Offshore Sailing School Books

All students enrolling in Offshore Sailing School sailing or powerboating courses receive Colgate and US Sailing textbooks in advance, depending which course they choose. See the books below and enroll in one of our courses today! Call 888-454-7015 or Request a Quote.


Grand Prix Yacht Racing | Big Business | Epic Love Story

In the realms of both the marine industry and competitive sailboat racing at its highest levels, few if any couples have matched the accomplishments of Steve and Doris Colgate, the longtime proprietors of the world renowned Offshore Sailing School: With over 160,000 graduates, no one has taught more novices how to sail than Offshore.

A scion of the Colgate family of Colgate-Palmolive fame, and the daughter of an
award-winning scientist, Steve and Doris seem an unlikely match. Steve honed his skills as a world-class racing sailor on Long Island Sound, and after a stint in the Air Force and a return to New York, almost by happenstance he opened a sailing school… where he met his future wife. Doris was a pioneer in the sailing world, a world dominated by men. She became the founder of the National Women’s Sailing Association, among other yachting-industry initiatives. Their shared story is fascinating on several levels: as an insider’s take on yacht racing at the top levels; as a case study in a truly unique and successful business; and, finally, as a good old-fashioned love story.

Over 1000 copies sold already! Get your autographed copy from Offshore, or buy on, or at your favorite bookstore. 

Fast Track to Sailing

Easy to read in full color, Fast Track to Sailing by Steve and Doris Colgate is the textbook for Offshore Sailing School’s OSS 101 Learn to Sail Certification Courses. Excellent for new sailors, a great review for returning sailors, this sailing instruction book goes beyond the basics, starting with the language of sailing and how it applies to maneuvers aboard, providing the theory and skills that make handling mid-sized sailboats a breeze. We offer this course in three full days so you can enjoy resort amenities while learning on vacation. View US Sailing certification course details here.

“Let America’s most experienced sailing instructors show you how to enjoy sailing safely and efficiently and, most importantly, have a lot of fun in the process. This is a book for the whole crew!”

Gary Jobson, ESPN’s lead sailing analyst and author of Gary Jobson’s Championship Sailing

Publisher: The McGraw-Hill Companies
ISBN: 978-0-07-161519-8
Copyright © 2009
Softcover, 120 pages

Fast Track to Cruising

Fast Track to Cruising, written by Steve and Doris Colgate, was originally written for Offshore Sailing School Fast Track to Cruising® CoursesLive Aboard Cruising and Bareboat Charter Courses – OSS 101/103/104. No other sailing book takes you from beginning maneuvers on a tiller-drive keelboat to docking big cruising boats with confidence as efficiently as this book does. This sailing instruction book also includes learning navigation skills and routine diesel engine maintenance, giving you the skills and information for big boat ownership and bareboat chartering.

“Together Steve and Doris Colgate have been teaching beginners to sail for over half a century. In Fast Track to Cruising they have included every concept and procedure you need to get yourself from a want-to-be sailor to one who is knowledgeable and competent to take the helm – with confidence and a smile.”

Charles Mason, former Executive Editor, SAIL Magazine

Publisher: McGraw-Hill
ISBN: 978-0-07-140672-7
Copyright © 2005
Softcover, 246 pages

Performance Sailing and Racing

Performance Sailing and Racing is by veteran racer Steve Colgate, who shares his wisdom on sail control, sail trim, boat handling, racing tactics, and all the factors that help you sail your boat better, safer, smarter and faster. This is the textbook for Performance Sailing OSS 102 Courses. It’s clear, colorful photos and graphics, illustrate what you need to know to be a savvy performance sailor.

Publisher: International Marine/McGraw-Hill
Print ISBN 978-0-07-179346-9
eBook ISBN 0-07-179345-3
Copyright © 2012
Softcover, 122 pages

SAILING: A Woman’s Guide

The key to becoming confident, comfortable and in control is learning how to handle a sailboat in every situation. This popular sailing book addresses concerns often expressed by women, with anecdotal commentary from expert women sailors. Provided to participants in all Offshore Sailing School women-only programs, it empowers women to embrace the sailing lifestyle with confidence and ease.

“Doris uses her considerable experience to encourage, excite and educate women in sailing and to show them how their inherent female qualities are those sailors need.”

