Browse the web, but set sail both feet int the cockpit , both hands on the helm… ready to tack!

The introduction to sailing and cruising that we offer is a base course aimed towards new sailors of any age. It’s also for those who desire to have a first experience and discover the simplicity of basic sailing maneuvers in the comfort and security of seafaring sailboat of 40 feet: sv/ÉVASION.

Before the departure, the instructor will ensure that all aboard receive a informational training on emergency maneuvers on the water.

After sails are hoisted you will experiment different bearings depending on the wind and the maneuvers related to them. You will also be able to familiarize yourself with the different terminology associated with sailing and general boating terms

You will be able to participate in the maneuvers and helm the boat under supervision if you desire and the captain offers you the helm or simply observe the maneuvers at your wishes.

We provide all the necessary equipment and the captain will inform you of what to do in cases of emergencies on the water.

Initiation Objectives:

Sensitization to the world of sailing and operations of the boat. Emphasis is placed on learning the basic techniques used to set sail and execution of tacking.



Non-exhaustive list of themes that can be seen in the introduction to sailing (adapted according to the needs and / or interests of the persons on board)

  • Getting to know vessel, its equipments and their location
  • Information about the known hazards of water that will be traveled
  • Know the hazards of navigation in the wind close to a coast and how to keep an exit strategy
  • General safety rules on the sailboat
  • Location of hulls passes and demonstration of their operation
  • Location and operation of the on-board safety equipment (raft, fight against fire, VHF radio, etc) and information on emergency procedures
  • Identification of sails and various parts of the standing and running rigging
  • Anchor line and its operation
  • Familiarization of maneuvers to hoist the sails
  • Basic turns in headwind and luff for luff
  • Hoist the main sails as the boat is on the engine, at anchor or against the wind, the rear sails first.
  • Lower the sails and furl the mainsail
  • Basic navigation rules
  • Safe approach of anchorage
  • How to start and shut down the auxiliary motor and explanation of the clutch and the throttle
  • Port, starboard, turns, port or starboard tack, crosswind,sail flutter, on the way, uncontrolled jibe, upwind, downwind luffing, [pull down].
  • Explain the use of pulpits and lifelines and the difference with lifelines
  • Describe the lights when the boat is sailing, motor or at anchor
  • Give the reasons why it should store materials and equipment at specific locations on board a boat and location of these devices on Évasion
  • Explain the sails used for different wind conditions and trim with the furler
  • Describe how to use a VHF radio or a cell phone to make an emergency message
  • Show the safe way to use a winch
  • Act as skipper and crew and give the orders and responses correctly, among them: « Ready to tack », « Ready », « Ready to jibe, » « It turns » « We gybed » etc. .
  • Hitting a line to a cleat
  • Knowing what to do in case of damage: leak, rupture of the rigging, rudder breakage, slippage of the anchor, grounding, propeller lock, etc.
  • Respond appropriately by giving orders required when a teammate falls overboard accidentally
  • Show the list of equipment required by Transport Canada on board a pleasure boat (Safe Boating Guide);
  • Describe common sources of fire and explosion and list the methods of prevention and action to take when they occur
  • Know the sources of weather information.
  • Skipper duties : safety of the crew and the boat, indications of rescue equipment and safety instructions before departure and on the use of equipment on board, etc. Crew: obey and assist the skipper.

Theoretical knowledge

We advise you to assimilate these terms before boarding.
Points of sail

Points of sail is the direction the boat in relation to the wind as it moves more or less into the wind, we say it is « close » , « beaming » « broad », « reaching » and « downwind » . In addition, each of these manners can be taken in either a tack: starboard tack when the wind comes from the starboard side of the ship or port tack when the wind comes from port side.

The stronger the wind

The wind is characterized by two criteria: the direction and speed (or strength). The direction is given by its origin: for example, a wind blowing from east to west is called east wind. In a marine context, the wind speed is usually measured in knots (nautical miles per hour) but using the Beaufort scale called which includes twelve levels of intensity.

Identification of vessel structures

Hull, keel, deck, cabin, mast, boom, cockpit, shrouds, fore-stay, back-stay, sheets, halyards, balcony, jib, large sail, bow, stern, turnbuckles, candlesticks, lifelines, rudder, steering wheel, spreader, ropes, cleats, winches.

Maritime Lexicon (we suggest you familiarize with these terms before boarding the vessel)

bear away : bringing the bow away from the direction from which the wind blows.
mooring line : rope used to retain the boat (usually on a moring ball)
dock line: rope used to retain the boat at dock (can be the same ropes as mooring lines)
tack : direction from which the wind blows.
weigh anchor : bringing the anchor up or leaving the dock.
port : left when looking to the front of the boat
bitt : strong cleat or post to tie down dock lines or hawsers to.

sheet in : bring a sail closer to the longitudinal axis of the boat

[*Choquer: (une écoute) la laisser aller (filer) pour déborder une voile *] (pas mots spécifique en anglais)
COMPASS : main compass of the boat
halyard : rope used to hoist a sail.
sheet : rope used to trim or slack a sail.
gybe:  accidental turn going downwind.
tighten : (a halyard) render the halyard tight .
heel : lateral inclination of the boat.
shroud : a metallic cable retaining the mast perpendicular to the boat
hoist : (a sail) action to bring up a sail with a halyard
luff to luff : turn made downwind.
luff : bringing the bow towards the direction from which the wind blows.
drop anchor : actions of dropping the anchor and anchoring the boat.
turnbuckle : tensioner for adjusting tension of the shrouds
rolling : transverse swinging movements of the vessel
cleat : accessory where a halyard , a sheet or a mooring is attached.
starboard : right when looking to the front of the boat
change tack : change direction of travel in relation to the wind.


For courses spanning many days on the beautiful Champlain lake, DVDs and more documentation on learning of sailing visit the site of the excellent school of sailing Louis Charbonneau.

You can take an on-line course at the same Internet address

On board you will be able to acquire the following excellent nautical documents :

Naufrage à Gustavia, Une histoire vécu, Louis Charbonneau, 2011, 20$
(Shipwreck in Gustavia , a lived history, Louis Charbonneau)

Le Gros Temps, DVD technique de voile, 2009, 30$
(Rough weather, sailing techniques DVD)

La Voile, les deux pieds sur le pont, cours de voile, 2012, 50$
(Sailing, both feet on the bridge, sailing course)

References : « Voilà la voile »(here is sailing), « Initiation à la croisière » (initiation to cruising) and « Livre international de voile croisière » (book of international cruise sailing) Available at the Quebec sailing federation, Nouveau cours des Glénans(The Glenans manual of sailing.) at Du Seuil editions.

The proportions of practice and theory is about 50-50 and people who participate to the initiation will be able to receive a Évasion stamp in their sailing logbook or other . Subject to changes of new norms established by Canada Transport ministry for pleasure sailing and navigation schools.