The Best Boats to Learn On
Offshore Sailing School takes great pride 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. The types of sailboats that are currently in our fleet are listed below. We charter other 40’ to 50’ yachts in the British Virgin Islands from The Moorings to meet demand. Unlike many other sailing schools that make you take two separate courses on small and medium sized sailboats to obtain Bareboat Cruising Certification, Offshore Sailing School gives you Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising Certification in a single course on 40’ to 50’ catamarans and 43′-51′ 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 bought 12 more Colgate 26s in 2015 to augment their existing fleet of 42 as of 2020. 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 sailboats easy. The Colgate 26 is used at all locations for Learn to Sail, Performance Sailing, and team building sailing events. It is also available for purchase, please visit the Colgate 26 website if you are interested or call Steve Colgate direct at 239-985-7505.
Leopard 40 Catamaran
Our 4-cabin Leopard 40 arrived at its home at the Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village in July 2019. It was a 48-hour action packed trip from the east coast of Florida through the Keys, with no wind and a huge four-hour storm with gale force winds to get our team’s adrenaline going, which this gorgeous yacht handled beautifully. Named Legacy, she is available for Fast Track® to Cruising, and Live Aboard Cruising courses, and special Catamaran Refresher clinics. This Leopard 40 has an innovative layout with a forward-facing galley, more space below than previous similar designs with concealed strip lighting under shelves, berths and ceiling fixtures. The main saloon, galley and navigation areas provides more space for relaxation than other catamarans of similar size, and no other yacht in this class of sailing catamarans boasts the speed, agility, or blue water performance of this spectacular addition to the Offshore Sailing School fleet. If you’d rather take your Fast Track® to Catamaran Live Aboard Cruising Course in the British Virgin Islands, we offer the same course at beautiful Scrub Island Resort, Marina & Spa in the British Virgin Islands with the same ultimate sail-training aboard Moorings and Sunsail catamarans (see below).
Designed by Jeanneau, The Moorings 51.4 is an innovative monohull with dual helms, all lines leading aft for easy handling, a fully equipped Raymarine Navigation system, electric windlass and winches, bow thrusters and a 75 HP Yanmar engine. There’s plenty of room on deck and in the cockpit for recreation and relaxation, with a fold-down swim platform aft, bench seating and a large table with icebox and storage compartments. In the interior of this type of sailboat there is a large saloon with seating for six, a table, lots of windows, and radio/CD/MP3 player with speakers throughout. The galley includes everything you need, and the navigation station provides a chart table with reading light, bookshelf and ample storage space. The Moorings 51.4 has four double cabins, each with its own en-suite bathroom and shower, and the saloon table can be converted into a berth. The forepeak also has a berth large enough for one adult, with a sink and fan. The entire interior, expect the forepeak, has generator-driven air conditioning. Offshore Sailing School’s Fast Track® to Cruising, Live Aboard Cruising and Bareboat Charter Cruising Courses are available aboard this vessel in the British Virgin Islands.
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 navigation 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 of this type of sailboat 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. Two Offshore 439s are available for Offshore Sailing School’s Fast Track® to Cruising, Live Aboard Cruising and Bareboat Charter Cruising Courses are available aboard our Jeanneau 439s out of Captiva Island and Ft. Myers Beach, FL.
This 47 footer is a four-cabin, four-head, air-conditioned monohull with great handling characteristics and sails that give you the true sense of speed on a big cruising yacht. It comes fully equipped for all wind conditions, with lazy jacks and a stack pack, furling jib, bimini, dodger, depth, speed and wind gauges, Raymarine E95 color chart plotter/GPS, autopilot, AIS, marine radio, generator and more. The interior has a full equipped galley with oven, microwave and refrigerator. The large main salon has a comfortable seating area for dining, large navigation station and features a flat screen TV and stereo with Bluetooth. Take a look at this video to see how great this boat is to learn on.
The Leopard 45 catamaran is a relatively new addition to The Moorings and Sunsail fleets in the British Virgin Islands. It has a forward cockpit, accessible from the large saloon with overhead skylight providing lots of space for socializing and relaxing, four spacious cabins each with ensuite heads (toilets) with showers, and large windows for 360-degree views. The raised helm station, where all sail controls lead for easy handling, provides excellent visibility with ample seating. The galley has a large freezer, fridge, stove and prep areas. 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. There are two forepeaks off the forward cabins for storage. A generator powers air-conditioning when needed. All electronic navigation aids are standard, with plenty of additional features. This fun-to-sail catamaran is used in the British Virgin Islands for Fast Track® to Cruising, and Live Aboard Cruising Courses. Here is a video to learn more about the Sunsail 454.
The Lucia 40 is a four cabin, two head, fully air-conditioned catamaran with lots of room for learning and cruising aboard. Its cockpit features a large opening to the salon for indoor-outdoor integration, with a comfy sofa for enjoying sea views and sunsets. The galley opens directly to the cockpit dining area and the aft cabins have wide bays with opening portholes that optimize natural lighting and ventilation. This is the catamaran you learn on when taking the Fast Track® to Catamaran Cruising course or Live Aboard Cruising course out of St. Petersburg, Florida. It has twin 30 hp Volvo D1 engines, a generator, dual Garmin GPS chart plotters, depth/wind/speed instruments, autopilot, and other features standard on our teaching vessels. The galley includes a two-drawer refrigerator, separate freezer, stove, oven and microwave/convection oven. Here is a video to learn more about the Fontain Pajot Lucia 40.
Fontain Pajot MY 37
A new 37′ Fontaine Pajot power cat is now available in Florida for our popular Power Boat Courses. The MY 37’s hull design ensures outstanding stability, excellent performance in heavy conditions, and impressive fuel economy. Powered by two 220 Volvo engines, it carries 158 gallons of fuel and 93 gallons of fresh water. Length overall (LOL) is 36.1″, beam is 16.7′, draft is 2.6′. The yacht’s contemporary design includes expansive living areas, naturally illuminated by large panoramic windows and soft ambient lighting throughout. This a three cabin yacht, with an owners’s suite with bathroom and two double cabins sharing a bathroom. Integrated cockpit access provides a steering station below and fly bridge with a protected helm station, great visibility, and large area for sunbathing or relaxing when the day’s lessons are over. You can read more about this yacht here.
Offshore Sailing School teaches Fast Track® to Power Cruising courses on Moorings power cats ranging in length from 37′ to 50′. All of these yachts are Morrelli & Melvin Designs, built by South African builder Robertson and Caine. On a Moorings power cat you can move about easily on two or three spacious levels with striking features. The top level is the spacious flybridge with a centrally positioned helm station offering excellent all-around visibility. These vessels are equipped with a large color chart-plotter, 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 bars on some of the larger sizes with a serving window to the cockpit area. Layouts are 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 yachts are equipped with generator-powered air-conditioning. Below decks are three or four double cabins with en-suite toilets and showers (on the larger yachts), a huge main salon and galley; and entertainment equipment including a stereo/CD player, flat screen TV with DVD player. All Fast Track to Power Courses are available from The Moorings base on Wickhams Cay in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.