Bareboat Sailing Certification Courses
Earn Your Bareboat Certification While Staying at a Destination Resort
During this five-day Bareboat Charter Certification Course you gain the same incredible knowledge and skills covered in the Live Aboard Cruising Course, with the added benefit of a lot more docking practice since you return to base after each on-water bareboat cruising session.
Why Live Ashore During the Bareboat Sailing School Course
- The format allows you to bring non-sailing family and friends to vacation with you and share non-sailing time together
- The 5-day bareboating schedule is similar to our 5-day Learn to Sail and Performance Sailing Courses so others in your party can learn at different sailing levels
- You enjoy the privacy of your own air-conditioned hotel room each night
- The schedule provides free time to explore surrounding areas and enjoy other resort activities
- Best program for families with teens and tweens moving on to cruising certification
- More time to practice docking and maneuvers, since no pressure to reach next port
“My overall experience was excellent. This was the perfect balance of classroom and on the water instruction.”
Dawn Bedlivy – Catonsville, MD
Qualify for Sailboat Charters and Big Boat Cruising
When you enroll in our bareboat sailing school, you may choose to learn on a monohull or catamaran. Please call early and have several dates in mind, as this course fills up fast. The 246-page Fast Track to Cruising companion book is sent to you in advance to study. Close, personalized instruction for your bareboat sailing certification is provided by an expert Offshore Sailing School instructor, with Coast Guard license and US Sailing Instructor Certification at the Bareboat Cruising level or higher. Please see the tabs below for more course details.
“Excellent experience. Colgate is truly the best of the best sailing school. Everything is first class. Colgate delivers a value proposition – an excellent value for the price paid and instruction (and instructional environment) received. The books, the instructor, the hotel classroom, the location in St. Petersburg, FL and the CatalinaMorgan 44’ sailboat were all first class! And well worth the money and time spent.”
Thomas Bisanz – Frisco, TX
Learn with Family, Friends or Come Alone
If you plan to learn with family members or friends, ask about “Buying the Boat” for a private experience, or our popular Tweens and Teens Learn Free program if everyone in your family is an Offshore Sailing School Learn to Sail Certification Course graduate. Though we normally teach no more than four students aboard a boat, we can take up to five in Private Bareboat Charter Cruising Courses if everyone has strong basic sailing experience. Private Bareboat Charter Cruising Courses for Two are also available. We pair singles traveling alone, and couples, with others who want the same course. Often lasting friendships are formed, with classmates continuing to cruise together after the course.
“This course greatly exceeded my expectations. This experience has opened my mind to a whole new world. I thank Offshore Sailing for providing a course where I was able to spend some very valuable time with my family.”
William Bennett V – Lexington, KY
Exclusive Sailing School for The Moorings
Offshore Sailing School is the exclusive sailing school for The Moorings, the most prominent charter company in the world. If you take this course in the British Virgin Islands with family or friends, why not continue your cruising adventure with a charter vacation right after you graduate? For a seamless getaway package, we can add that charter to your learning vacation package, at your Offshore Sailing School discounted Moorings Captain’s charter fee. Just tell your sailing advisor when you sign up for the course that you want to extend your learning experience with a rewarding bareboat charter cruise!
Most countries outside the Caribbean, Canada and the United States require an International Cruising Certificate to charter boats in their waters. The International Proficiency Certificate for U.S. citizens is issued by US Sailing – the governing body of Sailing in the United States. If you already have US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification you can apply directly to US Sailing for this certificate. Download the IPC Application Form to learn more.
- Planning a cruise
- Familiarization with boat layout and sail plan
- Operation of engine, stove and head
- Routine engine maintenance
- Fueling techniques
- Use and conservation of battery and charging systems
- Water use and conservation
- Use and location of thru-hull fittings
- Maneuvering under power and sail with emphasis on windage considerations and close quarters
- Big boat docking and anchoring techniques
- Proper and safe handling of halyards and lines
- Proper and safe use of winches
- Apparent wind and sail selection
- Sail shape and trim
- Inter-crew communication when trimming sails, docking and anchoring
- Genoa roller furling use
- Overboard recovery procedures
- Big boat heavy weather and reefing techniques
- Sailing wing and wing on bigger boats
- Use of jennaker if available
- Boom preventer use
- More knots and their applications
- Log procedures
- Piloting techniques including set, drift and leeway calculations
- GPS navigation
- Rules of the Road
- Danger bearings
- Coast Guard requirements
- VHF use
- Courtesy using lights and sound signals
- Use of safety harness
- Emergency tiller use
- Distress signals
- Multiple scenarios related to wind direction and current while docking and anchoring
- Close quarters maneuvering on a catamaran versus a monohull
- Windage considerations
- Spring lines and other dock lines configurations for catamarans
- Reefing by wind strength
Pre-requisite for Bareboat Charter Cruising Courses: US Sailing Basic Keelboat or equivalent experience is required to take this course. US Sailing Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising Certification are included in your course package (normally a $150 extra charge). Unless you would prefer not to take the tests for certification, the US Sailing Basic Cruising and Bareboating textbooks are sent in advance in addition to Colgate’s Fast Track to Cruising textbook.
