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catamaran Sailing at JTOWN

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 document contains all the details on JTown's catamaran program

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

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

To take out one of our catamarans, you need to be a member of the club and to have reached at least a Cat Captain 1 level.


Our Intro-to-Cats clinics are usually run throughout the sailing season by a volunteer catamaran community member, willing to support the cat sailing community and help the club members to tune their sailing skills.

We usually have someone driving the motorboat and four (4) of the club's catamaran sailors volunteering their time as assistant coaches for the clinic. Our focus on the water is on clean and safe tacks, gybes and sailing exercises to practice safe docking and crew overboard recovery.

To obtain your Cat Captain 1 category, here is a checklist of the skills the examiner would expect you to do by the end of the clinic:

  • Sign out and rig correctly,
  • Guide the boat to the dock and secure it appropriately,
  • Raise the mainsail and launch from the dock safely,
  • Sail with you 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 crew overboard manoeuver without tacking (We use a real person in the water, he or she must be picked up windward of the boat),
  • Perform a capsize recovery,
  • Dock safely,
  • Put the boat back on the ramp, and the equipment away.

The clinic’s schedule for the day is usually as follows:Intro (9:00 AM)

Dryland Session Morning
Session on Water
Session on Water
Dryland Session
 Safety Procedures
Tacking & Gybing
Crew Overboard
Review of the Day
Rigging Upwind Sailing & Sailing Exercise
Capsize & Recovery
Individual Feedback
Overview of Tacking and Gybing of Catamaran with Simulation on Land
Downwind Sailing & Sailing Exercise


In the past, we have also run ongoing weekly sessions for JTown members who have already taken an intro cat clinic or have some catamaran helming experience. During these sessions we would mostly sail windward-leeward courses to improve catamaran sailing skills.

We will have a long distance race every Wednesday at 6 PM for those who would like to race cats for fun. This race is organized by our friendly neighbors TMCC (Toronto Multihull Cruising Club). It is open to all helms who are Cat Captain 1 or 2. The course of this race will be from in front of JTown to Gibraltar point (T4) and back.


New members who are either Bronze Level IV certificate holders, or feel that their sailing skills are equivalent to at least the Sail Canada CanSail Level 3 standard, may sign out a boat after successfully completing the Old Salt test by arrangement with our catamaran coordinator Beata Gintere.

Note: St. James Town Sailing Club’s Cat Program is not intended for extreme sailing.

Please consult the JTown cat helms spreadsheet if you are looking for someone to sail catamaran with.


Below is the tentative Course Schedule for cat clinics.

  1. Intro-to-Cats Clinic 1 with Ed Young, Sunday June 18, 2023 - 9am - 3pm (enrollment open, email Beata Gintere )
  2. Intro-to-Cats Clinic 2 with Kevin Smith, Sunday July 16, 2023 - 9am - 3pm (enrollment not open yet)
  3. Intro-to-Cats Clinic 3 with Dan Borg, Sunday Aug 13, 2023 - 9am - 3pm (enrollment not open yet)