BOSS 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. It includes extensive online training in advance of the on-water component.
- Online component begins: November 1, 2022
- On-water component: February 5-11, 2023
Participation fee: US$4,500, plus certification fees (if any).
The course is designed for people:
- who already have completed ASA 108 or Sail Canada Offshore and are looking to built their skills even farther
- who have at least some offshore experience, may or may not have any certifications, but want to become the best offshore cruiser they can be.
What are the features that make this offshore course unique?
- You will be sailing in and around the Grenadines on a performance yacht capable of 12-15+ knots, covering approximately 500 miles offshore
- You will gain experience handling performance sails and steering a boat that sails faster than you may be accustomed to
- You will obtain hands on experience using advanced weather routing platforms as used by ocean racers
You will learn about tropical clouds and their impact on navigation and decision-making
You will learn how to effectively use all the advanced electronics on the boat
- You will gain experience manning continuous day and night watches
- Through briefings and simulations, you will learn how to handle various offshore emergencies, including MOB, fire, dismasting, abandon ship, etc.
- You will practice emergency navigation techniques that are essential to know if your electronics were to fail while offshore
- You will implement sustainable cruising best practices throughout the week
While the specific itinerary is subject to weather, the course will begin and end at the Barefoot base in Blue Lagoon, St. Vincent. Beginning on a Sunday, the first two nights will be spent at anchor or moored in the Grenadines, while participants learn the knowledge and skills necessary for the offshore passage. After the second night, we will head offshore for 3 days of continuous offshore cruising, which will likely include looping around Barbados before returning to the Grenadines. The final night will be in Bequai, before returning to Barefoot’s base before noon on Saturday.
Participants will be awarded a certificate of completion from BOSS. ASA or Sail Canada certifications are not a primary objective of this course, but arrangements may be made for offshore or celestial certifications on a case-specific basis.
This sailing adventure is led by a uniquely-qualified team of instructors: Phil Barnard and Rob McLean.
Phil Barnard is the Managing Director of Barefoot, and continues an active career as a professional racing sailor, having participated in almost all of the best-known ocean races during the last 30 years. He combines encyclopedic knowledge of the Caribbean and the Grenadines with extraordinary knowledge of racing and cruising boats and gear.
Rob is the only Offshore Cruising instructor certified by both ASA and Sail Canada, is a Sail Canada Senior Instructor Evaluator, and is the BOSS Lead Instructor and Coordinator. In 2021, he completed a 7000 mile passage from Canada to St. Vincent and the Grenadines on his square-rigged schooner.
Pricing has two components: the Base Participation Fee, and Certification Fees based on the certifications sought and earned during the passage, if any.
Base Participation Fee
The Base Participation Fee includes:
- Shared accommodation on the yacht for the length of the passage. Given the nature of an offshore passage that requires continuous watches, this may include sharing a berth, hot-bunking, sleeping in the salon, etc.
- Provisioning: breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the length of the passage, non-alcoholic beverages, some basic snacks
- Yacht running costs: diesel, water, etc.
- Access to instruction throughout the passage
The participation fee does not include:
- Pre-course coaching, marking assignment or exams, processing ASA or Sail Canada certifications, ASA or Sail Canada Membership
- Travel to or from SVG
- Personal snacks (since only you know your snacking preferences!)
- Provisions or dining ashore while in port
- Cleaning / disinfection fee of $250 per person
- Alcoholic beverages while in port (consuming alcohol will not be permitted while at sea). Recreational drugs are not permitted on board
The participation fee can be paid in installments: 50% on booking, and the balance 45 days in advance of the start date of the course.
Details on certification fees are here.
Participants in an offshore passage are required to enter into a Crew Agreement that outlines the mutual responsibilities of the crew and instructor (Master) on the passage. Details will be shared with you before you book your participation.