Powerboat Bareboat Cruising

2-Days / 1-Night course on a newer Beneteau Swift Trawler 35

Course Price and scheduling for 2 days / 1 night

Group Course: Group Course: $1095 per person. Total of three students–You and two other students, who we match you up with. Please click here to choose your course dates.

Private Course 1 Student: $2995 total.  A private course just for you, based on your schedule. Click here to tell us when you would like to start.

Private Course 2 Students: $3095 total.  A private course for you and someone you know, based on your schedule.  Click here to tell us when you would like to start.

Private Course 3 Students: $3195 total.  A private course for you and two people who you know, based on your schedule.  Click here to tell us when you would like to start.

Private Course 4 Students: $3295 total. $3295 total. A private course for you and three people who you know, based on your schedule. Click here to tell us when you would like to start. The sleeping situation is designed for 4 people/2 couples, as there are two queen sized beds. The captain sleeps in the third room which has bunk beds.  Click here to tell us when you would like to start.


Information about the Course

 Powerboat Bareboat Cruising Overview

In this course, you will learn how to cruise a powerboat during a multi-day cruise to Catalina, in moderate wind and sea conditions. Learn about provisioning, boat systems, engines and transmission, coastal navigation, anchoring/mooring, docking, emergency operations, weather and more.

Full list of all 48 topics (knowledge and skills) plus knots – Powerboat Bareboat Cruising

Cruise Planning

  1. Describe appropriate clothing and personal gear to pack for safety and comfort during a one-week cruise.
  2. Describe the required documents and procedures for customs and immigration when cruising to a foreign port of entry.
  3. Plan a menu and create a provisioning list for a 3 day cruise.
  4. Describe the symptoms and first aid treatments for hypothermia and heat exhaustion / heat stroke.
  5. Describe the causes, prevention and treatments for seasickness.
  6. Describe the tools and spare parts that should be on board for a one-week cruise.
  7. Describe variables that affect fuel consumption and cruising range under power, and calculate range based on average fuel consumption.
  8. Describe the minimum daily water requirements for all personnel on board as well as methods to conserve fresh water.


  1. Describe safe galley procedures to minimize dangers such as fire, scalding, and spillage.
  2. Describe proper marine toilet operation, including precautions to prevent malfunction, and describe proper holding tank pump-out procedures.
  3. Identify and describe the function of the fundamental systems and components of a marine diesel engine, including fuel, lubrication, cooling, and drive train.
  4. Describe safe fresh water tank filling procedures, including identification of correct deck fills.
  5. Describe power conservation measures and procedures to prevent running batteries down when anchored/moored overnight.


  1. Name four acceptable distress signals, per the USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook, which are appropriate for a recreational vessel.
  2. Describe actions to be taken in the following situations:
  • Collision with another boat
  • Running aground
  • Dragging Anchor
  • Flooding
  • Fire
  1. Describe actions to be taken in the following situations when the vessel is under power:
  • Fouled Propeller
  • Engine cooling water fails to flow
  • Engine fails in a crowded anchorage
  • Engine fails in a busy channel


  1. Describe methods and potential dangers of rafting vessels at anchor.
  2. Describe safe methods for towing and securing a dinghy / tender.
  3. Describe preparation of the vessel for heavy weather cruising including gear stowage, crew safety and appropriate sail plan.
  4. Describe the following courtesies and customs:
  • Permission to board
  • Permission to come alongside
  • Courtesy in crossing adjacent boats when rafted
  • Rights of first boat in an anchorage
  • Keeping clear of regattas
  • Flag etiquette
  • Rendering assistance to vessels in distress
  1. Describe, using diagrams as appropriate, the applicable rules (navigation lights), and sound signals) for a 30’ to 45’ recreational vessel, as found in the USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook.

Navigation & Weather

  1. Explain and identify the following coastal navigation terms, using a chart or diagrams as appropriate:
  • Speed
  • Time
  • Distance
  • Tidal Range
  • Tidal Current
  • Track
  • Course
  • Heading
  • Bearing
  • Fix
  • True
  • Magnetic
  • Variation
  • Deviation
  • Line of Position (LOP)
  1. Describe the sea breeze and land breeze dynamics and their effect on boating conditions.
  2. Identify conditions that may lead to the formation of radiation and sea / advection fog.
  3. Describe actions to be taken in the following weather situations:
  • Fog / reduced visibility
  • Squall / thunderstorm


  1. Perform the duties of skipper and crew on a live-aboard coastal cruise of at least 48 hours
  2. Locate and check the condition of all federally required equipment.


