As it turns out, my school was pretty awful. It.s the biggest one here in Toronto, starts with an H.
I know of it.
Cruising Keelboat course was on 309 Catalina, good boat. But there were five students on each. It's 20 hours on water. Do the math...
When I did my first overnight passage, the captain handed me the charts, and said, do want to give it a go?
I had to explain to him again, that I was with him on the passage to learn, because the school didn't really teach anything. So he taught me to plot a chart, something the school should have done in my opinion. But in reality the theory part of the course was nothing more than someone going through all the answers to the exam in a slideshow. Seriously. If we memorized the answers, we would pass. So we all did. 30 of us. Not much wiser than when we went in. But $600 poorer.
Sorry for the rant and de-rail.
Oh, I should add that I missed one on water class due to family emergency. So I only got 15 hours on water. And they signed my ticket no problem without even a question or thought to making up the time.
I understand the rant. You pay good money and expect value for that money.
I have a fairly strict regime when we do a night sail.
Plan a route that is safe.
Estimate the time on route after determining the effect of current, then set a departure time (I like to arrive at sunrise.)
Identify all hazards along the route.
Identify all aids to navigation, the light characteristics and determine which side to leave them.
Rig jacklines for the tethers and harnesses.
Determine the tide at the destination.
Ensure all nav lights work.
Review standing orders.
During the trip log entries and positions every 30 minutes.
Afterwards an assessment of what we did.
I do wish that CYA would make navigation a pre-requisite to the Intermediate level course.
Was your Intermediate course a live-aboard?