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Boating and Navigation Courses for Power and Sailboat Operators

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

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.

Hi Robb: I wanted to give you a report and recap of our trip to Annacortes. We travelled on Sunday afternoon and therefore we were at the boatyard and onboard Toot by 8:00 AM on November 6.

Bruce did a hull inspection and checked that the zincs were all replaced. We then started at one end of the boat (cockpit ) and went through every nook, cranny and storage compartment, Bruce explaining function and operation of every single system and piece of equipment on that boat. He talked about maintenance and area's/items to be mindful of. We did a complete engine compartment visual, explaining systems and checking cooling, engine and transmission fluids. Once fluid levels were determined and adjusted we then fired up the engine. While the engine was warming we discussed docking, lines and knots, reinstalled the antennae's and washed all windows.

Bruce then explained all of the navigation equipment, locating and discussing transducers, switches, etc. We determined a course at that time and set a series of waypoints to Sidney Harbour.

After we moved to Cap Sante sales dock and cleared customs, purchased a few flares ( me and my big mouth, we weren't permitted to "carry on" flares ) we then fuelled up and were on our way at 2:30 PM.

As you know, it was quite dark when we pulled into Sidney Harbour at 6:15. Bruce was calm and collected as we navigated through the dark, confirming radar points, searching and identifying beacons and buoys for course confirmation as we proceeded. Admittedly I was nervous but at no point did I feel that the vessel or myself were in anything but capable hands.

Upon arrival Bruce phoned customs and then we moved the boat to your sales dock ( Thank you very much!! )
Bruce did not consider his obligation complete until we moved Toot to her home berth this morning at Marina Park.

I simply could not imagine how a delivery captain could possibly exceed the level of information, orientation, responsibility and professionalism that Bruce delivered.

5 stars and money well spent!! I would recommend using Bruce for any Newbies requesting training.


Murray F. Sidney BC Nov. 7, 2017

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 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.


Bruce Stott
Bruce Stott
President/Chief Instructor
Nautical Experience

For Canadian Boaters: 

Boating License Canada


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

Boating Information

Coastal Navigation 

VHF Radio Operator

Powerboating Information

E Lessons

E Books


 For U.S.A. Boaters:

American Boaters


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