Basic Skippering Skills Course

Large Keelboats | Basic Skippering Skills Endorsement

  • Basic Sailing Course with the Basic Skippering Skills endorsement

The Basic Skippering Skills course will increase your sailing proficiency while teaching you how to take the helm and manage running the boat. Upon completion of this course you will receive the Basic Skippering Skills Practical Endorsement. This course will prepare you for the Skipper Large Keelboat Certification Course.

This 3 day course gives you the foundational skills needed to a skipper large keelboats, including rigging and preparing the boat for departure, how to leave the dock, steering and trimming sails in moderate conditions, anchoring, and returning safely.

Knowledge & skills to become a Skipper  –

Santana Sailing’s Basic Skippering Skills Course begins your journey to become a competent skipper. Skippering your own sailboat offers a combination of freedom, adventure, skill development, and connection with nature that becomes a truly enjoyable and fulfilling lifetime experience.

Independence and Freedom: When you’re skippering your own sailboat, you have the freedom to explore the waterways at your own pace and according to your own preferences. You have control over where you go, how long you stay, and what adventures you embark on. It’s a sense of independence and autonomy that can be quite thrilling.

Connection with Nature: Sailing allows you to immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the serenity of being on the water. You can experience the gentle breeze, the sound of the water, and the sight of marine life up close. It’s a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and connect with the beauty of the natural world.

Challenge and Skill Development: Skippering a sailboat involves a combination of technical knowledge, problem-solving, and physical coordination. It can be a mentally and physically engaging activity that challenges you to make decisions, adjust sails, navigate, and adapt to changing conditions. The process of learning and improving your skills as a skipper can be both fulfilling and exciting.

Sense of Achievement: Successfully maneuvering and sailing a boat on your own can provide a great sense of accomplishment. It’s a skill that requires practice, knowledge, and experience. As you gain confidence and competence in your abilities, each successful sail becomes a source of pride and satisfaction.

Bonding and Shared Experiences: Sailing with family or friends on your own boat can create lasting memories and foster strong bonds. It’s an opportunity to spend quality time together, collaborate as a team, and share unique experiences. Whether it’s a leisurely day sail or an adventurous voyage, the shared moments and camaraderie can make sailing even more enjoyable.

Exploration and Discovery: Sailing opens up a world of exploration and discovery. You can venture to new coastal areas, discover hidden coves and anchorages, and visit remote islands. The ability to access places that are inaccessible by other means allows you to uncover hidden gems and experience different cultures and environments.

About the Basic Skippering Skills Course

Practical On-the-Water Training:

  • Prerequisites: Introduction to Sailing, ASA101, US Sailing Basic Keelboat, or equivalent experience (Contact us to discuss your experience)
  • Small group training with discounts for 2 or more participants booked together.
  • 3 days on-the-water sailing and training, including Basic Skippering Skills endorsement upon successful completion of on-the-water assessment and the online knowledge course.
  • Certification available: Basic Skippering Skills endorsement.
  • Commitment to Sailing Competence

Online Coursework:

Using the Skipper Certification Rubrics, the Basic Skippering Skills Endorsement course will build upon the sailing skills learned in Introduction To Sailing. You will increase your sailing proficiency while learning how to take the helm and manage running the boat. Upon completion of this course you will receive the Basic Skippering Skills Practical Endorsement. This course will prepare you for Skipper Large Keelboat Certification course.

  • Terminology and Communication
  • Directions
  • Parts of the Boat
  • Raising and Lowering the Sails
  • Sailing the Boat
  • The Rules of Giveway
  • Maneuvering the Boat in the Marina
  • Knots
  • Anchoring Basics
  • Navigation Basics
  • Weather Basics
  • Safety on Board

The course includes NauticEd’s online Skipper Course. Additionally, you can also take the included free Navigation Rules and Basic Sail Trim courses (highly recommended).


NauticEd Skipper Large Keelboat Card

Upon successfully passing the online knowledge testing and practical training assessment, and logging appropriate experience, you’ll earn the NauticEd Basic Skippering Skills Endorsement on your certification.

Assessment: Knowledge and theory competence are assessed online, whereas instructors assess skills and on-the-water competency continually during training or separately and according to the Skipper Large Keelboat rubric to meet standards.

What’s next? Next is the Skipper Large Keelboat Certification Course. After Skipper Large Keelboat certification you’re ready to take the Bareboat Charter Master Course, which fully prepares you for multi-day coastal sailing and passages, as well as international certification for chartering sailboats worldwide.

Course Fees & Registration


  • $899 per person
  • Discount: $809 per person for 2 or more who register together with one payment; learn with your partner/friends in a small group setting with 3 days of on the water training (approx. 6hrs each)
  • 8% Long Beach Harbor fee applies
  • Please see our Cancellation / Rescheduling Policy

We run courses every month of the year! 

To check on available dates please fill out the form on the right and we’ll contact you to answer questions and set a schedule that works for you!

You can also just call or email:
Marc Hughston mobile 949-939-8123

Contact us to register:

To check on available dates please fill out the form below and we’ll contact you to answer questions and set a schedule that works for you!  You can also just call or email:
Marc Hughston mobile 949-939-8123

Course Registration Form

Training You Can Trust

Our Commitment to Your Sailing Competence: We really want you to have the skills - we know that you do too.  So when you continue training with us through Skipper Large Keelboat level, you will be ready to charter a boat on your own or we’ll invite you back for more training, free of charge. That’s our commitment.

See all the details at Commitment To Sailing Competence. Limitations apply.

American National Standard - Sail

Our training methodology meets the U.S. Coast Guard's prescribed On-Water Recreational Boating Skills Standard – SAIL, the newly released 2017 American National Standard for on-water instruction in entry-level recreational sailboat operation.


Professional Sailing Instruction

Santana Sailing's instructors are extraordinarily well-qualified: experienced, mature, trained to American National and International Standards, and assessed to the highest standards and expectations in recreational sailing.

Trust through verification: please feel welcome to read Santana Sailing's student reviews ›

NauticEd - 21st Century Sailing Education

NauticEd Flagship School

Santana Sailing offers fully-accredited NauticEd Training and Certification. NauticEd is the international leader in sailing education and certification, which affords our students the best educational resources and certification in the United States as well as abroad when sailing internationally.

Which course is right for you?

Santana Sailing's instruction focuses on goal-based competence -  aligning our instruction with your sailing goals and experience. We do NOT offer "zero-to-hero" or require unneeded courses like many other schools. Instead, Santana Sailing's courses are designed to train competent sailors, based on their prior experience, to the highest training standards in the U.S. And the approach works well - read our student reviews >

You can start with any course below based on your goals and if you have the experience or prior training for that course. Select a course below for more information, and certainly contact us with questions or to discuss which course is best for you.