GOALS & VISION
Squamish Sailing Ventures loves adventure and we are here to help you have yours! If you've been dreaming of sailing for a long time or just feel like trying something new, we will strive to accommodate your desires and satisfy your goals for learning and adventure.
We are an accredited IYT (International Yacht Training) sailing school and teach their courses in a safe, professional manner. From new sailors to boat owners and those that dream of chartering abroad, we have a sailing option that will suit your needs.
Teamwork, clear communication, safety and fun are key aspects of making your experience onboard enjoyable. When teaching and practicing new skills we keep these values in the forefront.
The Howe Sound is the southernmost glacial fjord on the continent. This means that Squamish, at the head of the sound, benefits from strong and consistent winds in a magnificent mountainous setting. It is also a great starting point for an epic sailing adventure into the remote and wild cruising grounds of beautiful British Columbia.
Typical wind strengths in the spring and summer are from 10-25kts. Our boat is built to handle strong winds with ease and once you learn in Squamish winds, you'll confidently handle conditions found elsewhere in BC.
We wish to make sailing an accessible sport to all so offer discounts to young sailors under 20, Squamish Yacht Club members, and returning customers who have taken multi day courses.
We understand it can be challenging to gain sailing mileage in between courses so we offer a club sailing program to existing customers.
SKIPPER & BOAT
Ben Biswell is a sea to sky local who loves to play in the ocean and mountains that surround us.
He is a commercial RYA Yachtmaster Skipper and has been sailing all his life.
He is passionate about teaching new sailors and helping them work towards their goals.
Teaching is second nature to him after working as ski & snowboard instructor since 2002 and a sailing instructor since 2014. He aims to remain humble and open to learning and adapting his teaching style to suit all students.
Originally from England, Ben sailed in northern Europe and the Mediterranean growing up. Since moving to BC in 2005 he has sailed extensively around the pacific north west. Cruising and racing around Vancouver island, racing from Oregon to Victoria and skippering his old boat to a 5th place finish in the 2017 R2AK race to Alaska.
In 2019 & 2020 he spent a total of 8 months sailing his new boat Tarka, to Canada from England with his dad and girlfriend. They sailed south to the Canary Islands via northern France and southern Portugal, then across the Atlantic ocean on a 25 day passage to Guadeloupe. After cruising through the Caribbean they sailed north for 11 days to Virginia, USA and then 7 days to Halifax, Canada. From there they sailed around Nova Scotia to the Magdalen islands and up the full length of the St. Lawrence river. Sailing past Quebec and Montreal they reached Lake Ontario and Toronto 8,500nm later. Tarka was then trucked to Vancouver and very satisfyingly sailed up to Squamish!
It is with this varied experience that Ben hopes to offer you the best experience possible!
His Certifications are as follows:
RYA Yachtmaster Offshore
RYA Yachtmaster Ocean theory
IYT Recreational boating instructor
Sail Canada Intermediate Instructor
Sail Canada Advanced Cruising standard
ISAF Safety at Sea
A 1989 Vancouver 32 Built in England. Below are a few of Tarkas' attributes:
An easy boat to sail with accessible sailing controls in reach of the cockpit.
Great selection of sails to make the most of all wind conditions.
Sloop rig with removeable inner forestay for the storm Jib.
A full Keel making it easy to sail a straight course with little effort.
32 feet of length. A comfortable size of boat to learn to skipper yourself.
Modern electronic systems. Practice using a GPS chart plotter, digital radar and autohelm.
Hydrovane, a self steering system used to cross oceans without touching the helm.
Comfortable layout to enjoy sailing and relaxing above or below deck.
A safe and solid sailboat capable of circumnavigating the globe.
See this link for photos, layout and specifications of an identical boat: