Friday, 09 January 2009 13:34

Basic Cruising Course

Basic Cruising (24 hours)

Prerequisites: Basic Keelboat Complete or Basic Keelboat Parts 1 & 2 or equivalent experience. Participants must be comfortable and confident skippering and crewing on small keelboats; Courageous members must have a Yellow Flag rating or higher.
Optional US Sailing Certification Fee: $75
Included Text: US Sailing Basic Cruising
Regular Price: $695
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Are you planning on purchasing your own cruising sailboat (or simply sailing ours!) or chartering in the Caribbean someday? Our US Sailing Basic Cruising certification course is the first step for those who dream of going beyond Boston Harbor. In this course, we apply the fundamentals to bigger boats (up to 30’ in length) with outboard gasoline or inboard diesel engines, cover the basics of navigation, and introduce the tools needed to sail longer distances. While big boats sail just like small boats, there are more systems to learn and techniques to master. Although 24 hours isn't enough to prepare you for every challenge a cruising boat can present, you'll have plenty of time to get to know the outer harbor and develop comfort around big boat basics so you can crew competently or take the helm under the supervision of a more experienced captain. Basic Cruising takes place over two consecutive weekends, Saturday/Sunday/Saturday/Sunday from 10-4:30 each day, with a half hour hour lunch break. Maximum of 4 students.

Graduates may test for their US Sailing Basic Cruising certification. This course will also cover what you need to know to pass the theoretical portion of the Green Flag test, which (along with an on-the-water checkout) enables access to the outer harbor.

Here's a brief overview of what you'll learn in Basic Cruising:

  • Rigging, derigging, and securing boat to dock
  • Docking and leaving the dock under power
  • Diesel and outboard basics
  • Maneuvering under sail
  • Maneuvering under power
  • Crew overboard recovery
  • Anchoring and mooring
  • Reefing and using the roller furler to shorten sail
  • Winch use
  • Chart reading and course plotting
  • Navigation: compass use, establishing a 2-3 point fix, using danger bearings, identifying aids to navigation, GPS use and navigation apps
  • Building familiarity with outer harbor destinations, hazards, safe docking locations, and favorite routes
  • VHF use


You can see the whole US Sailing Basic Cruising curriculum here.