Offshore Passage Making

Offshore Passage Making Takes You Out to Sea

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. It is a place that remains radically free, exciting, breathtakingly beautiful and most unforgiving if you don’t know what you are doing. Now that you’ve achieved your Coastal Passage Making Certification, it’s time to go further offshore and experience longer periods underway, out of sight of land, while learning in the ultimate blue water sailing school environment.

The Final Course in the US Sailing Certification ProgramStudents looking onto the horizon

Offshore Passage Making is our most advanced open water sailing certification course, for experienced sailors who want to build skills, knowledge and confidence in preparation for long passages in open waters. If you are indeed moving towards a long passage over vast ocean stretches, your first open ocean sailing lesson could make or break your desire to pursue that goal. Offshore Sailing School is very conscious of your safety aboard, and like the Coastal Passage Making Course, requires that two U.S. Coast Guard licensed instructors are aboard at all times. Passage Making instructors are certified at the highest US Sailing instructor certification level to teach Offshore Passage Making courses.

Fast Track® to Offshore Passage Making CourseFriend group posing at the back of a boat

The course is held at South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, Florida with the first four days staying ashore at the resort while you learn Celestial Navigation. Then you board one of our Jeanneau 439s and head out onto the Gulf for the Offshore Passage Making Course. Please call 888-454-7015 for course dates, rates, and availability.

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The Journey and Reward

The Offshore Passage Making Course is six days of mostly non-stop sailing. In this open 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 or your destination 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. Berths are shared. Each watch is in charge while “on” – crewing, navigating, steering, covering everything necessary for successful journeys on your own.

  • 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 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 full 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 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 course are included. Meals ashore, food bought ashore other than provisions provided, travel and other expenses you may incur are not included. Please call 888-415-7015 to put your name on the list for upcoming course dates.

The itinerary is given to you at start of course and may change as courses progresses, subject to weather and sea conditions.

Your Fast Track to 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 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)

Please call 888-454-7015 to put your name on the list for future course dates. All itineraries from all start points are subject to change and depend on weather and sea conditions. The itinerary for your passage will be presented to you at the start of the course, and can change as you progress through the week. Since arrival times may change, we suggest you arrange for flight departures on the day after scheduled arrival below.

10-Day Fast Track® to Offshore Passage Making Course
Sample schedule may vary by location, so it will be sent to you upon enrollment

Tuesday :

Arrival day

Wednesday – Saturday:

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.: Celestial Navigation Course (classroom and exercises), with one-hour lunch break on own


9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (classroom, exercises, and Celestial Navigation certification test), with one-hour lunch break on own


Sunrise – Sundown: Move aboard Passage Making boat. Get boat ready for sea, safety briefing and boat show, complete pre-departure check list, set sail, boat familiarization drills on way to first anchorage.

Sailing instruction 24 hours per day. Sail overnight, standing watches, all meals prepared underway

8:00-12:00 – Boat clean up, certification testing underway
Noon – Return boat to final destination, depart for home or add extra night at resort and leave next morning

Offshore Sailing School knows we cannot thrive without great employees and products. All graduates are asked to fill out 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 either of 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


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



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888-454-7015     or    239-454-1700

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