The Mobile Optimist Sailing School is an outreach program designed to bring sailing to communities with the goal of fostering new sailing programs throughout British Columbia. MOSS is a fully equipped program ready to deliver introductory sailing camps at your venue.

Course Details

What is an Optimist dinghy?

The Optimist dinghy is a seven-foot sailboat that is excellent for learning basic sailing skills. It’s stable and can accommodate a wide range of child sizes and sailing abilities. It is well accepted as the best design for youth sail training. For these reasons, there are more Optimists than any other sailboat in the world.

How do I register for a course?

Registration including payment is done online for all locations. Please continue to the Summer Camps section of this page. Select the course you wish to register for and follow the directions. Registration can also be found here.

Do participants need to know how to swim?

No, but they should be comfortable in and on the water with a life jacket or PFD.

How many students are there in each summer sailing course?

Minimum 7, maximum 15

How many instructors are there each week?

Typically, there are two BC Sailing instructors plus one local volunteer each week.

What should I bring to the sailing course?

BC Sailing in partnership with your local sailing club will provide all the necessary equipment including life jackets.

The sailors will need to bring:

  • water bottle
  • lunch
  • sunscreen
  • hat
  • towel
  • appropriate clothing for the weather (temperatures on the water are often much cooler than on land)
  • closed-toe shoes (e.g. old runners or Aquasocks; shoes should not fall off the feet if sailors go swimming)
  • a change of clothes in case they get wet

Are there bursaries available?

Yes, there are a limited number of $200 bursaries for each community being offered to families from KidSport to help offset some of the registration fee. Please note bursaries are only available to B.C. residents.

Click here for application info

What is the cancellation policy?

Cancellation Policy:

  • All accepted registrations are subject to a $50 cancellation fee for sailing courses.
  • There will be no refunds for cancellations made within 14 days of the scheduled start date. (Exceptions may be made if the cancellation is due to illness or injury)
  • There will be no refunds after the start date for the course with zero exceptions.

What topics are covered in the course?

Below are the PDF descriptions for each course:

Wet Feet Course Description

Opti Level 1 Course Description

Opti Level 2 Course Description

As students learn new skills, they will receive a stamp on their report card indicating their ability to demonstrate them consistently. When students can demonstrate all skills in the level consistently, they will progress to the next level. Often students will spend more than one week working through a level. This competency-based training system allows students to learn at their own individual pace. All students will learn in the same class no matter what level they are at.

School Programs

Please note that due to the COVID-19 Pandemic,

BC Sailing has suspended the 2023 MOSS – School Programs .

We apologize for the inconvenience. 

Cost: $25/student (minimum of 20 students required), or $30/student (minimum of 16 students required)


BC Sailing has suspended the MOSS – School Programs during 2023. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Course Details: School kids can learn about boating safety and how to sail while getting wet and having fun right at your doorstep.


The BC Sailing Mobile Optimist Sailing School (MOSS) Program and participating host clubs from communities around the province are offering an introductory sailing and kayaking program for school classes from kindergarten through Grade 6. Classes of up to 30 students can participate in an educational and fun one-day session exposing them to the exciting world of sailing.


The goal of the program is to promote safe boating while exposing as many kids as possible to a recreational sport like sailing. It is critical that students learn early how to act safely and responsibly around the water. Sailing and kayaking are the perfect mediums to teach the topic and, of course, an exciting and memorable way to end the school year.


In a one-day lesson, students will be introduced to the boats, safety, then taught some of the basics of sailing and kayaking. They will have enough understanding to sail the boats on their own in light to medium wind conditions (depending on the age of the class) by the end of the day.


All classes are taught by experienced Sail Canada-certified instructors who are trained to make sailing both fun and safe. The boats used for training are small Optimist prams and three-seater kayaks. A coach boat will also be on the water with the class at all times. All equipment including PFDs (life jackets) is included. Courses are offered from May through June.


To host this program for a week, five different classes are required: one each day for five consecutive days (Monday to Friday). The fee is $25/student (at least 20 students required) or $30/student (at least 16 students required). You can choose the fee structure appropriate for your community. Fees include taxes and $5 liability insurance/student.


Please note that the minimum number of students required may be slightly higher for communities that involve higher transportation costs (e.g. Vancouver Island).


This is a great opportunity to give students a taste of the exciting sports of sailing and kayaking as well as teach them water safety. It is also a fun and educational way to end the school year. If you are interested in hearing more about BC Sailing’s Introductory Sailing Program for Schools, or to ask other teachers about their sailing experience, please contact BC Sailing at 604 333-3628 or by email at

Teacher Resources

School Registration Form (to be completed by a teacher)

Student Registration Form (to be completed by a parent/guardian)

Teacher Letter to Parent – Template (Word file)

Cost: $25/student (minimum of 20 students required), or $30/student (minimum of 16 students required)


BC Sailing is reviewing 2023 school programming. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Summer Camps

Cost: $300.00 + tax for each sailor

Dates: 2023 Dates & Locations announced as organized!

Course Details: Children will learn the basics of sailing in a unique environment focusing on fun and boating safety. Launching, docking, steering, balancing, and propulsion are just some of the activities covered both on and off the water.


Seven-foot Optimist sailboats as well as two-person kayaks will be used in the program. By the end of the course, students will be able to safely sail on their own under the supervision of an instructor. In addition to these skills, the program develops confidence and leadership in its participants.


Please note that our program is equipped with Kayaks to utilize as a contingency activity. The primary focus will be on Sailing.


No experience is necessary, and you don’t have to be a member of the host club.


Professionally trained and Sail Canada-certified coaches will ensure every experience is a positive one.


Note: the age span for students will vary at some clubs. Locations are ages 7 to 15.

Interested in hosting a MOSS program in 2023? Contact  for more information.

BC Sailing Mobile Optimist Sailing School (MOSS) graciously acknowledges the continued support and financial assistance provided by Employment and Social Development Canada in support of the MOSS program.