Courses and Workshops

Course Venue: Our courses will be offered at the Rollo Centre, 685 North Road, Gabriola Island.

Gabriola Squadron Boating Courses, 2017:

Boating Basics with PCOC (CPS Boating 1):

Course dates: September 13 - October 11, 2017. Courses run on Wednesdays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Course fee: $75 ($45 for CPS members)
All operators of motorized pleasure craft are required to show proof of operator competency. All you need to know for the Transport Canada test is presented in an easy to read format that is both informative and entertaining. You can be confident that this study guide meets all the standards established by Transport Canada’s Office of Boating Safety.
As an extra benefit, if you pass the test offered by Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, your Card is recognized by BOTH Transport Canada and The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (USA).

Introduction to Cruising: CPS Boating 2 (Beyond the PCOC) and Boating 3 (Intro to Navigation)

Course dates: October 18 - December 6, 2017. Wednesdays 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Course fee: $220 ($150 for CPS members)
Boating Basics with PCOC makes sure you have immediate navigation and safety skills but it’s just the beginning of what you should know when you head out on a boat. Introduction to Cruising will take you to the next level in your boating education. This course will introduce you to charts, the art of navigation, conning and plotting, magnetic compass, GPS and electronic charting, collision regulations, tides and currents, handling a boat under power or sail, docking, environmental responsibilities, electrical hazards and on-board emergencies - not to mention anchoring, ropes, lines and knots and weather.
Introduction to Cruising requires that students register for both Boating 2 and Boating 3. This course includes all the optional modules for both Boating 2 and 3 listed on the CPS website as well practical exercises, workshops and modules developed specifically for this course.
To register for these courses, emailBert terHart.

Maritime Radio:

Course date: October 21, 2017 9:30 am to 4:00 p.m.
Course fee: $95 ($80 for CPS members)
This course is offered as a one-day course several times a year. The successful completion of the course gives one the Restricted Operator's Certificate (Maritime) license. It is illegal to operate a marine radio without this certificate. Because it is offered as a one-day course, we urge potential students to contact us well before the course date so that they can obtain the course materials and review them before the day the course is taught and the exam administered.
To register for this course, emailBert terHart.

Introduction to Celestial Navigation/Junior Navigator

Course dates: TBA
Course fee: $235 ($215 for CPS members)
Learn the basics of offshore route-planning, weather and current routing and navigation in this 3 day intensive hands-on course.
You will learn to use a marine sextant to derive lines of position and fixes from the sun as well as being introduced to the celestial navigation as a whole. The course will also delve into how to effectively use pilot charts for the world’s oceans, navigation preparation and procedures before and during an offshore cruise, and how to make the best use of navigational software, calculators and apps.
Time and weather permitting, we will be taking sun shots at sea to round out the course.
To register for this course, emailBert terHart.

Boat and Engine Maintenance Course

Course Dates: TBA
Course fee: $175 ($155 for CPS members)
Keep the water on the other side of the wall! From spark plugs to bottom paint, this course covers all the basics for “do it yourself” boaters.
This course will equip you with the knowledge required to prevent onboard problems, carry out specialized tasks and tackle both short-term troubleshooting as well as long-term boat care. It features practical information and handy tips suitable for both new and existing boat owners. The dream of owning, maintaining and using your own boat without great expense can be achieved through the completion of the Boat & Engine Maintenance Course.


was last offered in the fall of 2014. It will be offered again when we have an indication of sufficient interest. Having completed the Boating Course, the Seamanship Course is a natural next step in building confidence for safe and enjoyable boating on the water by offering a more extensive study of seamanship and boat handling. Course fee: TBA.


is offered whenever there is sufficient interest. The CPS weather book is provided so that students can write the CPS exam, if they wish. The course is based on local weather conditions and observations. Course fee: TBA.

Contacts - click on the names to email:Bert terHartorMike Hoeinghausfor more information about courses, when they are offered and course fees charged and for registration on a first-come basis.

