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Fast Track® Sail and Power Courses
America’s #1 Sail and Power Cruising School
Founded in 1964 by Steve Colgate – Olympian, America’s Cup competitor and 2015 National Sailing Hall of Fame inductee – Offshore Sailing School is the longest running and most respected sailing and boating education company in the United States. More than 160,000 adults and their families chose Offshore Sailing School to learn how to sail, learn how to cruise on big sailboats, learn how to drive and manage big power yachts, and learn sailboat racing. Locations include Captiva Island, Key West, St. Petersburg, Florida, and Scrub Island, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
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.
Become a Certified, Confident Sailor
Most Offshore Sailing School (OSS) courses come with US Sailing (USSA) Certification. Below is a list of all the courses we offer, with designated course numbers and certifications for each where applicable.
101 – Learn to Sail
This is the course that will change your life and open the doors to a world of new horizons! Taught on high performance, safe Colgate 26 keelboats with outboard engines. USSA Basic Keelboat Certification earned.
103/104 – Live Aboard Cruising on Monohulls
Taught on 43′-50′ cruising monohulls in a six full-day format. USSA Basic Cruising and USSA Bareboat Cruising Certification earned. The USSA Bareboat Cruising Certification enables you to apply for US Sailing’s International Proficiency Certification (IPC), required to charter a sail or powerboat in many Mediterranean destinations.
103/104/114 – Live Aboard Cruising on Catamarans
Taught on 40′-45′ cruising catamarans in a six full-day format. USSA Basic Cruising and USSA Bareboat Cruising Certification earned, with USSA Catamaran Endorsement. USSA Bareboat Cruising Certification enables you to apply for US Sailing’s International Proficiency Certification (IPC), required to charter a sailing yacht or power yacht in many Mediterranean destinations.
101/103/104 – Fast Track® Cruising on Monohull Yachts
One of our most popular courses! Ultimate beginner to cruise-ready course taught in 8 full days, with first two days (OSS 101) on a Colgate 26, next 6 days (OSS 103/104) on a 43′-50′ cruising monohull, All three USSA Certifications including USSA Basic Keelboat (101), USSA Basic Cruising (103), and USSA Bareboat Cruising (104) earned.
101/103/104/114 – Fast Track® Cruising on Catamarans
Our other most popular course! Beginner to cruise ready course, on a big catamaran, taught in 8 full days, with first two days (OSS 101) on the Colgate 26, and the next six days (OSS 103/104/114) on a 40′-45′ cruising catamaran, Three USSA Certifications earned include USSA Basic Keelboat (101), USSA Basic Cruising (103), and USSA Bareboat Cruising (104) plus USSA Catamaran Endorsement (114).
105 – Coastal Navigation
Taught in one or two full days* ashore, with prior home study, this is a required start to the Fast Track to Coastal Passage Making course below. USSA Coastal Navigation Certification earned.*Check with Sales Associates to understand which course dates are one or two days of Coastal Navigation.
105/106 – Fast Track® Coastal Passage Making
The first phase of a blue water sailing school experience! Starts with two-day Coastal Navigation course (OSS 105) followed by the six-day Coastal Passage Making course (OSS 106), learning to stand watches, navigate long distances, and more. USSA Coastal Navigation and USSA Coastal Passage Making Certifications earned.
107 – Celestial Navigation
This is the required start to Fast Track to Offshore Passage Making below. Taught in four full days while staying ashore, learning to use a sextant, plot courses by sun and moon. USSA Celestial Navigation Certification earned.
108 – Offshore Passage Making
Takes you out of sight of land, sailing on 43′-50′ monohulls for 6 days with night sailing, standing watches, and more. USSA Offshore Passage Making Certification earned.
107/108 – Fast Track® Offshore Passage Making
Ultimate blue water sailing school experience! 10 full days, starting with 4-day shore-based Celestial Navigation (OSS 107), then six full days on a 43′-50′ monohull as described above. USSA Celestial Navigation and USSA Offshore Passage Making Certification earned.
