Offshore passage making course at Offshore Sailing School

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Passage Making Courses

The ultimate dream of many sailors is ocean passage making and long distance sailing. You may want to travel up and down the coast from New England to the Bahamas, or head offshore between continents. Whatever your goal, Offshore Sailing School brings you the final two instructional steps to prepare you to truly live that dream!

If you have completed US Sailing certification through the Bareboat Cruising Certification level (see What You Learn In Our Courses), then you are ready for the next step: the Coastal Passage Making Course. Coastal Passage Making is an exciting adventure that takes you to distant points. You will stand watches, navigate non-stop, manage whatever Mother Nature conjures up, and learn what it’s like to be a long distance live aboard sailor, sailing night and day. The final training step is our US Sailing Offshore Passage Making Course, which requires learning celestial navigation and sailing further offshore in all conditions.

Special 2014 Coastal Passage Making Discovery Voyage

Join two Offshore Sailing School instructors and adventurous sailors for the trip of a lifetime. 

This 12-day Discovery Voyage is aboard our Lagoon 470 catamaran from Ft. Myers Beach, Florida to Scrub Island in the British Virgin Islands - departing Ft. Myers Beach November 24, 2014.

Just six spots are available! Your passage from the Atlantic Ocean to balmy Caribbean seas is expected to take 12 days depending on weather, with estimated arrival on Scrub Island December 5th. We recommend you book return flights from Beef Island, Tortola or St. Thomas on December 7th. Your package allows you to stay onboard until December 7 or you may choose to stay ashore at the beautiful Scrub Island Resort, Spa and Marina. The total cost for this Discovery Voyage is $3870 per person and includes Coastal Passage Making Certification (plus Coastal Navigation Certification if you do not yet have this), textbook(s), instruction from two expert Offshore Sailing School instructors and all your meals during the passage.

Call 888-454-7015 to book now!

Fast Track to Coastal Passage Making

To earn Coastal Passage Making certification, you must also gain Coastal Navigation certification, which Offshore Sailing School includes in the Fast Track to Coastal Passage Making course. The dates below are for 2015 Fast Track to Passage Making Courses. Vessels used for this course are subject to change. The Coastal Navigation Course is generally the first 4 days ashore prior to boarding the boat (or you may opt for a home-study course).

Rates below are for the complete Fast Track to Coastal Passage Making course and in most cases include accommodations ashore with taxes and resort fees during the navigation course, all meals aboard during the passage making course, instruction from two expert Offshore Sailing School, your textbooks, and Coastal Passage Making and Coastal Navigation certifications. If you already have Coastal Navigation certification you may take just the Passage Making Course. While aboard the boat on the passage, you are sharing berths - with one watch "on" and the other "off" (resting or sleeping). Please contact one of our Sailing Advisor s to discuss options.

  • January 14-24, 2015 – Roundtrip Captiva Island, FL with open sea Gulf sailing on Jeanneau 439 – packages start at $5005 per person double occupancy, $5510 single occupancy 
  • January 28-February 7, 2015 – Roundtrip Ft. Myers Beach, FL with open sea Gulf sailing on Leopard 4600 catamaran – packages start at $4995 per person double occupancy, $5645 single occupancy  
  • April 1-12, 2015 – From Captiva Island, FL to Charleston, SC aboard a Jeanneau 439 – packages start at $5045 per person double occupancy, $5910 single occupancy 
  • April 1-11, 2015 - From Ft. Myers Beach, FL to Exuma, Bahamas aboard Leopard 4600 catamaran – packages start at $5420 per person double occupancy, $6475 single occupancy  
  • May 13-23, 2015 - Captiva Island, FL with open sea Gulf sailing on Jeanneau 439  – packages start at $5115 per person double occupancy, $5735 single occupancy
  • September 17-27, 2015 - From Jersey City, NJ to Norfolk, VA on Jeanneau 439 – per person package is $4360 (no hotel accommodations in this package)
  • November 4-14, 2015 - Scrub Island, BVI with open Caribbean sea sailing on a Moorings 50.5 monuhull – packages start at $5665 per person double occupancy, $6690 single occupancy 

The Passage Making Experience

To get a feel for what it's like to do a Passage Making Course, read Tyler Cowan's story of the 2012 Passage from the Chesapeake to Florida. Tyler won a contest with this story, judged by Cruising World magazine editors and its publisher.

These passage making courses prepare you for sailing down the Intracoastal Waterway and into the Atlantic to the Bahamas and Caribbean beyond; spending long vacations on passages in the Great Lakes; heading down the Gulf Coast of Florida to the Keys; or sailing out of West Coast harbors to ports requiring overnight sailing along the shore. 

Fast Track to Offshore Passage Making 

Fast Track to Offshore Passage Making is designed for experienced sailors who want to build skills, knowledge and confidence in preparation for blue water sailing. The first five days are spent studying celestial navigation in a classroom setting while staying ashore. Then you’ll board an impressive cruising yacht and sail out into the ocean for a 600 nautical mile voyage with at least 250 nautical miles of that voyage beyond 50 miles offshore.

The next Fast Track to Offshore Passage Making dates are below. Each starts with five days of Celestial Navigation ashore and packages include your hotel accommodations, resort fee and taxes while ashore, all meals during the passage, round the clock instruction from two expert Offshore Sailing School instruction, textbooks, Celestial Navigation and Offshore Passage Making certification. During the passage you are "hot-bunking" – while one watch is "on" running the boat, the other watch is "off" resting or sleeping. No more than 6 students are allowed during the passage, with three students per instructor on each watch.

  • November 5-15, 2014 From Captiva Island, FL with open sea Gulf sailing on Jeanneau 439 – please call for package rates 
  • May 19-30, 2015 From Captiva Island, FL with open sea Gulf sailing on a Jeanneau 439 – packages start at $5545 per person double occupancy, $6165 single occupancy

“I can never get enough of sailing on open seas,” says Steve Colgate; “and I always learn something new.” This comes from a veteran racing sailor who has done nine TransAtlantic Races, 20 Newport-Bermuda Races, two America’s Cup trials and countless other competitions and long passages in his more than 70 years of sailing. This is Steve on a passage around Cape Horn several years ago and he's loving it! If you are indeed moving towards a long passage over vast ocean stretches, your first passage sailing experience could make or break your desire to pursue that goal. Choose your training wisely.

All the US Sailing certifications are needed to achieve this badge of honor. See What You Learn In Our Offshore Sailing’s passage making courseCourses for what is covered and the prerequisites involved. Don’t let anything stop you now. Go sail the seven seas, like one of our early Offshore Sailing School graduates Bill Pinkney (shown at right) – the first and only African-American to sail around all five capes, solo! And, yes, there are five capes.

Request a Quote

Call 888-454-7015 to learn about pre-requisites and begin your Passage Making adventure today.