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A diesel marine engine

Diesel Engine Troubleshooting

That noisy machine under the floorboards can strike fear in the heart of many auxiliary sailors for lack of basics of trouble shooting skills with their diesel engines. In two days, get comfortable answering - What is that noise? Why did the temperature spike? What should I check before I leave the dock? Learn key maintenance items and how to fix the most common issues.  ( 2 day course)

Cruising Spinnaker

Cruising Spinnakers are perfect for the cruising couple or family: they require minimal gear and create little trouble if handled right. However any spinnaker can cause damage if not set, tacked or taken down properly, so join us to learn the skills to make spinnakers work to your advantage. Extending the wind angles in the Bay and gain valuable tips and tricks to make you cruising spinnaker competent. (2 day course)

A sailing boat with spinnaker
Boat with spinnaker sailing

Spinnaker 122 - Estuary

Start learning to dance on the foredeck! Understand the terms and common slang relating to spinnakers. Understand all 5+ jobs: How to Point, Pit and Helm make a whole. Learn the art of the Sewer Rat: how to pull in, pack and set up in the flat waters of the Oakland Alameda Estuary. Learn: Set-fly-douse, Set- fly-gybe-gybe douse. Decide on End for End or Dip-Pole?  What about Peals? Come learn what all this means!

Spinnaker 123 - SF Bay

Learn Spinnaker on San Francisco Bay. Once you are able to fly a ‘Chute’ on the SF Bay the everything else is easy. Work behind the islands till you are comfortable with the basics.  Learn how to deal with common problems, then venture out into the open Central Bay waters. Finish with a run from the Gate. Spinnaker sailing is exciting and the techniques learned in the course can apply to both Asym and Tri spinnakers.

Blue Spinnaker on a Blue evening
A student studying a chart

Navigation - The rest of it!

Coastal Navigation ASA-105 course is a classroom series and it covers the key skills in the books, but skips other valuable  methods to determine location, course and ETAs that you learn from real-time practice. Prior to a 5 day ocean adventure or ocean passage many want more training aboard to be able to work the nav station below with confidence. Customizable and taken 1 day at a time.

Get your Sea Legs!

Learn how to set up a boat for offshore sailing.  Shove off to begin adjusting to life on a boat and gaining your ‘sea legs’ to get more enjoyment from sailing in the open ocean. We strongly suggest a minimum of two days, before a 5 day Ocean 106- ACC. This course helps you get over sea sickness, and discover what methods of dealing with the motion of the water that work best for you.

Crew steering
A cumulo nimbus cloud with classic anvil

Heavy Weather Strategies

One of our most popular courses. Work with many things you've read about, like sea anchors, sea drogues, multiple reefs, storm sails. In addition to how  to prepare a crew for heavy weather. The Entrance to SF Bay has strong wind and wave action May-August that means we do not have to go too far to get the conditions needed to simulate heavy weather for this course. Perhaps you’ve read about what to do if the weather wears you out or becomes dangerous for your boat - but have you actually tried these techniques?

Crew Overboard Clinic

Owner Mary SwiftSwan is 1 of 3 original investigators who pioneered

live-crew overboard returns and recovery technique checks. We verified what was myth and what was real and proven knowledge of what works to recover crew. In this class we explore 5 return methods by sail and 2 under power. You will get to use most all of the recovery equipment proven to get someone back aboard safely. It may be rare that this misadventure happens on your boat - but unfortunately it happens to someone most every weekend April-October in the SF Bay. You could be the hero if you are the closest boat to lend aid. If it does happen aboard your boat, return and retrieve like a pro (1 or 2 day course, depending on background and level of competence)

A sailing crew performing crew overheard drills.
SB Channel Sunset

Night Sailing

Afterguard is located on the Oakland Estuary. The Port of Oakland is the 5th busiest container port in the United States. We always see work boats in action at night. It is a key skill to identify these boats in any weather or light conditions to know when to move and which way to keep clear, what channels to listen to and what phone apps can help for inland waters. Can you tell the tug in this picture has chain and barges that extend greater than 200 meters behind it? How did we know that we'd have a long wait to cross behind him? (Classroom starts at 1pm. Sail till 9pm.)

A tug on the SF bay
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