Sailing Certification Courses & Endorsements

Cruising Catamaran Endorsement

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Recommended Equipment: The multihull endorsement course and examination shall be conducted on a catamaran of at least 34′, with wheel steering, twin engine auxiliary power, and adequate equipment inventory to complete all required certification outcomes.

Prerequisites: The prerequisite for the Catamaran Endorsement is a US Sailing Bareboat Cruising certification. This endorsement may be taught concurrently with any certification from the Bareboat Cruising level or higher.

Certification Requirements: The Catamaran Endorsement requires the successful completion of the following knowledge and skill requirements. These requirements are expected to be performed safely with confident command of the boat with a wind of at least 10 knots.

Practical Skills

Maneuvering Under Power:

  • Demonstrate holding position, pivot turn around center and around each hull, starting, stopping and speed control.
  • Demonstrate leaving and returning to a dock under power.
  • Demonstrate making way and maneuvering upwind and crosswind in forward and reverse. Demonstrate maneuvering with one engine.

Sailing Skills:

  • Demonstrate the trim cycle for a catamaran, including the proper use of the traveler and/or boom vang. Demonstrate the use of a barber hauler when
    sailing off the wind.
  • Demonstrate the specialized skills of tacking a catamaran.
  • Demonstrate jibing, including proper control of the mainsail.
  • Demonstrate shortening sail to depower the boat.

Overboard Rescue:

  • Properly demonstrate one of the overboard rescue methods under sail, taking into account the boat’s performance characteristics.
  • Properly demonstrate one of the overboard rescue methods under power, taking into account the boat’s performance characteristics.

Anchoring Techniques:

  • Demonstrate the proper use of an anchoring bridle, including its deployment, retrieval, and storage.
  • Demonstrate the use of two anchors off the bow.
  • Pick up and properly secure to a mooring from the bow.
  • Pick up and properly secure to a mooring from the stern.


Catamaran Characteristics:

  • Describe the features of catamaran design, handling, and sailing performance.
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of typical catamaran accommodations.

Maneuvering Under Power:

  • Understand the maneuvering differences between a single engine boat and a twin engine boat.
  • Describe the different arrangements of engine installations and their effects on maneuvering.
  • Understand the limitations of visibility from the helm station on various designs. Explain how this affects docking procedures, crew responsibilities, and boat positioning.
  • Understand how to use twin engines to steer, pivot, and maneuver the boat in close quarters.
  • Understand why maneuvering in reverse, in high winds, while in close quarters may be necessary.
  • Understand the techniques needed to land at a dock with one engine inoperative.
  • Understand the use of one engine while motor sailing or steaming.

Sailing Skills:

  • Explain the effect of apparent wind and how it leads to the need for repeated sail trim adjustments as the boat speed increases.
  • Explain the importance of the use of the boom vang and/or traveler to maintain proper mainsail shape.
  • Understand the techniques for tacking, including proper steering throughout the maneuver.
  • Explain the differences in jibing, including proper control of the mainsail leech.
  • Understand the lack of obvious cues for the need to reduce sail as the wind increases, and explain what cues are available.
  • Explain various techniques for reducing sail area, including traditional and single line mainsail reefing.

Overboard Rescue:

  • Explain vessel performance characteristics and how that affects overboard rescue maneuvers.
  • Discuss person-in-water retrieval techniques.

Anchoring and Mooring Techniques:

  • Understand the need for an anchor bridle while using a single anchor off the bow.
  • Explain the two most common arrangements of anchor bridles.
  • Describe the steps required to set two anchors off the bow.
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of picking up a mooring from the bow versus stern.
  • Explain the steps required to pick up a mooring from the bow and the stern.