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Mile Building Passages

The goal of First Reef Sailing’s mile-building passages is to provide our students the first hand experience of sailing a multi-day passage up and down the east coast as we deliver our training boats from our summer location in Boston, MA to our winter location in the Florida Keys and back. This provides an opportunity to gain experience in coastal and offshore passage-making. These are not certification courses, they are real world passages and provide valuable insight into the actual cruising experience. Many of our students go on to sail these routes in their own sailboats using the knowledge and experience they gain with us. In fact, we often have former students join with their own boats and sail alongside us as we make these annual migrations.


Each passage is designed to be five days total with an uninterrupted coastal/offshore passage of at least 36 hours. This gives students the opportunity to experience the routine of actual offshore passage-making, including watch-standing, navigation, weather, ship detection and more. We also make several stops each passage, the locations of which are weather dependent. This breaks up the trip into less exhausting legs, allows the sailors to explore new ports and cities and provides students with the opportunity to practice their seamanship and navigation skills as we sail into unfamiliar ports.

We typically require students to have attained the ASA 104 - Bareboat Cruising certification or have the commensurate experience. After booking with a refundable deposit, we have a comprehensive conversation with each potential crewmember to ensure they have the appropriate experience and will contribute to a safe and enjoyable voyage! If you are unsure whether you qualify to join a passage don't hesitate to give us a call.

Read the "Debriefs" from our prior mile building passages on our Blog!


Spring 2023 Legs


The Southern Passage

4/1/2023 - 4/5/2023

Depart: Key West, FL 

Arrive: Charleston, SC

570 nautical miles

5 days


The Gulf Stream Passage

4/8/2023 - 4/12/2023

Depart: Charleston, SC

Arrive: Norfolk, VA

420 nautical miles

5 days


The Northern Passage

4/15/2023 - 4/19/2023

Depart: Norfolk, VA

Arrive: Boston, MA

450 nautical miles

5 days

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