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post #6 of Old 02-17-2012
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Arrow Combine instructor lead training with crew experience ...

I think you are starting to see a common thread of advice. Your way forward should include a combination of training with an instructor and on-the-water experience.

Your goal should be learning vs. achieving a “certification” from one organization or another. That certification only indicates to others that you passed a written test and demonstrated that you could perform tasks you were taught out of a book at some time in the past.

Most people take ASA 101/103/104 as a bundle to avoid the exact situation you find yourself in now. You took an introductory class and bought a boat. Yes, the materials covered in ASA 103 will be redundant at this point and likely some of ASA 104 by this point too. You can take a bypass test for ASA 103 and/or 104 to reduce costs. What I’m trying to say is formal training with an instructor is important but it doesn’t have to be in a certification awarding program.

Learning on your own is not a good idea for the plan/schedule you have laid out for us. You need to sail/learn with others. You need to see how things are done and ask why. We tend to learn from our own mistakes but we often learn more from those made by others when we can observe.

You are in a sailing rich area of the country. Locate a yacht club near you that has a juniors program and get involved. Additional resources can be found a local college/university that has a sailing club or a municipal sailing center.

Most yacht clubs have regularly scheduled “social” racing during the week. Skippers are often short on crew and would be willing to take on a beginner that knows the difference between a line and a rope. This would give you an opportunity to learn while gaining experience. Nothing helps translate sail trim theory, you read about in a book, into practical experience like racing “around the cans” or distance “day races”.

`99 Beneteau Oceanis 352, #282 WiTCHCRAFT
Milwaukee, WI
Sailing Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes
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