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catamaran Sailing at JTOWN

Program Overview

St. James Town Sailing Club’s Cat Program is an entry-level high-performance sailing
program and a good opportunity to learn more about sail trim, apparent wind sailing and
trapezing. This is not intended to be an extreme sailing program.

The Program follows the following structure of three (3) main helming categories:

  • Cat Captain 1,
  • Cat Captain  2
  • Cat Examiner

Cat Captain 1 and Cat Captain 2 categories are determined by an on-water test known as a Cat Old Salt test, observed by one or more of the Cat Examiners. New members who are either Bronze Level IV/CanSail III certificate holders, or possess equivalent skill/experience, particularly extensive small boat experience, may sign out a boat after successfully completing the Cat Old Salt test.

Please also consult the Catamaran Safety Considerations document.


To sail our catamarans, you need to be a member of the club and have at least Cat Captain 1 standing. Here is a checklist of skills the examiner will be looking for you during the Cat Old Sat test in order to obtain your Cat Captain 1 approval:
  • Sign out the boat and rig it correctly
  • Guide the boat to the dock and secure it appropriately
  • Raise the mainsail and launch from the dock safely
  • Sail with your head up, looking where you are going (try to never look back and if you need to look at something inside the boat, glance briefly)
  • Sail out and around a mark
  • Learn how to stop/park the boat
  • Gybe and tack
  • Get out of irons
  • Perform a man overboard maneuver without tacking
  • Perform a capsize recovery
  • Dock safely
  • Put the boat back on the ramp, and the equipment away
Catamaran Captain 2 must possess the above skills (See Cat Captain 1), and, in addition:
  • Helm the Catamaran competently and attentively in up to 20 knots of wind
  • Gybe in 15 to 20 knots of wind without having the main sail “slam” across
  • Be proficient or learn how to assemble the boat in spring, and de-assemble in the fall
Cat Examiner must demonstrate the above skills (See Cat Captain 2), and, in addition:
  • Helm the Catamaran from the trapeze and handle winds over 20 knots
  • Is subject to Board’s approval
  • Help inspect the boats twice a year for damages and arrange the necessary repairs in accordance with safety guidelines, working closely with Fleet Chair
The Cat Sailors List is posted on the wall in the clubhouse. It is a great resource to find people
to sail with.

Cat Clinics

Our Cat Clinics are run throughout the sailing season by guest coaches and volunteer club members who are willing to support the cat sailing community and help our members to improve their sailing skills. The Cat Clinics offer an introduction to cat sailing at JTown.

To sign up for a Cat Clinic please contact the Cat Program Coordinator Beata Sejane at bgintere@gmail.com or call (text) 416-886-7277. The Clinics are open to members of the club who are CanSail III certificate holders.

Our focus during the clinics is on clean tacks, gybes and sailing exercises to simulate safe docking and man overboard. The Clinics’ schedule for the day is usually as follows:

Dryland Session Morning
Session on Water
Session on Water
Dryland Session
Crew Overboard
Review of the Day
Overview of Tacking and Gybing of Catamaran with Simulation on Land Gybing
Capsize & Recovery
Safety Procedures

Upwind Sailing
Docking  Individual feedback
   Downwind Sailing


Consult the JTown Cat Clinics spreadsheet and the JTown calendar for more details.