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Passage Offshore + Sailing School

Isle of Mull, Scotland

American Sailing Association

PASSAGE OFFSHORE, A MODERN SAILING SCHOOL

Isle of Mull, Scotland Highlands - There are a lot of ways to sail, we focus on passage making. Passage making is more than just sailing the boat; on passage, a sailor knows what is around them and how to navigate safely through it. Wind and weather, tide and shoals, boat systems, and nuanced things like crew dynamics and decision-making tactics are all in the curriculum. 

By studying passage making underway, we combine theory and practical learning to give you a jump start on the lifelong quest of good seamanship. Every hour logged at sea and every conversation with a fellow sailor builds seamanship, it is a thing you never stop learning, but you don’t have to stumble through the crucial first steps! Gain real-world knowledge by getting underway with world-class instructors who will guide you on your Passage Offshore. 


SAILING SCHOOL CERTIFICATIONS
  • Basic Coastal Cruising (ASA 103)

  • Bareboat Cruising (ASA 104)

44' Monohull • 4 students with 1 instructor


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Speak with a SC Travel Coordinator to learn more information about this remarkable learning & life experience!

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Dates

August 4th — 13th 2024

10 days, 9 nights

Location

Passage Offshore + Sailing School
Sailing School

Availability

1 Double Cabin

2 Single Cabins

Price

$5500 Single Cabin

$8900 Double Cabin

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Tharuka was amazing. I felt extremely comfortable with him in charge of the boat, and I would love to sail with him again in the future. So much so that if there was a way to know which of the trips he was leading I would target those first to join. Even after a day of long, tiring sailing, he was always, 100% of the time, willing to go back up in the dark and the rain to help show me for the 10th time how to tie down the dinghy. You can't ask for more in a teacher.

Sam S. July '23 Scotland Course
Itinerary

Itinerary

Heading up The Sound of Mull, at the northern end, lies Tobermory some 27 miles from Dunstaffnage Marina. The town is usually a hive of activity and is famous for its colourful frontage and stories of Spanish Galleons that sank in the bay in 1588. On into Loch Sunart you will see palm trees and in season, rhododendrons blooming right down to the water’s edge. Loch Sunart is surrounded by mountains and looking east you may even be able to see Ben Nevis – Scotland’s highest mountain. Next day you could sail to the Isle of Coll and be enchanted by the wildlife, the lonely isolation and pace of life. Coll has a pretty setting, has many hours of sunshine and low rainfall.

South via the volcanic Treshnish Islands which are home to many thousands of puffins you could sail past the island of Staffa and Fingal’s Cave to perhaps visit Iona and its Abbey which was the last resting place for generations of Scottish monarchs. After anchoring in the picturesque Bull Hole or Tinker’s Hole for the night, you could go south via Colonsay to Islay, home of another “classic malt” distillery. Still further south you could pick up a mooring off the beautiful Isle of Gigha and walk round the lovely sub-tropical gardens followed by a visit to the Gigha Hotel which offers a special welcome to yachtsmen.

The more adventurous could enjoy a passage to the Outer Isles and visit Eriskay – where Bonnie Prince Charlie first set foot on Scottish soil – or visit Castlebay on the Isle of Barra, see the castle in the middle of the bay, and be amazed at the scheduled flights landing on the beach at the north end of the island when the tide is out. Moving north, the Outer Hebrides stretch for some 130 miles comprising 200 or so islands, only 13 of which are inhabited.

You could choose to circumnavigate Skye going via Rhum (population about 30) and visit historic Kinloch Castle or via Canna (population about 20) which has only just been connected to mains electricity. Here you could walk up Compass Hill to see if you can work out why it causes havoc with ships compasses. The island of Eigg, which was recently purchased by a crofters’ co-operative, is another possible stopping off place en route to Skye.

At Loch Harport you might visit the Talisker Distillery (a third “classic malt”), or sail north to Loch Dunvegan or round the north of Skye, then south via the remote islands of Rona and Raasay to Portree or Plockton where palm trees grow by the water’s edge, then south via the Kyle of Lochalsh and under the Skye Bridge to Arisaig, Tobermory and back to base.

No matter which route you choose to sail, the most breathtaking seascapes will surround you. The hills, mountains, islands, lochs and inlets take on a magical appearance when viewed from the sea. The myriad of legends and mystique surrounding these parts, the relaxed informal way of life of the locals, the bustling pubs with the occasional impromptu ceilidh, the remote isolated communities, the spectacular wildlife including dolphins, porpoises, seals, whales, rare species of birds or the ancient archaeological remains all add to the attraction.

