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Vancouver Island Education

The Vancouver Island Chapter of BCA offers a wide variety of courses to prepare BCA members to sail beyond our coastal waters. These courses are run by veteran instructors or marine industry specialists. Most instructors are experienced offshore sailors who bring a voyager’s perspective to the classroom.For courses offered by BCA, registration and payment are conveniently handled through our website. Members are encouraged to sign in when they register, in case the course is limited to BCA members and Fleet members, and because the website expedites the completion of the registration form. 

The following summarizes education courses scheduled for Vancouver Island and includes proposed courses. The schedule is always evolving, so you are encouraged to check our website regularly for courses that are of interest to you. We are also interested in hearing your suggestions for courses that are not listed; your feedback helps us better understand your needs.

Fibreglass & Epoxy: Repairs and Maintenance, Sat Oct 14 2017

Spend a day with fibreglass and composites expert, Matt Schinbein, learning about resins and fabrics, damage assessment and repair, and general maintenance.

For more info and to register CLICK HERE.

Sails: Surveillance, Maintenance and Repairs, Wed Oct 18 2017

Spend an evening in the UK Sails sail loft with Stuart Dahlgren;  tips, tricks and techniques that will help you keep your sails in good working order.

For more info and to register CLICK HERE.

Basic HAM Radio, Nov 15, 20, 29, Dec 5 and Dec 9 2017

This 19 hour long course is designed to provide all the information needed to obtain a Basic Amateur Radio Certificate and call sign, including an understanding of the key concepts of electronics, radio equipment, antennas, radio propagation, RF safety, and the radio regulations of the government granting the license.

For more info and to register CLICK HERE.

Basic Marine Radar, Sat Nov 18 2017

Learn from radar expert, Kevin Monahan, how to set up your radar for maximum results and interpret the display under a variety of conditions. Identify land-masses, other vessels and transient targets; use radar effectively for collision avoidance and navigation, and interpret and control the display under a variety of conditions.

For more info and to register CLICK HERE

Diesel Maintenance and Servicing, Sat Nov 18 - Sun Nov 19 2017

Ben Gartside of Gartside Marine offers a two day workshop on diesel engine maintenance and servicing. Topics include regular maintenance requirements, cooling system, exhaust and ventilation, fuel system, electrical system, transmission and stern gear.

For more info and to register CLICK HERE.

Psychology of Voyaging w/ Rick Ellis,  Sat Dec 2 - Sun Dec 3 2017

A BCA "signature" course developed and facilitated by BCA Lifetime Member Rick Ellis, this workshop explores the many motives, desires and challenges inherent in the voyaging dream.  "This was hands-down the best & most useful course we took to prepare ourselves for extended voyaging. Also it was interesting, interactive and fun! Do not miss it."

For more info and to register CLICK HERE.

Icom M802: Starting from Scratch, Sat Feb 17 2018

This course is based on US radio expert Terry Spark’s excellent book entitled Icom IC-M802 Starting from Scratch. It will cover installation, setup and operation of the Icom M802 HF SSB radio, the industry standard for long distance radio communication at sea.

For more info and to register CLICK HERE.

Docking Strategies: How to Build Your Docking Skills, Sat Apr 7 and Sat Apr 28 2018

Facilitated by Rick Ellis, this three-part workshop, which combines classroom theory with hands-on experience, will help grow new skills and turn your boat handling and communications from stress to success.

For more info and to register CLICK HERE.

Basic Marine Weather, Sat Apr 14 2018

This 1/2 day course taught by Scott Crawshaw is an introduction to the fundamentals of weather, including interpreting weather maps. It is aimed at the cruiser who will be sailing in internal waters and has access to VHF radio broadcasts and possibly even the internet.

For more info and to register CLICK HERE.

Intermediate Marine Weather, Sat Apr 14 - Sun Apr 15 2018

This course, also taught by Scott Crawshaw, is aimed at the cruiser who aspires to head offshore. Beginning w/ Basic Marine Weather, it covers Anti-Cyclones; Swell & Sea Waves; Surface Water Circulation; Upper Air Charts & Satellite Imagery; Gap & Promontory Winds; Tropical & Sub-Tropical Weather; Tropical Cyclone Formation & Avoidance; and Voyage Planning.

For more info and to register CLICK HERE.

Standing and Running Rigging: Maintenance and Inspection, Sat May 5 2018

Gain a better understanding of standing & running rigging, including proper inspection & maintenance. Instructor is Brent Jacobi of Blackline Marine.

For more info and to register CLICK HERE.

Understanding Tides and Currents, Sat May 12 2018

A good understanding of West Coast tides and currents can mean the difference between a smooth ride and a rough ride. Kevin Monahan presents general material on tides and currents that is applicable anywhere in the world; but also goes into detail about specific locations here in BC, including managing tidal rapids north of Desolation Sound.

For more info and to register CLICK HERE.

Weather Strategies for the Inside Passage, Sun May 13 2018

This seminar, also by Kevin Monahan, focuses on the unique weather patterns of the west coast, and how to make decisions based on weather forecasts. Understanding the dynamics of the most common weather patterns that occur in the region will help you develop strategies that result in a more comfortable and more enjoyable cruise.

For more info and to register CLICK HERE.

Mid-Island Sail Training, Spring 2018

MIST, based out of Protection Island, is a weekend of camaraderie and fun with the goal of making us better sailors in a more basic, practical sense.

Do you have Ideas for new Education programs?

If you have any suggestions for the VI Education Watchkeeper in terms of courses to offer and/or instructors to approach, please contact VI Education.

Cooperative Education Program (CEP)

CEP is a cooperative approach to provide a comprehensive and flexible program of education to members of Vancouver Island Chapter, Royal Victoria Yacht Club (RYVC) and Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club (SNSYC). The program’s mission is to:·         

  • Pool resources, expertise and experience across all three organizations·         
  • Attract and sustain top notch providers·         
  • Facilitate high quality and effective educational offerings·         
  • Encourage efficient use of limited resources·         
  • Encourage a forum to facilitate positive interclub relations

From time to time we feature courses that are offered by our CEP partners, or other organizations.  In these cases, registration instructions are described in the course description, together with web-links or contact information, as applicable.  Members are urged to carefully read any cancellation policies that may apply. 


Additional education is available through Vancouver Island’s Fleet, a group comprised of BCA members preparing to head offshore within the next few years. Meetings, educational seminars, including Weather, are held regularly from Fall to Spring at Royal Victoria Yacht Club. Specific details regarding times and dates are announced in September.  In some cases, Fleet members are given preference to register for BCA-offered courses before the courses are open to the general membership or to our CEP partners.

For more info about Vancouver Island Fleet email

Thanks for your interest in our educational events! Contact Vancouver Island Education Watchkeeper for further information.


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