  1. Perform a routine vessel inspection, ensuring that all systems and equipment are in working order, including:
  • Fuel level
  • Fresh water level
  • Battery voltage
  • Electrical system
  • Navigation lights
  • Instruments and electronics
  • Bilge
  • Through-hulls and seacocks
  • Deck hardware
  • Ground tackle
  1. Visually inspect the engine. Check for correct engine oil level and potential problems such as leaking fluids or frayed belts; demonstrate safe engine starting, operating and stopping procedures.
  2. Inspect the raw water strainer for debris and ensure that the raw water intake seacock is in the proper position for engine operation.
  3. Locate the emergency steering tiller and identify where it attaches to the rudder post.
  4. Operate the electric and manual bilge pumps to ensure they are functional.
  5. Demonstrate proper usage of the VHF radio, including hailing another station on Channel 16 and switching to a working channel.
  6. Demonstrate proper operation of the galley stove including fuel supply, lighting, and shutting down; simulate the proper way to extinguish a galley fire.
  7. Demonstrate the proper method of disconnecting and reconnecting shore power cables.

Under Power

  1. Demonstrate the use of spring lines in the docking/undocking process (e.g., pivoting the vessel away from the dock during departure).
  2. Maneuver the vessel in reverse gear, observing and explaining the effect of prop walk on the stern’s direction.
  3. Maneuver the boat in a confined space to include performing ‘standing turn’ maneuver, turning the vessel 180 degrees in a confined area using rudder position and gearshift / throttle control.
  4. Ensure vessel / crew readiness and use the engine to bring the vessel smoothly and under control to a stop next to a parallel dock or into a slip; secure the vessel using appropriate lines and fenders.
  5. Describe/demonstrate an appropriate person in water (a.k.a. Man Overboard or MOB) recovery maneuver while under power and describe methods to bring the MOB safely back aboard.
  6. Demonstrate anchor and mooring methods as appropriate to Catalina, using correct procedures such as hand signals, safety in handling ground tackle, proper operation of windlass (if equipped) and use of a snubber or bridle. Raise anchors and get underway smoothly using correct procedures.

Navigation & Weather

  1. Plan a coastal passage from origin to destination, plotting courses, distances, and waypoints. While en route, keep a written log and plot DR positions on a chart, and calculate estimated times of arrival (ETA) to waypoints.
  2. Obtain and interpret marine weather information; describe the impact that the present observations and forecast may have on cruising plans over a 3-day period.
  3. Obtain updated weather forecasts during a passage and compare with visual and measured observations.
  4. Take visual 2 or 3-bearing fixes using a hand-bearing compass.
  5. Determine the predicted depth above or below chart datum at a given time using tide prediction tables.
  6. Use a GPS / chartplotter to obtain information and perform basic navigation functions such as position, course, speed, waypoints, ETA, and tidal information.
  7. Pilot a boat into an unfamiliar harbor or anchorage by day using relevant nautical charts, publications and tidal information.


Describe the purpose of and construct each of the following knots (without assistance and in a timely manner):

  • Figure-8 Knot
  • Square (Reef) Knot
  • Clove Hitch
  • Round Turn & 2 Half Hitches
  • Cleat Hitch
  • Bowline
  • Sheet Bend
  • Rolling Hitch
  • Trucker’s Hitch

Prerequisite – RPBA 1101 and Powerboat Night Clinic

Boat utilized and description – Newer Beneteau Swift Trawler 35

Trawlers have semi-displacement hulls that contribute to their performance and are designed to cut through high seas over long distances. Trawlers prompt you to explore far off islands with a powerful, reliable, efficient engine that also saves fuel. Trawlers have an excellent cruising range and can sail for hundreds of miles. The difference between the Swift Trawler and other trawlers: The Swift Trawler is fast – up to 20 knots.

