Learn Bareboat Cruising • Bareboat Chartering

Sailors who complete Bareboat Cruising have a world of sailing opportunities opened to them. Bareboat Chartering certification enables a sailor to charter boats in places such as the British Virgin Islands, San Juan Islands, the Mediterranean, and beyond.


  • In Person and Online
  • 3 days Small Group Instruction - Basic Provisioning included
  • Advanced Online Training
  • Bareboat Charter Certification
  • NauticEd Membership & online logbook
  • Guaranteed Competency
  • Prices & Registration
  • Also see San Juan Cruise & Learn

Prerequisite: Skipper, ASA103, or equivalent experience required.

The Bareboat course teaches you a complete understanding of vessel systems, trip planning, and large boat handling so you can fully enjoy your charter adventure. The class is a charter on the Puget Sound, typically casting off on a Friday afternoon and returning Sunday.

3 Days Small Group Instruction

The Bareboat Class is a mini-charter out of Gig Harbor, Washington. You depart on Friday afternoon and spend three fun filled days and two nights sailing on the Puget Sound practicing everything you need to know for a charter -  including how to plan, prepare and cook for extended trips.read more

Some examples of what you'll learn and practice:

  • Advanced sailing theory
  • Advanced vessel maneuvering under power
  • Anchoring, rafting and mooring techniques
  • Towing a Dingy
  • Navigation
  • Entering new ports and marinas
  • Provisioning and cooking for extended cruises
  • Boat systems: electrical, propane, & plumbing
  • Diesel engine use and troubleshooting
  • Emergency readiness

By the end of the course, students will have the skills to Bareboat Charter sailboats over 27' and across the world.  And, we guarantee competency!

Advanced Online Knowledge Training

NauticEd Worlds most advanced sailing education. Click and receive 2 free online sailing courses.Bareboat involves strengthening core competencies (sail trim, boat handling, etc...) as well as learning boat systems, navigation, anchoring, weather and big boat handling techniques. For knowledge, we offer NauticEd's online courses to prepare you with the most advanced and current online sailing education available.  Start immediately, take your time with interactive content, and test online.read more

When you sign-up, you'll receive a NauticEd account that includes the following courses:

Bareboat Charter Clinic - topics include (full description at NauticEd Bareboat Clinic):

  • What to buy at the base
  • What little gizmo's to take from home
  • What to inspect on the boat that the charter company won't point out
  • Things that you would assume are done automatically but are sometimes not
  • How to lead a group of people who are your friends and get them to listen to you without being the ogre of the sea
  • How to manage the fridge and freezer
  • Dinghy tips
  • How to fix things on the boat that will go wrong
  • What to train your crew on
  • Quick fixes for an engine that you're unfamiliar with
  • How to have an extraordinary fun time, etc, etc, etc

Coastal Navigation Clinic (full description at NauticEd Coastal Navigation Clinic)

  • The Charts and how to use navigation tools
  • True north and magnetic north - and variation and deviation
  • Determining your position using various techniques such as dead reckoning, running fixes and triangulation
  • What to do with your GPS position to get you to your destination
  • Extensive explanation and working with tides including apps and online digital data
  • Rate and Direction from wind, tides and current
  • How to simply determine your heading based on Rate and Direction

Anchoring Clinic - topics include (full description at NauticEd Anchoring a Sailboat Clinic):

  • Techniques for Setting the Anchor
  • Scope, Chafe, Snubbers, Kellets, Trip Lines and More
  • Anchorage Selection: Charts & Guides, Picking Your Spot, Swing Radius
  • Setting Two Anchors and Med Mooring
  • Weighing Anchor
  • Tackle and Anchor Selection
  • How to fix things on the boat that will go wrong
  • What to train your crew on
  • Anchoring Etiquette, What to buy
  • How to be confident about your anchoring skills

Electronic Navigation Course - topics include (full description at NauticEd Electronic Navigation Course):

This Electronic Navigation course is the world's only true interactive  course  where you learn all the instruments you might have onboard a sailboat.  The exercises are designed so that you actually interact with a simulated GPS chart plotter and get inside the workings to REALLY understand how to maximize the information being presented to you. With ease, you'll implement navigation techniques like setting your autopilot to track a waypoint or tack perfectly on a layline. 

