Learn to sail at RCYC on Toronto Island this season. Our Adult Sailing Programs cater to sailors of every skill level - from beginner to racer. These programs offer an opportunity to experience the sport of sailing without owning a boat.

You can make your first step to becoming a confident sailor, pick up where you left off years ago, or join a program to meet other sailors and continue developing your abilities.

Registration Coming Soon

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Book a private lesson with an instructor in a Club Ideal 18 or on your own boat. Most programs are open to non-members and are run from our Toronto Island Clubhouse with ferry service to the island included.


Learn to Sail – Start here to begin your journey or refresh your memory! No experience required.


Intermediate Skills – Develop your skills to become a better sailor.


Racing Programs – Compete in different race formats and improve your performance with coaching.


Sailing & Social – No boat? No problem! Sail in a Club-owned boat to get out on the water and meet active sailors at RCYC. 


Please contact us at with any questions to find the course that best suits your skill level.


Why choose RCYC Adult Sailing?

  • Friendly, experienced instructors & race coaches
  • Fantastic environment in Toronto Harbour & Island
  • Meet RCYC sailors and make long-lasting relationships
  • Continue sailing with new programs every season



Club Fleet  - Join the Club-owned fleet to access our sailboats all season and become part of the active community.

Women's Sailing - The social sailing program for female sailors is always popular and engaging for RCYC Members to connect every week.



Learn to Sail

Intro to Sailing  

Enjoy a full weekend on the water and build a solid foundation to start your sailing journey. Sailors are guided by friendly instructors in small class sizes to create a memorable adventure with friends & family. Saturday begins with a lesson on basic theory followed by demonstrations to get you on the water as soon as possible. The rest of the weekend focuses on gaining practical experience and spending time sailing around Toronto Harbour. Great for beginners or as review, sign up with a partner to spend your weekend in the sunshine and become qualified to take a boat out on your own.  


Intro to Sailing can be used as a foundation to begin working towards CANSail certification. This two-day course may be paired with private lessons in order to achieve CANSail 1 or 2 depending on individual sailor’s abilities. Please contact Jenny Farrand for more information on how this can be accomplished.



CANSail Program

Level 1 or 2

Begin your journey towards becoming a certified sailor this summer with CANSail 1, or continue building your basic sailing skills with CANSail 2. The CANSail program is designed to be a set of progressive learn-to-sail standards focused on providing sailors with a solid foundation of core skills. It allows sailors to learn and progress in any type of boat and consolidates key skills and solid experiences before adding complex skills.   


With RCYC's CANSail program, participants learn theory through lessons on shore and develop fundamental skills on the water. Lessons include sail trim, helming, boat maneuvers and safety procedures taught by experienced instructors in small class sizes. Sailors can continue to work on CANSail levels with one-on-one coaching throughout the year. Over 6 weeknights, sailors will be evaluated on their developing skills and provided with updates on their tracked progress. Book a private lesson for one-on-one instruction and identify key areas to focus on for the remainder of the course. 


  • A 2-hour private lesson is included in registration for individual coaching.
  • Weeknight lessons begin at 6:00 pm and finish by 9:00 pm.  


Weeknights don’t work with your schedule? Sign up for an Intro to Sailing course for a crash course on many of the required CANSail skills. Follow this with private lessons tailored to your busy schedule to complete your level this season. Contact Jenny Farrand for more information on achieving your goals.


Level 3


Take your basic sailing skills to the next level in the intermediate CANSail 3 program. Start developing further on helming, boat speed and new techniques like sailing backwards. Participants are expected to have completed CANSail 2 or have equivalent sailing experience, moving towards sailing in heavier wind conditions and improving overall boat handling using the mechanics of a sailboat.


This provides a great introduction to the skills required for racing in dinghies and a foundation for large keelboats. Spinnaker and trapeze may be added to the course depending on interest and weather conditions.


  • This is a four day course over two weekends, from 9:00am to 5:00pm.
  • One-on-one coaching is available before or after the course for work on specific skills.



Racing Programs

Race Training 

New this season, sailors from all areas of the Club can train important skills to improve their performance on the water. Coaches focus on a featured topic in the Ideal 18, with on-water drills and practice races followed by a debrief with dinner. This program is geared towards sailors aiming to develop their boat speed & handling as well as their understanding of tactics in relation to a fleet and wind conditions.   

  • Weeknight lessons begin at 6:00 pm and finish by 9:00 pm. 
  • Sailing experience is required, with a basic understanding of spinnaker. Join a spring spinnaker clinic or book a one-on-one coaching session to get the basics down.
  • General topics of the week are Boat Speed, Boat Handling, and Tactics followed by a night of racing. Weather conditions will determine the specific training within those topics.


Match Racing

"A match race consists of two identical boats racing against each other. This is a one-on-one duel of strategy and tactics and the objective is simple - to be the first to cross the finish line." — World Sailing

Match racing is a head-to-head competition between two evenly matched boats around a short race course. Individual teams must be knowledgeable in the rules of racing and boat-on-boat tactics to gain the edge and remain consistent. Regattas are raced with a round robin format to determine overall position entering the finals.  
RCYC Match Racing attracts top racers for Monday night training sessions to develop boat speed/handling and strategy. The weekly program provides intense competition with experienced match racers from all over the Club, coached by Lance Fraser and accomplished guest coaches. Sailors race in the Sonar fleet, donated for the purpose of developing match racers and sailed in the annual York Cup regatta in July.  

Participants will be added to an online team management system for updates and extra training sessions.


Sailing & Social Programs

Ideal 18 Fleet

Access our fleet of Club-owned boats from May to September and head out for a sail in the harbour. RCYC Members can sail any day of the week in this simple 18-foot keelboat that is great for up to 3 adults or a small family. Racers = and sailors looking for a community - can join the fleet for an entire season of weeknight racing, regattas and find fast friends in a large group of active sailors.

Club-owned boats are only available for RCYC Members. Non-members can book extra time on the water with a private lesson by contacting us directly.

More information on the Club Fleet. 

Women's Sailing

The popular social sailing group meets every week to bring together female Members from all corners of the Club. Monday night sessions run throughout the season with some extra weekend clinics to focus on specific skills - this group improves upon any existing sailing experience, or acts as a first introduction for beginners looking to make the first step. 

More information on Women's Sailing. 


Classroom Courses

Restricted Operator’s Certificate – Maritime

In order to use a VHF radio, a Restricted Operator’s Certificate – Maritime (ROC-M) is required by all boaters. The Maritime Radio course covers emergency and every day procedures and techniques such as channel frequencies, distress signals and digital calling.

Toronto Harbour License

Receive your Toronto Harbour License on the island this summer with a certified instructor. This license is required in addition to the Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card in order to operate any powered vessels in Toronto Harbour. Become certified for life with a quick review before testing.