Get Certified

Feb 13, 2007
Outside Magazine
Sailing Annapolis

Sailing Annapolis    Photo: GlowImages


If the bareboating certificate in your hand isn't all the confidence you need, try one of Sunsail's flotillas. The trips gather up to 13 chartered yachts and their rookie crews for guided group and independent cruising through the Mediterranean or Caribbean. Each flotilla is also accompanied by a veteran captain who'll offer instruction and reassurance. About $650 per day for an eight-person boat;

These outfits offer distinct routes to a bareboat cruising certificate, which is what most charter companies require before letting you captain a boat. They also offer training in more advanced skills, like celestial navigation and offshore passage making, that you won't learn in your bareboat course.

Tortola, BVI, and nine other locations throughout the U.S. and Caribbean
The ten-day Fast Track to Cruising, in Tortola, runs $4,860 from December to July, $3,996 July–October, and $4,117 October–December; includes on-boat meals and private accommodations(on-boat and off);

Alameda and Sausalito, California
Club Nautique recently won U.S. Sailing's Prosser award for outstanding instruction, especially impressive considering the challenges of operating in San Francisco Bay. Its cumulative eight-day Skipper's Course and four-day bareboat-certification course teach you how to navigate fog, busy shipping lanes, strong currents, and 25-knot winds. Both courses, $2,590, including on-boat accommodations;

Annapolis, Maryland
America's oldest sailing school offers a progression of three five-day courses, affording apprentice skippers time to explore Chesapeake Bay. All three, $3,240 (April–October only), including accommodations;

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