OCSC Sailing School

Basic Cruising

Description/Overview | Topics Covered | What's Included | Course Schedule

OCSC's Under 30 Skipper course

OCSC's "Under 30' Skipper" course

Our Basic Cruising certification package is intended for those with a US Sailing Basic Keelboat certification or equivalent skills. This course is designed specifically to prepare you to skipper a sailboat in the challenging conditions peculiar to San Francisco Bay. It is as challenging and rewarding a course as we offer.

As in Basic Keelboat, we limit the classes to three students and one instructor per boat, the smallest student to instructor ratio you'll find in any commercial sailing school. The curriculum consists of 34 hours of instruction (41 hours in the week-long option), including the three-hour Navigation II and Seamanship II study halls.


Using a "tiller-steered" boat is important to your education

We choose to use tiller steered boats for both Basic Keelboat and Basic Cruising courses because it is the best way to become a well-rounded sailor. Our commitment is to teach sailing in the best way to assure our students develop the confidence and confidence to handle any yacht. Traditionally sailors have always started learning to steer with a tiller before moving on to learning wheel steering on larger boats. A tiller gives a sailor instant feedback with every movement of the rudder. Learning to feel and read the force at play on a boat as it moves through the water is much easier with a tiller due to instant feedback. Steering properly and keeping the boat in balance and trim becomes a natural instinct that once learned is never forgotten. Moving on to wheel steering boats is very easy, but the accomplished sailor will still feel comfortable aboard anything from a sailing dingy or a tender with an outboard engine to a large racing yacht with a tiller or a wheel.


Successful completion prepares you to:

  • Skipper boats under 30-feet in challenging locations such as San Francisco Bay.
  • Move into the Bareboat Cruising (BBC) level of US Sailing's certification system.
  • We recommend that before taking BBC, you gain as much experience as possible by chartering or sailing your own boat.

Good to know:

  • Our three-to-one student-to-instructor ratio provides you with the smallest class size in the country.
  • Our Basic Cruising course is the most comprehensive and challenging in the US. We fully expect all of our students to require additional coaching and practice after their first two weekends. We provide as many coaching sessions as you need to fully 'own' all the necessary skills for being a competent cruising sailor on San Francisco Bay and around the country. These three-hour sailing sessions are targeted to your level to ensure you make as much progress as possible each time you come back (see how to qualify for the Guarantee). Most graduates need an average of four reviews before they certify. That's an additional 12 hours of training on us!
  • If you're taking the weekend format, the two weekends don't have to be consecutive, however it's wise to take them as close together as possible.
  • At the point you and your instructor feel your skills are where we promised they would be, we have you take a practical evaluation to be sure we have completely done our job. Like the reviews, practical evaluations can be done multiple times without charge under our guarantee.

This course prepares you to take the following courses: Spinnaker 101A, Night Sailing, Advanced Basic Cruising, Bareboat Cruising, and Coastal Navigation. However, we strongly recommend that before starting more training you develop these new skills by sailing your own boat or chartering.

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Class Information

Cost:

  • Member: $896.25
  • Retail: $1,195

# of students:

  • Three maximum

Boat:

Formats:

  • Four-day option
    BC1 & BC2
    Any Two Weekends
    10 am - 5 pm each day

  • Five-day option
    BC Week
    One Week: Mon - Fri
    10 am - 5 pm each day

Seminars Included:

Prerequisites:

Basic Keelboat certification or equivalent experience.

(OCSC Basic Keelboat certification and membership are required to qualify for our BC course guarantee.)


