Sail Parry Sound Sailing School (SPS3) has been in operation since 1998.  Managed by volunteers, who employ Sail Canada (formerly CYA) Certified instructors and a professional manager, the school won the William Abbott Senior Award in 2003 as Best Volunteer-managed Sailing School in Canada.

Sail Parry Sound is a certified High Five organization, one of only two in Parry Sound. HIGH FIVE holds true to the five Principles of healthy child development essential for quality programs:

The school owns a fleet of 30 boats, ranging from Opti-style prams to 420s for race training, plus motorized safety boats.  .

SPS3 is conveniently located at Sail Parry Sound,  on the shoreline of Parry Sound of the Georgian Bay, in the Town of Parry Sound, within sight and walking distance of the Charles W. Stockey Centre, at the junction of Waubuno Road and the Rotary and the Algonquin Regiment Fitness Trail.

Youth sail training is offered in July and August, Monday-Friday. Adult lessons are offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in July and August.

Sailing School Benefits

Anyone can take part in safe, enjoyable sailing activities! Sailing School for youth and adults, race training with a competitive team, and regatta management/race officer training are available. Sail Parry Sound has been designated a Training Development Centre by Ontario Sailing.

What will sailing do for my child?

Here are a few of the benefits:

  • sailing gives children character education, in responsibility and respect for the environment, perseverance, integrity, self-discipline, trustworthiness, following rules and water safety.
  • sailing helps youth gain self-esteem and confidence, learn teamwork, enhance fitness with a new environmentally friendly sport
  • your youngster will learn a lifelong skill
  • have fun!

Sail training follows Sport Canada guidelines, starting with the ABCs–agility, balance, and coordination, proceeding through the FUNdamental skills and, as the youngster matures, skill consolidation, to mastery and lifelong participation in the sport.

Youth ages 8 and up: Monday to Friday, July and August

Adult Lessons: by appointment, July and August

Contact information and links are shown within registration information; if you have further questions, please email

Sailing School History

The Sail Parry Sound Sailing School became a possibility in 1998, after Parry Sound and area people responded generously to Sail Parry Sound’s desire to offer sailing lessons for young people. Three brand new boats were donated outright; one more was purchased by a family and turned over to the school, and seven more were guaranteed by friends of the school. In a response to a request for “backyard” boats, to be used, rehabilitated, or sold for fund raising, eight more were donated. The school was up and running. Formed by Sail Parry Sound Inc. under the direction of Larry Woolner, the school welcomed 20 youngsters in the first season. By the time the Class of ’99 began, 180 youths were looking forward to a summer program offered at the Waubuno Park Beach. Each year, the school has grown, and the Sail Parry Sound Sailing School now has hundreds of graduates annually, with more than 25 graduates now certified as instructors. In 2003, it was named best in Canada, earning the William Abbott Senior award from the Canadian Yachting Association.

Today, the school operates at the Sail Parry Sound sailing centre at the west end of Waubuno Road, throughout July and August. A fleet of more than 30 boats–from prams to race boats and motorized coach boats is in use. The Sail Parry Sound Sailing School is a not-for-profit, volunteer community organization dedicated to bringing sailing instruction to Parry Sound and to building a sailing culture, as part of Sail Parry Sound. Youth and adults are welcome.

Sail Parry Sound Coaches

Certified by Sail Canada, formerly known as the Canadian Yachting Association, Canada’s national sailing organization, which sets rigorous standards. Course candidates receive training in the areas of:


Skill assessment and correction, specific to entry-level participants

Effective interventions and teaching methods for application to introductory and first experience programming

Program delivery training according to the principles of the Fundamental Stage of the Long Term Sailor Development (LTSD) framework

Use of emergency action plans (EAPs)

Providing a safe environment, fun atmosphere, and active experiences on land and on water

Communication of progress to participants and parents

CANSail course curriculum and instructor resources

Prerequisites for Instructors:
(these must be completed as a condition of being accepted into a Sail Canada course leading to becoming a sailing Coach.)

