New Member FAQ

Welcome to the Kanata Sailing Club! This document is intended to be an Introduction to the KSC for new members. Those of you who have taken our Learn-to-Sail program will have learned some of this already. For others, who joined KSC with previous sailing experience and therefore did not take LTS with KSC, all or most of this information may be new. For that reason, this document is written in a “Frequently Asked Questions” or FAQ format such that you do not need to read the entire document. Each question-and-answer is intended to stand on its own.

Table of Contents

I just joined the KSC, now what?

How do I find someone to sail with?

There are several ways. Here are a few suggestions:

  • If you were part of any KSC LTS session, then you already know several members who are keen to take advantage of their new sailing skills. Reach out to these members and get on the water!
  • Come out to one of the regular weekly events. There is currently a fun-first racing night, see our racing page for more details.
  • Send an email to the group list. This email list goes to both new members and old salts who have volunteered to help you get comfortable sailing at the KSC.
  • Join the Kanata Sailing Club Members group on Facebook. Post a message looking for a crew or skipper. You will get a quick response!
  • Come out for one of the semi-regular events. These are typically day-sails to a nearby destination such as Aylmer Marina or Pinhy’s Point and are always great fun! The events are typically advertised via the KSC membership email list and the members Facebook group.

Can I bring guests to the Club?

We hope you do! After all, it’s such a great place; why not share it with extended family and friends.
We also encourage frequent guest to become members themselves. There is no rule about this, but if
you find that you are bringing a friend three or more times, they should sign up as social members.

Can I take guest sailing?

Again, this is encouraged. Note that non-members cannot be in KSC boats alone, even if they are
qualified sailors. As the member, you must sign-out the boat and be in it at all times.

Can I bring my own canoe, kayak, paddle-board, sail-board to the KSC?

Sure. Many members do this. Please be aware that the KSC is not responsible for any damages to your
private water-craft. If you want to leave your boat at the club there is an additional storage fee which
can be paid at our online store.

Can I own my own sailboat at the KSC?

Yes! There are usually a few private boats at KSC in any given year. There is a fee to keep your boat on
the beach which can be paid at our online store.

Can I take my kids sailing?

Absolutely! This is encouraged.

Can my kids take a sail boat out by themselves?

No. A responsible Blue Tag sailor must be in the KSC boat with the children at all times. We encourage
interested kids to sign up for one of Junior LTS summer camps.

Can children helm as long as I’m in the boat too?

Sure. It’s also good fun to practise capsize drills with the kids too. Kids love it and it really helps them
get comfortable with the boat and the water.

Can my kids get a Blue Tag?

No. At this time the KSC does not support a training program to get kids to that level of sailing

What about the Optis?

The Optimists are those small dinghies you may have seen stored under the deck or on the beach in July
and August. These are used in our Junior LTS summer camps.

Do I need to wear a PFD/lifejacket?

YES, there’s no situation where you should be in a boat on the water without wearing a federally approved PFD or lifejacket. It’s illegal to go boating without one.

Signing-In and Signing-Out Boats

Can anyone sail KSC boats?

To sail KSC boats, you must be a sailing member and a qualified sailor. All KSC membership classes except “Social” are considered sailing members. A qualified sailor is a member with an appropriate KSC-
issued “tag”.

What’s with the coloured tags?

Coloured tags are the KSC way of identifying different levels of sailing competency. Blue Tags identify
sailors that are certified to sail all Club mono-hull boats (RS Quest, RS Feva, Laser, Byte and Tasar). Red
Tags identify sailors that are certified to sail both the mono-hull and the catamarans (RS Cat 16 and
Hobie 18).

Do I need to reserve a boat in advance?

No. Boats are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. There is no reservation system for boats in

How do I sign-out a boat?

First, check the peg-board in the Clubhouse. Select a boat that is not currently being used (and is not
marked out-of-service). Place your name-tag (plus your crew’s tags) next to the boat you want. You
should also place a destination-tag to indicate approximately where you will be going. Next, be sure to
sign-out the boat in the log-book. This will be on a table near the peg-board.

How do I sign-in a boat?

This is essentially the reverse operation of the above. Sign-in the boat in the log-book by indicating the
time you returned. Then indicate that the boat is free on the peg-board by returning the name-tags and

Why do we have both a peg-board and a log-book?

They serve different purposes. The log-book is a long-term record of boat usage. The usage data is compiled to make decisions about updates to the fleet. It also records time-out and time-in. The time-
out is important safety information. The peg-board is real-time information about which boats are available. Before we had the peg-board, members had to walk down to the shore to see which boats
were available.

I took over a boat from another member who just landed on shore. Do I need to sign-out?

Yes, you now have possession of the boat and this must be recorded.

Another member took over my boat when I landed on shore. Do I need to sign-in?

Yes, you have returned, so you should fully sign-out of the log-book and return your tags to their home

There was a problem with my boat, what do I do?

First, determine if it something simple that you can repair. If so, please do so. If not, please record the
problem in the boat-maintenance log. Second, try to determine if the problem is serious enough to
warrant taking the boat out of service. If you are unsure about that, ask a fellow member. When in
doubt, assume that the boat should be taken out of service.

Where is the Boat Maintenance Log?

This is a three-ring binder that will be kept on the same table as the sign-out log. There is a page for
each boat in the fleet. Please record the problem in the log.

