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. During this exciting sailing adventure you will stand watches, navigate non-stop, manage whatever Mother Nature conjures up, and learn what it’s like to be a long distance liveaboard sailor, sailing night and day.
The final step training stepis 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.
- January 16-24 – From Captiva Island, FL to Key West, FL and back aboard Jeanneau 439 monohull
- January 30-Febuary 8 – From Fort Myers Beach, FL to Key West, FL and back aboard Lagoon 470 catamaran
- April 3-12 – From Captiva Island, FL to Charleston, SC aboard Jeanneau 439 monohull
- May 1-10 – From Fort Myers Beach, FL to Key West, FL and back aboard Lagoon 470 catamaran
- May 15-24 – From Captiva Island, FL to Key West, FL and back aboard Jeanneau 439 monohull
- September 18-28 – From Captiva Island, FL to Key West, FL and back aboard Jeanneau 439 monohull
- October 16-25 – From Fort Myers Beach, FL to Key West, FL and back aboard Lagoon 470 catamaran
- October 19-29 – From Annapolis, MD to Miami, FL aboard Lipari 41 catmaran
- November 5-15 – From St. Michaels, MD to Miami, FL aboard Jeanneau 439 monohull
Chesapeake Bay to Florida Gulf Coast
Several times a year we offer longer Passage Making course between destinations. Dates for these passages are listed above. To get a feel for what this is like, 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 longer 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 four days of Celestial Navigation ashore.
- March 19-29 and November 12-22 – 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 four 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 only African-American to sail around all five capes, solo! And, yes, there are five capes.
Call 888-454-7015 to learn about pre-requisites and begin your Passage Making adventure today.