You are also introduced to newer technologies like AIS, MARPA and Weather GRIBs and shown how to effectively use them.

And, we always suggest Navigational Rules Clinic - topics include (full description at NauticEd Navigational Rules):

  • Why "Right of Way" is more properly called "Stand On"
  • Essential knowledge regarding the Rules with other vessels
  • How not to get squashed like a bug by big container ships
  • Who gives way between power driven vessels and sailboats
  • When sailboats must give way to other vessels
  • When Sailboats give way to each other
  • You'll be presented with realistic illustrated situations

Bareboat Charter Master Certification

Bareboat Course and NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master certificationBareboat Charter Master Certification requires you pass all the competency tests listed below. Knowledge includes completing the online courses Bareboat Chartering Clinic, Coastal Navigation Clinic, Anchoring Clinic, and Electronic Navigation; Practical competency in our 3 day on-the-water course, and 50 days sailing experience is required(see note). Each step is recorded in your online resume, and once ALL the required steps are achieved - you're certified. read more

Certification requires successfully passing the following competency requirements:

√ Knowledge: successfully complete Online Bareboat Chartering Clinic, Coastal Navigation Clinic, Anchoring Clinic, and Electronic Navigation Course.
√ Practical Competency: 3-day course
√ Experience: 50 days of qualified sailing experience (prior experience counts).

NOTE: The online and practical course completion will be recorded and is the equivalent of an ASA or US Sailing Bareboat Certification. The 50 day requirement is what most Charter companies recommend for the Bareboat "Master" status, and most charter companies will charter to you with less than the 50 day requirement.  The additional days of experience are required to demonstrate that you can successfully Bareboat on your own, utilizing what you learned online and on-the-water.

The days are logged into your NaucticEd online logbook and once completed - you're certified a Bareboat Master Rank!For more information, see Sailing Certification.

Guaranteed Practical Competency

Simply, you're paying us to learn to sail at a certain level (not for a certain number of hours).learn more

We guarantee that in practical courses your instructor will verify your practical competency.  By this we mean that Island Sailing management cannot override instructor decisions; and towards the end of the practical course your instructor will decide whether you're sufficiently trained (or not).  Sometimes the instructor may want to reschedule if the weather's uncooperative, or they may feel a particular student may need additional instruction or mentoring on certain topics.  If the instructor feels as you're not trainable as a competent sailor (which has never happened in our 35+ years), then we'll refund the practical portion of your class.

And, if you're not satisfied with your instructor, then you can retake the course at no additional charge.


Gig Harbor, Washington

Gig Harbor offers an excellent Bareboat training ground - tricky tides/currents, multiple anchorages, and commercial traffic. Depending on the tides, the class may head North to Blake Island, or South to play in the Southern Puget Sound.

Sail under the majestic views of Mt. Ranier, and celebrate a successful Bareboat at the local Tides Tavern.

Gig Harbor, Bareboat Class   Gig Harbor West Shore Marina Rainbow

San Juan Islands, Washington

Known as North America's #1 cruising ground, the archipelago of  San Juan Islands offers students opportunities to learn sailing while exploring remote islands and whale watching.

The San Juan Bareboat class departs from Friday Harbor and is a weekend version of our Cruise 'n Learn. For more detailed information, please see San Juan Cruise & Learn.

Turning Point Lighthouse San Juan Islands  Captained Charters in the San Juans from Friday Harbor

Adventure Vacations

Training and sun & fun: a sailing program for individuals and couples alike to receive charter and near coastal training with some vacation time in exotic ports.

Certifications are available, and more importantly the quality of the training and experience you'll receive is second to none.. For more detailed information, please see Adventure Sailing Vacations.

Lagoon 400 S2  British Virgin Islands BVIs sailing crystal waters


Bareboat Charter Master $870.00 per sailor (Members $783.00)

*Prices limited to the Gig Harbor and San Juan Islands weekend Bareboats.

If in the San Juan Islands class, ask about additional cruising days!

What's Included:

  • Online Clinics: Bareboat Charter Clinic, Coastal Navigation Clinic, Anchoring a Sailboat Clinic, Electronic Navigation Clinic, Basic Navigational Rules (optional).
  • 3 days Small Group Instruction with Guaranteed Competency
  • Basic Provisioning included
  • NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master Certification once all certification requirements are achieved
  • NauticEd Membership and online resume


To register online, select a class date to begin registration. Please complete the form and process for each student as we need those details for the class.... *note: if a member, please contact us to book directly with Member Discounts.

