US Sailing Basic Cruising Certification Courses

Aboard MAKANI, a Bavaria 38 Sloop, with Capt. Bob Baginski

MAKANI cruising sailboat beyond Fort McHenry
Photo courtesy of Deadrise Marine Photography

Basic Cruising Certification Course - $1000-$1100

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The Downtown Sailing Center, in collaboration with SV Makani and Captain Bob Baginski, is pleased to continue to offer TOP NOTCH US Sailing Basic Cruising Certification Courses.

Capt. Bob has been coaching with The Downtown Sailing Center since 2003. He taught Basic Keelboat from 2003 to 2017 and began teaching Basic Cruising in 2018. He was one of the original DSC US Sailing Certified Small Boat and Keelboat Instructors. He has been intimately involved in our Keelboat Education program development and has taught well-over 150 students to sail in that time.  Let him teach you the basics of Cruising through US Sailing's Basic Cruising Certification Course.

Bob will be teaching the Basic Cruising Course aboard MAKANI, a Bavaria 38. With roller furling for both main and jib and spacious accommodations above and below decks, MAKANI is the perfect training vessel for your Cruising Course.

Launching out of Markley's Marina in Essex, Baltimore County, Maryland, Captain Bob's US Sailing Basic Cruising Course will be the perfect opportunity for sailors who have graduated from the US Sailing Basic Keelboat Course who are ready to develop cruising skills. For more information about the US Sailing Keelboat Program, click HERE. 

Courses are held over two full weekends and graduates who complete the Basic Cruising certification course should finish the class with familiarity of engine systems, electrical systems, and how to daysail an auxiliary powered cruising sailboat. The program is open to three (3) students at a time with a course minimum of Two (2) students.  Courses are offered monthly during the season or upon request. For a list of practical skills and knowledge for successful completion of the Basic Cruising Course, click HERE.

Recommendations to prepare for the certification course included:   60+ hours as crew of 27 to 40 + ft cruiser or completion of the DSC Cruising Program informal Cruising Skipper Development training opportunities. 

Prerequisite for the course is proof of completing the US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification Course plus additional on the water time. Persons born on or after July 1, 1972 must also provide proof of valid Maryland Safe Boater Certification (or equivalent), which can be earned at no cost to you through Boat US Foundation's program. 

Cruising Skipper Development (CSD)

These educational events are structured to provide informal and free training opportunities for the cruising crew members interested in becoming a DSC skipper.  These day long events, led by volunteer cruising skippers, emphasize basic skills and safety, and will allow participants to practice and improve their knowledge and skills, which are essential for an enjoyable and safe sailing experience.

Cruising Focused-Skill Courses

Throughout the year, the Cruising Program schedules focused educational events:

  • Specific classes on navigation, anchoring, reefing, engine repair, cruise planning, & towing.
  • On-the-Water practical’s to build knowledge and skills for taking advanced certification courses.
The education programs improve the cooperation for crew and skippers to increase their overall experience, skills and knowledge.

Email for more information about the DSC Cruising Education Programs.


  • DSC cruising skippers have the necessary sailing resume and skill level to sail the DSC cruising vessels.
  • DSC cruising skippers are expected to regularly volunteer as skippers for the scheduled cruising events, accessible-sailing program and for fleet-maintenance work parties throughout the year.

Email for more information about becoming a DSC Cruising Skipper.

The Downtown Sailing Center at the Baltimore Museum of Industry
1425 Key Highway, Suite 110, Baltimore, MD 21230
410.727.0722 •

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