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us sailing cruising certification courses

Basic Crusing and Bareboat Cruising Certifications

MAKANI cruising sailboat beyond Fort McHenry

Photo courtesy of Deadrise Marine Photography

US Sailing Cruising Certifications Overview

The Downtown Sailing Center, in collaboration with SV Makani and Captain Bob Baginski, is pleased to continue to offer US Sailing Cruising Certification Courses. Both Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising Courses are offered for those interested in certification or just a refresher.

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 closely involved in our Keelboat Education program development.

Bob teaches both the Cruising Courses aboard MAKANI, his Bavaria 38. With roller furling main and genoa, and spacious accommodations, MAKANI is the perfect training vessel for your Cruising Lesson. Launching out of Markley's Marina in Essex, 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. 

Recommendations to prepare for the certification courses include: crewed aboard 27 to 40+ ft. cruisers and/or engaged in or completed the DSC Cruising Skipper Development Program. For students who need to refresh cruising skills without the desire for certification, private lessons may be arranged.

US Sailing Basic Cruising (BC)

Each course is 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 confidently Day-sail 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.  Private lessons are also available upon request.  Learn the basics of Cruising through US Sailing's Basic Cruising Certification Course.  Other schools offer this as a 3-day course whereas the DSC course is up to days 4 or 32 hours of on the water and classroom time. 

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. 

Basic Cruising Challenge (BCC)

The Downtown Sailing Center is pleased to offer a 1-day Basic Cruising Challenge as an alternative to the Basic Cruising 4-day class.  The BC Challenge is intended for those individuals with meaningful day-sailing and cruising experience.  Candidates will be evaluated and required to demonstrate that their knowledge and skills are consistent US Sailing Basic Cruising Certification standards.   Candidates should understand the challenge is an evaluative course, and they should be able to fully demonstrate cruising skills and knowledge with little or no coaching. Click here for more information, or contact the office to schedule.

Bareboat Cruising Certification (BB)

The Downtown Sailing Center, in collaboration with SV Makani and Captain Bob Baginski, is pleased to offer US Sailing's Bareboat Certification Course. Makani has 2 double cabins available which are suitable for sailing couples or singles. The course is conducted out of Markley's Marina in Essex, Maryland. Captain Bob's US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Course will be the perfect opportunity for sailors who have graduated from the US Sailing Basic Cruising Course who are ready to further develop cruising skills.

The course duration is up to 6 days and up to 4 nights based on the number of participants and class progress to assure all course skills and knowledge requirements are met. Plan to spend nights onboard at a destination anchorage, mooring, or dockside. Time on the water and classroom time will afford participants the opportunity to develop plenty of boat handling knowledge and practical skills for successful completion of the Bareboat Cruising Certification.  For a list of practical skills and knowledge for successful completion of the Bareboat Cruising Course, click

Price is $2450 for members, $2600 for non-members. All course materials are included. Provisioning, mooring, and/or marina fees are not included; students should expect all provisioning and other extra costs will be shared equally. 

Bareboat Certification Courses will be available upon request.  Please contact the office fore more information.

Basic Cruising Courses

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The Downtown Sailing Center

Est 1994
1425 Key Highway, Suite 110, Baltimore, MD 21230
(410) 727-0722 • info@downtownsailing.org

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