The Squadron

CANADIAN POWER & SAIL SQUADRONS (CPS) is a nationwide organization of boating enthusiasts. Their aim is to increase boating safety and enjoyment by proving instruction in all phases of seamanship and navigation, both power and sail.

It is a charitable, membership-type organization, incorporated under the Companies Act of Canada. Except for a small, paid staff – all teaching and administrative work is done by volunteers. CPS is non-governmental, non-regulatory and non-military. It is not restricted to boat owners, nor owners of large yachts. Purely and simply, it is a dedicated group interested in increasing safety and pleasure on the waterways through educational.

Cowichan Power and Sail Squadron was formed in 1959 as part of Vancouver Island District of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons. In 1996 it became par of the newly formed Vancouver Island Northern District which consists of ten squadrons from the Malahat to Port Hardy an Powell River. Geographically the Squadron serves an area from Mill Bay, BC to Crofton, BC including the Duncan area, Cobble Hill, Shawnigan Lake and Lake Cowichan. Membership of the Squadron is approximately 205 members.

The Squadron Bridge meets on the second Wednesday of the month at the Maple Bay Yacht Club. The election of the new Bridge is held at our Annual General Meeting on the fourth Wednesday of April. Those Squadron members who have served on committees or as instructors or proctors are awarded Merit Marks at this time for their efforts. All members are encouraged to participate at the Bridge meetings which start at 1900 hours.

In keeping with the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron’s purpose of “Training the Recreational Boater”, Boating Courses are offered at the Cowichan Exhibition Park, Duncan and Shawnigan Lake Community Centers. Various Advanced and Elective Courses are offered depending on the demand.

In an effort to encourage sustaining membership and serve those members who are not interested in additional courses an active social program is offered. Fall and Spring Graduations and a Christmas Dinner Dance are held by our Social Committee. Our Cruise Master organizes Rendezvous in the summer to foster comradeship. Special Members Nights are held to cover timely topics of interest to boaters. Further information on these events can be found in our publication the “Sea Breeze”, elsewhere on this site, or by contacting the Cruise Master or Social Convener. (see Bridge members)

The Squadron is run by its members and their volunteer efforts. We never have enough volunteers and can lasways fine a job for you. Pick up the phone and call the Commander or Training Officer adn contribute your skills to our success.

Membership is by successfully completing our Boating Basics course or by completing the Pleasure Craft Operator Card test. Membership allows you to apply to join Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons as a full member. You can also complete our Boating Essentials course to join. Family members must also have successfully completed the appropriate exams to be awarded membership rights. A boating course graduate under the age of 18 is granted an Associate Membership and pays no dues.


Cowichan Power & Sail Squadron Burgee


The Cowichan First Nation has been identified with the Cowichan Valley for centuries. Cowichan has been variously translated to mean; “Warm Valley”, “Sunny Valley People”, “Basking in the Sun”, and “Valley of the Sun”. An undisputed translation by the experts has not been agreed upon.

The golden background of the burgee represents the sun, the navy blue border represents the water surrounding Vancouver Island where our Squadron is located, the two navy blue stripes on the fly of the pennant represent the two rivers that flow into the Cowichan Bay, (Cowichan River and Koksilah River), the two major bays in the area, (Cowichan Bay and Maple Bay), the two major lakes, (Cowichan Lake and Shawnigan Lake), and an affliation with the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons.

The Orca is native to our waters and it is fitting that the design of the Orca on our burgee be of First Nation origin or Native motif.

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