requires a good level of physical literacy. You should be able to lift a minimum weight of 30lbs and have good upper-body and arm strength. Good balance is also a key factor in being a successful sailor.

If you have any questions about what to expect or physical literacy, please do not hesitate to call our office at 604-229-2291 or send us an email at info@whistlersailing.com


Q. What should I bring for a Lesson? (CanSail 1/ Drop-In)

Food-  There is no food onsite and the closest shops are 10 mins away by car. Please bring a bag lunch if you are taking a day-long course, snacks and water! We have places to put a water bottle in the coach boat so you will not have to worry about losing it.

Clothing- Dress for the weather…and then bring more! Bring raincoats, rain pants (if you have them) and warm non-cotton layers. No Jeans!! You should always bring a change of clothes and a towel for after the lesson. SHOES: Your shoes will get wet. Guaranteed. We do not allow anyone on our site to go barefoot, it is against our policy and can be dangerous on boats. Please bring closed-toed water shoes or old runners you do not mind getting wet. It is smart to bring an extra pair for dry feet after the lesson. Flip-Flops are NOT allowed, and will be just as useless as being barefoot!


Q. How do your memberships/pricing work? What are my options?

I want to Try Sailing 

A. Attend our free community sailing night!  

B. Take a Course. We have beginner courses ruining throughout the whole summer for Adults (requires a Basic Membership-see below) and Kids. Beginner Adult Course-101 is $150 and includes 2 x 7 hour sessions.  Beginner Kids Courses-Cansail 1 is $260 and runs from Monday-Friday every week of the summer. **Check out our Adults Programs 2019 or Kids Programs 2019 page for more info.

C. Private lesson or Charter. If you have previous sailing experience, charter a pirate boat for $50/hour. Otherwise take a Private lesson or Tour with an experienced instructor for $200/ 2 hours (min. 2 hours). **Check out our Visitor Programs page for more info.


I Love Sailing! How can i be more Involved?

A. Basic Membership ($20/Individual) 

– Become a member! Required for anyone using the sailing club and storing boats at WSA. 

B. Racing (Intermediate) Membership ($150/Individual)

-Required to participate in Wednesday Night Racing. Includes all of the Basic membership benefits.    – Bring a Friend to Wednesday Nights for only $20. Drop-In Racing fees will be credited towards a Racing membership if the individual wishes to pursue regular racing. Summer- long Crew are required to purchase their own Racing Membership.

C. Season Pass Membership ($300/Family

-Valid for all immediate family to use WSA boats and facilities at any point during the summer. Restrictions apply: no night sailing, mandatory life jacket use, locking up facilities after use, ect.  -Includes all of the Basic and Intermediate Membership benefits. Participate in Members Clinics included. 

D. Race Fee for Non-Storage Members ($160/Individual – $200/Family)

-Bring your own boat to Wednesday Night Racing. Storage at WSA is Not Included. To access WSA facilities a Basic Membership is required.

E. Storage Membership With Basic Membership

-Personal Boat Storage at WSA for the Summer ($220), requires (at minimum) a basic membership ($45)=total of $265

-Personal Boat Storage at WSA for the entire year ($400), requires (at minimum) a basic membership ($45) = total of $445

-Race Fee is waved for Storage members (ie. Participate in Wednesday Night Racing. It is encouraged that storage members use their own boats but they can use Pirates on One-Design-Pirate-Nights if Pirates are available.)

**Check out our Members or Racing pages for more info


Q: How old must my child be to take part in sailing camps?

A: We offer camps for kids starting at 5 years old in the “Wet Feet” program. The age groups for kids are the following Wet Feet 5-7 yrs old , Optimist 1-2-3 ( 8-12 yrs old) , Youth 1-2, Laser Performance camp 13-18 yrs old. For more details on junior programs please refer to the Kids & Youth program page.


Q: I know how to sail dinghy’s but I haven’t been on the water in a while what do I need to do?

A: If you have sailed dinghy’s before you can take an orientation for $50, or you can take part in the CanSail II course $270 , see adults programs page for more information.


Q: How do I become a Seasons Pass or Racing Member?

A: Book a “checkout” session with us, you will need to demonstrate an intermediate level of sailing skills and the ability to handle a dinghy on your own. Check the membership page for more details