About Us

About Canary Sail

We offer the full range of RYA practical and theory tidal sailing courses in the exquisite waters of the Western Canary Islands. We also have sailing yachts 36 to 50ft available for bareboat or skippered charter.

We are based on both La Gomera, a beautiful unspoilt island a short ferry transfer from South Tenerife with a 2nd new base in Tenerife, San Miguel Marina near Tenerife South airport (airport code is TFS). Tenerife is served by many airlines from most UK  and European airports.

The Canary Islands have a sub-tropical climate that provides ideal sailing conditions and the sun is nearly always shining.

All our Instructors join us from a professional background and have moved to this alternative lifestyle to work with Canary Sail. Most live here permanently and are committed to delivering quality, safe training in a fun atmosphere so that you our clients leave us with a qualification of value, new friends and an intention to return – many do! Our Chief Instructor´s programme of continuous in-house instructor training ensures continuity – whether you return one day or choose to stay for a number of weeks, quality of instruction and delivery of your course will remain consistent.


Jim Grey

Principal & Chief Instructor

Armed with sales and marketing experience and a passion for sailing, Jim moved to La Gomera from Ireland 10 years ago. Jim has worked with Canary Sail since its birth back in 2003 and is now School Principal and Chief Instructor. Your sail training enquiry is very likely to handled by Jim personally so feel free to ask away.


Vicki Pipe

Office administrator

Vicki joined Canary Sail in 2006 after moving to La Gomera with her husband Jason, a big game fisherman (www.bluemarlingomera.com). After having lived and worked in both Mauritius and the Andaman Islands, Vicki keeps the office going and her great skills in office management make sure the rest of the team are on the right track. Vicki is the person to ask for advice regarding ferries, flights and accommodation, ensuring that you arrive at the right place at the right time. She will arrange for you to be met by one of our staff.


Nigel Davison

RYA Theory Instructor

Having run various successful companies in the UK, Nigel left the rat race and sailed his yacht, Dunkelly, to La Gomera a decade ago. He and his partner fell in love with the island, bought a house and stayed. Nigel is a part-time Theory Instructor with Canary Sail and the best qualified to share his vast sailing experience with our theory students.


Eddy Coenen

Yachtmaster Instructor

Eddy is a very enthusiastic and experienced professional instructor who owned a highly successful RYA Training Centre in Belgium for 11 years, delivering courses in both Sail and Power.  He sold the business in 2012 and moved, with his wife, to La Gomera to teach sailing in the Canarian sunshine. Not only is Eddy a Yachtmaster Ocean Instructor for both Sail and Power but he is also qualified to teach Power Boat Level 2, VHF/ SRC, ISAF, Sea Survival, First Aid, Diesel Engine, Astro Navigation and PPR. 


Tony Vokes

Yachtmaster & Chief Instructor

Tony lives on Tenerife with his wife Jan, where he specialises in the renovation of old, traditional houses and buildings.  He is also well placed to serve Canary Sail's Tenerife base in San Miguel Marina, but is also always ready to step in when the La Gomera base is busy as he is only a short ferry crossing away.


George Tovey

Yachtmaster Instructor

George is a big fan of the Canary Islands and is a wintertime resident of Tenerife. He is both a Yachtmaster Instructor and SRC Assessor. George likes nothing better than going sailing and has a passion for teaching.

Martin Smith

Martin Smith

Yachtmaster Instructor

Having spent many years cruising his own boats in the U.K and Ireland, Martin gave up a full time career in Outdoor Education to work as a sailing school instructor, equally happy working on shorebased courses as well as practical courses onboard.
As a qualified teacher, his easy going patient style suits the sparkling blue waters and relaxed atmosphere of the Canary Islands, a cruising ground he has come to love.


Nikolay Tarasenko

Cruising Instructor

Nick graduated university as an IT engineer and later from a marine academy as an I&C engineer. He worked on various vessels in the Caspian and continued his career as an IT manager for a major oil company. Yachting was always his passion and therefore from 2011 he focused on sailing. In 2014 he moved to the Canaries from Azerbaijan, became a Cruising Instructor and joined the Canary Sail team. Native Russian speaking and fluent in both English and Spanish. Nick is easy going, friendly and a has a real passion for the ocean


Franco Scolozzi

Cruising Instructor

Franco is an enthusiastic traveler with extensive sailing experience (racing, chartering, teaching). Sailing the Caribbean, South East Asia, the Med and mainly Sicily.
He recently discovered the gorgeous Island of La Gomera and has since returned to offer Canary Sail teaching support and also support in maintaining all the boat's marine electronics. He loves teaching and developing his own teaching aids. Franco, with his kind, peaceful and relaxed nature will put our costumers immediately at ease.


Yakov Ivakhnenko

Russian-Speaking Yachtmaster Instructor

Yakov takes care of our Russian-speaking clients and maintains our Russian website.
As a sailing instructor he regularly comes to Canary Sail to teach practical courses.
He enjoys sailing in round-the-year sunny Canary Islands.


Gareth Thomas

Yachtmaster Instructor

With a love of the sea, sailing and scuba diving, Gareth qualified as an RYA Cruising Instructor and has been teaching for Canary Sail for 6 years. As a yacht owner living locally, Gareth brings a wealth of experience of sailing and of the marine life around La Gomera - he is also a qualified Diving Instructor. He has completed many thousands of sea miles sailing both on his own 46ft yacht and delivering sail boats. He enjoys skippering our longer mileage cruises!

Incredibly relaxed and gentle of character, Gareth is a valuable team member!


Darrin Lee

Maintenance and Everything Man!

Darrin and his partner, Andrea, came to La Gomera on holiday in the early 2000's and having fallen in love with the island (are you seeing a theme running through a number of these profiles?!), they upped sticks and travelled, with their Land Rover from the UK to have a year off!  They never left.  Darrin has a talent for getting things done and finding the right way to do them.  A carpenter and keen shotgun enthusiast, Darrin brings his skills (and of course, tools) to Canary Sail.


Ruben Herrera Chinea

Sail Maker

Ruben is the sail maker for Canary Sail’s subsidiary sail making company.  A native of La Gomera, he knows everyone, always “knows a man who can” and is often pressed into service when the Spanish language requirements are beyond the abilities of the rest of the company!