109 – Performance Race Week®
The original Performance Race Week experience, started by Steve Colgate in 1967. Learn to race on Colgate 26 keelboats, with expert coaches on each boat. Performance Racing Certificate issued.
102/109 – Fast Track® Performance Racing
Starts with the 3-day Performance Sailing (OSS 102) course, followed by Performance Race Week® described above. Performance Sailing Certification earned with Performance Race Week® certificate.
Short course refreshing ability to sail big catamarans, also provides catamaran endorsement. Included in the Catamaran Live Aboard Cruising Course (103/104/114) and Fast Track® to Catamaran Cruising Courses (101/103/104/114) described above. USSA Catamaran Endorsement (114) earned.
Follows same schedule as Catamaran Endorsement Refresher Course, taught on 43-50′ monohulls. No certification.
This 2.5 day course provides repetitive docking practice and maneuvering in close quarters. For experienced sailors with USSA 101/103/104/114 certifications who want to refresh and advance their docking and maneuvering skills. If taking the OSS 115 Monohull Close Quarters course, OSS 114 is not required.
“A doctor and avid sailor highly recommended the Colgate school and said if we were going to do it then we should do it right! Offshore Sailing School was a tremendous experience that provided a whole new world of opportunities for us to explore. This was an investment in the future and now our future is unlimited!”
- 101 – Learn To Sail Certification Courses: 3 full-day courses on a Colgate 26 takes you through intermediate level with Colgate sailing school
- 101/103/104 plus 114 – Fast Track Cruising®: This most popular sailing course takes you from couch to captain’s chair on a Colgate 26 and 40′-48′ cruising catamaran and 43′-50′ monohull yachts, and prepares you for big sailboat cruising in one week
- 112 – Fast Track® Powerboat Cruising: Gives you charter-ready confidence and skills to handle a twin engine power catamaran in five days, whether or not you have previous boating experience
- Online Learn to Sail Course: Sailing classes that teach our Learn to Sail Certification Courses with videos, interactive diagrams and quizzes in a classroom setting.
- 101/103/104 – Fast Track Cruising®: Our most popular course combines 2-days learning or renewing basic skills on a Colgate 26 with 5 or 6 days on 43′ to 50′ cruising monohulls or catamarans
- 103/104 – Live Aboard Cruising Courses: 6 days living aboard while sailing from port to port, learning skills to handle cruising monohulls or catamarans up to 50’
- 103/104 – Bareboat Charter Certification Courses: 5-days learning skills to handle monohulls or catamarans up to 50’ while sleeping ashore at the resort each night
- 103/104 – Catamaran Cruising Courses: Any of the courses listed above, taught on 39′ to 48′ catamarans, with additional special catamaran endorsement skills
- 102 – Performance Sailing: 5-day course on Colgate 26 covering go-fast sailing techniques and advanced safety exercises
- 102/109 – Fast Track® Performance Racing: Combines an accelerated 3-day Performance Sailing course with our acclaimed 6-day Performance Race Week
- 105 – Coastal Navigation: 4-day 20-hour classroom course
- 109 – Performance Race Week: 6 days high intensity coaching and racing aboard Colgate 26 sailboats with North U. director and coaches
- 105/106 – Fast Track® Coastal Passage Making: 2 days of coastal navigation review while staying ashore, then 6 days of at least 50 miles of coastal sailing with night sailing on big catamarans and monohulls
- 107/108 – Fast Track® Offshore Passage Making: The final course in the US Sailing Certification program, 4 days of celestial navigation classes ashore, then 6 days of open water sailing, logging 600 miles, 250 of which are 50 miles from shore
OSS 112 – Fast Track® Power Cruising: 6 days learning to handle a big power catamaran, with skills to start bareboat cruising on powerboats
- Family Courses: Available with most beginner and intermediate course options: Family Learn to Sail, or Family Cruising course packages with value-pricing
- Private Courses: Ask about our private couple or buy-the-boat options for your family
Everything is first class. Offshore delivers a value proposition – excellent value for the price paid and instruction received. The books, the instructor, the hotel classroom, the location and the boat were all first class and well worth the money and time spent.”
Tom Bisanz – Frisco, TX