Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Swiftsure Sailing Academy Ltd.?
Swiftsure Sailing Academy Limited (SSAL) is a sailing school incorporated in Alberta and British Columbia. We are certified to teach both the Canadian Yachting Association and International Sail and Power Association standards.
We have bases in Calgary, Alberta and Penticton, BC. For Coastal Skipper and Yachtmaster Offshore courses (ISPA), and Intermediate and Advanced courses (CYA), we have a working relationship with a charter company on Vancouver Island. Most courses are offered in the Gulf Islands of British Columbia.
Both CYA and ISPA are internationally recognized standards for those wishing to charter. CYA standards (except for Coastal and Celestial Navigation) have an examination and a practical component. ISPA courses are modularized. Each module has an theory and practical assessment. We have prepared a comparison of the two standards.
The boats have the necessary safety equipment, including personal flotation devices. You will need to bring: • sleeping bag and a pillow case (cruise and learn courses),• a towel and a face cloth (cruise and learn courses),• your toiletries (cruise and learn courses), • any medication that you might need (cruise and learn courses),• sunscreen (lotion, not oil),• warm clothes - dress in layers (There are two sets of foul weather gear aboard.), - a couple of pairs of quick drying pants (avoid jeans), - two pair of shorts, - sweat suit, - T-shirts and long-sleeved casual shirts, - fleece or sweater for cooler weather, - long underwear (October through May) - wind resistant jacket - bathing suit (June through September)• gloves (work gloves will do - they should be fit snuggly) • hat with brim• sailing shoes (gum or white non-slip, non-marking soles)• sailing boots (if you have them),• sunglasses with a retaining strap,• a couple of changes of clothes,• your log book,• your camera• your favorite CD's.• If your course involves night sailing, please bring a knife on a lanyard and a flashlight (preferably with a red lens).
Transport Canada's web site has the following statement: Self-inflating life-jackets: With the approval of the operator(s), passengers may bring up to two small carbon dioxide cylinders of carbon dioxide or other suitable gas in Division 2.2, per person, fitted into a self-inflating life-jacket for inflation purposes, plus up to two spare cartridges.The WestJet web site has a clarifying statement. Print a copy of the page and carry it with you. The WestJet agents are happy when they do not have to search it out. They have always approved mine.
The Gulf Islands do not have enough wave action to induce sea sickness while on deck. On more advanced courses the itinerary may include Georgia Strait, Juan de Fuca Strait or the West Coast of Vancouver Island. These courses also involve navigation and food preparation below decks. These conditions may induce motion sickness. Check out these sites for additional information: If you are planning on using any medications, "test drive" them to ensure that they have no adverse effects.
By 2009, all operators of powered recreational vessels will require a Pleasure Craft Operator's Card. Since September of 2002, anyone operating a power vessel under 4 meters requires a PCOC. Many insurance companies provide reduced premiums to those who hold recognized certification. Some new boat owners are having difficulty getting insurance; CYA and ISPA certification can reduce insurance woes.
PO Box 46058, 1233 9ave SE, Calgary AB T2G-5H71-403-620-5812 | 1-877-470-7245 (Sail)