Yes, I would like separate courses but if its going to be part of a vacation, that becomes tough - and it isn't possible to afford seperate chartered vacations for each person (well it is but it isn't practical or nearly as good a value). If one did the 'course' vacation, from the sounds of it the theory is a book/class/exam combo so taking that together makes no difference. We both know that to cruise we would have to know how to single hand so I don't think there will be a problem on this front.
I do look at the idea as an investment certainly. So to that end figure none of the options are 'bad' but one might be better than others. Heck, I think a week on a 40+ foot boat focused on learning would be VASTLY more instructive than taking a course at the local yacht club learning how to sail a laser over the course of a couple hours a week for a year - and way way more fun. At the end of the day, our objective isn't sailing lasers, its sailing a cruising boat after all.
Have any of you done both courses on a charter as well as normal charters? Can you learn a lot on a basic charter? I would think the one catch with the Whitsundays as a charter with a learning slant to it is that there doesn't look to be a lot of wind to sail and hence not a lot of chance to learn how to sail. I could be wrong but I bet there is a lot of motorsailing going on there.
edit - oh, yes, good tip with the Cat on sailing. Given they can be capsized, you want to only have enough sail out to ensure the highest gust you expect (and maybe even more) isn't at risk of flipping you over. Having read Chris White's book, I gather it is indeed possible but the righting moments for Cats are large so it would take a reasonable amount of incompetence or extremely bad luck but still, something vital to consider with a Cat.
Last edited by yellowwducky; 12-31-2008 at 02:58 AM.