Prepare to Explore the Salish Sea
and the World

Open your horizons to the Salish Sea and Beyond.  These are some of the world's most spectacular cruising grounds, and also some of the most challenging.  Shearwater University specializes in providing the level of skill development training to meet these challenges and to enjoy the Salish Sea with safety & confidence.

Taught by a professional educator with a lifetime of maritime experience on the Salish Sea & Inside Passage. Train on the Salish Sea under expert tutelage, and be ready to cruise anywhere in the world.

All Classes include US Sailing cruising certifications for the skills and credentials you need for charter cruising anywhere in the world.

Ardenna Flagship Program - Your Cruising Sailboat on the Salish Sea

Earn your Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising Certificates in this thorough program on the Salish Sea, and earn exclusive Graduate access to cruising Ardenna on the Salish Sea and beyond.

View Details on the Ardenna Flagship Program Page

Salish Sea Cruise & Learn

Learn to cruise in the San Juan Islands and beyond, and gain the skills for extended cruising both here and in cruising grounds around the world.

  • 7 days immersed in the San Juan Islands, learning basic and advanced cruising skills to prepare for independent cruising on the Salish Sea, Inside Passage, and/or internationally.
  • Earn the US Sailing Basic Cruising Certificate and the Bareboat Cruising Certificate, and qualify for the International Proficiency Certificate, which allows you to charter boats internationally.
  • Learn on our exceptional cruiser - a Sabre 402 - or on your own cruising sailboat.
  • Consider the Ardenna Flagship Program, and become qualified to cruise our Flagship independently on the Salish Sea.



  • 7 full days cruising and learning in the Salish Sea.
  • Call to custom schedule for your group or on your boat.
  • Pre-scheduled sign-up classes for 2019 TBA.


  • $1,800 per student (minimum of 3 students per class)
  • $3,150 on your boat (for up to 4 students included on the boat)

Basic Cruising

Develop skills for safe and confident cruising on the Salish Sea, on your boat or ours.

  • Cruising Sailboat's Systems
  • Close Quarters Maneuvering & Docking - learn strategies for to people & one line, that is reliable under any conditions.
  • Sailing the cruising sailboat - understanding and operating the cruising rig for joy and efficiency
  • Safety equipment & emergency procedures
  • Overnight anchoring
  • Basic navigation & piloting
  • Crew coordination & communication


  • Basic Keelboat or equivalent certification and/or skill development.
  • Consider starting with "Sailing Essentials - Your Boat" if you are new to sailing skills.
  • Strongly recommended: Navigation Essentials.


  • Five days on the Salish Sea, including 2 nights out in the islands, mooring in an unfamiliar marina, and achoring in a cove.
  • Contact us for custom scheduling.


    • $2,250 for 5 full days & 4 nights
    • Up to 4 students included
    • Includes the internationally recognized US Sailing Basic Cruising Certificate

    Bareboat Cruising

    Prepare for extended cruising, including international chartering.  This class builds on the Basic Cruising skills to prepare you for larger boats, longer cruises, and more challenging conditions.

    Class Benefits:

    • Train on our boat or yours.
    • Earn the US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certificate
    • Qualify for chartering cruising sailboats up to 50 feet throughout the United States and the world.
    • Consider cross-over training to the Ardenna Flagship Program, and become eligible to cruise this gem throughout the Salish Sea and beyond, as part of an exclusive graduate community.


    • 4 days on Ardenna: $1,200 per student (class of 3 or 4)
    • 4 days on your boat: $1,950 on your boat, flat tuition for up to 4 students.


    • Basic Cruising Certificate or equivalent training
    • Sufficient training and practice background to prepare you for advanced methods
    • Coastal Navigation Certificate, or equivalent training.


    • Minimum of 4 days on your boat or ours, depending on your background.
    • Add days (below) as needed for more skill development and more experience/immersion in the islands.

    Additional/Custom Days

    • Add days to your certification class for more/deeper instruction & practice.
    • Elect a day or two to develop specific skills such as docking, anchoring or crew overboard rescue.
    • Let us build a custom curriculum to get you from your current skill set to your goals.
    • Tuition for custom days include up to 4 students on the boat.