The Best of the Best Boats to Learn On
Offshore Sailing School takes great pride in in providing the very best sail and power boats to learn on. Steve Colgate wrote the parameters for the perfect entry-level trainer and sailboat racer – the Colgate 26 – which is used at all Offshore Sailing School locations. The cruising boats you learn on are picked for performance, ease of handling and comfort. Those that are permanently in our fleet are listed below. On occasion we may charter other 40’ to 50’ yachts in the British Virgin Islands from The Moorings to meet our (and your) demand. Unlike many other sailing schools that make you take two separate courses on small and medium sized sailboats to get to the Bareboat Cruising Certification level, Offshore Sailing School gives you Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising Certification in a single four to six day course on 43’ to 50’ catamarans and monohulls. When you graduate from our Fast Track to Cruising Course you are ready to sail any cruising boat up to 50’ with confidence.
The Colgate 26 is the perfect mid-sized sailboat for training, day sailing and racing. Designed by Steve Colgate and noted marine architect Jim Taylor, the Colgate 26 debuted in 1997 and immediately won the coveted Cruising World Boat of the Year Award in the Pocket Cruiser Division. The U.S. Naval Academy ordered 12 more Colgate 26s to augment their existing fleet in 2015. The Coast Guard Academy and Maine Maritime maintain Colgate 26 fleets for training plebes and cadets. The Colgate 26 has the largest cockpit of any tiller-driven training boat, and a separate area for the instructor to stand, with dual mainsheet controls. It is very safe, will not sink or tip over, has ergonomic seating, and a host of sophisticated gear and adjustments, making the transition to larger boats easy. The Colgate 26 is used at all locations for Learn to Sail , Performance Sailing, Racing courses, club sailing and sailing lessons.
This “50 feet of sheer fun” is a sweetheart of a boat to learn to cruise on, available now through December 2016 for cruising courses out of Tortola, British Virgin Islands. The 50.5 has four large ensuite private cabins, each with a private head (bathroom with showers). There is also a fifth “crew” cabin which allows your instructor his or her privacy if the main cabins are filled with a family or four singles. The huge main salon has plenty of lounging space and a table that seats everyone aboard comfortably. The large galley has lots of storage and counter space. A spacious nav station rounds out below decks comfort and a chart plotter at the helm allows easy tracking without having to go below. Leads for trimming the mainsail and genoa come right into the big cockpit, which has a fold out table and twin steering wheels for sailing comfort. A fresh-water shower is located on the aft swim platform, and a generator provides air-conditioned comfort when needed.
Available for our cruising courses starting January 1, 2017 in the British Virgin Islands, the Moorings 54.5 will alternate in our fleet with the new 51.4 (see below).The 54.5 is the largest monohull in The Moorings fleet to date, luxuriously outfitted with a powerful mainsail and large roller furling genoa for superb sailing performance. The interior is fully air-conditioned when needed, with a complete entertainment system including TV/DVD player, CD player with cockpit speakers and MP3 connection for digital music. An inverter is included to recharge cameras, phones and other electrical components without having to run the generator. There are four spacious, well-lit, airy double staterooms with numerous opening hatches. A separately accessed, air-conditioned crew quarters is in the forepeak for your instructor. The salon has a large galley on the port side with plenty of storage, counter space, stove/oven and large refrigerator. The large U-shaped salon has a table for comfortable dining. A separate chart table is aft of the salon. In the cockpit you’ll find a full suite of navigation electronics, including oversize color chartplotter, autopilot, sailing instruments and more. Bow thrusters and electric winches for all sail controls make the 54.5 a pleasure to operate. Learn on this boat and you can sail any Moorings monohull!
Available for our cruising courses starting January 1, 2017, the Moorings 51.4 will alternate in our fleet with the Moorings 54.5. Built by Jeanneau, this innovative monohull combines high performance with comfort under sail. Like most of the larger yachts, the 51.4 has dual helms with all lines leading aft for easy handling, a fully equipped Raymarine Navigation system, electric windlass, electric winches, bow thrusters and a 75 HP Yanmar engine. Its beautiful decks have plenty of room for recreation, the cockpit has a fold-down swim platform, and large table with icebox. The air-conditioned, airy interior centers around a spacious salon with a table that seats six. The radio/CD/MP3 player has speakers throughout. A well-appointed galley includes lots of counter and storage space, refrigerator and stove with oven. The navigation station is to port behind the salon. Four double cabins, each with en-suite bathrooms, provide comfortable accommodations.