Topics Covered

Over the course of your two weekends or week-long course, here's what you'll cover:

  • Advanced sailing theory: Learn how to fully harness and control your yacht’s sails, keel, rudder and crew weight in the best that San Francisco Bay has to offfer.
  • Managing heel and weather helm: The hydrodynamics behind heeling and weather helm -- distinguishing good from bad.
  • Sail shape and rig control: Properly controlling the mast and sail shapes enhances your boat control for fun and safety.
  • Sailing in close quarters: One of the greater pleasures in sailing and a critical skill for independence and confidence afloat.
  • Heavy weather techniques: Learn to handle San Francisco Bay’s famous sea breeze with confidence.
  • Sail changes under way: Learn how to safely change headsails when the conditions change.
  • Heaving to: How to get your sailboat to tend herself out in the Bay while you attend to something or just relax.
  • Reefing underway: Safely reducing sail when the wind comes up quickly while you are out sailing.
  • Person overboard recovery drills: How to manage a recovery in stronger breezes and in different situations. This is the key safety skill for San Francisco Bay skippers.
  • Anchorages and anchoring: Become confident to explore and use all the anchorages in the Bay Area when sailing on your own.
  • Handling emergencies: The most common emergencies and how to manage them according to best practices learned over generations. These are invaluable problem-solving skills. You can applying basic principles to handle unusual emergencies.
  • Course plotting and fixes: When you see the fog starting to roll in, it is reassuring to know you can determine your position and course to your destination even without visibility.
  • Steering by the compass: Steering a straight course by compass is known by few sailors. You’ll leave Basic Cruising steering by compass like an old salt.

What's Included

Here is what's included in your Basic Cruising package:

Personal attention

You get more instruction and personal attention than in any other sailing program. You learn in a supportive environment with others of equal ability. We limit the classes to three students and one instructor per boat, the smallest student-to-instructor ratio you'll find in any commercial sailing school. In addition, the curriculum is more thorough than any you'll find anywhere: 34 hours of instruction (41 hours in the week-long option), including six hours of study halls in Navigation and Seamanship.

Textbook, binder, and manual

Included with the class are a US Sailing Basic Cruising textbook, a Basic Cruising manual, and a binder to keep all your materials together.

Additional training in seamanship and navigation

Basic Cruising also includes two study halls: Navigation II and Seamanship II. Each study hall is given alternately on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings. Each study hall is three hours and covers aspects of sailing vital safe boating. Subjects covered include topics such as reading a nautical chart, right-of-way rules, and more.

Free use of spray gear and flotation device

OCSC is the only school in the Bay Area that provides you with waterproof gear to make sure you stay dry and comfortable while learning without having to add a few hundred dollars in gear to the expense of learning to sail. In any course you take here, we loan you waterproof pants and jacket along with a comfortable, Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device.

Guaranteed Certification

The challenges of sailing in the Bay require a high level of competence, and not everyone learns at the same pace. Most students who take our Basic Cruising class need additional on-the-water training beyond the class to meet our standards. When you purchase OCSC's Basic Cruising package, we will provide that training for you at no cost for 60 days from the start of the program.

In order to qualify for the guaranteed certification: 1) you must be certified by OCSC in Basic Keelboat and 2) you must be a member. Experienced sailors can challenge the Basic Keelboat test. Sailors with prior experience who want to enter into OCSC's program at this level are strongly encouraged to discuss their plans with a club manager.

Learn on a J/24

Learn on the best training boat in the world. J/24's are responsive and fast, yet quite stable and spacious. They are the perfect "feedback" machine to hone your skills.

Experienced sailors

Click here to learn more about challenging OCSC's Basic Keelboat certification test.

Schedule

Availability


March 2017

Basic Cruising I

  1. Sat, 25th 10:00am Day 1
  2. Sun, 26th 10:00am Day 2
  3. Mon, 27th 10:00am Day 1
  4. Tue, 28th 10:00am Day 2
  5. Wed, 29th 10:00am Day 3
  6. Thu, 30th 10:00am Day 4
  7. Fri, 31st 10:00am Day 5

April 2017

Basic Cruising I

  1. Sat, 1st 10:00am Day 1
  2. Sun, 2nd 10:00am Day 2
  3. Sat, 8th 10:00am Day 1
  4. Sun, 9th 10:00am Day 2
  5. Mon, 10th 10:00am Day 1
  6. Tue, 11th 10:00am Day 2
  7. Wed, 12th 10:00am Day 3
  8. Thu, 13th 10:00am Day 4
  9. Fri, 14th 10:00am Day 5
  10. Sat, 15th 10:00am Day 1
  11. Sun, 16th 10:00am Day 2
  12. Sat, 22nd 10:00am Day 1
  13. Sun, 23rd 10:00am Day 2
  14. Mon, 24th 10:00am Day 1
  15. Tue, 25th 10:00am Day 2
  16. Wed, 26th 10:00am Day 3
  17. Thu, 27th 10:00am Day 4
  18. Fri, 28th 10:00am Day 5
  19. Sat, 29th 10:00am Day 1
  20. Sun, 30th 10:00am Day 2

