Join Date: Sep 2010
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I did the U.S. Sailing Basic Keelboat course with JWorld in Key West and the U.S. Sailing Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising with Colgate in St. Pete. Both were quality courses, but the Coalgate course seemed a bit more institutionalized while the guys in Key West were...well...much more Key Westerly. That said, there was a student in St. Pete who passed but probably shouldn't have, while a student in Key West who shouldn't have passed and didn't.
The Key West instructors were younger and from a New Port racing background, while the St. Pete instructor was older and a former BVI charter captain. All had a great skillsets and all but one were excellent instructors.
My impression is that it's a very competitive business and there's not much difference in the quality of first-line schools. Ultimately, I think it comes down to getting out of it exactly what you're willing to put into it, regardless of location or company.