gain experiencE in a women centric learning environment!
We believe in the importance of women seeing women doing the things they love and succeeding at it. If you've ever felt frustrated in a co-ed sailing environment, we understand, and we have the solution...
Cruisers Academy's Women's Cruising Courses are for ladies interested in levelling up their sailing skill set in a curated environment designed to fit their learning style.
In addition to training in the fundamentals of sailing, exploring boat systems, and learning about weather and navigation, we also discuss what it looks it like to be a female sailor. What are the unique situations we might encounter, and how can we best deal with them? How can we ensure that the role we take onboard is what we want? With the right leadership, we believe you can reach your sailing goals!
Captain Heather Richard is the real deal when it comes to female skippers. Her life long sailing career started at 8 years old. Since then, she has established her own norms as a female sailor and built serious sailing chops in a variety of settings: coaching racing at the prestigious Saint Francis Yacht Club, designing a sailing program for the US Navy in Japan, Captaining the 100' Tall Ship Matthew Turner, and living aboard her sailboat with her three kids!
“I had to very, very consciously decide that I was capable of becoming a captain of a big boat and running a boat myself and running a crew and, you know, just wearing that hat. It was a very conscious moment where I was like, no, I'm not gonna just gonna be stuck in the female role forever.”
But beyond being a sailor, her role as an artist, teacher, community organizer, woman, and mother have all played a role in making Captain Heather Richard who she is today. Her squeaky clean safety record, salty charm, and love for the ocean, makes Cruisers Academy’s Women's Sailing Courses in the Sea of Cortez something not to be missed.
Hear from Captain heather about the courses so far...
"Women came with more knowledge than they thought, and were hungry for more. There were “ah ha” moments for everyone—for those with experience sailing, for those that had never been on a boat before, and for those who had watched how to do something but had never actually done it themselves. These women didn’t just try to go through the motions of learning, they asked the 'why' behind everything."
"Learning from one another, knowing that they shared this drive for knowledge and empowerment, meant that much more. And it wasn’t just with sailing, it was with boat systems—the mechanics of electrical, plumbing, engines, and so on. All of their experiences amounted to a new found confidence that, individually, they could live offshore, disconnect, enjoy isolation in nature and address a problem with the boat—with the help of a manual or other tools—on their own. Teaching that, was incredibly rewarding."
SV Lintika is Cruisers Academy's 1980 Passport 42', an incredibly well built and beautiful sailboat constucted in Taiwan by the reputable Passport Yachts. This classic sailboat, designed by Stan Huntingford, has gotten a massive refit over the last several years and is as modern as they come. As a cutter rigged sloop with a fin keel and skegged rudder, her canoe stern and additional sail set up allows her to sail incredibly close to the wind. With 20 tons, she also stays comfortable in downwind and in heavy conditions.
Equipped with a new Yanmar 54hp engine, a Schenker Zen 100 water maker, new holding tanks for both fuel and water, new rigging and sails, new interior cushions and bedding, a new arch with 820 watts of solar and 810 amp hours of lithium batteries—she is set up perfectly for sailing offshore!
She is also kitted out for optimum safety at sea with sat-phone capabilities, star link internet, a 6 person life raft, a MOM-8 device, EPIRB, AIS and brand new radar.
PRIVATE MAIN CABIN FOR TWO PEOPLE
V-BERTH FOR ONE/TWO PEOPLE
SEMI PRIVATE BUNK FOR ONE PERSON
SALON BUNK FOR ONE PERSON
WHEN & WHERE
We'll be opening bunks for each leg, and accepting only 2-4 students for each passage to keep things very personal. This will be a dynamic learning environment, with the opportunity to put to work any sailing experience you may already have while including new lessons and first hand experience living the sailor lifestyle. Students will be taking part in every crew role, from sailing, navigation, anchoring, jumping into the cooking rotation, taking care of Lintika, and learning how to be the best crew member possible, you'll experience it all!
The exact itinerary will be dependent on weather, but will involve some mixture of lessons on sailing theory, hands on experience at the helm, working the lines, reviewing boat systems, relaxing at anchor, exploring the islands, and making new friends with your all female crew.
Trips will run in the Sea of Cortez in January 2025, so be sure to add your email above to stay tuned.
"My husband and I have been sailing for a few years with intentions of living on our boat and cruising the world with our family within the next few years. I’ve never been a strong sailor and as much as my husband tries to teach me it usually ends up with him getting impatient and me getting defensive. I always knew I wanted to take a sailing course at some point so when I heard of the Women’s Sailing Course by Cruisers Academy, I signed up and I’m glad I did!
Captain Heather was extremely knowledgeable, patient, approachable, kind, and fun! She taught us what we wanted to learn which not only included sailing, but ended up being a lot about diesel mechanics, electrical systems, and boat safety - all critical things for living on a boat. And the best part was she made it interesting and easy to understand.
Not only did I learn a lot on the course, it was also a lot of fun and the Sea of Cortez was beautiful. The course was empowering and I feel much more confident on my own boat and feel I can contribute much more now! I highly recommend the Cruisers Academy Women's Sailing Course with Captain Heather!"
"Just did a women's sailing trip with Captain Heather Richard put on by Cruisers Academy. The 6-day island hoping out of Loreto in the Sea of Cortez was epic.
It was my first time doing the live aboard experience and I loved it! I previous did the CA-1 class at Lake Tahoe with Brady & Blue, but my crew mate in the Women's Course came in with no experience and did great. Really learned a lot about navigation and trip planning, reinforced everything I knew about sailing and learned much more. We had lessons each day and got practical experience. Lots of time at the helm.
In addition to everything on the boat, we got to free dive a shipwreck, snorkel in caves, hike on unusual landscapes, and experience pristine areas where we saw no other people or boats.
Also, the sisterhood of the women's trip was beyond what I expected. What beautiful souls I met and bonded with. It was incredible. I will definitely be joining them again next winter!