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Who Are We?

Wildrose Charters and Sailing School was operated for 36 years and was the longest operating Canadian Yachting Association (CYA) Learn to Cruise (LTC) Member School in Alberta.  Situated in Calgary and established in 1985 by Dave Layton, the school offers Sail Canada [CYA] Certifications to students and instructors in several LTC Standards.  Having taught 36 plus years in the LTC program, the school has had over 3000 graduates in Basic Cruising, Coastal Navigation, Intermediate and Advanced Standards.  Students have used their training and certification to charter and cruise in all corners of the world.  Several graduates have gone on extensive offshore trips. 

In retirement, a nebulous term, Cap’n Dave has elected to downsize his involvement in the Sail Canada LTC programs and enjoy a bit more time with family and the many new found friends from his teaching experience. Hence, the start up Cap’n Dave’s Sailing School.  

In August of 2000 Cap'n Dave and his mate, Brenda (seen below) set off on their own offshore adventure which you can read about in the newsletter, 'Between the Sheets'.  August 2001 we brought Good Idea back into the superb cruising waters from Victoria south into Puget Sound and north to Alaska.  You are welcome to join them for further training or for outright relaxing in all the exotic ports of call throughout their passage from Olympia, Washington to Port McNeill, BC.  This includes the San Juan Islands, Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound and Johnston Strait.

Some Introductory courses will be offered in Calgary by request.  The more advanced courses at the west coast will be referred to companies and Instructors that Dave has enjoyed working with over the years.  The Cap'n and Brenda plan to spend more time cruising and you are welcome to tag along in a flotilla type relaxing cruise.  For more details on availability of courses or where the Cap’n might be headed next, check the Schedules page or contact the Cap’n by email or phone.

Skippered and Bareboat Charter Information will be made available to you with the many excellent companies the Cap’n has been associated with over the years.  The Cap’n will no longer be running Skippered or Bareboat Charters on Good Idea.

Future LTC Instructor courses have been referred to the Alberta Sailing Association (ASA) and Ian Leitch,  the Albertan LTC Instructor Evaluator and are available on as needed basis.

Dave Layton

Dave Layton has been a CYA LTC Instructor since 1977 and is well respected in the boating community both in Calgary and at the west coast.  He served as the Alberta Learn to Cruise Representative for over 18 years and served as the Prairie Representative on the National Learn to Cruise Committee for over 12 years.  Starting off small with a 9 'lanteen rigged Sea Snark, Cap'n Dave soon decided he wanted something drier for Alberta Lakes.  In 1975 he invested in a 21'Clipper sloop and in 1976 stepped up to a twin keel 23' Clipper.  Dave started training with the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron and became a lifetime member through his efforts there as an instructor and Training Officer for many years. In 1977, at the inception of the LTC programs in Alberta, Dave became a Basic Cruising Instructor.  In 1985, Wildrose Charters and Sailing School was started in an effort to support Dave's nasty habit and his new Yamaha 35' sloop, Good Idea.  By this time, Dave was well established as an Instructor in the LTC programs and was an Instructor Evaluator training the Alberta Instructors as well as students.  Dave retired from Shell Canada as a research chemist in 1994 and has spent the last 9 years making charterers and students happy.  His personal certification includes the CYA Instructor Evaluator Standard allowing him to instruct up to and including Advanced Cruising Instructors, Offshore Standard, Celestial Standard, and Coastal Navigation Instructor.  With over 35 years of cruising experience at the west coast and extensive charter operations, Dave and his wife, Brenda, are now ready to share their coastal and offshore adventures with you.  Although the new business will be downsized, we will be available on request to still offer training, tales and our terrific company here in Calgary or at the West Coast if you can catch up with us.  Dave can spend a bit more time now keeping up his blog so you can track us down.

Brenda Wallace

Brenda has been married and putting up with the Cap'n for over 35 years.  With extensive cruising experience and CYA Certification in Basic, Intermediate, Coastal Navigation and Celestial Navigation Standards she is an excellent mate for the Good Idea.  A retired school teacher, Brenda has a keen interest in following the dream that Cap'n Dave has sent so many students forth on and has been talking about since they met in 1978. 

'Now is the time to cast off and make your own memories,' says Cap'n Dave and Brenda.  Get involved and share YOUR experiences with us over a meal or an evening. 

Contact us by email at LaytonDB@me.com or WallaceBJ@me.com.