Introducing High-level Cruising at BOSS
At BOSS, we define “high-level cruising” as cruising that exhibits a high level of skill covering all the dimensions of expertise that are required for safe cruising adventures, whether coastal or offshore.
High-level cruising is not racing, and does not necessarily mean sailing fast. However, high-level cruisers know how to get the most of their vessel, particularly when it is necessary to speed up to avoid hazardous weather or to meet an important deadline.
In the case of offshore cruising, High-level Cruising extends beyond what is covered in our ASA 108 or Sail Canada Offshore courses. Those courses, however, provide an excellent set of foundational offshore skills and experience on which we can build.
Ten Characteristics of High-level Cruisers
How do you recognize a high-level cruiser? Here are the ten criteria we focus on:
- Risk management and mitigation: Understand how to identify, manage and mitigate risks while undertaking challenging, adventurous and fun passages. For high performance cruisers, safety is a constant state of mind.
- Sailing skills: Have the ability to handle yachts capable of consistent speeds in excess of 15 knots. Able to use performance sails in a cruising context, such as spinnakers, screechers, code 0, etc.
- Marine weather and routing: Have an excellent understanding of marine weather and the ability to use weather data and technology to support routing decisions, using sophisticated weather routing platforms. These platforms have traditionally been used by racers looking to optimize speed, and are now being used by cruisers looking to optimize comfort.
- Marine Electronics: Have familiarity with and ability to use leading-edge electronic aids, including AIS, broadband radar, integrated displays, boat networks, mobile devices, satellite communications, etc.
- Emergency Navigation: High-level cruisers have sufficient mastery of emergency navigation techniques to be able to reach a safe harbour even if all electronics fail
- Crew Management: Have the knowledge and skills necessary to maintain crew nutrition, health, safety and morale on long passages, including experience with optimal watch and fatigue management routines to maintain crew effectiveness on long passages
- Maintenance and Troubleshooting: Experienced at performing maintenance routines and troubleshooting necessary to ensure operational status for all vessel systems
- Sustainable Cruising: Consistently implement Sustainable Cruising Best Practices
- Sharing Knowledge: High-level cruisers all got there by learning from others, and share what they’ve learned with others who at at an earlier stage in their sailing journey
- Enjoying the journey: For high-level cruisers, enjoying the journey is as important as celebrating arrival at a destination.
There have been plenty of high-level cruisers over the decades, from Joshua Slocum to the present day cruising sailors whose sailing blogs on youTube capture the imaginations of millions. If you aren’t a high-level cruiser already, we at BOSS can help you get there.
As a leading American Sailing and Sail Canada cruising school operating year-round in St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the southern Caribbean, BOSS ensures that aspects of high-level cruising are built into all courses we deliver. This means that all our intermediate, advanced, and offshore courses, whether ASA or Sail Canada, include high-levele cruising content that goes beyond the formal ASA or Sail Canada standards.
In addition, in 2022, BOSS is introducing several new courses focused on aspects of high-level cruising. These include:
- Emergency Navigation: find your way home safely even if all your electronics fail
- Advanced Couples Cruising: learn the techniques pioneered by short-handed racing sailors, adapted to help cruising couples enjoy cruising together as an effective team
- High-level Offshore Cruising: this unique course takes you beyond the ASA and Sail Canada Offshore Cruising standards, learning high-level cruising skills on a performance yacht in the southern Caribbean
Phil is Barefoot’s Managing Director. He combines encyclopedic knowledge of the Grenadines and the Caribbean, an international career as an accomplished professional racing sailor, with an extraordinary knowledge of racing and cruising boats and gear.
Rob is the only Offshore Cruising instructor certified by both ASA and Sail Canada, and is a Sail Canada Senior Instructor Evaluator. In 2021, he completed a 7000 mile passage from Canada to St. Vincent and the Grenadines in his square-rigged schooner
We look forward to introducing all BOSS students to aspects of high-level cruising!
Come Sail with Us!