At all resort locations, your course package includes:
- Bareboat Charter Course tuition
- Six or 7 night accommodations for resort based courses
- Daily resort fee, per person, allowing you to use all the amenities, Wi-Fi, etc. at the resort
- Taxes on accommodations and resort fee
- Steve and Doris Colgate’s 246-page Fast Track to Cruising textbook, published by McGraw-Hill (also available in e-book format)
- Practice test mini-cruise at course end without instructor aboard, or onboard as silent observer
- US Sailing Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising Certifications
- Colgate Logbook (or course log page if you are a returning Offshore Sailing School graduate with a logbook)
- Certification stickers
- Course diploma
- Eligibility to participate in Offshore Cruising Club Flotilla Cruises
- Exclusive subscription benefit from Cruising World and Sailing World magazines
- Discount charter benefits from The Moorings
International Proficiency Certificate (IPC) for Chartering Overseas
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. US Sailing, the governing body of sailing in the United States, will issue this certificate for a nominal fee for U.S. citizens who have achieved US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification. Visit this US Sailing web page to learn more.
Sunday – Arrival Day
Monday and Wednesday – Days 1 & 3
8:00-10:00 – Classroom lecture
10:00-1:30 – On-water instruction
1.30-2:00 – Lunch break (or may pick up lunches in morning and lunch underway or at anchor)
2:00- 5:30 – On-water instruction
Tuesday and Thursday – Days 2 & 4
8:00-10:00 – Classroom lecture
10:00-1:00 – On-water instruction
1:00-3:00 – Lunch break and certification tests administered
Friday – Day 5
8:00-12:00 – Test sail without instructor aboard or as silent observer
Fantastic experience!! From classroom to sea, gusts to gale conditions, I couldn’t have asked for a better “classroom” to get prepared for bareboat cruising. Captiva is an idyllic locale, the people friendly and the seafood superb.
Tom Brazelton – Verona, WI
Our instructor Brian was great. His patience level was fantastic and he made the experience a low stress environment. Would highly recommend this course to anybody looking to bareboat in the future.
Jim Richey – Winter Springs, FL
Wonderful experience. It was exciting to learn new things. Joelle was extremely knowledgeable and capable. She had excellent stories that brought to life the points she was making. She was upbeat and full of energy every day and also did a good job of repeating and summarizing information so that we could learn it.
Coral Jeffries – Asheville, NC
All our instructors were ‘sailors’ and ‘teachers.’ They made learning easy, sailing fun, and the experience great.
Terry Brabb – Louisville, KY
Garren was excellent at balancing instruction and patience. This gave me the extra confidence I needed to skipper a catamaran bareboat charter in the BVI with friends.
Chuck Lane – Northbrook, IL
The overall experience was superb. I would recommend the Offshore Sailing School to anyone at any level with an interest in improving their sailing skills and enjoyment.
Chad Montgomery – Knoxville, TN
Great way to spend a week with the family, actually learning a new skill that’s a lot of fun. It’s something we can all do together.
Stephen Nicolia – Collierville, TN
Our instructor gave us confidence without feeling as if we couldn’t make a mistake. My husband and I are going to book a bareboat charter next summer.
Judy Purinton – Blue Jay, CA
My overall experience was excellent. This was the perfect balance of classroom and on the water instruction. I learned a tremendous amount and was very prepared to take the tests. Brian was an excellent instructor – very knowledgeable, knew just when to give us instruction and how much, very patient.
Dawn Bedlivy – Catonsville, MD
Very enjoyable course. Excellent facilities, leaving with a volume of knowledge and experience. Coming back!
Nelson Corbin – Parkton, NC
Top 10 experience – it takes a lot to rattle my feathers, so I pick my words wisely. I needed to learn so much in a short time. It was a blast. The facility, the people, and most important my instructor, Garren.
Rodger Ames – Arvada, CO