Catalina Morgan 440
The Catalina Morgan 440 represents the best of two great brands. Used exclusively at our St. Petersburg, FL location, this three-cabin 44′ yacht combines the rugged offshore features of Morgan with the comfort, ergonomics and style of a Catalina. Air-conditioned by an 8 kw Mastry generator, the 440 has a gorgeous main salon with flat screen TV and stereo. Great visibility comes from the raised cabin sole and large, wide, cabin windows with 6’2” headroom below. Navigating is comfortable below and on deck with tri-data speed and wind instruments and a chart plotter at the helm. The Catalina Morgan 440 carries a roller furling genoa, big mainsail with jiffy reefing and Stack Pack, and asymmetrical spinnaker.
The Colgates chose the Jeanneau 439 for Offshore Sailing School cruising courses in Florida because it is fast and fun, with a big sail plan including an asymmetric spinnaker, twin steering wheels, large cockpit and spacious interior layout. Below are four cabins and two heads with showers, in a clean and beautiful design with rich wood finish and light headliners. Solid wood handholds create a safe and seaworthy interior. A superb nav station with chartplotter (also at the helm), PC interface for two Simrad IS20 graphic displays and wind display, compliment the spacious main salon and galley. The Jeanneau 439’s innovative deck plan makes sailing easy, while maintaining performance. The high-aspect rig carries a large roller furling genoa, mainsail with jiffy reefing asymmetric spinnaker with pole. The cockpit has a large folding table. An aft platform opens with an integrated swim ladder, and closes to provide security when underway. A generator provides air-conditioning when needed. The two Offshore 439s are available for Live Aboard Cruising and Bareboat Charter Cruising Courses out of Captiva Island, FL.
This spacious catamaran won Cruising World Magazine’s prestigious Multihull of the Year in 2013. The Leopard 48’s raised helm station, where all sail controls lead for easy handling, provides excellent visibility with ample seating. The bright, airy saloon has a table that seats eight, in an open floor plan that includes the galley with a large freezer,fridge, stove and prep areas. There is access to a forward cockpit from the saloon with steps to the deck and large sliding doors open to the aft deck with another table that seats eight, a BBQ, swim platform with outdoor shower, dinghy davits and steps up to the steering station. Below are three spacious cabins, each with a private bathroom and shower, and separate quarters for the instructor. For more information click here, and for a copy of the Multihull Magazine boat review, click here. The Leopard 48 is based in Florida for live aboard and shore-based catamaran cruising courses out of Ft. Myers Beach until June 25, 2016 and thereafter it will be berthed at South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island.
The Moorings 3900 is available for live aboard and shore based catamaran cruising courses based at our Scrub Island Resort campus in the British Virgin Islands. Built by Robertson & Caine, this popular three or 4-cabin model with two heads combines the best features for relaxation and easy sailing. It has a raised helm station with 360° visibility beneath a hardtop bimini, while a separate extended hardtop shades the spacious cockpit area. Equipped with a full suite of Raymarine navigational electronics, cockpit-led sail controls, anchor system with electric windlass, convenient dinghy davit with electric winch, twin diesel engines and generator and AC throughout when needed, this fun boat is all about sailing comfort. The fully equipped ergonomic galley has a stove with oven and broiler, and large refrigerator-freezer system. A spacious main salon with panoramic visibility and lots of natural light, and airy cabins in each hull, round out your cruising training experience.
Moorings 474 PowerCat
The Moorings 474 is a 4-cabin power catamaran designed by Morrelli & Melvin Design and built by South African builder Robertson and Caine. You’ll move about easily in three spacious levels with some very striking features. The top level of the Moorings 474 PC is the spacious flybridge with a centrally positioned helm station offering excellent all-around visibility. It is equipped with a large color chartplotter, VHF radio, autopilot, depth-sounder and speedometer. The main deck features an open plan with outdoor and indoor dining areas, a spacious salon with navigation station, fully equipped galley and wet bar with a serving window to the cockpit area. The layout is clear and uncluttered with wide side decks, walk-through access to the aft swim platforms, propane barbecue and aft bench that converts to a swim platform. The huge foredeck offers additional lounging and seating. The Moorings 474 PC is fully air-conditioned with a generator. Below decks are four double cabins with en-suite toilets and showers, a huge main salon and galley; and entertainment equipment including a stereo/CD player, flat screen TV with DVD player. If you prefer a smaller or larger power cat for your Fast Track to Power Cruising course, ask for the Moorings 393 (3 cabins, 2 heads) or Moorings 39′ or 51.4 (four cabins, four heads).