Fall Workshop Series Oct 21 - 28, 2017
The fall traditionally brings the boating season to a close. For those of us lucky enough to live on the West Coast, fall need not signal the end of the boating season so much as an end to the boating crowds. We’ve also had a full summer of boating faux pas and gaffs to be relived and learnt from. And a chance to try out the latest widget and time-saver that somehow made it from the boat-shows or chandler’s shelves to a locker onboard.
You may have heard me espouse the Three-P’s. As in Plan, Prepare, Practice. During the weekends of October 21 and 22 and October 28 and 29, we’ll be offering anyone interested in learning a new trick or two, thinking about purchasing some new bit of gear or revamping an old one, or wondering if there’s a better way to do it some practical, hands-on, over-the-shoulder help.
Gabriola Power Squadron will be conducting a series of Cruising and Seamanship Refresher Workshops running the weekends of October 21-22 and October 28-29, 2017.
These workshops are intended as practical, on-the-water exercises to help boaters see first-hand and discover some of the tricks and tips that help make boating safer, more fun and way less stressful. We’re planning:

Oct 21 0900- 1230

The most basic, fundamental skill in boating is knowing how to anchor your boat. Nothing will improve your confidence afloat more than knowing you can anchor safely. We’ll review anchoring in general, including what gear works and what doesn’t, and inspecting your anchoring gear. Once aboard, we’ll demonstrate single, tandem and double-anchoring, Bahamian mooring, setting a drudging anchor, setting a stern anchor, using a counter-balanced trip line, choosing and setting snubber, using an anchor bridle to reduce shock loads and using an anchor bridle to adjust the boat’s heading. We’ll discuss retrieving a fouled anchor and lastly, anchor etiquette.

2. Docking
Oct 21 1300- 1630

If you’re like the vast majority of recreational boaters, the most stressful part of the whole boating experience is docking. There’s a reason why everyone loves to stop what they’re doing and watch you dock. There is also nothing quite as satisfying as silencing the peanut-gallery. We’ll be practicing the essential skills necessary to safely leave and return to a slip. We’ll be warping the boat onto and off the dock, how to use wind and current to your advantage, how best to deploy crew and when, if ever, you should use dock-side help. Lastly, we’ll go over the short and single-handed docking skills and the one and only line you line you cannot do without when docking.

Oct 22 0900-1200

In cold water, a man overboard situation is potentially fatal. Ending up in the water can happen anywhere and anytime, including simply falling of a dock! We’ll be reviewing the skills, drills and procedures you need to know to safely recover (heaven forbid) someone who falls overboard. We’ll review and practice the generally accepted ways to maneuver a power or sail-driven vessel to effectively return and/or search for a MOB. We’ll demonstrate and practice different methods that can be employed to safely recover an MOB. Honing these skills can easily save a life.

Sail Handling and Trim and Rig Tuning
Oct 22 1300-1700

We’ll review mast and rig tuning, sail controls, sail inspection and repair and then head out onto the water to hoist, set, trim and reef the main, genoa, jib, staysail, drifter, asymmetrical spinnaker and symmetrical spinnaker. We’ll review trim characteristics of each and how to get the most out of each sail. Come along and learn the tricks and techniques to not only get your boat moving in the lightest of airs, but to keep you safe and sound no matter how hard it blows.

Oct 28 0930-1600

Discover how everything old is new again. Which is to say that hi-tech ropes and fibres can be used to back-up and or replace expensive and heavy stainless shackles, tackles and fittings. We will go over creating hi-tech shackles, grommets (rings), and strops whose uses are limited only by your imagination. In addition, you’ll learn rope-to-chain splices, double-braid eye splices, and how to make hi-tech halyards. All rope and tools will be provided.

Local Weather Forecasting and Prediction
Oct 29 1300-1500

Boating is an outdoor exercise. Why not discover how to read the signs and portents that are on the water and in the skA practical review of what to look for and how to interpret what’s going on in the skies and on the water so you an augment and improve upon any forecast you might have. A few simple skills are all you need to get a very good, and usually very accurate idea of what the next 2-24 hours is going to bring. We’ll go over cloud formations and shapes, local phenomena and events and, most importantly, how to take the guesswork out of what the weather has in store.

Note that MOB, Docking, Anchoring and Sail Handling are limited to 8 persons for each session. For these workshops, we’ll be leaving from and returning to Page’s Marina each day. The weather workshop is not limited to 8 and we will be starting and finishing at Orlebar Point. The splicing workshop will take place above Robert’s.
I hope to see you there!
Bert TerHart, SEO
Gabriola Power and Sail Squadron
S/V Seaburban

For information and to register for a Workshop, emailBert terHart

More Information:

For more information about the courses (not workshops), go to theCourses pageof the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron's national web site.
Information on times and fees of courses and workshops offered, if not already posted, will be listed here as it becomes available.
Courses and workshops, unless otherwise noted, are offered at the Rollo Centre, 685 North Road.

Contacts - click on the names to email:Bert terHartorMike Hoeinghausfor more information and for registration on a first-come basis.

PCOC Course on the Internet:

The PCOC online course is now live on our national CPS - ECP web site. It can be viewed by visitingPCOC Online