Boat location – Balboa Marina, Newport Beach, CA

The boat will be docked at the Balboa Marina where our office is located.  This marina has some of the best facilities and is one of the best destinations in Southern California.  Some of the features that make this a great location are:

  • Ample free parking
  • Bathrooms and showers
  • Two great restaurants with full bars – SOL Mexican Cocina & Tavern House Kitchen and Bar
  • Starbucks across the street
  • Gas station and minimart across the street
  • Subway across the street
  • Kayak and SUP Rentals a block away – Southwind Kayak Center
  • Large grocery store, 3 blocks away – Pavilions
  • John Wayne (SNA) Airport, 6 miles away.
  • Several other great restaurants and bars within a mile
  • Balboa Island within a mile
  • Newport Pier and Balboa Pier within a mile and a half
  • Art Museums of Laguna Beach within 10 miles
  • Disneyland, 20 miles away
  • Numerous hotels and resorts within just a few miles
  • The famed Balboa Bay Club, where John Wayne use to hang out, less than a mile from the marina

What’s included –

  • ASA 104 textbook “Bareboat Cruising Made Easy”
  • Insurance, and safety gear (including life jackets)
  • Mooring fees in Catalina
  • Dinghy – 10’ with Honda 20HP outboard motor
  • High quality bedding (duvet in Fall, Winter and Spring; cotton blanket in Summer) along with fitted sheets and your choice of pillows (exact selection based on availability)
  • Bath towel, hand towel, beach towel, and dish towels
  • Fully equipped galley with refrigerator, sink, oven, stove, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, cooking utensils, glasses, cups and coffee mugs. BBQ outside in the cockpit
  • Hot water in the sinks and showers.
  • Stereo with speakers inside the cabin and outside in the cockpit
  • The boat is also stocked with 15 disposable items for your convenience. (Click here for a list)
  • Cleaning and washing after your stay. It wouldn’t be a vacation if you had to clean up!

What’s not included –

  • Fuel is billed at $6 p/gallon.  The estimated cost of fuel is $325-$425 for the trip to Catalina and back but will vary depending on speed.  

Cost Matrix to Reschedule a Class

Call us at (949) 209-9931 with any questions or to book by phone.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Meet at our office inside the Balboa Marina at 9am. The address is 201 E. Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92660. You’ll meet a friendly member of our team who will introduce you to your instructor who is a USCG Captain. You’ll follow the captain in your car to the marina where the Swift Trawler 35 is docked. There is free parking at both marinas. We will give you an orientation of the boat and the marina, as well as the surrounding area, including locations of stores where you can buy food for your two-day trip to Catalina, if you haven’t already provisioned. There are also stores and a fun selection of restaurants in Avalon, the main town in Catalina. You’ll spend the next hour or so discussing the cruising plan, doing safety checks, and going over all the features and functionalities of the vessel. At approximately 10:30am, you’ll depart for Avalon, Catalina. It is about a 2 hour journey to Avalon, during which you’ll have plenty of time to work through some of the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section. You also might get a chance to spot some marine wildlife like sea lions, dolphins, whales or maybe even the elusive sunfish. Don’t forget to bring your camera.

When you arrive in Catalina, you’ll pick up a mooring and set dinghy in the water. You can go for a leisurely walk (there are quaint shops to explore in the town) or walk past the famous old Casino where Hollywood’s elite used to party.

Cook on board and spend a peaceful evening on the boat or go ashore and enjoy one of the restaurants then hit the local bars in Avalon. Don’t forget to listen to Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills & Nash. “In a noisy bar in Avalon, I tried to call you.”

Day 2: Wake up to the birds chirping and the sun shining on the quaint town of Avalon and its surrounding hillside. Go for a more rigorous morning hike. The steep hills that surround Avalon provide an amazing view of the island the vast Pacific Ocean. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast aboard or eat ashore. Later that morning you’ll drop your mooring lines and cruise northwest to explore some of the other coves of Catalina. While you are underway, you’ll work through more of the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section. During this part of the trip, you will sail past many beautiful private coves along the front side of Catalina. Take this opportunity to practice anchoring in at least one of them. Perhaps you’ll even be adventuresome enough to swim.

This is a great chance to take some scenic pictures of the beautiful coves of Catalina. Oh, and if you go ashore watch out for bison–they’re big and they have horns! Be respectful of their space and distance, but enjoy this wonderfully unique experience to see them in nature. After lunch on board, prepare your vessel for the 2 hour journey back to Newport Beach. During this passage, you’ll have time to work on your navigational skills and work through more of the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section. You’ll return to the dock about 3 or 4pm. The captain will then help you remove your belongings for disembarkation. Don’t worry about cleaning the boat! Just clean the dishes and our crew will clean the inside and outside make it all look shipshape.

Call us at (949) 209-9931 with any questions or to book by phone.