Passage Making & Coastal Sailing Courses
FAST TRACK TO COASTAL PASSAGE MAKING
Two Days of Coastal Navigation and Six Days of Coastal Passage Making Instruction
After you get your US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification, the next step is the Coastal Passage Making Course. During this course, one of our advanced sailing courses, you learn what it is like to sail longer distances and experience sailing at night. When you enroll we send you two US Sailing textbooks to study – Coastal Navigation and Coastal Passage Making. You also receive a comprehensive list of what to bring and what to expect.
The first two days, spent ashore, you review and are tested on the Coastal Navigation material you studied at home. Then you get underway for six days of glorious sailing. Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite, written while on the November 2016 Coastal Passage Making Course from one of our Coastal Passage Making Instructors, Joelle Petersen.
“Greetings from the CPM course! Upon looking at the forecasts earlier in the week, our Coastal Navigators sailed to Fort Myers, up to serene Cabbage Key, and we are now just about to go under the Sunshine bridge in Tampa Bay having done night sailing last night. Great planning and beautiful conditions made for incredible sailing. We have sailed about 150 miles thus far and look forward to enjoying St Pete from our mooring ball today. We give a special welcome to our returning customers Patrick and Denise Whatley.”
Intense and Fun
During a Coastal Passage Making Course one instructor teaches four participants. An experienced Coast Guard licensed instructor is with you at all times. Your learning experience includes quality night hours under sail, watch systems, knowing where you are at all times, setting your course throughout the day and when sailing at night. You practice crew overboard recovery methods at sea. Everyone is involved in navigating as you review safety procedures, learn how to cook pre-planned meals underway, and experience sailing after dark. You also practice anchoring and picking up moorings, med-mooring, crew management, passage planning, and weather routing.
FAST TRACK TO OFFSHORE PASSAGE MAKING
Four Days of Celestial Navigation and Six Days of Offshore Passage Making Instruction
After you get your US Sailing Coastal Passage Making Certification, the next and final step before heading off on your own, is US Sailing Offshore Passage Making. This 10-day comprehensive experience includes four days of Celestial Navigation instruction while staying ashore, then six days of sailing at least 50 miles offshore. You and five other crew mates stand watches, with two instructors aboard at all times. Each watch of two or three is lead by one of the instructors as you take turns navigating, steering, trimming sails, practicing man overboard recoveries in daylight and at night, cooking underway, and planning your passage to encompass as much learning as you can about sailing over long distances.
Rodney Harris – New York, NY
Read more testimonials here
Here is what you study in the Coastal Navigation portion of the Fast Track to Coastal Passage Making course:
- Charts, chart types and corrections
- Aids to navigation
- Navigational inputs
- Deviation and variation
- Plotting set and drift
- Running fixes
- Lines of position
- Tides and currents
- Speed, time and distance
- Log procedures
- Electronic navigation
- Inshore piloting
- Learning about navigating in fog
- Learning about navigating in heavy weather
Depending on weather conditions, the Coastal Passage Making section of this course covers the following:
- Vessel inspection for passages
- Passage inventory needed
- Passage planning
- Safety and emergency equipment check
- How to stow food and secure galley
- Emergency procedures
- Sail inventories for passages
- Leadership underway
- Open water seamanship
- Use of GPS for passage making
- VHF radio operation
- Rules of the road
- Proper use of ship’s log
- Explanation of 406 EPIRB
- Simulated deployment of life raft
- Tide and current tables
- Light list and coast pilot
- Navigation underway including running fixes, way points, danger bearings
- Watch systems
- Heavy weather procedures
- Use of safety harness and jacklines
- Proper use of boom preventer
- Crew overboard recovery procedures at sea
- Cooking underway
- Conservation underway
- Towing or stowing dinghy underway
- Anchoring techniques
- Anchor watches
- Weather forecasting and strategy
- Impact of high and low pressure systems
- Making landfalls
- Navigating inlets, shoals and bars
- Lee shores
- Stopping leaks and holes underway
Prerequisites: If you are seeking certification, you must have all lower US Sailing certification levels including Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising; if no certification desired, skills must equal those achieved in the Offshore Sailing School Live Aboard Cruising or Bareboat Charter Cruising courses
Certifications: US Sailing Coastal Navigation and US Sailing Coastal Passage Making
Fast Track to Coastal Passage Making Courses
All rates are per person. Double occupancy means two people are signing up to take the course together and sharing a room ashore and a cabin on the boat. Single means private room ashore and private cabin aboard the boat. FTCPM refers to the complete Fast Track Course to Coastal Passage Making Course which includes two days of Coastal Navigation before boarding the boats. CPM rates assume you already have Coastal Navigation certification and are taking just the Coastal Passage Making Course.
