Offshore Passage Making-Grenada

Published by Swain Sailing School and Yacht Charters on Wednesday, 15th June 2016 - 7:50PM


Offshore Passage Making Training

Itinerary: BVI- Grenada

Dates: February 10- 15, 2019 (arriving in the BVI on February 9th)

Tuition: US$2595pp

Training Yacht: Beneteau 43

This advanced training course will start from Tortola, BVI and finish in Grenada, sailing non-stop between the two places, meeting the requirements for a minimum 72 hour passage.  Trainees will clear out from Road Town, Tortola and clear in at L'anse Aux Epines, Grenada.

Training will cover the ASA 108 standards.  To view the 108 certification requirements:

Candidates will also need to demonstrate proficiency with either the ASA 107 standard:  or ASA 117 Endorsement:

Please note that if the required course work is completed prior to the start of the course, candidates may sit for the 117 in conjunction with their 108 training. 

The Plan

Ocean sailing, voyaging, is an exercise in self reliance. This program introduces sailors to day and night offshore sailing. The passage will be 3-4 days offshore. Preparations by individuals must be simple and compact. The route is most often very pleasant. The weather varies between very light air to robust but not stormy conditions. The sea state is generally below 6 feet. 

Route and weather:

The course from Tortola to Grenada is SE, 168T (same as Newport to Bermuda). The distance is 420 nm as measured on a Mercator chart. The time in route is expected to be below 75 to 80 hours. Weather at this time of year is normally mild with the wind at about 15-20 knots from the ENE. We expect a close reach. The yacht, a Beneteau 43, sails at around 6 to 7 knots in such conditions.


We will use deduced reckoning, estimated position, and celestial along with electronic navigation techniques. A log will be maintained and the track will be plotted regularly. The chart shows the route. Green tags are our predicted track and times. The magenta tags show a similar trip from 2018 to St Lucia. The chart is from Imray-Iolaire. We also use the NV Chart Kits. (

Communication and safety:

The yacht is equipped with VHF, Life Raft, Spot tracker, and the standard USA Federally required signals. Mobile phone connections are available near islands. It is expected that we will cross tracks with fishing vessels, inter-island freighters and ocean-going container ships or tankers.

Trainees are welcome to bring their own safety harness with tether. We will supply safety gear for those who do not wish to use their own. 

Accommodations and crew:

The yacht has three cabins with double beds in each. The forward cabin is useful in port but not at sea. The double aft cabins can be divided into two berths as required. There is a berth/settee in the main cabin generally for the skipper.

Watch Routine:

The routine is set depending upon the crew number and experience as well as weather. Normally, we want to use two-on-four-off with mild conditions and a crew of three or more. Otherwise, we use the four-on-four-off model. 

The Vessel:

Training will be on a Beneteau, Oceanis 43. 

We have sufficient water and fuel to make the trip without strain. The water tanks hold almost 100 gallons, or about 12 gallons per day. We will carry additional bottles of drinking water. The fuel capacity of the yacht is sufficient to motorsail for almost 75 hours. This burn rate was determined during the delivery of this yacht from Newport to BVI in the Fall of 2018. We carry two propane tanks which should last a month or so by best guess.

The hull, rig, keel and rudder configurations are all typical of today’s cruising yachts. The cockpit is spacious and drains well.  


We will make a meal plan with the crew's input and based on weather and what’s in the market. Hydration and nutrition offshore are always important. This trip is not an experiment in exotic offshore cuisine. We'll eat well and simply. Part of meal planning is availability, stowage, preparation and cooking time plus clean up. 

The galley area on the 43 is spacious. The bench near centerline holds a lot of provisions. The reefer is large. 

Advice on Traveling to the BVI, Documentation and Airfare

Getting to the BVI 

Entry Requirements

Flying out of Grenada

For tips on airlines and required documentation for travelers:

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