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This course requires Basic Cruising

Bareboat Cruising is intended for those with a US Sailing Basic Cruising certification or equivalent skills. We teach this course aboard 30' to 40' yachts fully-equipped for bareboat charters. Bareboat Cruising is designed for sailors looking to develop skills on larger boats and on longer bareboat charters. You'll learn all the skills you need for chartering these yachts on San Francisco Bay as well as in any of the popular chartering locations worldwide, from Tahiti to Turkey, Australia to the Caribbean.

We limit the classes to four students and one instructor per boat. The curriculum consists of 39 hours of instruction (45 hours in the week-long option), including the Navigation III and Seamanship III study halls. The course also includes an overnight stay at an anchorage inside the Bay.

Successful completion prepares you to:

  • Charter boats in the 30-40' range anywhere in the world with confidence.
  • US Sailing members will receive the US Sailing Bareboat Cruising certification.

  • Cruise planning

    Proper provisioning techniques, planning destinations within a safe distance, choosing anchorages for their protection and holding ground, dealing with customs in foreign ports.
  • Wheel steering

    Learning how to exploit the mechanical advantage of the wheel while learning to anticipate less feel than the rudder.
  • Diesel engines

    Operation, care, troubleshooting, diesel engine theory, fuel/air/compression partnership.
  • Electrical instruments

    Depth sounder, knot meter, VHF radio and more.
  • Close quarters maneuvering

    Operate in narrow slip ways with confidence and control in any wind conditions
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  • Prop walk

    Learn what it is, how it complicates backing up and how to use it to your advantage.
  • Windage

    Manage the increased profile a bigger yacht presents to the wind while maneuvering in close quarters.
  • Handling emergencies

    Learn the additional emergencies that pop up in a long bareboat charter cruise and how to prevent, respond to and recover from them.
  • Current sailing

    Plot courses and plan cruises factoring in the time, direction and strength of currents as well as the ‘safe water’ issues in tidal areas.
  • Spring and warp lines

    Learn how to control larger yachts in and out of the dock when they are too big to simply push.
  • Dinghy handling

    Dinghies are a great asset for cruising sailors as long as they know the secrets of towing, boarding and disembarking.
  • Roller furling

    Learn how to benefit from one of the greatest conveniences in yachts in the last 50 years along with secrets on preventing a jam or working up a sweat furling it while in a big blow.
  • Preventative maintenance

    Learn to keep the major equipment in good shape, protect sails from UV, check critical fluids in the engine and much more.
  • 4
    4 Day

    Two weekends. 10am–4pm each day. Overnight on second weekend.

  • 5
    5 Day

    Monday–Friday. 10am–4pm each day. Overnight on Wednesday.

  • Experience on a performance cruiser

    The first part of the Bareboat Cruising class is taught aboard 30-32' boats, and the second part, including the overnight, aboard a 35-40-foot yacht. The yachts are late-model performance cruisers and include the most popular charter models you are likely to find when you bareboat charter. Click here to find out more about OCSC's fleet.

  • 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 four 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: 39 hours of instruction (45 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 Bareboat Cruising textbook, an OCSC Bareboat Cruising manual, and a binder to keep all your materials in one place.

  • Additional seminars included

    Bareboat Cruising also includes two study halls: Navigation III and Seamanship III. Nav III is taught on Monday evening, and Sea III is taught on Tuesday evening the week of the five-day Bareboat Cruising class. Each study hall is three hours and covers aspects of sailing vital safe boating. Subjects covered include topics such as advanced plotting problems, cruise planning, and more. These are not required but are included with your course.

  • 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 Bareboat Cruising class need additional on-the-water training beyond the class to meet our standards. When you purchase OCSC's Bareboat Cruising package, we will provide you with with up to five additional coaching sessions at no cost, if taken within 60 days from the start of the class.

  • In order to qualify for the guaranteed certification:

    You must be a member,

    You must be OCSC Basic Cruising certified and 3) have chartered a boat from OCSC as a skipper for at least ten (10) full days. Please contact us if you have any questions.

  • Every day lunch and provisions for the overnight cruise

    Lunch is not included. However, we do provision the boat in preparation for your overnight so you learn how to manage food during a charter, from properly stowing provisions to preparing meals aboard using the tools on board a charter boat

Study Halls Included

This Course Prepares You For

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    Advanced Bareboat Cruising

    Sailing with confidence is what happens after a skipper obtains a robust set of sailing and seamanship skills.

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    Catamaran Course

    Our Catamaran course is designed for sailors looking to become competent and confident on larger cruising catamarans.

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    Coastal Navigation

    Our Coastal Navigation course is designed to acquaint you with all the tools, publications and skills required for successful coastal navigation