Crew

Tharuka Pathirana

Tharuka Pathirana

Captain, Instructor

Tharuka from land-locked Austria (which nevertheless has a long historic tradition in sailing), born and raised in the town of Graz, had his first experience sailing on a lake in Austria as a teenager years ago and immediately fell in love with sailing. It took a couple more years until he was able to fulfil his ambition of becoming a sailor, but he now owns the Austrian Yachtmaster Offshore license (BFA FB3), the Croatian Skipper license B, the German Coastal and Inshore Iicense (SBF See und Binnen (Sail + Motor)), the German LRC radio license and the MCA STCW10 certificate and is planning to acquire the German Yachtmaster Offshore and the British/RYA Yachtmaster Offshore licenses in the near future. He spends as much time as possible on the water (mainly the Adriatic, along the Croatian coast and around its islands, but generally in the whole Mediterranean Sea, such as the Greek, Italian and Spanish waters, and the Atlantic) also partaking in regattas (both inshore, such as on J70s at the Austrian Sailing National League, and offshore) whenever possible. Working as a professional skipper since 2015 and now with his own boutique nautical services agency, he has logged over 21.000+ nm in that time (with one Atlantic crossing so far), on more than 60 different types of sailing yachts from 18' to 60', monohulls (common charter yachts, long keel classics, modern performance yachts and small racers), catamarans (from 38' to 56') and trimarans (Dragonfly 28, Neel 47), as a for-hire holiday skipper (solo and flotilla, also as lead skipper), instructor (instructing sailing with crew, short-handed, double-handed and single-handed, offshore and inshore, adults and kids from age 3 to teens) and during regattas (fully crewed, double-handed, Austrian National League, ...). He undertakes professional yacht deliveries and also works as skipper/personal sail instructor/engineer/navigator/consultant for yacht owners on their own vessel.

Guest Resource Guide

Oban Travel Guide
  • Includes information about hotel recommendations, train station, taxi, grocery stores, etc.

ScotRail Glasgow Central to Oban
  • Book in advance, 3.5 hour train ride

Pilot Guide Charters
  • The Argyll Coast starts on page 43.

Introduction & Travel

Arrival

The Passage begins at 10:00 am on day 1. Please be in Oban by then to begin the course. Day 1 focuses on voyage planning and you, the crew, and your instructor will provision supplies for the journey ahead. If you cannot arrive by 10:00 am, please arrive in Oban no later than 12:00 pm.

Disembarkation

The Passage ends at the town pier in Oban at 10:00 am on the final day. Please arrange transportation to your next destination after 10:00 am. The train station will be within walking distance from the final marina.

Travel

By far the easiest way to travel to and from Oban is via train from Glasgow Station. There are roughly 6 trains that run daily and the train takes roughly 3.5 hours. Train tickets can be purchased in advance online. From the Glasgow Airport, take a taxi or a 45-minute bus direct from the airport to Glasgow Station in the city center. Alternative travel methods include car rental from Glasgow or Edinburgh to Oban and you can arrange one-way car rentals using select rental services.

We recommend arriving in Oban the day prior to boarding and there are many recommended lodging options in downtown Oban.

Sailing Collective's Passage Offshore program is proud to be working with American Sailing Association to offer ASA 103 and 104 certifications. This means that your experience gained has international recognition, and you are eligible for an IPC (international proficiency certificate), which is commonly accepted by charter companies as a qualification to captain your own cruising boat. Your next vacation could be with you at the helm!

Why learn the Sailing Collective way? We practice a style of sailing that has been honed over thousands of days at sea, an elixir of fun and adventure balanced by safe seamanship and relaxation. We teach the ways of passage-making without losing sight of all of the wonderful reasons why we want to be out here in the first place.

The American Sailing Association (ASA) curriculum has structured levels of sailing pedigrees that are examined through progressive certification courses. Students who learn to sail through the PASSAGE OFFSHORE program receive an ASA Logbook that lists the certification qualifications and records sailing experience. When your certification is successfully completed, your ASA Logbook is notarized by your ASA instructor any charter or vessel rental operator can view your credentials and level of competency.

