Live Aboard Cruising BVI

Published by Swain Sailing School and Yacht Charters on Tuesday, 26th July 2016 - 12:20PM


Live Aboard Cruising- BVI

Learn to sail and Intermediate to advanced sail training in the British Virgin Islands (BVI)

Prerequisite: Basic Keelboat

Contact Us to register for sailing courses, 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.

The Boats

Our intermediate courses are generally taught on Beneteaus 36- 51 feet. These boats are spacious, solidly built and move very well in all wind conditions; very impressive boats from an instructional as well as performance perspective. We also teach on catamarans for those interested in cruising catamarans.

Course Structure

Generally, our group courses, with a maximum of four training, are offered Monday- Saturday with a Sunday night arrival.  

Live Aboard Cruising Sample Itinerary

Day 1

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.  Marina Cay (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
  • Stowage
  • 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
  • live aboard cruising

Day 2

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 MOBs, docking practice, 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
  • Reversing
  • Incessant docking
  • Weather reports
  • Live aboard cruising

Day 3

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 reefs 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
  • Live aboard cruising

Day 4

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
  • Navigation
  • Live aboard cruising

Day 5

After picking up the anchor, 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.

Day 6

  • Sail instructor back to base
  • More docking practice
  • "Debrief"

Tuition Rates

The tuition rate for the group Live Aboard Cruising course (maximum 4 students) is $2395 per person (May 15- November 15); $2595 per person (November 15 - May 15) training on monohulls.  Training on catamarans: $2795- $2995.

Rate includes the ASA Bareboat Cruising Made Easy text, first night hotel accommodations or sleep aboard option, cruising permit, provisioning for 5 days (5 breakfasts; 4 lunches; 3 dinners; snacks and starter kit); ASA 104 Bareboat Cruising certification fee.

There is a 2 person enrollment minimum for this course. Singles, please inquire about availability in our open enrollment courses.

Course Supplements

Contact Us for Private Course Rates

View course tuition schedule.

A minimum deposit of 50% of total package is due at the time of the booking. Balance is due 45 days prior to the course start date. Course texts ship upon receipt of tuition deposit.

Cancellation/Change Policy:

All cancellations must be received in writing. A $250 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.

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