One of sailing’s rites of passage is the first extended offshore trip — a small boat on a big ocean, with no land in sight for three, four or more days. The skills and knowledge to deal with bluewater sailing differ from the coastal sailing skills that have already been developed. The techniques of sailing the boat are the same, but your exposure to the weather and seas is significantly greater. The availability of outside help is limited; self-sufficiency is key, and boat preparation is paramount.
Blue Water Sailing School offers courses to prepare students for such a trip. These courses offer the ultimate in sailing education: Celestial Navigation and Offshore Passagemaking (ASA courses 107 and 108).
During this trip we will be teaching and practicing the many aspects of Offshore Passagemaking:
ASA 108 Offshore Passagemaking has every other ASA course except Cruising Catamaran as prerequisites (that’s ASA 101, 103, 104, 105, 106 and 107). Students should also have some significant coastal sailing experience as a captain or watch leader.
After completion of these courses, students will also be asked to complete a 3 day passage and submit a log of the voyage — including celestial sights and fixes — for review. You will have one year from the date of course completion to fulfill this requirement.
Due to the comprehensive nature of this course there is no one textbook. There are several books that can help you in your studies and provide valuable reference material on your future sailing adventures. You can find our recommendations in the Offshore Passagemaking Reading List.
The offshore passagemaking voyages are a little different each year. The schedule and pricing details for this year’s trips can be found here.
We actually went somewhere (Key Largo), rather than returning to the dock each evening. The course was made to be an adventure, as well as simply instructional. The weather was “made to order” — sun and gentle breeze Saturday through Wednesday, then Force 8 for our ‘foul weather instruction’ on Thursday.Read More Testimonials
I thought it was an excellent, challenging course. It definitely wasn’t a “cruise.” The instructor expected a lot from the students. I like that.Read More Testimonials
I have nothing but the utmost praise for your entire operation and the quality of the instruction that I received. Al Hatch is a consummate instructor and brings to this activity a love and a passion that is genuine and expansive. I hope to be able to return to Blue Water to experience some of the higher-level courses of instruction, and I certainly would have no trouble at all recommending your company to anyone.Read More Testimonials