Re: US Sailing vs. ASA courses, vs. just get out there
I took the ASA courses with a local boat club. Taking the course enabled me to use the club boats, but not to reserve, for 45 days. As I recall, the club did not force, or even encourage taking the ASA tests. However, taking the classroom instruction, and the instructor led sailing were requirements in order to use the club boats.
I was glad that I gained certification this way, as it enabled me to use several different size boats (27' Soling, Pearson 26, Albin 28, J-29, Pearson 31, CAL 33, Pearson 34, Pearson 36, and a CAL 39) and sail with several different people. I realized that I did not like racing, and that the minimum size boat that the Admiral would be content with was a CAL 33. I eventually bought an O'day 35, which is VERY similar to the Pearson 34.
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USCG Licensed OUPV Captain, ASA 101/103/104/105 Certified Instructor - Also certified in Recreational Marine Electrical Systems