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Bareboat Cruising


OCSC’s “Learn-to-Bareboat Charter” course is intended for those with a US Sailing Basic Cruising certification or equivalent skills. Bareboat Cruising is taught aboard 30′ to 40′ yachts fully-equipped for 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.


Bareboat Cruising Certification

Students per Boat

Four maximum


Course Formats

Four-day option
Two full weekends of your choice.
10 am – 5 pm first weekend
Overnight on second weekend
Five-day option
Five weekdays (Mon – Fri)
10 am – 5 pm each day
(Wednesday night is an overnight)

Seminars Included


Basic Cruising certification or equivalent experience.

Using a “tiller-steered” boat is important to your education

We choose to use tiller steered boats for both Basic Keelboat and Basic Cruising courses because it is the best way to become a well-rounded sailor. Our commitment is to teach sailing in the best way to assure our students develop the confidence and confidence to handle any yacht. Traditionally sailors have always started learning to steer with a tiller before moving on to learning wheel steering on larger boats. A tiller gives a sailor instant feedback with every movement of the rudder. Learning to feel and read the force at play on a boat as it moves through the water is much easier with a tiller due to instant feedback. Steering properly and keeping the boat in balance and trim becomes a natural instinct that once learned is never forgotten. Moving on to wheel steering boats is very easy, but the accomplished sailor will still feel comfortable aboard anything from a sailing dingy or a tender with an outboard engine to a large racing yacht with a tiller or a wheel.

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.

Good to know:

  • You’ll get more out of our Bareboat Cruising Course and have more fun if you’ve supplemented your earlier training with experience as skipper. The course is designed for people with prior sailing experience as the skipper in charge.
  • Our Bareboat Cruising course is the most comprehensive and challenging in the US. We fully expect all of our students to require additional coaching and practice after their first two weekends. We provide as many coaching sessions as you need to fully ‘own’ all the necessary skills for being a competent cruising sailor on San Francisco Bay and around the country. These three-hour sailing sessions are targeted to your level to ensure you make as much progress as possible each time you come back. The average number of reviews for BBC graduates is four — that’s an additional 12 hours of training on us! *
  • OCSC members qualify for our Bareboat Cruising guarantee by chartering five full days on our boats under 30 feet prior to taking the course.
  • At the point you and your instructor feel your skills are where we promised they would be, we have you take a practical evaluation to be sure we have completely done our job. Like the reviews, practical evaluations can be done multiple times without charge under our guarantee.


Completion of this course makes the following available to you: Advanced Bareboat Cruising, Night Sailing, Catamaran Course, Coastal Navigation, Coastal Passagemaking*, Asymmetrical Spinnaker 101B (J/105 course), and more…

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