Category Archives: Education Activities

JMRA 2023 Class 2 schedule

Ahoy, new minted sailors of Japanese waters!

Oops, you haven`t passed an exam yet? Here is JMRA 2023 Class 2 schedule, kindly made by our education officers Claude Strobbe and Jeffrey Canaday.

Choose the one that`s suits your schedule best and contact Claude or Jeff for more info.

And good luck!

Session 1
March 20 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
March 27 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
April 3 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
April 8 Saturday BOAT PRACTICE 8:30am ~ 3pm
April 10 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
April 11 TuesdayTEST 9am ~
Session 2
May 15 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
May 22 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
May 29 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
June 3 SaturdayBOAT PRACTICE 8:30am ~ 3pm
June 5 Monday ZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
June 9 FridayTEST 9am ~
Session 3
June 12 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
June 19 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
June 26 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
July 1 SaturdayBOAT PRACTICE 8:30am ~ 3pm
July 3 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
July 7 FridayTEST 9am ~
Session 4
September 25 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
October 2 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
October 9 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
October 14 MondayBOAT PRACTICE 8:30am ~ 3pm
October 16 MondayZOOM 7pm ~ 9pm
October 19 MondayTEST 9am ~

Sailing 101 Class Finally Gets To Sail

After 3 months of delay due to the coronavirus and rainy season weather, the Sailing 101 class (the green boat) got out for their first sail on Sunday July 12 with the Yamaha 30S boats at Hayama. Out on the water was another boat (the pink boat) rented from Hayama Marina by TSPS member Alex Dzangirov and his crew.

There was pretty good wind (8-12 knots) and only partly cloudy skies all day, and we were able to do a lot of tacking and jibing. It was fun to have the other boat out to provide some “competition.”

The Sailing 101 class was winning…for a while!

The Taming of the Spinnaker

Today, Skipper Alex and a ragtag crew from TSPS sailed a Yamaha 30S rental boat from Hayama Marina and were successful in rigging, hoisting, and jibbing a spinnaker sail twice. Even though the extra sheets, halyards, guys, pole, and blocks, created mixed looks of consternation and uncertainty at first, the weather gods smiled upon us with light winds, cool temperatures, and pleasant sunshine while First Mate Rick guided the entire crew patiently through the steps required to tame the spinnaker and its accoutrements. By the end, the crew had learned how to make the spinnaker fly, how to trim it, and how to drop it when necessary. And we even practiced re-packing the spinnaker sail appropriately so that it would be primed for its next mission.

Rather than listen to anymore of this braggadocio, see the results for yourself below! We are looking to be in racing form by next year.

Intermediate Sailing Course Underway

On October 13 the TSPS Intermediate Sailing Class got underway with two Yamaha 30S sailboats from Hayama Yacht Club Marina’s Nippon Sail Training. It was the first time out on a real sailboat for several of the students. The conditions were challenging with winds 16-18 gusting to over 20 at times. It was cloudy but luckily the rain held off.

Students got a chance to be on the helm and of course there was lots of tacking and some jibing. While sailing we all had a chance to watch the Nippon Cup race taking place that day. It was a challenging, yet productive, day of sailing. More is to come…

Introduction To Sailing Course Begins October 23, 2017

On October 23, we will start a four-week sail basics class comprising classroom instruction on sail terminology and theory, followed each weekend (more or less) by on-the-water sailing instruction aboard our very own (until the lease runs out) Tartan 26 Fantail. We have found that the classroom and cockpit instruction reinforce each other, making learning faster.

Classroom sessions will run once a week for four consecutive weeks, subject to classroom availability, while the on-the-water sessions will be held on Saturdays from 10AM at Velasis Marina whenever we can book the boat.

You should consider this class if you have always wanted to try sailing, but have not had the chance, or you have had the chance, but feel you would be a better sailor if you went back and picked up the fundamental theory of it all.

We have room for 10 students and will divide our time between the Kamiyacho classroom and the Velasis Marina boat. Fees will be announced soon.

