How to Prepare Craft and Crew for Offshore Cruising

A new online course from Boater’s University offers the tips you need to get off the dock and underway for an offshore adventure

Preparation is key to successful cruising. Regardless of the size, make or model of your boat, understanding its critical systems and having a plan is crucial to keep your craft performing efficiently and safely. Join yacht broker, boatbuilder and TrawlerFest instructor Jeff Merrill in this exclusive online course designed to help you prepare yourself, your boat and your crew to get the most out of your offshore boating adventures.

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This convenient, online course covers everything you need to know to prepare for a voyage: planning, navigation, weather, tracking your boat’s performance, crew responsibilities and best practices, troubleshooting and some common repairs you can do yourself. Instructor Jeff Merrill shares his 30-plus years of hands-on boating experience and will help you learn the ins and outs of your vessel and how to keep systems running tip-top - from engine room to pilothouse.

This course is designed into two parts with the first aimed at preparing yourself, your boat and your crew and getting everything ready before you leave the dock. The second section covers challenges that can happen while underway. 

You’ll have unlimited access to high-quality video instruction, pertinent articles with tips catered to offshore cruising, and handy downloadable checklists you can customize for your boat. Plus, you'll get direct access to your instructor for any specific questions you may have throughout your learning experience. The best part is, you can learn at your own pace, anytime and anywhere you have an internet connection.

Below are a few trailers for the online course, and each offers helpful tips for any one with plans to push off the dock and head offshore. 

To travel safely from point A to point B, you need to know a few basics about your boat, and your own skills.

Thru-Hulls can be stubborn. Here’s how to exercise those valves.

It’s important to check that your helm is centered before you leave the dock. Here’s how.

Use this simple system to identify and track all systems on your boat.

Savvy skippers know how to read analog gauges at a glance. Here’s what they do.