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Sailing Proficiency Exam

Sailing proficiency exams are available at the level of Beginner or higher (equivalent to at least CANSail 2). Assuming you know what you are doing, a proficiency exam takes up to 2 hours, costs $70, and includes a short orientation to the club as well as the exam itself.

If you are new to our club equipment, you must first pass the proficiency exam on the RS Quest, and progress from there. Multiple exams can be combined in a longer session, at a rate of $35 to $45 per instructor hour, split among the members taking the exam(s) if applicable.

For instance, if you want to get certified on the Hobie 16, you will have to

  • demonstrate proficiency on the RS Quest
  • do the same on the Laser
  • rig/de-rig a Vanguard 15
  • the do your proficiency exam on the Hobie 16.

Depending on instructor availability, all of those could be accomplished in one afternoon.

If you're unsure if you're ready for a proficiency exam, or would like to schedule one, submit a sailing resume to with the following details:

  • When, where and with whom did you learn to sail?
  • Any prior sailing courses and/or certification?
  • What kinds of boats have you sailed?
  • How many years of sailing experience do you have?
  • When was the last time you sailed?

The criteria of successfully completing a proficiency exam are the same as our main requirements for member to access our fleets through lessons. These include:

  • Taking care of the equipment
    • Rigging the boat correctly.
    • Correct launching and landing procedure.  No running aground while doing either.
    • Correct derigging, cleaning and storing of the boat and equipment.  This includes repairing or notifying the appropriate bosun if equipment needs repairs that you can not do yourself.
  • Not putting yourself in danger
    • Being able to right the boat from a capsize.
    • Know your wind limits.  Familiarity with wind conditions so that you don’t go out in conditions above your experience level.
    • Know your time limits.  Members are not allowed out on the water after sundown and should be back on shore derigging 30 min before the sun starts to touch the horizon.
  • Not putting others in danger
    • Working knowledge of the right-of-way rules.
    • Navigate safely around other people, obstacles and boats on the water.
During the exam, you will be asked to demonstrate skills that include:
  • rigging and derigging
  • boat handling down/up the ramp
  • launching and landing from the beach
  • sailing upwind and downwind, with adequate sail trim
  • tacking and gybing, heave-to if applicable
  • capsize and recovery
  • in the case of a double-handed boat (beginner level, skiff, catamaran), man overboard recovery

Capsizing and self-rescue is an important part of the exam.  You may be asked to do two capsize drills in a row to ensure you can manage the vessel.

It is up to the testing instructor to decide which actions you need to complete on the water. The instructor needs to have a good sense that you will be ok on the water on your own or with a crew who has no knowledge. If the instructor is not confident in your abilities and decides not to pass you. they will tell you which skills you need to improve, and you can either book private lessons with the testing instructor or contact the head instructor about lessons options.

Useful resources to help you prepare for that session can be found here:

Upcoming Exams

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Sailing - Windsurfing - Kayaking - Paddle boarding

Jericho Sailing Centre, 1300 Discovery St., Vancouver BC V6R 4K5
Like most of Vancouver, the Jericho Sailing Centre is located on unceded, traditional and ancestral territory of the Coast Salish Peoples,
including the territories of xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) - What does that mean?

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