Frequently Asked Questions from Sailors 

If you have a question that is not answered below, you can call or email information@dsavictoria.org to ask us! 


When does the program run?

Our program is a summer program. Sailing sessions happen in July & August, with work parties and volunteer orientation happening in May-June, and Sept-Oct. There are additional opportunities get involved throughout the year as well.

I have a disability but I am not sure if I am eligible for this program? 
Everyone with a disability is eligible to sail in our program, an instructor can help you determine which sailing option is right for you!

I am new to sailing, what will my first sail look like?
Your first sail will be your opportunity to familiarize yourself with the club, meet your instructor or companion and discuss your needs. Together, you will discuss transferring into the boat, any accommodations that may be needed, and give you an overview of safety procedures. Please note that if you have unique transfer or seating needs, your first sail may be shorter to allocate time for assessing the latter.

What boat will I use? 
Your interests and seating needs will determine which boat will be the best fit for you. An instructor or experienced volunteer will help determine this at the time of registration or during booking.

I have mobility limitations or I am a wheelchair user, how will I transfer in and out of the boat?
There are several methods of transferring into the boats; we work with you to help you in and out of the boats safely and respectfully. You may walk on, self-transfer, use an assisted-transfer or use the hoyer lift (max. weight 350lbs).

Is the facility accessible? 
We are proud to be hosted out of the Canadian Forces Sailing Association, and their facility is accessible to our sailors. We have accessible washrooms on site,  ramps to the dock, main club house, patio and our DSA Atco Trailer. We are located on a main bus route (but please note that there is a steep grade road to get down to the club).

I use a sling to transfer, do I need to bring my own? 
We have a few slings available to use for your sail. If you plan to sail frequently, you may want to consider bringing your own sling.

Do I need my own lifejacket?
We have some lifejackets and Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s) available in several sizes. If you plan to sail frequently, you may want to consider purchasing your own lifejacket that fits you comfortably.

What should I bring for my sail? 
The weather on the ocean can be considerably cooler than the weather at your house. You should be adequately prepare for the weather conditions; check the local forecast before arriving. Here is a suggested list of items:

  • Fitted Hat (wind has been known to blow off loose hats)/sunglasses/sunscreen
  • Water
  • Extra layers (sweater, jacket, rain or splash gear)
  • PFD (if you own your own)
  • Special cushions (if desired, though we have many at our facility)

Please come prepared; having to prepare for the sail will dip into your sailing time. It is appreciated if you arrive ready to get onto the water.

How might weather impact my sailing session? 
Sailing is a weather-dependant sport.  We sail in all types of weather Occasionally, weather conditions may deteriorate rapidly, necessitating a last minute cancellation of a planned sail.  All efforts will be made to notify you ahead of time, but it is not always possible. We will do our best to reschedule your sail. Please be aware that these decisions are based on the safety of all persons involved, and it is at the discretion of DSA Victoria staff to cancel an outing.

I have someone accompanying me, what can they do while they wait? 
The Canadian Forces Sailing Association is a great place to enjoy the water and sun while you wait. You will have access to the main club house (bar hours available on the website), washrooms facilities, picnic tables, the patio with a waterfront view! Our instructors need to focus on the needs of their sailors; unfortunately instructors are not available to take parents or caregivers onto the water.

I am the (parent, caregiver, sibling or friend) of a recreational sailor – can I sail with my (child, client, sibling, friend)? 
We encourage those who frequent our program often to explore learning how to sail so they may . The Canadian Forces Sailing Association offers adult learn to sail classes during the Spring and Summer months. Once they have learned the basics, people wishing to sail with someone can become a DSA Victoria Companion Sailor and register as a volunteer.

I am a (parent, caregiver, sibling or friend) of an independent sailor – can I sail with them? 
Yes! Please contact a DSA instructor to sign a waiver prior to the sail. You must notify an instructor well in advance of the date of sail.