VSC338 - Offshore Sailing Master

Course Overview

The candidate is able to conduct the responsibilities of Skipper or Crew on a sailing vessel 36-55 feet on extended coastal and offshore passages. Recommended preparation for long distance Coastal and Offshore Cruising. Mandatory for Offshore Racing.

Detail Standard


VSC321 Advanced Coastal Skipper Certification, 50 days of Logged experience as Skipper and Crew or ASA 105 &106


Cruise & Learn Dates

May 18-22, Sept 12-18


A Certified Sailor has successfully demonstrated his or her ability to:

Passagemaking Planning

  1. Plan a passage across the North Atlantic or Pacific and state the advantages, disadvantages and hazards of various routes. "Ocean Passages for the World", Climatic Charts, Great Circle Plotting Charts, plotting instruments, etc., must be used.

  2. Plot a series of rhumb lines on a mercator chart to approximate a great circle route.

  3. List the publications required for prudent navigation on an offshore passage to include the following:

    Coastal charts and publications Work sheets
    Ocean Passages for the World Nautical almanac
    Sight reduction tables Plotting sheets
  4. Voyage Preparation

    State the essential factors to be considered when selecting a vessel for an offshore ocean passage of at least 1000 miles:

    Hull shape Hull construction Displacement
    Rudder Keel Rig
    Machinery Water capacity Fuel capacity
    Sails Interior layout  
  5. List all items essential for minor repairs to vessel and rigging.

  6. Describe various items required to prevent chafe.

  7. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of three self steering methods/devices.

  8. List all basic items necessary to repair sails.

  9. Plan meals for a minimum of four people on a seven day offshore passage.

  10. Describe the proper methods of preserving/storing food and the expected storage life of all food.

  11. State the factors to be considered when selecting crew members for an offshore passage:

    Health Attitude Compatibility
    Experience Physical capability References
  12. Describe suitable clothing for the voyage.

  13. State a source of obtaining advanced first aid information while on an offshore passage.

  14. Identify and describe the basic treatment of potential medical problems.

  15. Describe methods of preventing injury to the cook or nearby persons while cooking at sea.

  16. List the items carried in a proper first aid kit for an offshore passage.

  17. Prepare and file a Passage Plan

  18. Shipboard Routines

    Describe three (3) watchkeeping systems and their application advantages and disadvantages.

  19. Describe alternate watchkeeping arrangements in the event crew members are incapacitated.

  20. Describe the duties of the on-watch and off-watch crew

  21. Establish a routine, schedule to periodically maintain the following items:

    Bilges Sea cocks Rigging
    Heads Hatches Helm
    Galley & supplies Fuel and water Machinery
    Safety equipment Electronic equipment  
  22. Set up a routine schedule for vessel cleaning.
  23. Emergency Procedures

    Describe how to rig a trailing man overboard line with an alarm.

  24. Describe an alternative method of alerting the crew to a man overboard situation. State other emergency situations when you should limit the use of this device.

  25. Describe what actions should be taken when a man overboard is not located on the first pass.

  26. Describe how to organize the crew for a routine fire drill.

  27. Describe possible methods of jury rigging your vessel in the event of dismasting and what course you would then assume.

  28. Describe proper actions you would take after your vessel has been struck by lightning.

  29. List essential survival items to be kept in a standby kit in the event you are forced to abandon ship offshore.

  30. Describe additional items useful for your survival and rescue.

  31. State the dangers you might encounter in a small rubber liferaft at sea.

  32. List safety equipment you would cam in addition to that required by the United States Coast Guard.

  33. Rules of the Road

    Know and apply the 1972 International Regulation for Preventing Collision at Sea (Navigation Rules) quickly and correctly in order to maintain safe navigation in any waters day and night

  34. List eight of ten international distress signals.


    Acted as skipper and crew on an offshore passage of no less than 72 hours and 100 NM without touching land.

  36. A Certified Sailor has successfully demonstrated his or her ability to:

    Obtain a celestial fix using a sun-run-sun or three (3) celestial bodies.

  37. Obtain a celestial heading check.
  38. Apply all sailing knowledge stated in the VSC Celestial Navigation Standard.

Enrol Now

Have a question? Send us a message!

Come and join the discussion on our message board. You can chat with other members and get the latest news on upcoming events.

Join The Discussion!

Login Form

Register for VSC's Monthly News eMail for access to our discussion blog, latest events, NEW Courses & Cruises and last moment deals on sailing education and cruising.

Create an Account

PayPal Logo

Racing Spotlight

There are no up-coming events

NauticED Sailing Education Video

NauticEd Sailing School Network

Click HERE to visit the NauticEd Sailing School Network page.

VSC News Blog

  • Sechelt Inlet - "A Calculated Assessment of Heavy Weather Sailing"

    My stomach had been roiling since we slipped out of Howe Sound that morning but we were all busy on deck working a gusting easterly blow through the middle portion of the Strait of Georgia . On our weather charts we were located just above the

    Read More
  • Learn to Sail by taking a Sailing Holiday

    Fun, active, stimulating and relaxing all at the same time . . .   A sailing trip is a fun way to stay active during your summer holidays Photo: © Buz Talley   Monty Beaton, Yachtmaster Offshore Instructor   Reprinted from article in the Telegraph    If you thought

    Read More
  • Sailing as a Metaphor for Business and Living Well

    As a metaphor for managing a business, yacht racing can be very helpful. Both share common, fundamental elements: a team of people using speed, tactics, strategy, timing and multiple resources to reach a destination and achieve a goal while facing a fleet of opponents. Yacht

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2