Class Booking Conditions (Deposits, Refunds and Cancellations) are detailed here >

Certainly contact us at (503) 285-7765 or info@islandsailingclub.com to sign-up over the phone or with questions.

Payment is through PayPal's secure server, which accepts major credit cards as well as PayPal options.

Paypal Payment Options

*note: dates are the beginning day of the class

Upcoming Bareboats

  • May26Fri
    Bareboat Course - Gig Harbor
    11:00Gig Harbor, WA, USA
  • Jun09Fri
    Bareboat Course - San Juans
    11:00Friday Harbor, WA, United States
  • Jul21Fri
    Bareboat Course - San Juans
    11:00Friday Harbor, WA 98250, USA
  • Aug11Fri
    Bareboat Course - San Juans
    11:00Friday Harbor, WA 98250, USA

What our students are saying about bareboat...

4.6 / 5 rating: Bareboat Course with Capt. Somervell
By William B. on 2/7/2017

Really enjoyed the class. Alan did a great job, I thought, of getting the crew involved and was very patient. I would recommend the class to anybody who is looking for more advanced boat training.

4.6 / 5 rating: Bareboat Course with Capt. Somervell
By Nat P. on 11/28/2016

While I've learned a great deal in the courses I've taken from Alan it must be said that I continue to learn every time I'm lucky enough to spend time with him. From sail trim to systems troubleshooting and maintenance his knowledge in boating is staggering and his passion for sharing this is very much appreciated.

5 / 5 rating: Bareboat Course with Capt. Somervell
By Dan G. on 11/25/2016

Alan is awesome.

5 / 5 rating: Bareboat Course with Capt. Salinas
By Mark P. on 11/14/2016

John worked with my partner and I after several attempts to schedule our training. We went at the end of October, sailing through the San Juan Islands, and had a wonderful time. John was most of all kind, but patient, professional, and tireless. The Alethea was a wonderful sailing vessel and we look forward to returning in warmer weather. Mark Padgett

5 / 5 rating: Bareboat Course with Capt. Salinas
By Dean W. on 10/7/2016

John is an excellent instructor. Knowledgeable friendly, nurturing and also appropriately demanding and challenging. John expects his students to give their best and I believe I'll be a better sailor because of his mentoring. I love the S/V Alethea. She's a wonderful, lovingly maintained 1968 Pearson 43 with many upgrades and improvements. Her systems are more complex than most (typically much newer) charters and I really think that makes the Alethea a much more valuable interesting teaching platform.

5 / 5 rating: Bareboat Course with Capt. Somervell
By AJ B. on 9/30/2016

Alan is by far the most experienced sailor I've ever met. He's always ready and willing to answer any questions you may have.

5 / 5 rating: Bareboat Course with Capt. Somervell
By Joe M. on 9/29/2016

5 / 5 rating: Bareboat Course with Capt. Somervell
By Birgit K. on 9/17/2016

Alan enjoys teaching and has an incredible knowledge base. He set a good pace and a good tone-- 'let's just try this and see what happens.' We spent a couple of hours docking in a tight marina with 12 knots of wind in the marina. He had the patience to let me try multiple approaches when trying to dock sideways upwind, and exuded confidence that we can do it. No vessels or egos were harmed in the attempt. And now I feel very confident that I can handle a bareboat charter.

4.2 / 5 rating: Bareboat Course with Capt. Salinas
By Rick B. on 8/19/2016

5 / 5 rating: Bareboat Course with Capt. Salinas
By Kevin M. on 7/22/2016

I had a great experience with John as my Bareboat instructor. His boat, Alethea, was the perfect yacht to learn on, as well as gain knowledge and confidence.

5 / 5 rating: Bareboat Course with Capt. Salinas
By Dan G. on 7/4/2016

Captain John was wonderful and so much fun to sail and learn with. My wife and I had a great time sailing and gaining confidence.

5 / 5 rating: Bareboat Course with Capt. Somervell
By John H. on 6/29/2015

Allan is an excellent instructor, and very knowledgeable. Training was fun and interesting.