Thanks for your replies. I am registered for a 6 day course this fall with Island Cruising. As for the "designations", what I have heard confirms jackdale's note that both CYA and ISPA are both recognized by most charter companies, both in Canada and abroad. For me the goal is the experience and quality of instructiuon, no matter where it comes from. I don't anticipate any problems chartering down the road. On a similar topic I've start a new thread regarding racing schools. Perhaps you can comment on those as well.