Patience Wales – Former Editor, SAIL Magazine

Publisher: Ragged Mountain Press / McGraw-Hill
ISBN: 0-07-0067201
Copyright © 1999
Softcover, 174 pages

Fundamentals of Sailing, Cruising & Racing

For novices and experienced hands – this comprehensive sailing instruction book by Steve Colgate is an acclaimed primer on sailing, cruising, and racing. It equips you with all the skills and knowledge needed to become an expert sailor, covering everything from the basics of sailing theory to what you need to know to enjoy the freedom of cruising and the excitement of racing. A great read, the book is packed with real world tips and techniques acquired over years of sailing, racing, and teaching sailing. We offer a Fast Track to Sailing® Course that takes a student from beginner to advanced sailor, with navigation skills, in one week.

“If the new sailors of the world would read this book, the waterways would become safer and more enjoyable for all of us.”

Stuart H. Walker, author and international Soling Class competitor

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0-393-03811-4
Copyright © 1996, 1978
Hardcover, 384 pages

Steve Colgate on Sailing

Steve Colgate on Sailing covers the what, how, why and when of sailing, cruising and racing. This incomparable sailing book is for anyone who wants to become a well-rounded confident sailor, covering why a boat sails and what produces speed, how and when to fly a spinnaker, boat handling under sail and power, reading and understanding wind, navigation, racing tactics, safety and medical problems aboard. We offer a Fast Track to Sailing® Course that takes a student from beginner to advanced sailor, with navigation skills, in one week.

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0-393-02903-4
Copyright © 1991
Hardcover, 342 pages

Basic Keelboat

Basic Keelboat is the first step in the US Sailing Certification Series and sent to all those enrolled in Learn to Sail Certification OSS 101 Courses along with the Fast Track to Sailing book outlined above. US Sailing Basic Keelboat certification tests administered in the Learn to Sail courses are based on this textbook,  providing a strong foundation to build sailing skills for safe, confident day sailing. In this fourth edition of Basic Keelboat, new sailors learn the basic skills to handle a boat up to 30’ safely.

Publisher: United States Sailing Association
ISBN: 978-1-938915-06-2
Copyright © 2014
Revised Fourth Edition
Softcover, 91 pages

Basic Cruising

Basic Cruising is the second step in the US Sailing Certification Series and addresses learning to cruise on a small to mid-sized cruising boat. It is one of two books sent to anyone who takes an Offshore Sailing School Live Aboard Cruising or Bareboat Charter Cruising Course (both OSS 103/104), and is the basis for the US Sailing Basic Cruising certification test administered during those courses. This textbook starts with an introduction to cruising and takes you through skills and maneuvers to safely and comfortably handle smaller cruising boats under sail and power.

Publisher: United States Sailing Association
ISBN: 978-1-938915-02-4
Copyright © 2013
Softcover, 127 pages

Bareboat Cruising

Bareboat Cruising is the third level in the US Sailing Certification Series and provides knowledge and techniques for properly and confidently handling sailboats over 40’. This textbook is the second of the two US Sailing cruising books sent to those who enroll in an Offshore Sailing School Live Aboard Cruising or Bareboat Charter Cruising Course, and is the basis for the US Sailing Bareboat Cruising certification test administered at the end of those courses. Bareboat Cruising covers knowledge and techniques for successfully owning and sailing your own cruising yacht, or renting a large monohull or catamaran (commonly called bareboat cruising) for a vacation getaway.

Publisher: United States Sailing Association
ISBN: 978-0-9741058-0-2
Copyright © 2019
Fourth Edition
Softcover, 144 pages

Coastal Navigation

Coastal Navigation is the 4th level in the US Sailing Certification Series, and the text for Offshore Sailing School Coastal Navigation Courses. It covers piloting with traditional means – charts, parallel rules, dividers – giving you strong knowledge for backing up electronic navigation aids batteries and electricity aboard fails.

Publisher: United States Sailing Association
ISBN: 0-9762261-6-2
Copyright © 2005
Softcover, 126 pages

Passage Making

This is the textbook for the fifth and sixth levels in the US Sailing Certification Series and is sent to all those enrolled in an Offshore Sailing School Passage Making Course. This book about sailing long distances in open waters covers the skills and knowledge needed for extended sailing along coasts and out of sight of land, night sailing, standing watches, voyage preparation, navigation, weather and safety at sea.

Publisher: United States Sailing Association
ISBN: 978-1-882502-86-8
Copyright © 2000
Softcover, 160 pages

Start Powerboating Right!

This is the textbook for US Powerboat Certification, used in Offshore Sailing School’s Fast Track® to Power Cruising Courses. It covers outboard motors and inboard engines, all systems aboard, maneuvering in various wave and weather conditions and on a plane, changing speeds, weather, tides and currents, navigation rules, safety, emergency procedures, docking and securing your boat.

Publisher: United States Sailing Association
ISBN: 978-193891522-2
Copyright © 2020
Fourth Edition
Softcover, 182 pages



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