Serious training for cruising sailors, and those who want to be

Offshore Passagemaking

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.

About the Courses

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:

  • Boat systems and preparation
  • Weather and weather analysis (weather fax)
  • Heavy weather procedures
  • Use of sea anchors and storm sails
  • Sail trim
  • Watch standing
  • Safety and emergency procedures
  • Celestial navigation
  • and more…

Requirements and Prerequisites

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.

Reading List

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.

Schedule and Pricing

The offshore passagemaking voyages are a little different each year. The schedule and pricing details for this year’s trips can be found here.

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