Boating and Navigation Courses for Power and Sailboat Operators

Discover Boating’s Hands-On Skills Training

Nothing beats hands-on experience for improving your boating skills or learning new ones. This year's show features hands-on, on-the-water boating workshops. Discover Boating presents two different Hands-on Skills Training CLINICS for powerboaters at the Victoria Inner Harbour Boat Show April 30 to May 3, 2015. Delivered in partnership with Bruce Stott of Gulf Islands Cruising School Ltd. who has been educated in the Hands-On Skills Training approach, our aim is to make boating more accessible, safe and enjoyable!

There's something for everyone — from absolute beginners to seasoned skippers! You'll learn from experts: All sessions are taught by skilled on-water trainers.

Each event is 60 minutes long and registration is free. Participation is limited to four persons per boat. These effective learning events will help develop skills that will last a lifetime and add significantly to your boating safety and enjoyment. Please note that to participate you must already have your PCOC (Pleasure Craft Operator Card).

Remember: These courses have limited spaces available during the show, so be sure to register in advance to book your space. Participation is on a first-come, first-served basis; and at no charge, we expect spaces to fill up quickly!  

For more information about the Hands-on Skills Training program, visit

Register For Skills Training HERE.

Fundamentals of Close Quarters Powerboat Handling:

Hone your docking skills and practice close quarters manoeuvring with a professional instructor. Learn the fundamentals of boat control in confined spaces including how to confidently manoeuvre close to other boats, piers, docks and fixed objects. Participants will also learn how to turn around in tight spaces, back down a narrow channel in a straight line and other important docking and manoeuvring skills. It’s designed for all boaters who wish to increase both competence and confidence in docking situations.

*Advanced Close Quarters Maneuvering:

The ability to confidently manoeuvre a boat in tight spaces is the hallmark of a competent skipper. This hands-on session covers advanced, precision boat control and docking techniques used by professional captains, including how to dock and depart confidently using spring lines and more. This event is ideal for experienced boaters, as well as those who are thinking about moving up in boat size or class.
*This Clinic is only for those participants 18 and older.

Come boating in BC.  Have fun on the water while learning to operate your
boat safely.

Picture yourself at the helm with your family and friends experiencing the freedom and adventure boating offers. 

Whether you are a new boater, moving up to a larger vessel, or from sail to power or vice versa we can assist you with private instruction tailored to your needs.  You may obtain your Coastal Navigation certification and VHF Radio Operator's certificate with our home-study programs.

Since 1980, Gulf Islands Cruising School Ltd. has been providing quality boating instruction. We are the oldest cruising school in B.C. under continuous ownership.

Pleasure Craft Operators

The Canadian Government has brought in regulations requiring all boaters operating a powered boat to have proof of competency. A Pleasure Craft Operators Card is one acceptable form. The deadline for having proof of proficiency was September 15, 2009  

Boat courses Gulf Islands Cruising School Ltd. logo  Charters 

Not a boat owner or a boater wanting to experience the cruising grounds of BC? 

Many clients prefer to cruise from Sidney which is easily accessible by plane or ferry. The Victoria International Airport as well as the BC Ferry and Anacortes Ferry Terminals are within fifteen minutes drive.

By starting a cruise from Sidney on Vancouver Island, there are many places to explore within a few hours travel time - Sidney Spit Marine Park, Portland Island, North and South Pender, Galiano Island and Saltspring Island. The above destinations are within twenty miles of Sidney. Most of the islands are approximately two miles apart and are sheltered from the Strait of Georgia.

We act as brokers for the major charter companies in BC.  Allow us to assist you in finding the vessel for your vacation.  We can also arrange charters with a skipper/Instructor aboard.

Come and explore the Gulf Islands. Choose from bustling resorts or quiet anchorages.

Discover the unspoiled beauty of the inland sea where eagles fly and Orcas swim.


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Boating FAQ's Ebook

 Boating FAQ's 

Author:  Bruce Stott


We have compiled a number of complimentary email series on the topics listed below:

Boating Information

Coastal Navigation 

Easy Family Boating Recipes

VHF Radio Operator

Powerboating Information

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