Pre-requisites – ASA 101 & feeling confident in all your Basic Keelboat skills and knowledge. (ASA recommends a minimum of 10-20 days of on-water experience)
This Cruise-and-Learn Adventure is a 6-day, 5-night live-aboard class. You’ll gain skills and knowledge necessary to feel capable and comfortable at the wheel of a cruising yacht. This certification enables you to charter boats up to 45 feet, anywhere in the world. This trip includes all instruction materials; 5 nights accommodation aboard Splendid Adventure, our Beneteau 393; all breakfasts, lunches, and two dinners aboard.
A Sample Class Itinerary
Day One (1pm start)
Check in and board Splendid Adventure in the afternoon. We’ll stay dockside as we get to know each other, our vessel and the cruising grounds. We’ll have dinner ashore, then finalize our duty roster and sleep aboard at the Marina.
First things first: we’ll get everyone comfortable at the wheel by practicing motoring skills. Next we’ll get to know Splendid Adventure under sail and explore Pensacola Bay. Then it’s on to Big Lagoon, where we’ll find a beautiful anchorage. We’ll have dinner aboard and experience a night under the stars.
Now we weigh anchor and set our sights west along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) towards the Perdido Key area. Today we will practice our navigation skills, heavy weather sailing techniques, and work on our “crew overboard” recovery. Tonight we’ll dock at Barber Marina in the tranquil Perdido Key area. At the end of the day we’ll review & take the 103 certification exam.
After breakfast we’ll prepare for some difficult piloting as we head out Perdido Pass. We’ll practice our navigation and sail trim on the Gulf of Mexico’s turquoise waters. A 14-mile voyage east will bring us to Pensacola Pass and back to protected waters. We’ll dock back at downtown Pensacola and enjoy dinner and an evening ashore on Palafox Street.
After practicing docking it’s back on the Bay to hone our sailing skills. We’ll cover different anchoring styles and enjoy lunch on the hook. Then it’s up to the capable crew to get the captain & vessel home safe and sound. Before dinner the captain will entertain questions for tomorrow’s 104 exam.
Day Six (ends between 12 & 3pm)
We’ll enjoy our last breakfast aboard, then you’ll take the 104 exam. We’ll discuss what to expect when you do your first “bareboat” charter. You’ll end your week relaxed, confident, and ready to charter a boat of your own!
NOTE: as prudent sailors, weather will determine our final plans
“My wife and I had been sailing for a while and we had years to consider the right place for finally earning our 103/104 certification for coastal cruising to take our dream to the next level. On multiple occasions, experienced sailors referred us to John at the Sailing Academy in Pensacola, FL. We kept hearing not all all courses are created equal in quality of instruction and practical time on the water. There were cheaper options out there, and some that offered couples deals. In the end we went with Pensacola Sailing Academy and my wife and I couldn’t have been happier.”