About Us

Who Are We?

Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaInternational Sail and Power Academy Inc. (ISPA) has, since 1994, provided a comprehensive, internationally recognized range of Pleasure Craft Operator Certificates of Competency for Sail and Power craft starting at Competent Crew and progressing by increments to Yachtmaster Ocean. 

ISPA Instructor courses start at Day Skipper Instructor  and culminate at Instructor Evaluator, Ocean. 

The ISPA Training Program is presented in a flexible, modular course format that emphasizes a hands-on approach that encourages you to learn at your own pace. Each course has a shore-based and an on-the-water practical component. 

ISPA International Certificates of Competency are internationally recognized to fulfill the requirements for bare-boat charter and are ideal for people who want to pursue careers in the Pleasure Craft Industry or for those who simply want to live the dream and adventure on their own boats. ​

ISPA Directors

Kevin Wilson – The Creator of ISPA

Chief Technical Director | Chief Instructor Evaluator

Kevin has had a lifetime of practical experience on the water sailing and power boating. He as sailed all types of sailboats from dinghies to 50 foot offshore sailboats and powerboats in Europe and Canada. Delivery Captain and Instructor at all levels, qualification of Instructor Evaluators in British Columbia, Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean Sea, North Sea, East Coast of the United States, Caribbean.

​​Professional and Volunteer Work:

  • CYA Provincial Learn to Cruise Committee
  • CYA National Learn to Cruise Committee
  • Co-Founder ISPA Japan and Board of Directors
  • Founder and President International Sail and Power Academy Founder
  • ISPAssociation and Board of Directors
  • Program, course and exam development for the Canadian Coast Guard PCOC
  • Canada Shipping Act Reform-Canadian Coast Guard Advisory Committee
  • Member of the Canadian Marine Advisory Council to Transport Canada
  • Director of the Canadian Safe Boating Council
  • Member of the Education Committee of the National Association of State
  • Boating Law Administrator
  • Witness expertise for Marine Accidents



  • Recognition Award for Volunteer service to the Canadian Coast Guard from the Prime Minister of Canada for work on the reform of Canada Shipping Act.
  • Fisheries and Oceans Award from Marine Services and Commissioner, Canadian Coast Guard for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Transport Canada recognizes the contribution of Kevin Wilson, the Father of ISPA, author of the ISPA Workbooks and Manuals Program and training system developer, the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons, and Canadian Yachting Association in support of recreational boating safety in Canada and for allowing their material to be used as the basis for this industry-wide standard for the training of recreational boaters.

Robert Sendoh

Instructor Evaluator | Director

Robert has more than 25 years of experience in the sailing industry. He holds a Bachelor of Economics from Meiji University in Japan. Robert’s previous roles include Senior Management in a real estate development company, co-founder and Director of IT start-up company and a Principle at the Montessori school.

Robert founded ISPA Japan in 2001 and currently serves as an Executive Director. During his tenure at ISPA Japan, Robert has contributed in opening numerous ISPA affiliated sailing schools and colleges throughout Japan. ISPA Japan now has gained its position as one of the leading boating organizations. Currently, there are more than 80 members plus 50 active certified instructors in ISPA Japan alone.

Robert believes that sail training can be used to bring together the young generation regardless of their ethnic, religious and social background. Robert has masterminded ISPA’s Young Mariner’s Tall Ship Program which was successfully launched two years ago in Australia, bringing together young people from Australia and Japan. Robert raised awareness of the fact sail training can be used to bring about a worldview to the next generation, and it is a perfect method of leadership training. Robert succeeded in bringing awareness and obtained support from various governmental bodies including the Australian embassy.

His effort resulted in a great recognition – ISPA Japan is now accepted as the member of Sail Training International (STI), a Nobel Peace Prize nominee organization in the UK.

John Garfitt

Instructor Evaluator

With 26 years of single-handed sailing and sailing instruction experience and 75,000 nm under the keel, John brings professional marine engineering experience and wisdom to the table to ensure that the standard of the ISPA Training Program is maintained.
John has owned four sailboats including his current vessel, “Warlock,” a 1982 Baltic 51 cutter-rigged sloop which he is outfitting to be one of the best high-performance blue-water yachts on the west coast.
“Warlock” will host Instructor Clinics and ISPA courses up to and including Yachtmaster Ocean, Sail starting in 2019.


  • ISPA IE, Yachtmaster Ocean, Sail
  • ISPA Board of Directors – Technical Director QA
  • ISPA Board of Directors – President (1996 – 1999)
  • Principal at Crusader Sailing School, Vancouver
  • Sailing Instructor at various ISPA schools
  • Professional Engineer (Mechanical), APEGBC, 1992
  • Geologist
  • Artist: http://john-garfitt.pixels.com

Professional Experience:

  • VP Quality & Continuous Improvement at Whitewater West Industries Ltd, Richmond, BC
  • Engineering Manager at Whitewater West Industries Ltd, Richmond, BC – waterpark ride systems
  • Engineering Manager, Weatherhaven Inc, Burnaby, BC – Medium support vehicle system (MSVS)
  • Engineering Manager, Northern Marine LLC, Anacortes, WA – large motor yacht manufacturing
  • VP Quality at Zodiac-Hurricane Technologies, MilPro Division, Delta, BC – military and SAR interceptors
  • Project Manager at OceanWorks International, North Vancouver, BC – submarine rescue vehicles
  • Senior Marine Engineer at Elliott Bay Design Group, Seattle, WA – naval architects & marine engineers
  • VP Operations at Queenship Yacht Works, Maple Ridge, BC – large motor yacht manufacturing
  • Senior Marine Engineer, Catamaran Ferries International, North Vancouver, BC – high speed aluminum catamaran ferries
  • Project Manager at Vandive Marine Engineering, Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Lab Scientist III at Alberta Environmental Centre, Vegreville, AB – Radio-carbon dating and radio-isotope tracer studies
The International Sail and Power Academy is not affiliated with the International Sail and Power Association, also known as the ISPAssociation/Canadian Recreational Yachting Association (CRYA)