Contact Jeff Canaday if you have any questions and to reserve your place in TSPS sailing history. (Or ask about it next week at the Keelhaul on October 4 at Devil Craft Hamamatsucho)

Announcement: TSPS Offers Day Sailing Opportunities To Its Members

The main boat in the Velasis Marina Marine Club

Over the past several years the TSPS Bridge, especially our Senior Education Officer Jeff Canaday, has received numerous requests for an on-the-water (OTW) component in our boating education courses;  participants want to get their hands wet, so to speak. We’ve also heard from our members about their desire for more opportunities to go sailing for a day with family and friends. Well, we are pleased to announce that starting April 28, 2017, we will be providing boating opportunities that meet these needs.

The Tokyo Sail and Power Squadron has taken a group membership in the Velasis Marina Marine Club. Velasis Marina is located at the mouth of Tokyo Bay and provides a sailing gateway to clear blue waters and lovely coastlines near the bottom of Miura peninsula and across the bay in southern Chiba. The Velasis Marine Club offers us a guaranteed twelve weekend days per year, as well as many other sailing dates during the weekdays and available weekend days. The TSPS Bridge feels this gives us ample opportunity to get our members out on the water. A photo of the type of boat we will use is above

We will be running two types of sailing event for our members; namely, Sail Training and A Day On The Water. Sail Training involves one two-hour session in a classroom with a TSPS instructor followed by one OTW session where participants will learn and practice the basics of sailing. Our Day On The Water is just that, a day for members to board the boat for four to five hours of leisurely sailing wherever the wind and the provided skipper takes them. In both cases, a skipper/instructor trained in the operation of the vessel will be aboard to ensure safety and proper vessel operation.

Pricing for the two ongoing events is as follows:

SAIL TRAINING: ¥15,000 for members, ¥20,000 for non-members

DAY ON THE WATER: ¥10,000 for members, ¥20,000 for non-members

Non-members can attend as guests of TSPS members, unless of course, they sign up to become a TSPS member either beforehand or at the dock.

As the cost of membership in the Marine Club is quite high, we are hoping to sail with at least five people aboard, including the skipper, to cover the costs. However, if you would like to use the vessel and skipper for a private sail, be it with family or friends, we would be happy to discuss this with you. Also, if you would like to sail on a Friday, we can accommodate you as one of the skippers is available then, too.

We will go sailing rain or shine (we are sailors, after all) and be stopped only by a decision from Velasis Marina to close the Marine Club due to dangerous conditions.

Due to the nature of the boat reservation system at Velasis, we will be announcing some of the events on short notice.

Prepayment will required via bank transfer within 24 hours of registering.

If you have any questions regarding either the Sail Training or A Day On The Water programs, feel free to contact Warren Fraser.

This is our first attempt at something like this and we are still in the process of working out the details, but we hope we have your support by helping make this an ongoing offering of TSPS to its members.

So sign up and get out on the water to show your support.

Fair winds,

Warren Fraser
Program Coordinator, Communications

TSPS’ First ‘Boating In Japan’ Seminar- Report

TSPS held its first-ever open seminar at the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Japan on February 16. The theme was Boating in Japan, and featured eleven different speakers talking on ten topics related to getting out on the water in Japan. Topics ranged from government regulations and licensing to dinghy sailing to how to acquire a vessel and where to dock it. The slides from the presentation can be found here.

After Commander Sutton-Kirkby kicked of the evening with a warm welcome to the 34 people in attendance, Jeff Canaday gave an informative presentation on regulatory requirements and the pros and cons of both power boats and sailboats. This was followed by Chris Pitts talking about group ownership, perhaps the most affordable (and popular) way of having a stake in a boat. Per Knudsen looked briefly at buying a boat in Japan before Mike Snyder took the mic and addressed the methods and what turned out to be considerable costs involved in importing a boat into Japan. Later, when Mike asked the participants whether anyone was planning to import a boat into Japan, one quick reply was, “Not anymore.”