16 years of age or older
CYA Bronze IV Certificate and Seal – or higher level (Bronze V is recommended)
CYA Boat Safety or Boat Rescue or Sea Cadets Small Craft Rescue or a Swimming Award such as Bronze Cross, Bronze Medallion, NLS
First Aid (Minimum Emergency Level)
Pleasure Craft Operator Card
CANSail Fundamental Course (formerly CYA Fundamental Course)
CYA national certification training and testing, must be completed, in the classroom, on the water, and in the coaching role, before the instructor is certified.

Racing coaches must meet additional standards before being certified.

Sailing School levels

2012 marked the launch of updated national standards for Canada’s Learn to Sail Dinghy programming.

Sail Canada’s CANSail dinghy standards and program support systems offer the best parts of the CYA’s “traditional ” White / Bronze / Learn-to-Race / Silver / Gold program with an updated progressive pathway to learn and develop in fundamental dinghy sailboat handling skills, and sets the foundation for athlete and sailor-leadership development regardless of type of dinghy being used (single handed or double handed).

CANSail programming means lots of time on the water in a safe, enjoyable and active learning environment, with relatively less time spent in a classroom. Sailing skills are learned, trained and tested at each level, as they accomplish more.

Sailors learn the skills and enter into joyful and challenging experiences suited to their age and stage of development. The programming is designed to get – and keep – sailors enthusiastic about sailing for life!

The CANSail Program Levels are:

Wet Feet – Programming specific to beginners, age to 8 years, in an Optimist Dinghy.
Active Start stage of the Long Term Sailor Development.
CANSail 1 & 2 – Fundamental skill acquisition in any type of boat (single / double handed). FUNdamentals 
CANSail 3 & 4 – Applied skill acquisition in any type of boat (single / double handed).
Learn to Sail Fast stage
CANSail 5 & 6 – Applied skill consolidation in any type of boat (single / double handed).
Learn to Train stage 
Chutes & Wires – Specialized double handed performance skill consolidation.
Learn to Train stage of the Long Term Sailor Development.. Chutes and Wires may be delivered concurrently with other levels in the CANSail program.

Here is a general comparison to the old levels.

Wet Feet: Age 8 Introduction to sailing safety, skills and fun on the water. One week.

CANSail 1. Ages 9-18 Similar to White Sail 1. Two weeks or more.

CANSail 2: Ages 9-18 Similar to White Sail 2 + 3. Two weeks or more.

CANSail 3: Ages 9-18 Similar to Bronze IV Learn to Race. Four weeks or more.

CANSail 4: Ages 12-18 Similar to Bronze V Learn to Race.  Four weeks or more.

CANSail 5: Ages 12-18 Similar to Silver VI with Race Team 4 – 8 weeks or more.

CANSail 6: Ages 15-18 Similar to Gold VII with Race Team 4 – 8 weeks or more.

Full details are available at the Sail Canada website.

Levels are accomplished when a skill level is achieved. The number of weeks indicated for a level is only a recommendation – please don’t hold us to it. Everyone learns at their own pace, and weather can play a big role. Our instructors stress fun over achievement for young children. If level achievement is important, tell your instructor and they will give you progress reports.9

A Day at Sailing School

0900  Warm-up time: play on the beach, games, fun to get moving and prepare for an active day.

0945   Divide into groups and rig boats

1030  Land lessons, an activity for warm-up fun, and then out to sail!

1230  Lunch time!  Beach and swim time.  All eyes on kids!

1330  Land lessons, and more activity, then out to sail!

1530  De-rig the boats, debrief, and games.

1600  Home time.   See you tomorrow!


Sailing school rules on site

1.  Have fun and BE SAFE

2.  PFD/lifejacket to be worn: on the dock, in the boat, at the boat launch and while swimming

3. Shoes and proper clothing (sun protection, warmth, as needed) at all times

4. Peanut free lunches, water, and sunscreen are essential

5. Stay in sight of the instructors

6. Be sure to tell your instructor when you are leaving/taking others home.

7. RESPECT your instructor, your peers, our boats and equipment

8. ZERO TOLERANCE of unsafe or dangerous behaviour