If you have limited boating experience or have not chartered before, this is your opportunity to learn to skipper a motor-yacht while enjoying cruising the islands!

I offer a curriculum consisting of (1/2) classroom day, dockside, aboard your motor-yacht “Swell” followed by three (3 1/2) days cruising, out and back each day. You return every evening to the Cap Sante Marina, Anacortes, where you can enjoy the shops and restaurants in Anacortes, just a few blocks from the marina. You stay aboard Swell each evening.

The goal of my course is for you (and up to three others) to learn (as a team if others) how to pilot a motor-yacht feeling relaxed, safe and confident. If you want to qualify as a “charter skipper”, it is ultimately your responsible to meet this goal by understanding the fundamental nautical skills, operating the vessel in a safe and enjoyable manner. It’s also important knowing your limitations as well as those of the vessel and crew.

My course is limited to a maximum of 4 adults so that each person has adequate hands-on training. Since you will be spending each evening on Swell at Cap Sante Marina, I encourage good friends wanting to share the training experience to participate.

The price of $4,200 includes:
  • Comprehensive, hands-on training
  • Course materials and training aids
  • Certificate of completion
  • Four (4) nights private staterooms with bath accommodations, linens and towels
  • Late afternoon check-in and sleep aboard the day before your departure
  • Continental breakfast
  • Light lunch
  • Fuel

Since “Swell” can be considered your floating home and classroom, with complete amenities, and navigation electronics, we can operate in most weather conditions, remaining warm and dry.

Contact Capt. Tom directly to schedule your training.

The same Payment, Refund and Cancellation terms, listed on Pricing Page, apply.

Training Syllabus

Day 1- at the dock and in Cap Sante Marina:
  • Principles of twin inboard boating
  • Navigation Basics, Charts, Nav aids & Rules of the Road
  • Understanding vessel systems
  • Understanding a AC/DC circuit breaker panel
  • Battery Power Management
  • Engine Room Familiarization- WOBBS
  • Safety Procedures and Equipment
  • Crew communications/assignments/etiquette/movement
  • Practical line handling/basic knots/crew movement dockside & aboard
  • Creating a Float Plan
Day 2- cruising on Padilla Bay and other local waters:
  • Proper procedures concerning dockside power, connect/disconnect
  • Starting/Operating engines, engine instruments
  • Throttles/Shifters/Helm control and rules of operation
  • Vessel familiarization underway (open water maneuvers and effects of wind and current)
  • Close Quarters Maneuvering in marina
  • Return/Docking
Day 3- cruising to Cypress & Sucia Islands:
  • Obtaining Weather, Tides and Currents data prior to departure
  • Skipper and Crew Lookout Procedures/Communications
  • Use of charts and chart plotter
  • Aids to Navigation (ATONs)
  • Basic Radar usage
  • Practical VHF Radio Communications Protocol
  • Anchoring
  • Mooring
  • Man Overboard (MOB) drill
Day 4- cruising the San Juan Islands:

This will be a fun filled day of pleasurable cruising, where all students will perform the requisite skipper/crewmember duties under the watchful eye of the instructor. All planning, navigating, underway coordination will be performed entirely by the students. This trip includes traveling through Thatcher Pass then to Roche Harbor marina for lunch. We return to our dock by 4 PM (or as directed by you).