Offshore Passage Making OSS 108— Advanced Blue Water Sailing Certification


Even if you live within sight of the sea, it is easy to forget that our world is mostly water. The open ocean – that vast expanse of international waters – begins just a few miles out and spreads across three-quarters of the globe. For those desiring blue water sailing after receiving your Coastal Passage Making Certification, it’s time to get out of sight of land while learning in the ultimate blue water sailing school environment. If you’re new to passage-making, check out our Fast Track® to Passage-Making Course first.

THE FINAL COURSE IN THE US SAILING CERTIFICATION PROGRAMStudent using a sextant to practice celestial navigation skills during a blue-water passage.

This Offshore Passage Making Course OSS 108 is the most advanced blue water sailing certification course for experienced sailors who want to build skills, knowledge, and confidence in preparation for long passages in open waters. Offshore Sailing School is very conscious of your safety aboard, and requires that two U.S. Coast Guard licensed instructors are always aboard. Passage-making instructors are certified at the highest US Sailing instructor certification level to teach Offshore passage-making courses.

OSS 107/108 – THE ULTIMATE BLUE WATER SAILING SCHOOL EXPERIENCEHappy students wearing personal flotation devices learning in the cockpit during an offshore sailing course.

Fast Track® to Offshore Passage Making starts with a five-day Celestial Navigation course. While learning the art of navigating by sun, moon, planet, and stars, you stay ashore at the resort. Then, you board our Jeanneau 440 cruising yacht and set sail, practicing all those Celestial Navigation skills you mastered in the first part of this blue-water sailing course. Click here for a description of the Celestial Navigation course.

Book Now!
888-454-7015 or 239-454-1700


The Offshore Passage Making Course is six days of mostly non-stop sailing. In this View of the bow of a sailboat sailing into the sunset during an offshore water sailing certification course, your journey takes you out to sea, logging 600 miles (at least 250 of which are 50 miles away from shore) before you return to base on the sixth day of your trip.

You learn with a maximum of five other students, divided into two watches working in four-hour shifts, each watch led by an instructor as watch captain. You will not have a private berth as you rotate between watch shifts. Each watch is in charge while “on” – crewing, navigating, steering, covering everything necessary for successful journeys on your own.

This course fills quickly. You may put your name on our Passage Making Wait List for the next Fast Track® to Offshore Passage Making course. During the Celestial Navigation course, you stay ashore at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa.

Sign Up Today!

888-454-7015 or 239-454-1700



Here is what you learn in the onboard Offshore Passage Making Course.

  • General plan for 600-mile ocean passage
  • Provisioning and galley duty plan
  • Comprehensive check of vessel, rig, equipment
  • Watch schedule and duty roster
  • Determine long-range weather forecast
  • Celestial navigation techniques
  • Ship’s log entries in a timely fashion
  • SSB radio use
  • Helmsman skill review and practice
  • Safety on deck, jacklines, sail changing, avoiding bight of lines, leeward of boom
  • Safety below, storage for knockdowns, galley spills
  • Heavy weather sailing, actual or simulated
  • Reefing, drogues, sea anchors, storm sails
  • Crew overboard recovery systems – Quick Stop, LifeSling, Quick Turn
  • Practice crew overboard recovery in daylight, night, and adverse conditions
  • Simulate life raft deployment
  • Plan for simulated fire, water intake, dismasting or other disasters
  • Simulate plan for a medical emergency

Prerequisites for Fast Track® to Offshore Passage Making Course: All lower US Sailing certification levels, including Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising, Bareboat Cruising, Coastal Navigation, and Coastal Passage Making required; or sailing skills equal to Offshore Sailing School Fast Track® to Coastal Passage Making Course, including Coastal Navigation if certification is not desired; plus valid US Sailing recognized CPR and First Aid Certification.

Certification: US Sailing Offshore Passage Making for Offshore Passage Making Course

All training materials and meals aboard during the passage-making portion of the course are included. Meals ashore, food bought ashore besides provisions provided, travel, and other expenses you may incur are not included. The itinerary is given to you at the start of the course and may change as the course progresses, subject to weather and sea conditions.

Offshore Passage Making package includes:

  • Offshore Passage Making Course (Monday through Saturday morning)
  • Five nights/six days of sailing on a yacht up to 50’
  • Two expert Offshore Sailing School instructors aboard throughout the passage
  • All books and materials
  • All meals aboard Monday through Saturday morning
  • Cruising taxes, if applicable
  • US Sailing Certification Testing for Offshore Passage Making
  • Logbook (or page for logbook if you have taken other Offshore Sailing School certification courses)
  • Course Diploma
  • Graduation celebration
  • Certification sticker for logbook sent from US Sailing after the course if you pass certification test
  • Exclusive benefit from The Sailing Company – your choice of a year’s subscription to Cruising World or Sailing World magazine (US mailing addresses only)

Call 888-454-7015 for course dates and rates. Just 6 spots are available in the Fast Track® to Offshore Passage Making course (8 in the shore-based Celestial Navigation Course if that’s all you want to take). The passage itinerary is presented at course start and may change as it progresses. FTOPM is the complete Fast Track® to Offshore Passage Making course, including Celestial Navigation the first five days and nights. OPM only is the Offshore Passage Making portion of the course (6 days/6 nights). Cabins are shared, not sold as “private.” The group is split into two “watches,” one watch “on” and the other “off” on set schedules. This course is offered only at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa on Captive Island, FL. Since disembarkation times may change, consider flight departures the day after you return to the marina.

A sample schedule is below for the 11-day Fast Track® to Offshore Passage Making Course. Changes may occur once you are underway on the Offshore Passage Making portion of the course. See the Celestial Navigation Course Description for more information on the first five days of the course. Plan to arrive Tuesday after 4pm (check-in time at ‘Tween Island Waters Island Resort & Spa). Then relax before meeting your classmates early the next morning.

Celestial Navigation Course Schedule

9am-noon – Classroom lecture and exercises
Noon-1pm – Lunch break
1pm- 5pm – Classroom lecture and exercises
9am-noon – Classroom lecture and exercises
Noon-1pm – Lunch break
1pm- 5pm – Celestial Navigation Certification Test

Offshore Passage Making Course Schedule

9am – Meet at boat on-H Dock, move aboard
Get boat ready for sea, safety briefing and boat show, complete pre-departure check list
Mid-morning or when ready – set sail, boat familiarization drills on the way out to sea
Tuesday – Friday
Sunrise to sundown – Sailing instruction 24 hours per day; sail overnight; all meals prepared underway
8am – Boat clean up before final sail
Noon – Return boat to ‘Tween Waters Marina; graduation “ceremony,” stay ashore at ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa or depart for home

Offshore Sailing School knows we cannot thrive without great employees and products. All graduates are asked to complete an evaluation at the end of the course. The following testimonials come from those evaluations and individual correspondence with recent graduates of the Fast Track to Offshore Passage Making or its two components. Many are happy to correspond by email or phone with you. If you would like us to put you in touch with anyone below, please call 888-454-7015 or email

What our graduates have to say about the Offshore Sailing School Offshore Passage Making course:

Great course. More work than the other courses I have taken, but more rewarding too. The instructors were excellent, they make the course. Overall, this course was a great experience.

Thomas Grier – Dallas, TX


Start Offshore Passage Making Now!

Call 888-454-7015 or 239-454-1700