From Captiva Island, Florida
- May 13-20, 2017: On Leopard 48 catamaran – FTCPM $5475 double occupancy, $6055 single; CPM $4540 double occupancy, $4730 single
- June 10-17, 2017: On Jeanneau 439 monohull – FTCPM $5105 double occupancy, $5430 single; CPM $4340 double occupancy, $4450 single
- November 4-11, 2017: On Jeanneau 439 monohull – FTCPM $5080 double occupancy, $5385 single; CPM $4330 double occupancy, $4435 single
From Scrub Island, British Virgin Islands
- August 26-September 2, 2017: On Moorings 54.5 monohull – FTCPM $5670 double occupancy, $6285 single; CPM $4755 double occupancy, $4960 single
The Offshore Passage Making portion of this course includes sailing for longer periods and standing watches. When “off watch” you will be sleeping in a bunk just vacated by the student who is going on watch, so cabins are not “private.” Rates are per person. Double occupancy means two traveling together to take the course and sharing room ashore. Single means private room ashore. FTOPM is the full course with four days of Celestial Navigation ashore prior to setting sail. OPM is just the on-water portion of the course, available if you already have taken a Celestial Navigation course. CELN is just the shore-based Celestial Navigation course and may be taken without doing the Offshore Passage Making course.
Your Fast Track to Coastal Passage Making Course package includes:
- Coastal Navigation refresher course tuition and certification – two day classroom course while staying ashore
- Coastal Passage Making Course tuition – 6-days of sailing
- US Sailing Coastal Navigation and Coastal Passage Making textbooks
- Offshore Sailing School Navigation Workbook with answers for home study
- Offshore Sailing School Navigation Workbook with plotting overlays for home study
- Chart 1210TR
- First three nights accommodations ashore at the resort where course starts
- Daily resort fee and tax, allowing access to all amenities, free WiFi and more
- In-depth boat and gear check-out aboard, then passage preparation including stowing provisions for entire passage
- Sun-up to sundown sailing and at least one night time passage
- All meals and beverages aboard during the passage
- All use of navigation materials including charts, parallel rules and dividers for Coastal Navigation course
- Offshore Logbook
- Certification stickers sent from US Sailing after course for each certification earned, if tests are passed
- Course Diplomas
You will need pencils and erasers and these plotting tools for the Coastal Navigation Course home study program (available from Amazon): parallel rules and dividers. Packages above are subject to change and do not include meals ashore, food or purchases you choose to make, travel or other expenses you may incur.
Please see the “What’s Included” tab for Fast Track to Passage Making Courses schedules and rates. Itineraries are given to you at start of course and may change as courses progress, subject to weather and sea conditions. Boats are also subject to change. If you already have US Sailing Coastal Navigation Certification, you can take just Coastal Passage Making Course on most itineraries. In this case, arrive the night before, stay ashore that night, and board the boat the following morning. Please call 888-454-7015 to confirm costs for each passage. Since time of arrival at final destination may vary, plan to depart the following day.