The PASSAGE OFFSHORE program is geared toward students who have either completed the Basic Keelboat Sailing Standard (101) either through ASA, USSailing, or another comparable institution) or can test out of Basic Keelboat. Cruising experience and basic seamanship is essential in being able to complete the Basic Coastal Cruising & Bareboat Chartering Standards (103, 104).

Please study the 103 & 104 material before departing starting the course.

Certifications

ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising

Able to skipper a sloop-rigged auxiliary powered (inboard or outboard engine) keelboat of approximately 25 to 35 feet in length by day in moderate winds (up to 20 knots) and sea conditions. Knowledge of cruising sailboat terminology, basic boat systems, auxiliary engine operation, docking procedures, intermediate sail trim, navigation rules, basic coastal navigation, anchoring, weather interpretation, safety and seamanship.


ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising

Able to skipper a sloop-rigged, auxiliary powered keelboat of approximately 30 to 45 feet in length during a multi-day cruise upon inland or coastal waters in moderate to heavy winds (up to 30 knots) and sea conditions. Knowledge of provisioning, galley operations, boat systems, auxiliary engine operation, routine maintenance procedures, advanced sail trim, coastal navigation including basic chart plotting and GPS operation, multiple-anchor mooring, docking, health & safety, emergency operations, weather interpretation, and dinghy/tender operation.

FAQ

Q. What is ASA?

The American Sailing Association is a coalition of sailors, professional sailing instructors, sailing schools and charter companies promoting safe recreation in the United States with an internationally recognized certification education system.

Q. What are the advantages of certifications?

Internationally recognized credentials, quality educational materials, professional instructors, and targeted goals for each level of the program.

Q. What certifications will I earn during this course?

Basic Coastal Cruising [103] & Bareboat Charter [104]

Q. What are the Prerequisites?

Basic Keelboat [101] is required. If you have completed Basic Keelboat from another reputable sailing school certifier [US Sailing or similar], you are able to take the ASA 101 Qualifier Exam. Please contract us if you have additional questions.

Q. Should I study the ASA material prior to the start of the course?

YES! You are expected to read through the sailing text books and familier with the information prior to the start of the course. The more knowledge you have the better equipped you will be to implement the knowledge during the course.

Q. What is the deposit?

A 50% deposit is required. You can place your deposit by clicking on the BOOK NOW button at the top of the page.

Q. Will there be meals ashore?

Yes, there will be 3 to 4 meals enjoyed ashore.

Q. How much sailing will there be daily?

Depending on the coursework, there will be 5 to 8 hours of sailing each day. Certain days will cover less water to practice maneuvering and other activities such as anchoring, chart plotting, safety, and docking.

Q. Will there be downtime?

Yes, you bet! PASSAGE OFFSHORE is a course designed to explore the joys of sailing and a big part of that is rewarding yourself with the fruits of your labor. Whether it is a splendid beachside restaurant or rum shack, snorkeling, hiking, exploring a magnificent seaside village, or relaxing with a book aboard, there will be plenty of downtime from the educational curriculum.

Q. Who cooks?

Unlike other Sailing Collective adventures, PASSAGE OFFSHORE teaches you how to provision and cook for a voyage. Together, we will go to the local markets and seek out quality ingredients to be prepared aboard. Recipes will be based on the guidebook provided by the Sailing Collective culinary director. Please be prepared to bring two to three of your favorate recipes to prepare. The instructor will facilitate the provisioning.

Q. How many students?

There will be 4 students per session with 1 instructor. We keep the student count to a minimum to maximize your time learning and hands-on experience.

Q. Gratuity

Not only is your captain your educational instructor, but he is also providing high levels of hospitality. It is customary in the yachting industry to offer gratuity to your crew. 10% of your ticket price is a standard amount.

Boats

Dufour 430 Monohull

Dufour 430 Monohull

Constantly looking to the future, Dufour designs each new model to provide pleasure and feel in complete serenity, whatever your cruising project and however you use your yacht. For over 60 years, we have been designing and building innovative, high-performance sailing boats. Marked by an assertive character and an identity recognisable among the crowd, Dufour yachts suit your desires and your boating programme to offer you amazing and comfortable sailing experiences and the pride of owning an elegant and safe yacht from an emblematic brand.

Isle of Mull, Scotland

Sailing School

Dates

August 4th — 13th 2024

Location

Sailing School

Only 3 Cabins Left

Book Now

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