Why is the club associated with the AMS (UBC Student Society)?
The club was originally founded as a non-profit student organization and as such continuing with the AMS allows the club to remain affordable to students and the general public.
1. I completed my online registration, am I now a full member in good standing?
No. Online registration is just one step to streamline our registration process. You are not a member until you attend a registration day or office hours and payment is received by the UBC Sailing Club.
2. How do I register, and what is the signup process?
Signup is a multi-step procedure, the most important thing to understand is that there is no way to confirm your registration without attending a registration day or office hours to hand in your waivers and pay in person (cash or credit - Visa, Mastercard):
1. Go to the registration site and create an account, including your lesson preferences indicated (once again - your lesson spot is not confirmed until you have paid).
2. Attend a registration day or office hours to pay and confirm your spot. Both of these are posted in the office hours section of our website.
3. Is there a cap on membership?
Yes! Over the past few years demand for the UBC Sailing Club has grown at a very high rate and demand has never been higher (weird how being the most affordable water access in BC while offering the most modern fleet will do that). In 2010 membership will be capped at 500 people, any more and it would be hard to get access to the boats.
Further to the 500 person capacity it is important to note that we have to maintain a 60% UBC student membership because of our association with the UBC AMS (UBC Student Society).
In 2010 our non-student (general/associate) membership filled up on the first open day of registration where a line started to form about an hour before registration opened.
4. Does being a returning member make it easier for me to join the club?
Yes, but only at returning members night. If you miss returning members night you are in competition with all non-returning members for the last spots in the club.
5. What is the difference between student, associate and general members?
Students: current UBC student complete with valid student card and student number.
Associate: current full-time student at another post secondary institution, UBC graduate, or UBC faculty/staff
General: everyone else.
1. What certification do I get for completing your lessons?
Our lessons are not actually CYA certified (although our instructors are CYA-qualified or equivalent). Roughly speaking Beginner sailing lessons are equivalent to White Sail I & II and Intermediate sailing lessons are equivalent to White Sail III.
Near the end of the season, the club offers the opportunity to get CYA-certified for anyone who took Beginner or Intermediate this season. It is a 3-hour exam, with both written and on-water components. The instructor will give successful candidates a CYA certificate and sticker, White Sail II for Beginner and White Sail III for Intermediate. CYA Certification will require some studying on your own time.
2. I used to sail, what level of lessons should I take?
If you have previously passed a White Sail lesson or if you have a moderate level of experience, then you should discuss skipping Beginner and jumping right into Intermediate with the exec who completes your registration or with the lessons coordinator. Please note, some students find entering Intermediate lessons directly quite challenging after a significant break in their sailing career.
3. Should I take a proficiency exam?
If you feel that you are an advanced sailor you should seriously consider it. Our proficiency exams will look for a high level of skill. If you have recently completed White Sail III and have not spent a lot of time on the water you probably will not pass. If you are in doubt, consider taking Intermediate lessons - not only are our lessons a great deal (Intermediate is $100 for 28 hours of instruction) but they are also the best way to meet new sailing partners.
4. How do I take a proficiency exam?
Step 1. Submit a sailing resume to
with the following details:
• when, where and with whom did you learn how to sail?
• any prior sailing courses and/or certification?
• what kinds of boats have you sailed?
• how many years of sailing experience do you have?
• when was the last time you sailed?
Step 2. Attend a mandatory Refresher Course
($15, 2.5 hours) or arrange a private/semi-private rigging lesson ($25, 1 hour), to become familiar with the rigging of our specific boats.
Step 3. Schedule an exam by emailing
Step 4. On your exam day, arrive early to rig your boat on your own, be ready to sail when your evaluator arrives. Dress for capsize. You will be certified at the evaluator’s discretion. If you fail the exam or do not meet the above requirements, you must complete lessons (either Beginner or Intermediate) to earn access to the boats.
Check exam schedule & availability HERE
For Beginner or Intermediate sailing lessons, generally you could miss 3 to 6 hours of the lessons and still be able to pass, provided your skills are developing well. Be sure to ask the instructor about the material you missed. Passing the lessons, whether you miss any days or not, is still up to the discretion of the instructor. If you miss more than 6 hours of lessons you will fail and need to pay for another set of lessons.