Boating Courses for the New and Experienced

Your dreams of becoming a yacht captain can be fulfilled here at BPYC! Customizable Cruise-and-Learn courses for new and experienced boaters gives you the hands-on experience you need for the confidence needed out on the water. These are based on the International Sail and Power Association guidelines and are direct affiliates. Upon completion, you will receive internationally recognized certification.

Cruise-and-Learn programs are a practical and effective way to learn boating or to brush up on your skills. Unlike other boating programs, ours are designed around your schedule. The theory component based on International Sail and Power Association self-study manuals means no hours in the classroom and learning at your own pace. 20 hours per manual is the suggested minimum.  In order to receive a certificate at the end of your course, each student will need their own set of course manuals.

First Course: Competent Crew & Day Skipper

The first course includes Modules 1-A and 1-B, Competent Crew and Day Skipper which upon successful completion, will enable you to operate and charter similar boats on your own. You will need to purchase your manuals ahead of time at our office, one for each course and complete them before beginning the on-water component as well as the completion of the PCOC Exam (Pleasure Craft Operator Card) online at


Competent Crew Course 

By the end of the course the Competent Crew course students should be able to steer, handle sails, keep a lookout, steer a dinghy and assist in all the day to day duties on board.

  • Knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat
  • Rigging and sails
  • Sail handling
  • Knots
  • Fire precautions and fighting
  • Personal safety equipment
  • Man overboard
  • Emergency equipment
  • Meteorology
  • Seasickness
  • Helmsman ship
  • General duties
  • Manners and customs
  • Rules of the road
  • Dinghies

Day Skipper Course

The Day Skipper course is taken in tidal waters and your certificate will be endorsed accordingly. Learn to skipper a short passage with the instructor to give guidance and support and ensure your safety. Experience being in charge, taking credit when it all goes well and being responsible when it doesn’t.

  • Navigation
  • Piloting meteorology
  • Rules of the road
  • Maintenance and repair work
  • Engines
  • Handling emergency situations
  • Yacht handling under power
  • Yacht handling under sail
  • Passage making
  • Preparation for sea, deck work

Competent Crew Manual $40.00 

Day Skipper Manual $40.00

On-water Instructor per day $450.00-$650.00 depending on which yacht you decide to learn on.

*Additional rates for yacht needed during your learning experience, unless you own your own boat*

*This is for power boating and sailing courses*

The on-water component will take a minimum of 4 days on power boats and 5 days for sailboats. Instructors can teach up to 4 students at a time, provided the vessel will accommodate everyone including the instructor. We encourage groups of 4 to book an extra day of the on-water training to ensure ample learning time, booking too few days could prevent completion of the course.

Advantages of the Cruise-and-Learn Structure

Experience the BC boating lifestyle and explore local cruising areas while you learn

Build your course around your schedule and plan an excursion with your instructor while you learn at the same time

Gain practical experience that gives you the confidence to safely enjoy independent boating where ever it is you’d like to venture

Obtain internationally recognized certifications that will develop skills for you to charter worldwide

Coastal Navigation Certificate

Coastal Navigation program is a self-study module that involves chart plotting. Most of the work is done at home, but will need to be approved by an instructor. This module can be completed alongside Module 1, Competent Crew and Day Skipper or as part of the Coastal Skipper Module.

Coastal Navigation Manual $45.00

Coastal Skipper Advanced Power or Sail Courses


This certificate covers advanced boating. One self-study manual and 5+ days of on-water instruction are required.

Advanced skippering techniques for yachtsmen and women with considerable knowledge of sailing and navigation, wanting to undertake coastal passages by day and night. Like the Day Skipper course, this course consists of skippered passages in a variety of situations. Each trainee will skipper more challenging passages and learn more about passage planning, piloting by day and night, boat handling, safety and emergency situations. Coastal Skippers should be able to undertake more difficult passages by day and night and handle the yacht in more demanding conditions. By the end of the course you should have the knowledge, if not the experience, to become a Yacht-master.

  • Passage planning
  • Preparation for sea
  • Piloting Passage making and ability as skipper
  • Yacht handling under power
  • Yacht handling under sail
  • Sailing in diverse weather conditions
  • Long day sail
  • Night sail and Emergency situations
  • Cruising chute experience
  • The prerequisites are the completion of Competent Crew, Day Skipper, Coastal Navigation, First Aid, CPR and VHF certification.

Available Training for Vancouver Yacht Rentals


Bareboat charter training: Getting to know your boat before you charter it. Blackfish Marine Yacht Charters in Vancouver offers a variety of training options to suit your needs.

Standard Checklist


  • At the beginning of every charter, we perform a standard “Checklist” that will familiarize you with the boat’s operating system’s and safety equipment location’s. This procedure typically takes under an hour; however our experienced maintenance team is glad to spend more time to answer all of your questions and concerns.
  • You will also be provided with an on-board manual for your reference. Most of these manuals are available in PDF form on our website to download and/or print if you would like to review them before your arrival.


Hourly and Daily Instruction


  • Boat Handling and Docking Practice: BPYC is happy to provide any additional training to build your confidence with our charter boats. Whether you need a quick refresher, docking practice, boat handling or a full boating 101 course, we are more than willing to help get you there and build a personalized training program. Please call or email us to discuss your requirements needed.