BVI Sailing Courses - Live Aboard Cruising
Learn to sail in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), St. Martin, St. Barths, Antigua and other Caribbean Islands
Prerequisite: Basic Keelboat
Contact Us to register for sailing courses on Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
Live Aboard Cruising
(Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising/Bareboat Charter Certifications)
Prerequisite: Basic Keelboat
This course is designed to instill complete confidence in captaining a bigger (+38') sailboat. Bareboating is not necessarily difficult to do, if you want to do it with comfort and confidence, then you should take this course. Mixed in with all of the facets to big boat cruising is a different anchorage every night, camaraderie with those who are on board for the same reason you are, and ideal sailing conditions.
Our advanced courses are generally taught on Beneteaus and Jeanneaus 40-54 feet. These boats are spacious, solidly built and move very well in all wind conditions; a very impressive boat from an instructional as well as performance perspective. We also teach on Beneteaus, a proven manufacturer in the charter boat industry; as well as select catamarans.
Depending on the number of students, 38-54 foot boats are used to teach this course. The course begins on Monday with boat briefing and provisioning and finishes on Saturday after students successfully complete their sail from the Bight back to Nanny Cay.
Following an afternoon of big boat tacking, crew over boards, maneuvering under power, sail trim, and eyeball navigation, we find our anchorage on the eastern end of Tortola. There are three choices like the one pictured here, Marina Cay. It (like all of your stops) is idyllic with a fringing barrier reef for snorkeling or just staring at calm, clear water where the bottom looks six feet away, but could be fifty.
- Overview of boat (below and above deck)
- Engine- gauges, shifting, neutral, prop walk
- Dock lines
- Electrical panel
- Refrigeration (stowage)
- Safety equipment
- Dinghy and outboard operation
- Depth, speed, auto pilot
- Through haul fittings
- Propane operation
- Successful provisioning
- Maneuvering under power
- Proper sail raising/unfurling
- Fair lead placement,tell tales
- Big boat tacks -team work
- Rights of way
- Man Overboards
- Double Anchor prep
Tuesday you will sail up to the Bitter End Resort located in North Sound on Virgin Gorda. Head ashore for some of the best water sports in the world or stroll through this world class resort, or stay on the boat and watch the sun go down.
We call day 2 "big Tuesday", in that we cover: solo reefing, solo MOB's, docking practice for at least three hours, upwind sailing performance, and more rudimentary navigation
- Mechanical systems
- Electrical systems
- Fresh water systems
- Solo reefing
- Solo man overboards
- Perfect sail trim
- Mooring balls
- Power spins with prop. Walk
- Incessant docking
- Weather reports
Anegada is your Wednesday destination. On this day, we fully cover navigation - all fixes, dead reckoning, gps., lines of position, depth sounder navigation, danger bearings, and more. Along with this comes sail trim and sail shape as it relates to reaching. You cannot see Anegada when you set out so your navigation skills are both fresh and necessary.
Anegada is actually a sand bar on top of a reef. Its mean elevation is six or seven feet which requires solid navigational skills. Always worth the sail, Anegada is almost completely circled by reef and is surrounded by white beach. After snorkeling the reefs, long walks on the barren beach, or relaxing in a hammock under sea grape trees, you'll have dinner ashore at a fabulous restaurant on the beach.
- Navigation i.e. dead reckoning, lops,(all) fixes, gps depth contours etc.
- Trimming sails to course
- Man overboards
- Position and DR fixes
- Cooking underway
- Compass steering
From Anegada, we perfect our jibe angles and wing on wing skills. It's the longest sail of the week, so there is ample time for navigational fixes and dead reckoning.
After a long broad reach, you will sail into Cane Garden Bay. A picture book anchorage with palm trees spotting a white sandy beach, CGB is a small beach community that one will find difficult to leave the next day.
- Broad reaching with proper trim
- Jibe angles and wing on wing;preventer
- Controlled jibes
After picking up anchors, we will reach down the NW Tortola coast, piloting our way to the West End, from there we'll tack our way through the Thatch Cut to our destination, Norman Island. The snorkeling here is tremendous, and the harbour is always flat and breezy. Whether you enjoy dancing it up on the "Willie T" (a floating bar known by countless visiting boaters) or sitting back on the boat, Norman Island will be on your list of islands to return to.
- Sail instructor back to base
- More docking practice
The tuition rate for the group Live Aboard Cruising course (maximum 4 students) is $1,995 per person (June - October); $2,195 per person (November - May). Rate includes the Bareboat Cruising text, first night hotel accommodations, cruising permit, provisioning for 5 days (5 breakfasts; 4 lunches; 3 dinners; snacks and starter kit); Bareboat Cruising/Bareboat Charter Certification fee.
There is a 2 person enrollment minimum for this course. Singles, please inquire about rates and availability in our open enrollment courses.
The following certifications are available through this course for additional fees:
|Prerequisite ||Fee |
|Basic Cruising ||Basic Keelboat ||$40.00 |
(Includes Basic Cruising text and exam)
|Bareboat Cruising/Bareboat Charter ||Basic Cruising ||Included in tuition |
|Coastal Navigation ||None ||$295 |
(Includes Coastal Navigation text and exam)
Contact Us for Private Course Rates
View course schedule and special discount offerings on Group Courses
A minimum deposit of 50% of total package is due at the time of the booking. Balance is due 60 days prior to the course start date.
All cancellations must be received in writing. A $200 per person processing fee is charged on all cancellations. No refunds or transfers allowed for defaults, and cancellations less than 60 days prior to start date of the course.