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

Planning Your Journey

Students in our sailing classes live aboard a yacht for the duration of the course. It’s important to come prepared with all the necessary equipment and documents, just as you would for any other sailing voyage.

Below you’ll find a list of the equipment you’ll need for class. You should also take a look at the terms and conditions of enrollment, and consider buying travel insurance to protect your investment and yourself.

What to Bring


  • Deck shoes — soft soled, non-marking shoes. These do not have to be marine deck shoes. Tennis shoes, Teva or similar sandals are fine.
  • Lots of T-shirts and shorts
  • Lightweight long pants
  • Set of warm clothes — although normally warm, we can have quite cold temperatures in the winter. Please bring warm clothes if coming November through April. Heavy fleece or wool sweaters/jackets and pants and a light weight set of long underwear are recommended. Although you will probably not wear them, if needed you will wish you had them. The Virgin Islands are warmer in the winter and do not require more than a sweater/sweatshirt/pants.
  • Long sleeve shirts for sun protection
  • Hat with strap for sun protection
  • Sunglasses with strap
  • Swim suit
  • Beach towel (one bath towel is provided by Blue Water)
  • Foul weather gear — you do not need to purchase of a set of marine foul weather. You will need a jacket and pants that will keep you dry in case of rain or spray. This could range from offshore foul weather gear to a cheap set from Wal-Mart. In our warm climate a light set is better than a heavy set. Ponchos are not suitable. Seaboots are not necessary.
  • Sailing gloves — fingerless leather gloves, similar to weight lifting or bicycling gloves

Other Gear

  • Sun screen, SPF 15 or above, lip balm
  • Sea sickness medication — if you feel you need sea sickness medications please consult your doctor. The most effective medications, such as the Scopolamine patch, are prescription. Over the Counter medications such as Dramamine and Bonine can also be effective, but usually cause drowsiness. Please test all medications before arriving to check for possible side effects.
  • All prescription drugs must be in correct, labeled bottles
  • Optional: snorkel gear and fishing gear


  • For trips to the Bahamas and Virgin Islands:
    • U.S. citizens — A valid passport will most likely be required for return to the U.S. Please see this State Department web page for details.
    • Non U.S. citizens — Valid passport and, if required, visa (check with your consulate). Persons who are not US or Canadian citizens may require a visa for the Virgin Islands. See Worldwide Visa Guide
    • For Bermuda and transatlantic trips — Valid passport
  • ASA logbook, if ASA student or member
  • Optional: fishing licenses, required in Florida and the Bahamas, are available locally.

All Courses

  • ASA workbooks and other materials received from Blue Water
  • Personal notebook, pencil, erasers, pencil sharpener

Course C: Advanced Coastal Skipper and Course C+ Cat: Advanced Catamaran Skipper

  • These trips will go to the Bahamas; see document requirements above.
  • These courses will sail in open water; a safety harness and tether is required. We highly recommend an inflatable harness, and one is required on our Offshore Passagemaking courses.
  • Optional: Other personal safety gear such as personal strobe, personal EPIRB, knife, etc.

Note: You will not be allowed to take CO2 cartridges on a commercial flight. Options are to ship the CO2 cartridges to us before the course, or to buy the cartridges here. This should work if you have a vest that is sold by West Marine, the store that is near our marina. If you have another vest, please check with West Marine to see if they have the size cartridge you need.

Celestial Navigation Courses only

  • Sextant — Plastic with micrometer drum is satisfactory
  • Digital watch
  • Nautical Almanac (NOT Reed’s) for the current year
  • Sight Reduction Tables HO 249 (0 – 29 Latitude)
  • Universal Plotting Sheets

Most of the specialized marine gear, such as sailing gloves, can be obtained at local marine stores, or at online stores such as West Marine or SailNet. There is also a marine store (West Marine) within walking distance of our marina.

Please pack your gear in soft bags, as space is limited.

Useful Links

Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Enter your name and e-mail address to sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Sailing School Testimonials