Skipper Large Keelboat Course

Performance & Cruising | Near Coastal Sailing | Large Keelboat Certification

“It’s your call Skipper. We’re down to the first reef on the main and headsail. The wind is building – what’s the next step?”

In the Skipper Large Keelboat Certification course, you will learn to handle just this kind of situation with confidence. This is where the magic starts to happen.

This 3 day course trains you to become a competent skipper with near coastal sailing on large keelboats 30 to 45 feet. You’ll learn basic cruising, which includes practical navigation, anchoring, and more advanced maneuvering under power skills.

Knowledge & skills for near coastal sailing in diverse conditions  –

Skippering a large sailboat can be both exhilarating and challenging. The size of the vessel and the vastness of the cruising areas provides a wonderful sense of freedom and adventure, but it also requires careful planning, attention to detail, knowledge, and skill.

A skipper must have a thorough understanding of the sailboat’s capabilities, the weather conditions, and the potential hazards in the surrounding waters. They need to be able to sail the vessel safely and efficiently while dealing with changing winds and currents. Communication and teamwork are also essential, as the skipper must work closely with their crew to ensure the boat is handled properly and everyone onboard is safe and comfortable. The skipper must be able to manage their own physical and emotional needs, as well as those of the crew.

The reward is sailing faster, further and in diverse weather conditions. In many ways, being on
the water on a large sailboat is the ultimate freedom for those who are passionate about sailing, the outdoors, and travel – and who are committed to becoming competent sailors.

The Skipper Large Keelboat course provides everything you need, and more, to competently skipper large keelboats.

About Skipper Large Keelboat

Practical On-the-Water Training:

  • Prerequisites: Basic Skippering Skills, ASA 103, US Sailing Basic Cruising, or equivalent experience (Contact us to discuss your experience, or jump to which course is right for you?)
  • Small group training with discounts for 2 or more participants booked together.
  • 3 days on-the-water sailing and training, including Skipper certification upon successful completion of on-the-water assessment and the online knowledge course.
  • Certification available: Skipper Large Keelboat with a Near Coastal endorsement.
  • Commitment to Sailing Competence

Online Coursework:

Using the Skipper Certification Rubrics, the Skipper Course builds on the knowledge and skill from the Basic Skippering Skills Course or your previous experience.  You’ll refine your tacking and jibing, get more comfortable with maneuvers under sail in close quarters, and become proficient in crew overboard rescue maneuvers.  Practical navigation and anchoring skills, and more advanced maneuvering under power is all a part of your on the water training.  You’ll be ready for day sail charters of vessels 30 to 45 feet, and you’ll get the foundation you need for Bareboat Charter Master certification.

  • Sailing theory and principles
  • Basic sail trim
  • Maneuvering under sail and power
  • Skipper training
  • Rules of the road
  • Standing and running rigging
  • Docking
  • Anchoring and mooring
  • Weather and sea conditions
  • Coping with emergencies
  • Electrical systems
  • Auxiliary power
  • Basic navigation

The course includes NauticEd’s online Skipper Course Bundle course, which includes Skipper Large Keelboat and Maneuvering & Docking Under Power courses. 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 Skipper Large Keelboat Rank certification with a Near Coastal Endorsement.

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 a rubric to meet standards. View the Skipper Large Keelboat assessment >

What’s next? After Skipper Large Keelboat you’re ready to charter sailboats 30′-45′ for day sails in moderate conditions.  The next step to prepare for the multi-day sailing vacation you’ve been thinking of is the Bareboat Charter Master Course which is your passport to Bareboat Chartering around the world.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

ASA schools have a list of skills they train you on, and you’ll get what amounts to a certificate of attendance. 101 and 103 are usually conducted in three 4-hour days each, or 24 hours of training in total.

We have a list of skills that you become competent in to achieve Skipper Large Keelboat Certification. With Santana Sailing you’ll typically spend eight 6-hour days in this course, and you’ll have received 48 hours of training with dedicated experts prior to your first charter!

We think you really want a certification of competence, not one of attendance. When you train with us you’ll be ready to charter your own sailboat. See our Commitment To Sailing Competence.