Fast Track to Power Cruising Course
Learn to Power Like a Pro
It’s not uncommon to think commanding a big power boat requires little more than the ability to turn a key. There are Rules of the Road to follow while power catamaran cruising. Proper handling of any size power boat comes into play when underway, docking, anchoring, picking up moorings, passing or overtaking other boats. Boat systems need constant checking and troubleshooting. Navigation skills insure you stay clear of hazards and shallow water. Safety for all aboard is synonymous with having a good day on the water which is why we offer boat handling courses through our powerboat school.
Fine Tune Your Boating Passion
If you already have a passion for boating, our power boat courses are a great way to fine tune your boat handling skills. The Fast Track to Power Cruising Course gives you the confidence to move from runabouts to big twin-engine cruising yachts, and introduce family and friends to the joys of cruising power boats without raised voices that come with uncertainty aboard. If you are thinking about getting into power catamaran cruising, buying a power boat or chartering one with your family and friends, Fast Track to Power Cruising gives you the knowledge and confidence to take the helm.
Learn to Cruise
“The power cruising program was great! Most importantly was the confidence the course and instructor instilled throughout my participation. I’d recommend the program to anyone who questions their own skill sets.”
Dave MacDonald – Kingston, Ontario
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Learn While Cruising from Island to Island in the British Virgin Islands or Sunny Florida
You can spend six fabulous days learning in the incomparable cruising grounds of the British Virgin Islands, on 37’ to 50’ twin-engine power cat from The Moorings, the pre-eminent charter company in the world. Or you can take the same course on a beautiful Fontaine Pajot MY 37 on the Gulf Coast of Florida. When you enroll in our powerboat training courses, the Start Powerboating Right! textbook is sent in advance to study. Each morning after breakfast and a “classroom session” in the main salon, you get underway and practice boat handling and seamanship drills while cruising to your next destination. See the What You Learn tab below for everything you cover in our British Virgin Islands and Florida boating courses, and the Course Schedule tab for how our power boating lessons work.
I would like to express my appreciation for the excellent instruction provided during our recent power yacht course in Tortola, BVI. Folkert Jongkind tailored each session to the students’ needs and worked to their different learning styles. He was patient, courteous, funny, and fun to be with. We had some trepidation about the size of the boat, a 474, but at the end of the week we were confident and sure in our maneuvers. The course was interesting and informative. We can’t wait to return to rent a yacht on our own.
Bill and Karen Duggleby – Herndon, Virginia
Professional Licensed Instructors
Offshore Sailing School’s power catamaran cruising instructors are selected for their high level of knowledge, experience in boat handling, time spent at the helm of big yachts, and strong teaching and communication skills for the best powerboat school experience. They are all Offshore Sailing School faculty members, with US Powerboating Certification for Instructors, and U.S. Coast Guard or RYA (England’s Royal Yachting Academy) licenses as required by law. Dedicated to your success, they give you the knowledge and techniques to master everything you need to know to handle your own private yacht and charter boats up to 50’ with ultimate confidence.
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Earn Cruising Certification
The Fast Track to Power Cruising Course gives you US Powerboating Coastal Powerboat Cruising Certification. Using guidelines from the National Safe Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA), our comprehensive boat handling courses were developed by the US Sailing National Faculty to fill the need for professional handling of powerboats – from small runabouts to large yachts – on inland and open waters. If you plan to charter with The Moorings, Sunsail or another reputable charter company in Europe or other areas overseas, you may be required to show your certification certificates or an International Proficiency Certificate (IPC). US Powerboating will issue this certificate for a nominal fee for U.S. citizens who have achieved US Powerboating Coastal Powerboat Cruising Certification. Visit US Sailing to download the IPC Application Form.
Six Days of Learning and Fun
Your instructor is with you throughout the first five days of the power boat courses. On the last day of powerboat school your instructor has you go through “personal best” maneuvers. Then you take the certification exam, return to the base to drop off your instructor and set off on a test 24-hour cruise. You will return to the base Saturday morning with a real sense of empowerment. Bring family and friends to learn with you in our powerboat training courses, or join boating lessons where other singles and couples are already signed up. Moorings Power Cats generally accommodate a family, two couples or four singles and is the ideal training vessel for live-aboard cruising and fun! The Fontaine Pajot MY 37 in Florida accommodates two couples, two singles, or a couple and a single in three cabins.
