Managing all the different aspects of boat ownership can be very daunting for new owners, and even the saltiest of experienced skippers can benefit from a little help now and again!  Get the most fun and freedom out of your boat with Sea to Sky Sailing's Own-Boat Services.  

Safety in any scenario, crew cooperation and skill building, and improving how your boat handles and how quickly you can get it going are challenges that face cruisers and racers alike.  We have 3 unique programs tailored to help boat owners in these specific areas: 

Private lessons and delivery services are also available upon request.

For all our Own-Boat Services you can book directly online here and coordinate mutually suitable dates directly with your instructor, or contact us for more information.

Practical Safety Review

You've met the basic Coast Guard regulations for a recreational vessel?  Great!  These are an excellent (and legally mandatory) starting point for equipping your boat for safe sailing.  But when it comes to safety on the big blue sea, do you really want to stop at the starting point?  And perhaps most importantly... are you truly prepared to handle dire situations like a crew overboard emergency?  

In this 3 hour session we will go over all the safety equipment on your boat as well as spend some time on the water coaching you through a crew overboard and recovery drill.  As with all our Own-Boat Services, you have the choice to focus on an area of particular concern or have us run through our standard program which includes:

Crew overboard drill.  You can watch a million videos on YouTube, but actually practicing on your own boat is the only way to really know what to do in the life threatening situation of having a crew person fall overboard.  

We will coach you through at least one drill so you can practice getting the boat into position for a quick recovery while minimizing risk to those on board and the crew in the water.  We also go through the various options for getting the crew person safely back on board in different conditions and help you determine what will work for you and your boat.


Please contact us to arrange a date for your Practical Safety Review.  Evenings or weekends available.

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Storage.  Having the essential safety equipment on board is just half the puzzle.  Is it easy to access?  Will those flares be dry when you need them most?  Would you have to brave the flames of a fire just to get to your extinguishers?  We help you work through different emergency scenarios and develop strategies for accessing your equipment to deal with each one.

Extras.  A life ring is a legal requirement on most sailing vessels, but when would a crew overboard pole be a good idea?  What other equipment is available that you may want to consider including on board for longer passages or sailing in more remote areas?  Our instructors are familiar with a huge range of safety equipment and can help you understand specific pieces or brainstorm what equipment could be added to increase the safety net of your boat.

With this Safety Review service, we are providing advice to help you increase the safety of your boat and protect your crew in the kind of sailing that you intend to do.  Our review is not a statement on your boat's seaworthiness or overall preparedness for sailing.  As the owner you are responsible for ensuring your boat is fit for purpose, properly maintained and abiding by all relevant safety regulations- and that you and your crew are suitably experienced and prepared for any passage you undertake.  


Crew Coaching

You may be new to the racing scene, or have some seasons under your belt... but any way you slice it, crew work is the key to racing success and actually enjoying yourself on the race course.  Having a coach on board can be a huge help in identifying ways your crew can improve and generally start working together more effectively as a team.  A fresh set of experienced eyes and a calm voice are often all it takes to make huge improvements!

Our Crew Coaching sessions are available as 3 hour or 6 hour sessions on your boat with you and your crew.  Our experienced instructors can either focus on particular areas you feel need improvement or we can follow our general program that covers the main areas where crew can typically make gains:

Upwind sailing.  There is nothing more discouraging than watching other boats sail 10 degrees closer to the wind than you, or pull away from you with every tack.  We work with you and your crew on key indicators and steps for good sail trim, how to move together for the smoothest and quickest tacks, knowing when (and where) to move crew weight for ideal boat balance, and how to keep everyone involved in the ultimate goal of faster upwind sailing.

Spinnaker work.  Apart from the congestion of a competitive start line, dealing with the spinnaker quickly and in close quarters is probably the most stressful part of racing for newcomers.  It's also an area that offers a lot of room for improvement with more experienced crew.  


Please contact us to arrange a date for your Crew Coaching session.  Evenings or weekends available.

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Why do your hoists often result in an hourglass?  How do you tell if you are over-sheeting the spinnaker?  Where should that pole be positioned for maximum speed?  What can your cockpit crew do to make the foredeck's life easier?  Are there ways your foredeck crew could complete manoeuvres more quickly?


 Changing gears.  Sailing would be significantly less interesting if we puttered around in a static set of conditions for the duration of a race.  Fortunately that's not at all the case!  When the wind drops from 10 knots to 5, or you find yourself in an area of oscillating breeze, you have the challenge of not only knowing what to do, but also of noticing the change as soon as possible.  We help you develop a strategy for keeping crew focused in order to notice these changes, and give you a checklist of what to do when conditions change.  

Communication.  Whether each person on board naturally prefer the golden qualities of silence or the fiery delight of shouting at the top of their lungs, figuring out what actually works to convey hopes, dreams and direct instructions to and between the crew is absolutely crucial in racing.  We'll observe the dynamic on board and may be able to help the crew as a whole work more smoothly together by improving communication.


Boat Performance Review

Have you been sitting at the dock, enviously watching excited owners and their crew head out for a summer evening of club racing?  Are you tired of being passed on your way for a weekend in Silva Bay and missing out on prime moorage?  Whether you want to venture into the hugely fun world of yacht racing or simply improve the set up of your boat to cruise more comfortably and quickly, we're here to help.  Our Boat Performance Review session gives you the essentials to get your boat set up for sailing faster and making it easier to handle.  

This is a 2 hour session with a Sea to Sky Sailing instructor reviewing your boat at your dock.  We can focus on any area you choose, or follow our more general process of reviewing the following areas:

Deck layout & equipment.  Are all your lines run to the cockpit, and if not how can you make them easy to handle?  Do you need more purchase from the mainsheet, boomvang, or backstay?  Do your lines have appropriate entry angles to your winches or will you be prone to overrides?  How do you get set up to use your spinnaker safely?  We can help you figure out an optimal deck layout to manage your boat with one or two on board.  We aim to help you identify ways of improving your boat set up without creating a huge shopping list right off the bat!  


Please contact us to arrange a date for your Crew Coaching session.  Evenings or weekends available.

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Sail inventory.  Ok, what have you got on board or squirrelled away in storage?  If you've inherited a bunch of sails from your boat's previous owner, it can be very overwhelming to figure out what they all are and when you would even use them!  Do you have the inventory to manage a range of wind conditions?  If so, which sail should be going up in what conditions?  If you have a single headsail and main, it doesn't mean you can't race- but it will help narrow down the events you'll enjoy the most.

Crew management.  On the racing side of things, how many people do you need and what do they need to know in order to race your boat effectively?  We help you identify the minimum, ideal and maximum crew numbers as well as the positions and skills required on board.  We also have some great tips for you on how to manage your crew without spending all your time on the phone herding cats!  Most importantly, we can help connect you with new crew from our own pool of Sea to Sky Sailing students.  

Ratings & races.  We've raced in just about all the club series, regattas and distance races in southwest BC and can advise you on a beginner-friendly schedule of events to make your first racing season as much fun as possible.  We can help you make sense of the often confusing world of ratings so you know how to get the right one for the races you want to do.  

At the end of your session, we'll provide you with a written report itemizing all our findings, identifying the steps you can take to get started on the local racing scene, and connecting you with new crew wherever possible.  

We are providing advice to help you optimize your boat for sailing performance- our instructors are not professional surveyors.  We strongly recommend having a marine survey conducted if you do not already have one for your boat.    Our review of your boat is not a statement on its seaworthiness.  As the owner you are responsible for ensuring your boat is fit for purpose, properly maintained and abiding by all relevant safety regulations- and that you and your crew are suitably experienced and prepared for any passage you undertake.  


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