How do I take a boat out-of-service?

The first step is to indicate the problem in the maintenance log. The second step is to place an out-of-
service tag next to the boat’s number on the peg-board. Now everyone will know that boat is un-safe to sail. If you have enough able bodies available, bring the boat up to the parking lot.

Finally, please contact the Harbourmaster to let them know the boat is out of service!

Use of the Power Boats

Why does KSC have Power Boats?

The three primary purposes of the KSC power boats are:

  1. Training. The instructor will typically manage the on-the-water sessions from one of the power
  2. Racing. The so-called ‘Race Committee’ will use the power boats to set marks in the water and
    observe the race for scoring.
  3. Rescue. This is the most important reason for having the power boats. Thankfully, they are
    rarely required for this, but it’s nice to know we have them when they are needed.

Am I expected to operate a Power Boat?

Yes. All sailing members of the KSC should be able to launch a power boat and operate it safely.

What’s a PCOC, and why do I need it, and how can I get one?

A Pleasure Craft Operator Card is a Government of Canada issued “proof of competency”. It is the law
in Canada that everyone who operates a power-driven boat needs proof of competency — something
that shows they understand the basic rules and how to safely operate a boat. Since all members are
expected to be able to operate the Club’s power boats (see above), it is a strong recommendation that they also get their PCOC license. You can take the course and take the exam on-line. Google “PCOC”.

How do I learn to operate the Power Boats?

Any senior member of the KSC can teach you how to operate the power boats. Please contact the
Training Director at to arrange a session.

Special Events

What special events does the KSC organize?

Throughout the year, the KSC has several events. These are things like sailing outings to places like
Aylmer Island or Pinhy’s Point; Catamaran races or long distance races. Keep an eye on the Calendar on
the website or Facebook for more information about these events.

Can I sail a KSC boat at non-KSC events?

Yes. Arrangements must be made in advance. Please contact the Harbourmaster for more


What is a ‘Duty Day’?

Each member of the Club is expected to volunteer one weekend day (or two half days) per season to
help maintain the Clubhouse and the site. This is called your ‘Duty Day’. These are on weekends
because that is when the Club is busiest, so there will be lots going on.

For more information about your responsibilities refer to our duty day page and sign up using the links.

Are there other volunteer opportunities?

Oh yes! Typically, these fall into two general categories: site maintenance and fleet maintenance. If
you are interested in helping out (and remember, the Club does not operate if we aren’t!), please
contact either the Site Director at or the Harbourmaster at

How the Kanata Sailing Club operates:

Who is the Kanata Sailing Club?

That is simple: you and all of your fellow members are the Kanata Sailing Club. There is no “they”
running the place. It’s just us sailors. ☺

Is the Kanata Sailing Club a business?

The KSC is a not-for-profit community organization. It is essentially a co-operative for sailors. Except
for our Trainers, all work done at the KSC is done by volunteers. A nice way to think about the KSC is
something like this: imagine that you are a member of a very large extended family. Grandpa and
Grandma have a cozy little cottage with some nice sail boats that all the cousins like to use. But the
Grandparents are now too old to take care of the cottage and all the boats, so the cousins all get
together to take it over. Each year everyone contribute some money (membership fees) and volunteers
some of their time to keep the place going. The KSC is a little bit like that.

Who runs the Kanata Sailing Club?

The KSC is administered by a ten member Board of Directors. Board members are elected at the Annual
General Meeting, typically held in November of each year. Any member of the Club can be elected to
the Board. All Board members are volunteers and typically serve for a two year term.
All members of the Kanata Sailing Club are entitled to participate in the AGM.

See our current list of board members here.

What are KSC’s sources of revenue?

Membership dues and training fees are the KSC’s primary sources of revenue. Recently, the KSC has
received several grants from government organizations that have helped purchase the new RS Quest and RS Feva boats. From time to time the Board may determine that some assets such as old boats
should be sold off.

What are KSC’s expenses?

Instructor’s salaries, insurance, land lease fees, boat and site maintenance are the primary expenditures.

Who owns the land that KSC occupies?

The KSC has occupied this site for more than 30 years. Originally it was owned by the YMCA, but now it
is owned by the City of Ottawa. The KSC leases the land from the City.

How do I contact the Board?

All members of the Board have email account that is named to make it easy to remember. For example,
the Commodore’s email address is A complete list of Board
positions and the associated email addresses can be found here.

Who keeps all these boats maintained?

Maintenance of the fleet is done under the supervision of a member of the KSC Board called the
Harbourmaster. It’s a big job and it cannot be done by one person. Many hands make light work, so
typically the Harbourmaster will organize a set of “fleet crews” to help out with the maintenance of
specific fleets. If you are handy or want to learn a thing or two about boat maintenance, please do
reach out to the Harbourmaster and let him/her know.

Who keeps the Clubhouse and other buildings maintained?

Maintenance of the site is done under the supervision of a member of the KSC Board called the Site
Director. Again, if you are handy, please reach out to the Site Director and let him/her know.

Are there any rules I should know about?

Sure. People get along better when they know what is expected of them, so we do have some rules.
You can find them on our club rules page. Please be aware that ignorance of the rules is not an excuse to break them!

I have a question you did not answer.

Please let us know! Send an email to the Commodore at or the
Membership director at