Course Overview

Banner image credit to brilliant Robert Torok Photography

Spinnaker Graduate School is our penultimate level of spinnaker training, designed to prepare you to cope effectively with the kite on seriously big boats, in seriously competitive racing, and even in seriously bad situations. Please check the pre-requisites prior to registering to make sure you’re ready to get the most out of this advanced course.  

In Spinnaker Graduate School, we introduce students to all the additional bells and whistles that can be used with the spinnaker to attain better trim, easier hoists, and easier drops.  Then we throw all that out the window to train on some of the ‘hardest’ spinnaker maneuvers (really just those requiring the most precision and teamwork): the letterbox drop and the ‘Mexican’ drop.

All instruction takes place on board to maximize the time spent sailing and developing practical skills.  No classroom time, just active learning and fun sailing!  Students are welcome and strongly encouraged to join our spinnaker workshops more than once (repeat registrations received a discount!) to really perfect their skills across a variety of positions on board.  


Must have substantial sailing experience including at a minimum a full season of racing using the spinnaker and training equivalent to Spinnaker University.  Contact us if you're unsure.


Maximum of 6 students. 
This course is open to ages 16 and up.  We offer a 20% discount for ages 16-25.  Please contact us for this pricing.

5% GST added at checkout for Canadian customers.

Register Now

Course Objectives

Students will cover:

  • A refresher on theory

  • A discussion of spinnaker accessories: tweakers, dousing line, socks, and wooling the kite

  • Lightning quick hoisting (including how to deal with twists or an hourglass)

  • Trimming the spinnaker on different points of sail

  • Dip pole gybe

  • Windward dousing techniques: standard, letterbox and ‘Mexican’.


This unique curriculum gives you plenty of fun and useful experience.  This is not a formal certificate course.  Mileage gained on the course can be added to your logbook and signed off by your instructor.

If you are looking to learn how to sail more generally or to start getting sailing certification, you may want to consider our globally-recognized Royal Yachting Association curriculum, providing much more detail on all the essential sailing skills.

What to Bring?

Please bring your own lunch for weekend day courses.  For weeknight courses, please either eat before joining the boat, bring substantial snacks, or be prepared for a late dinner after sailing.  Please review the required and recommended items listed for day sailing on our FAQ page here.



We start and finish each day at our home port in West Vancouver at 5750 Eagle Harbour Road. You will be sent directions specific to your course within 2 weeks of your course start date.

By Public Transit
Bus #250 between downtown Vancouver and Horseshoe Bay offers access with a stop at Eagle Harbour Road.  5 minute walk from the bus stop to the club.

By Car
Free parking on the street around the corner from the club lot.  Please do not park in the club parking lot as it is reserved for members and you will be towed.

By Bicycle
Marine Drive is a popular cycle route although does not have much of a shoulder on many parts of the road.  There are plenty of secure locations to lock your bicycle while sailing.  

What's Next?

You are invited to join the Sea to Sky Sailing Race Team for drop-in sailing on Wednesday nights, big racing events throughout the year, and discounts on any other programs with Sea to Sky Sailing.  You can also have a change of pace and join us for our in-depth Royal Yachting Association certification courses, giving you the full arsenal of skills to become a great sailor.

More questions? Contact Us!

Book Now