Are you aged between 18 and 30 years old? Are you currently unemployed? Are you looking for some guidance? Would you like to get involved in a project that is meaningful to you? Enrol in the Capstan program!

Experience life aboard the EcoMaris sailboat in the context of a 2-week expedition. You will be guided by sailing specialists who will share their passion for maritime life.

Find out about yourself

A trip like no other!

Your involvement in this special adventure could allow you to:

  • Learn about yourself in a different way and meet exciting challenges
  • Broaden your horizons and meet new people
  • Learn about the St. Lawrence and maritime professions
  • Prepare for a future you really want


Here’s what to double-check while packing your bag:

  • You must have a desire to shake up your routine
  • You must be ready to enrol in this program from beginning to end, including its 1-year follow-up
  • You must be aged between 18 and 30 years old
  • You must be unemployed
  • Students are not eligible
  • You must be available for the training sessions as well as for the 2-week program aboard the sailboat.

A CJE, an ally

Quebec’s CJEs are precious allies to the Capstan program. Your first meeting at a CJE (to evaluate your specific needs) will allow you to determine which program can help you reach your goals (going back to school, changing careers, finding a job, etc.). Your CJE counsellor will guide you through the necessary steps before and after the expedition.

A clear plan made with your CJE counsellor can dramatically enhance your experience.

For additional information, please contact Joëlle Boily at or by calling 418-800-1126, extension 2

Feedback from participants

I learnt a great deal and understood the way to work and manoeuvre this beautiful, 86-feet-long sailboat, which was our home for two amazing weeks. I cut down on my drug use and got back into shape. I can see myself continuing down that path. It invigorated my spirit and highlighted my love for life. I'm now starting the very last step to obtaining my high school diploma. Afterwards, I'm planning on studying woodworking and, ideally, on doing a seamanship course which I think I'm capable of completing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this unforgettable adventure.

Your new sailor, Gabriel
Participant, September 2018

It's an unforgettable experience that changed my life and made me feel great. It was awesome to breathe some sea air, and I learnt about myself while gaining confidence. I explored my home province from another angle: the St. Lawrence one. The crew embodied optimism and patience. They taught me a lot when it comes to theory, practice, technical knowledge, but also mental and psychological strength. I learnt to cook despite the waves and how important it is to clean and wash dishes EVERY day. I absolutely loved the experience and would do it again anytime.

Participant, August 2016

I loved the experience. Being in the cold and under the rain can be hard and complicated for community life, but if you love trips and adventure, hop on the boat! You will learn a lot. It requires lots of discipline, but you'll be heartily surrounded by competent crew members. The team takes care of each participant to prevent conflict as much as they can. A great experience… and great food as well.

Participant, May 2016

An extraordinary, humanely fruitful experience. Capstan is an opportunity to reconnect with oneself, others and nature itself. Capstan is a family. This experience brought me back to life!
Participant, 2019

I threw up all day, yet it was the most beautiful day of my whole life.
Participant, June 2019

Sometimes, just knowing that someone is present, available and consistent is enough to help you find the energy you needed to take things in charge. It makes us less scared of failure, I believe. We feel like we have a safety net.

Participant, May 2019
(on the importance of follow-ups)

It changed my life on all levels, both psychologically and physically! It allowed me to learn so much on maritime professions. I had the time of my life! 🙂 Thank you for helping me figure out who I am, EcoMaris! I can't wait to embark on a new adventure with you!! 🙂

Participant, April 2017

Considering how bad I felt at the time, I think this program saved me. It was one of he greatest experiences of my life.

Participant, July 2020

What is a Capstan?

A capstan is a machine with a spinning vertical cylinder, used to pull the anchor or tense various ropes on a traditional sailboat. A capstan is useful to combine the strengh of many crew members to pull, hold or control a heavy load.

Our Partners

This program is financedthrough the Canada-Quebec Contribution Agreement, which supports Quebec youth and receives the financial help of the federal government, more specificallythrough the regional section of the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy.

This program was made possible by Quebec’s CJEs and CLEs. Thank you for your trust!

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