- Electrical systems
- Generator operation
- VHF Operation
- Marine sanitation devices
- Fresh water systems
- Cooking aboard – proper and safe use of stove
- Emergency procedures
- Directed thrust – steering with throttles
- Prop walk
- Handling wind and wave conditions
- Holding ground and anchors
- Proper scope
- Current and wind considerations
- Tight maneuvering in crowded anchorages
- Safe speed
- Safe lookout
- Sound signals and lights
- Meeting situations
- Restricted visibility
- Traffic separation
- Crossing and overtaking situations
- Lights – how to identify, when to use
- Day shapes
- Rules of the Road
- Right of way rules for inland and international waters
- Differences between U.S. and European buoy systems
- Crew teamwork
- Approach in wind and current
- Tight maneuvering
- Proper radio contact for slip space
- Mooring pickup
- Knots, dock lines, spring lines
- Reading charts, aids to navigation
- Tides and currents
- Plotting a course
- Determining ETA, time, speed, distance
- Taking fixes and knowing where you are
- Electronic navigation – reading and using a Chart Plotter
- Understanding weather and weather routing
- Wind and current considerations
- How to approach
- Safety and retrieval procedures
- Use of LifeSling
Electronics and Safety
- Required safety equipment and best practices
- Emergency procedures
- Overboard rescue procedures and use of Chart Plotter
- Fueling techniques
- Safe operation
- Fluid checks
- Transmission checks
- Tail shaft coupling and packing glands
- Battery management
Prerequisite: No previous boating experience is required
Certifications: US Powerboating Level 1 & 2 Student Certification; International Proficiency Certificate may be purchased from US Sailing with proof of these certifications
Power courses are taught on Moorings 39′ to 47′ powercats (subject to change). Please call 888-454-7015 or email Sail@OffshoreSailing.com to get a quote for the boat you’d like to learn on during your preferred travel time periods.
Here’s what’s included in your 6-day Fast Track to Power Cruising Course package:
- Five days of instruction aboard a Moorings Power Cat (BVI) or Fontaine Pajot MY 37 (Florida)
- Course textbook and Navigation Rules
- US Cruising Power Boat Certification testing and certification if tests are passed
- Overnight test cruise without the instructor aboard Friday afternoon to Saturday morning
- Breakfasts, lunches, snacks and three dinners while aboard (from Monday lunch to Saturday breakfast)
- Cruising tax, park fees and damage waiver
- Moorings fees while instructor is aboard in BVI, docking fees in Florida
- Certification stickers for logbook, sent from US Sailing after completing course and passing certification test
- Sunday (arrival night) aboard the boat at The Moorings base in BVI; for Florida courses at the Westin Cape Coral Resort
- Fuel consumed during course and mini-cruise, shared by all students aboard, collected by The Moorings upon return last day if taking course in BVI; fuel included in Florida courses
- All air and shore travel and transfers (taxis and jitneys are available)
- Hotel service charge
- Food bought during cruise other than provisions already onboard
- Beverages (which you will order in advance to suit your tastes)
- Meals ashore
- Moorings fees during mini-cruise without instructor
- Additional hotel nights before or after the course
Arrival day – no instruction
Breakfast ashore (not included in the package)
9:30 – Board yacht, stow gear
10:30-Noon – Discuss week’s itinerary, boat show and familiarization with systems, initial chart review
1:00-2:00 – Lunch aboard and continued discussion
2:00-500 – Instruction underway
5:00 Anchor – debrief, classroom time as necessary, dinner, anchor checks
Sunup to 9:00 – Breakfast and free time aboard
9:00-5:00 – Classroom session aboard, instruction under way with lunch break
5:00 Latest – Anchor, Dock or Moor– debrief, classroom time as necessary, dinner, anchor/mooring checks
Sunup to 9:00 – Breakfast and free time aboard
9:00-1:00 – Classroom session aboard, course review
1:00-4:00 – Lunch break, personal best cruising with instructor as observer, certification test
4:00 – Drop off instructor, set out on test cruise without instructor aboard
10:00 – Return boat to the base
10:00-11:00 – Debrief, boat check-in at slip followed by graduation celebration aboard
11:00 – Depart for flights home or stay ashore
Offshore Sail and Powerboat 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 Power Cruise Course. 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 info@OffshoreSailing.com.
What our graduates have to say about the Offshore Fast Track to Power Cruise Course courses:
I thought it was fabulous. There should be a course for any person of any age who gets behind the wheel of a power boat. Had I not taken the course, I wouldn’t have had the confidence to be out there. It’s worth the value and I would do it again in a heartbeat. My instructor was fabulous!
Sharon Caprio – Fort Myers, FL
Excellent experience, proud to have completed it with my 25 year old son.
Ray Chaput – Barrie, Ontario
The instructor went to extra lengths to make certain that I had a most positive learning experience.
Dr. Kenneth Teufel – New Braunfels, TX
Money well spent. Would do it again, but I don’t need to! After only 5 days of classroom and power cruising time, I feel confident that I can better handle my boat in a variety of situations.
Harry Belk – Spartanburg, SC
The power cruising program was great! Most importantly was the confidence the course and instructor instilled throughout my participation. I’d recommend the program to anyone who questions their own skill sets.
Dave MacDonald – Kingston, Ontario
Folkert was outstanding! Great instructor, taught us a lot over a relatively short period of time. Always patient and calm which helped build confidence. Would definitely take another course with him. Great experience, learned a lot, built confidence and was exactly what I was looking for.
Tom Shortell – Cold Springs, NY
Outstanding experience. Our instructor was excellent and focused on key points to make everything easy and understandable.
Harry Hink – Fairfax, VA