May 2017

Basic Cruising I

  1. Sat, 6th 10:00am Day 1
  2. Sun, 7th 10:00am Day 2
  3. Mon, 8th 10:00am Day 1
  4. Tue, 9th 10:00am Day 2
  5. Wed, 10th 10:00am Day 3
  6. Thu, 11th 10:00am Day 4
  7. Fri, 12th 10:00am Day 5
  8. Sat, 13th 10:00am Day 1
  9. Sun, 14th 10:00am Day 2
  10. Sat, 20th 10:00am Day 1
  11. Sun, 21st 10:00am Day 2
  12. Mon, 22nd 10:00am Day 1
  13. Tue, 23rd 10:00am Day 2
  14. Wed, 24th 10:00am Day 3
  15. Thu, 25th 10:00am Day 4
  16. Fri, 26th 10:00am Day 5
  17. Sat, 27th 10:00am Day 1
  18. Sun, 28th 10:00am Day 2

June 2017

Basic Cruising I

  1. Sat, 3rd 10:00am Day 1
  2. Sun, 4th 10:00am Day 2
  3. Mon, 5th 10:00am Day 1
  4. Tue, 6th 10:00am Day 2
  5. Wed, 7th 10:00am Day 3
  6. Thu, 8th 10:00am Day 4
  7. Fri, 9th 10:00am Day 5
  8. Sat, 10th 10:00am Day 1
  9. Sun, 11th 10:00am Day 2
  10. Sat, 17th 10:00am Day 1
  11. Sun, 18th 10:00am Day 2
  12. Mon, 19th 10:00am Day 1
  13. Tue, 20th 10:00am Day 2
  14. Wed, 21st 10:00am Day 3
  15. Thu, 22nd 10:00am Day 4
  16. Fri, 23rd 10:00am Day 5
  17. Sat, 24th 10:00am Day 1
  18. Sun, 25th 10:00am Day 2

July 2017

Basic Cruising I

  1. Sat, 1st 10:00am Day 1
  2. Sun, 2nd 10:00am Day 2
  3. Mon, 3rd 10:00am Day 1
  4. Tue, 4th 10:00am Day 2
  5. Wed, 5th 10:00am Day 3
  6. Thu, 6th 10:00am Day 4
  7. Fri, 7th 10:00am Day 5
  8. Sat, 8th 10:00am Day 1
  9. Sun, 9th 10:00am Day 2
  10. Sat, 15th 10:00am Day 1
  11. Sun, 16th 10:00am Day 2
  12. Mon, 17th 10:00am Day 1
  13. Tue, 18th 10:00am Day 2
  14. Wed, 19th 10:00am Day 3
  15. Thu, 20th 10:00am Day 4
  16. Fri, 21st 10:00am Day 5
  17. Sat, 22nd 10:00am Day 1
  18. Sun, 23rd 10:00am Day 2
  19. Sat, 29th 10:00am Day 1
  20. Sun, 30th 10:00am Day 2
  21. Mon, 31st 10:00am Day 1

August 2017

Basic Cruising I

  1. Tue, 1st 10:00am Day 2
  2. Wed, 2nd 10:00am Day 3
  3. Thu, 3rd 10:00am Day 4
  4. Fri, 4th 10:00am Day 5
  5. Sat, 5th 10:00am Day 1
  6. Sun, 6th 10:00am Day 2
  7. Sat, 12th 10:00am Day 1
  8. Sun, 13th 10:00am Day 2
  9. Mon, 14th 10:00am Day 1
  10. Tue, 15th 10:00am Day 2
  11. Wed, 16th 10:00am Day 3
  12. Thu, 17th 10:00am Day 4
  13. Fri, 18th 10:00am Day 5
  14. Sat, 19th 10:00am Day 1
  15. Sun, 20th 10:00am Day 2
  16. Sat, 26th 10:00am Day 1
  17. Sun, 27th 10:00am Day 2
  18. Mon, 28th 10:00am Day 1
  19. Tue, 29th 10:00am Day 2
  20. Wed, 30th 10:00am Day 3
  21. Thu, 31st 10:00am Day 4