Mike then passed the mic to the team of Hiina Goi and Yukina Ota from Yamaha Marina Club Sea-Style. Together, they provided information about their company’s offerings, including boat rentals, nation-wide services, and costs of membership and rental fees. TSPS Bridge member Bill Van Alstine then talked about his experiences using Sea-Style services. On the whole, he said their services are reasonably priced and that one great benefit of renting is being able to walk away from the dock free of the many concerns of boat ownership.

Jeff Canaday retook the mic and talked about boating education and that while getting a Japanese license is step one, the key to safe boating is in knowing how to deal with challenges of being on the water outside the marina seawall. He spoke about the USPS being at its core a boating education organization and then reiterated that the TSPS mission is to provide courses that educate people on safely navigating the waters in and around Tokyo. Jeff then passed the mic to Mark Smith, an RYA-certified instructor and dinghy sailing advocate. Mark provided information on how people in the Tokyo area can get involved in dinghy sailing. Commander Sutton-Kirkby, after thanking the speakers, then announced it was time for refreshments and that the buffet was open.

After the buffet platters were emptied and thirsts quenched, the commander reconvened for a Q and A session with a panel of presenters taking questions from the participants.

On the whole, it was a good first effort at an open seminar and TSPS thanks everyone that attended and those who presented. There will in all likelihood be more of these seminars planned over the next few years. Try to attend.

… Slides from the seminar.



‘Boating In Japan’ Seminar Set for Feb. 16


TSPS Boating In Japan Seminar

Getting out on the water in Japan can be an ominous task given stringent government regulations, licensing requirements, and the cost of ownership, among other discouraging factors.

TSPS is holding an open seminar which seeks to cut through these difficulties and inform participants of the breadth of options available for perspective boaters.

Seminar Topics:

1. Regulatory requirements

Skipper licensing, offshore/nearshore certification, boat maintenance, outboard engines

2.  Power or sailboat?

What are the benefits and issues of each in Japan

3. Buying a vessel in Japan

4. Importing a vessel into Japan

5. Consortium ownership.

Banding together with others to share vessel costs and maintenance

6. Choosing a marina

7. Vessel rentals

Available rental services, and rental requirements. A representative from Yamaha will also present their rental offerings

8. Boating Education Opportunities

Seminar Details:

Date: February 16, 2017

Time: 6:30 – 9:00PM

Place: Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Japan (FCCJ)

Fee: ¥3500 per person. Includes buffet dinner and drinks

The seminar is open to anyone with an interest in getting out on the water.

To register, go to or email


Report: On-The-Water Electronic Instruments Class

Multifunction cockpit monitor
Multifunction cockpit monitor

On November 9,  TSPS held its first ever practical On-The-Water Nautical Electronic Instruments class. Students and TSPS members attending were Linda Semlitz & husband Ed Gilbert plus Anne Bille, wife of TSPS Cruise Coordinator Per Knudsen, who conducted the class on board Anne and Per’s yacht Bifrost.

The participants all being experienced sailors, the class was a discussion of the latest technology and the strengths and weaknesses of each system. The class went over the instruments dockside, then sailed and practiced for a couple of hours and took a delicious lunch break underway.

Instruments covered in the program included GPS, chartplotter, AIS, radar, VHF/DCS radio, depth finder, wind meter, auto-helm, plus selected iPhone/iPad apps. The systems on Bifrost are manufactured by Raymarine and Icom and are all fully integrated except stand-alone back-up GPS and VHF systems.

For the next on-the water class we are considering emergency systems, equipment, and procedures for a potential April, 2014 class.

A big thanks to Linda, Ed, and Anne for their participation in the class.

– Per Knudsen
TSPS Cruise Coordinator


Chart table VHF, AIS, and radar monitors
Chart table VHF, AIS, and radar monitors


Electrical panel
Electrical panel


Gimballed radar on the backstay
Gimballed radar on the backstay


Student Ed
Student Ed


Students Linda, Anne, with Instructor Per
Students Linda, Anne, with Instructor Per