Coastal Passage Making

US SAILING Coastal Passage Making Certification: Experience the Power of the Open Sea

Club Nautique has the most extensive Passage Making training program in the country. In fact, we are proud to have taught and certified over 75% of all the US SAILING Passage Making graduates in the nation!

Sailboat with cover of 'Passage Making' book in the upper-right corner


We teach Coastal Passage Making as a series of 2½ day weekends along the beautiful and challenging Central California coast. Famous for strong winds and currents, substantial swells and wind waves, afternoon fog and busy shipping traffic, you will train in conditions that are the envy of sailors from around the world. We use Ocean-rated yachts of 36′ to 50′ in length, all fully equipped for ocean cruising, including: Radar, GPS, EPIRB radio beacons, liferafts, jacklines, bosun’s chairs and extensive tools/spare parts kits -in addition to all the cruising amenities that make ocean cruising not just safe, but also comfortable. Because we teach the course as a series of passages, our students gain experience at sea in a number of different types of yachts and in a variety of weather and sea conditions.

Students must complete a minimum of five passages and pass in the following positions: Crew, Assistant Navigator, Ship’s Navigator, Skipper and finally, Skipper and organize your own “Tag-along” boat to shadow one of the boats with an instructor on board. Graduates qualify to skipper Club boats anywhere from Bodega Bay to the Mexican border, and up to 200 miles offshore!

Topics Covered Include

  • Vessel inspection (hull, spars, rigging, hardware, sails, engines, mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, navigation equipment and anchoring systems)
  • Voyage planning
  • Provisioning
  • Fuel and water conservation
  • Navigation, including all aspects of Dead reckoning and log-keeping
  • Proper use of Radar, GPS and marine radio
  • Precise boat handling in close quarters and adverse conditions
  • Boat handling in open water and substantial waves
  • Command and leadership skills
  • Crew overboard recovery maneuvers and recovery
  • Handling emergencies such as fire, water intake, dismasting and loss of steering
  • Storm sail selection, rigging and use
  • Storm management
  • Preparing and deploying liferaft
  • Making landfalls in unfamiliar harbors


  • A series of 2½ or 5 day weekends
  • Minimum of four passages on instructor boats and one tag-along voyage
  • Offered one to two times each month from March through November
  • Taught aboard a series of ocean certified yachts 36′ to 50′


$1,500 per person/per passage + share of charter cost + Tag-along voyage (2 1/2 day weekend)

$2,500 per person/per passage + share of charter cost + Tag-along voyage (5 day weekend)


Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising, Bareboat Cruising, Navigation Certifications and Club Nautique’s Coastal Passage Making Information Seminar (CPMIS). Three (3) Clinics: Anchoring, Big Boat Motoring, and GRAD (GPS, Radar, AIS & DSC). Two (2) additional charters on BBC level boats. Completion of the CPM Written Exam (Done after CPMIS).


Cover of 'Passage Making' book

Passage Making, US SAILING
Included in cost of class.