September 2017

Basic Cruising I

  1. Fri, 1st 10:00am Day 5
  2. Sat, 2nd 10:00am Day 1
  3. Sun, 3rd 10:00am Day 2
  4. Sat, 9th 10:00am Day 1
  5. Sun, 10th 10:00am Day 2
  6. Mon, 11th 10:00am Day 1
  7. Tue, 12th 10:00am Day 2
  8. Wed, 13th 10:00am Day 3
  9. Thu, 14th 10:00am Day 4
  10. Fri, 15th 10:00am Day 5
  11. Sat, 16th 10:00am Day 1
  12. Sun, 17th 10:00am Day 2
  13. Sat, 23rd 10:00am Day 1
  14. Sun, 24th 10:00am Day 2
  15. Mon, 25th 10:00am Day 1
  16. Tue, 26th 10:00am Day 2
  17. Wed, 27th 10:00am Day 3
  18. Thu, 28th 10:00am Day 4
  19. Fri, 29th 10:00am Day 5
  20. Sat, 30th 10:00am Day 1

October 2017

Basic Cruising I

  1. Sun, 1st 10:00am Day 2
  2. Sat, 7th 10:00am Day 1
  3. Sun, 8th 10:00am Day 2
  4. Mon, 9th 10:00am Day 1
  5. Tue, 10th 10:00am Day 2
  6. Wed, 11th 10:00am Day 3
  7. Thu, 12th 10:00am Day 4
  8. Fri, 13th 10:00am Day 5
  9. Sat, 14th 10:00am Day 1
  10. Sun, 15th 10:00am Day 2
  11. Sat, 21st 10:00am Day 1
  12. Sun, 22nd 10:00am Day 2
  13. Mon, 23rd 10:00am Day 1
  14. Tue, 24th 10:00am Day 2
  15. Wed, 25th 10:00am Day 3
  16. Thu, 26th 10:00am Day 4
  17. Fri, 27th 10:00am Day 5
  18. Sat, 28th 10:00am Day 1
  19. Sun, 29th 10:00am Day 2

November 2017

Basic Cruising I

  1. Sat, 4th 10:00am Day 1
  2. Sun, 5th 10:00am Day 2
  3. Mon, 6th 10:00am Day 1
  4. Tue, 7th 10:00am Day 2
  5. Wed, 8th 10:00am Day 3
  6. Thu, 9th 10:00am Day 4
  7. Fri, 10th 10:00am Day 5
  8. Sat, 11th 10:00am Day 1
  9. Sun, 12th 10:00am Day 2
  10. Sat, 18th 10:00am Day 1
  11. Sun, 19th 10:00am Day 2
  12. Sat, 25th 10:00am Day 1
  13. Sun, 26th 10:00am Day 2
  14. Mon, 27th 10:00am Day 1
  15. Tue, 28th 10:00am Day 2
  16. Wed, 29th 10:00am Day 3
  17. Thu, 30th 10:00am Day 4

December 2017

Basic Cruising I

  1. Fri, 1st 10:00am Day 5
  2. Sat, 2nd 10:00am Day 1
  3. Sun, 3rd 10:00am Day 2
  4. Sat, 9th 10:00am Day 1
  5. Sun, 10th 10:00am Day 2
  6. Mon, 11th 10:00am Day 1
  7. Tue, 12th 10:00am Day 2
  8. Wed, 13th 10:00am Day 3
  9. Thu, 14th 10:00am Day 4
  10. Fri, 15th 10:00am Day 5
  11. Sat, 16th 10:00am Day 1
  12. Sun, 17th 10:00am Day 2

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