OCSC Sailing School

Offshore Passagemaking

Description/Overview | Topics Covered | Course Schedule

OCSC Offshore Passagemaking Course

OCSC's "Offshore Passagemaking" course

OCSC's Offshore Passagemaking course is the pinnacle of our cruising track of courses and is designed to prepare you for an open ocean crossing. This course is exciting, challenging, difficult and, at times, daunting. It is what you can expect if you plan to join the elite group of sailors who call themselves "blue water sailors".

With a very large training area off the California coast, you will encounter and be trained to manage all the challenges of several days offshore. You’ll grapple with watch systems and watch standing, keeping a proper navigation log, celestial navigation sights and sight reductions, responses to emergencies such as heaving to a sea anchor, running with warps, abandoning ship, medical emergencies, etc.

Whether you are intending to simply further develop your ocean sailing skills or you qualify to be an official candidate for certification, you will be challenged to learn and grow.

In fact, this course best rewards sailors who attend with the full package of prerequisite skills and knowledge, as well as lots of recent experience.

Successful completion prepares you to:

  • Plan, prepare for and execute a blue water, cross ocean cruise as skipper.

*Prerequisites for Offshore Passagemaking:

  • To attend: In order to attend this course, you must have US Sailing's Coastal Passagemaking certification or equivalent experience. Extensive experience on cruising boats in 30 - 40-foot range is strongly advised. Call us and one of our club managers familiar with the training and the program can advise you and set you up for success.
  • To be evaluated for certification: If you are a US Sailing member and you meet all the prerequisite qualifications, you may be evaluated for Offshore Passagemaking Certification through US Sailing. Both US Sailing's Coastal Passagemaking and Celestial Navigation certifications are prerequisites for you to be considered for OPM certification. In addition to successfully performing during the course and, especially during the formal practical evaluation near the end of the course, you must successfully complete the Offshore Passagemaking written exam (taken within one year after completion of the course). This exam is based on the topics covered in the course, as well as in the course text, Passagemaking.

 

Class Information

Cost:

  • Member: $TBD
  • Retail: $TBD

# of students:

  • 6 maximum and 2 instructors

Boat:

Formats:

  • Seven Consecutive Days
    Monday - Sunday
    (Tues - Sun nights are spent aboard the boat)

Prerequisites:

Coastal Passagemaking & Celestial Navigation certifications.*
(Please see detailed explanation below.)


*Prerequisites for Offshore Passagemaking:

  • To attend:
    In order to attend this course, you must have US Sailing's Coastal Passagemaking certification or equivalent experience. Extensive experience on cruising boats in 30 - 40-foot range is strongly advised. Call us and one of our club managers familiar with the training and the program can advise you and set you up for success.

  • To be evaluated for certification:
    If you are a US Sailing member and you meet all the prerequisite qualifications, you may be evaluated for Offshore Passagemaking Certification through US Sailing. Both US Sailing's Coastal Passagemaking and Celestial Navigation certifications are prerequisites for you to be considered for OPM certification. In addition to successfully performing during the course and, especially during the formal practical evaluation near the end of the course, you must successfully complete the Offshore Passagemaking written exam (taken within one year after completion of the course). This exam is based on the topics covered in the course, as well as in the course text, Passagemaking.

Topics Covered

Here are some of the things you'll learn in our Offshore Passagemaking course:

  • Passage planning: Climate and weather routing, evaluating and using prevailing winds and conditions, risky weather.
  • Developing and maintaining a functional "watch system": Ensure off-watch crew is able to rest and recover, systems for creating flexibility in the system.
  • Helmsmanship: In bad weather, at night, while sleep-deprived.
  • Emergencies at sea: When and how to use the EPIRB or the liferaft, proper communications protocols in an emergency, enhancing self-sufficiency at sea.
  • Provisioning: For an ocean passage, the special diets that keep crew healthy and alert and promote proper off-watch sleep patterns and ward off illness.
  • Weather forecasting: Learning the use of global weather and climate charts, as well as ocean synoptic charts and gathering electronic weather forecast data.
  • Preparing the vessel: Gear thorough inspection of all vessel systems, inspection of all safety gear, life rafts, jack lines, survival suits, EPIRB, stocking and protecting the medical kit, water supply/watermaker.
  • Celestial navigation: Taking sights and creating fixes.
  • Long distance communications: SSB, satellite phone, etc.
  • Maintaining and protecting the life support and comfort systems: Battery banks, refrigeration, water supply, engine, generator, plumbing system, electronics for communications and navigation.
  • Responding to medical emergency medicine at sea: Providing initial response care, learning how to properly engage rescue services.
  • Plus: Heavy weather management, applyign coastal passagemaking skills, abandon ship drills, maintaining the ship's log, on-deck crew safety, leadership and decision making.

Schedule

Availability


This course is not currently scheduled. Please email us if you are interested or call us at 510.843.4200.