America’s #1 Sailing School and Powerboat Cruising School

Offshore Sailing School is the longest running and most respected sailing and boating education company in the United States. Founded in 1964 by Steve Colgate who met, married, and hired one of his students a few years later, the company thrives under the leadership of Steve and Doris Colgate.

Steve is an Olympian, America’s Cup competitor and 2015 National Sailing Hall of Fame inductee. Doris founded the National Women’s Sailing Association, is an avid racing and cruising sailor, and was inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame in 2022 for her dedication to enhancing the lives of women through sailing. More than 160,000 adults and their families have chosen Offshore Sailing School to learn to sail, learn to cruise on big sailboats, learn to drive and manage big power yachts, and learn sailboat racing.

Become a Certified, Confident Sailor

Fast Track® Sail and Power Courses – an Offshore Sailing School exclusive – provide accelerated sailing lessons and powerboat education packages guaranteed to fast-track your sailing and boating skills on 26′ to 50′ sailboats, catamarans or monohull yachts. You can also tailor your sailing education with our Individual Sailing Courses shown below. Protect your investment with Travel Insurance. View coverage options here. Here are all the courses we currently offer, with corresponding certification levels.

Fast Track® Sail & Power Courses

Fast Track® to Performance Sailing

In just five days, gain a solid foundation in sailing with focus on learning the basics, then mastering performance techniques, essential for excelling in local club races and enhancing your boat handling skills as skipper and crew. 101/102

Fast Track® to Catamaran Cruising

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Go from couch to the captain’s chair with two days learning to sail on a Colgate 26, then 6 days of comprehensive big boat instruction on one of our impressive 40′-45′ cruising catamarans. 101/103/104/114

Fast Track® to Cruising

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Dive into sailboat cruising on monohulls with two days learning on a Colgate 26, then board a 44′-50’ monohull for 6 days of exciting big boat instruction. Perfect course for cruising on your boat or a chartered yacht. 101/103/104

Fast Track® to Advanced Cruising

Start with the in-depth Online Coastal Navigation course, then step aboard for 6 days of intensive training covering night operations, advanced navigation, and coastal passage making on a catamaran or monohull. 105/106

Fast Track® to Offshore Passage Making

Take a deep dive into long distance sailing with 5 days of celestial navigation, followed by 6 days of hands-on experience, gaining skills and confidence for offshore passage making and navigating without heavy reliance on electronics. 107/108

Fast Track® to Power Cruising

Learn to skipper a big powercat, manage its electronics and systems; dock, moor, and anchor in various wind conditions. In 6 days, gain skills and confidence to charter on your own with family and friends. No prior experience required. 109

Fast Track® to Boat Handling & Docking

A comprehensive, specialized 4-day course for seasoned sailors, designed to refine your sailing proficiency, with emphasis on boat handling abilities, docking competence, and maneuvering skills on larger monohull and catamaran yachts. 111

Individual Sailing Course Options

Learn to Sail

Start your sailing lifestyle with an exciting, comprehensive three-day course, covering all the fundamentals of sailing on a fun, safe, sophisticated, and easy to sail Colgate 26 daysailer. No prerequisites. 101

Basic & Bareboat Cruising

Transition from day sailing to confident cruiser in this six-day combo course and go from big boat basic cruising skills to ready-to-skipper and charter a cruising catamaran or monohull yacht. 103/104 or 103/104/114

Advanced Cruising

Take the helm with our Advanced Cruising course: a perfect blend of practical training and advanced navigation. Join us for a hands-on experience to refine your skills and prepare you for your next sailing adventure. 106

Celestial Navigation

A five-day shore based course with intensive use of sextants, in preparation for offshore Passage Making or setting off on your own. Includes extensive use of sextants and tables to calculate your position at sea. 107

Offshore Passage Making

Adventure into long distance cruising in an intensive six-day course, focusing on night sailing out of sight of land, standing watches, voyage planning and provisioning, celestial and electronic navigation. 108

Online Courses

Learn to Sail Online

Jump-start your sailing education with this fascinating to way to learn the basics of sailing. A great tool for beginners and “rusty” sailors, interactive online sailing lessons compliment what’s covered in Offshore Sailing School’s Learn to Sail 101 course.

Coastal Navigation

Comprehensive, self-paced online course tailored to advance navigation skills in preparation for the Advanced Cruising Course. Focus is on chart navigation and includes all necessary tools and materials for a complete learning experience. 105

Historical Snapshot of Offshore Sailing School and Its Founders

OFFSHORE High is a biography of Steve & Doris  Colgate, written by acclaimed author and former Executive Editor of Cruising World magazine, Herb McCormick. Published in October 2021 this 288 page book includes over 170 photos from decades of Grand Prix yacht racing, building Offshore Sailing School from scratch to become America’s #1 Sailing School®, and an epic love story. Order here.