Sample schedule, subject to change, for Florida Fast Track to Coastal Passage Making Courses in Florida
Arrival day – no instruction
Saturday Coastal Navigation Ashore
9:00-12:00 – Classroom lecture and exercises
1:00-2:00 – Lunch break
2:00-5:00 – Classroom lecture and exercises
Sunday Coastal Navigation Ashore
10:00-1:00 – Open house study hall
1:00-2:00 – Lunch break
2:00-5:00 – Open house study hall continues
Monday – Start Passage Making Course
9:00 – Move aboard cruising boat and get boat ready for sea; safety briefing and boat show, complete pre-departure check list
11:00 – Or as soon as preparation finished, set sail, drills underway
5:00 or sunset – Anchor practice, prepare for offshore passage early next morning, dinner and anchor watches
Tuesday-Friday – Sailing and instruction sunrise to sundown
Breakfast – at anchor or during passage; instruction under sail
Lunch – generally underway, dinner at anchor on scheduled overnight stops
Friday – Coastal Passage Making Certification test administered
Sunrise-noon – Breakfast, boat clean up, set sail for final destination
Noon – Return boat
Rest of day – Take or retake Coastal Navigation test (optional); depart for home or stay aboard or ashore until 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 Coastal Passage Making or Coastal Passage Making 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 sail@OffshoreSailing.com..
What our graduates have to say about the Offshore Sailing School Fast Track to Coastal Passage Making course:
I wish more women of my age and stature could feel as alive as I’ve felt since we started this quest. We are two of Offshore’s biggest fans and love to recommend you and your organization. These last two courses peaked my sailing confidence with real challenges and practice. Multiple man overboard drills, using the boson’s chair to go up the mast, navigating narrow entrances to harbors and marinas, and many hours of sailing after dark all contributed to a perfect learning experience.
Mimi Amerson – Springfield, GA
Jim and I just got off the catamaran from our Passage Making course. We had an invaluable experience. No matter what your skill level in sailing, no matter how much you think you know or you know you don’t know, there is more to learn. Because of the instructors, I have the confidence in any situation to say to myself, this must be done and I can do it.
Meg Atkins – Ft. Myers, FL
There’s an old proverb that says “to travel is better than to arrive – it’s the journey, not the destination.” My time with Offshore endowed me with more than just a lifelong skill: I came away from this experience with a renewed sense of purpose and a desire to live life better.
Tyler Cowan – Oakville, ON
I was a student in the Fast Track to Passage Making course based out of Captiva in May 2009. This was my third course from Offshore. I found the course to be challenging, packed with useful practical information and very enjoyable. I think the course fits very well at Captiva, the route we took was perfect for what we were being taught. I also expect that there are many potential students who think about Southwest Florida as a place to cruise in their future and the location of this course at Captiva gives them a chance to apply the skills they are learning to this area. Overall, the course exceeded my expectations in what I had hoped to learn and I found it very rewarding and fun. I would recommend the course to anyone who has reached the level of experience necessary for the course and who wants to advance their knowledge of cruising skills. However the key to the success of any such intensive course is the quality of the instructors. I give Kevin and Andy the highest marks in this regard.
Jeff Linstrom – Glen Ellyn, IL
My wife and I enjoyed the entire experience. It was challenging and exciting to acquire new sailing skills through hands-on experience in the classroom and on the passage. We are looking forward to Celestial Navigation and Offshore Passage Making courses in the future. As an experienced sailor, watching my wife develop her sailing skill and confidence made for a great outcome. Thanks for helping us to sail as a couple.
Thomas Flynn – Epworth, IA
With Mark’s and Bart’s assistance, my confidence soared and I now feel very comfortable with my sailing skills. I have shared with my friends that the Fast Track to Coastal Passage Making experience was one of the most personally challenging, thrilling and fulfilling educational experiences of my life. Now I am able to confidently and competently practice my sailing skills and share my husband’s love of sailing. For me, it brings to mind a timeless quote by Mark Twain, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Offshore Sailing School has given me the skill and confidence to do just that. Thank you for a wonderful experience.
Jane Flynn – Epworth, IA
Mark was very supportive and helped me to improve my existing skills and taught me new skills. He did this in a supportive and enthusiastic manner. This was a fabulous learning vacation experience which taught me more about sailing and myself.
Robert McPherson – Jersey City, NJ
Appreciated real-world pragmatism. The instructors had great ability to teach a lot of material in a short time without any feeling of pressure.
Dani Pletter – San Francisco, CA
Kevin and Mike were excellent instructors. They let the students try many new things by themselves that increased our confidence level. They were very patient and reassuring. We had a tough passage from Miami to Captiva via Key West in bad weather. The sailing was difficult, and the learning experience was outstanding.
Jacques Mayo – Lima, Peru