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.

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 2014 Fast Track to Passage Making Courses. All but one way trips start with four days of the required Coastal Navigation course ashore, prior to boarding the boat. One-way trips cover Coastal Navigation the first four days underway. Vessels used for this course are subject to change.

Per person rates start at $4940 for Fast Track to Coastal Passage Making and $3995 for Coastal Passage Making alone. Accommodations ashore are extra. Please call 888-415-7105 for full package with accommodations.

  • September 18-27– Jersey City, NJ to Norfolk, VA (suggest flight departure on Sept. 28) aboard a Jeanneau 439 monohull. CoNav course is first 4 days shore-based Jersey City
  • October 2-11– From Norfolk, VA to Miami, FL aboard Jeanneau 439 (suggest flight departure on Oct. 12) 
  • October 19-28 – From Annapolis, MD to Miami, FL aboard 40' to 45' catamaran (suggest flight departure on Oct. 29)

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. 

Offshore Passage Making 

The next Fast Track to Offshore Passage Making dates are below. Each starts with five days of Celestial Navigation ashore.

  • March 19-29 and November 5-15 From Captiva Island, FL with open sea Gulf sailing on monohull

“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.

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.

All the US Sailing certifications are needed to achieve this badge of honor. See What You Learn In Our Courses 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 Offshore Sailing’s passage making courseonly 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.