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  #1  
Old 12-16-2011
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ASA Instructor

I'm thinking of going for my ASA Instructor certification.
Become a Sailing Instructor - American Sailing Association
this spring.

Anyone do it, any advise?
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Old 12-16-2011
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Well, its different over here.
Go for it David. You will get lots of pleasure teaching others, learn something about sailing and a bit about yourself as well.

regards
David
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Old 12-16-2011
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If you've kicked about sailing for a few years, you should be able to pass the exams and the on-the-water, the IQC instructor and ASA want applicants to pass and add to the pool of instructors, so in my experience, they are very understanding.

Note that if you want to use your ASA credentials as an instructor you have to work at a ASA certified school, you cant just hang a sign on the stern of your boat. Also if oyu want to teach courses involving a boat with an engine, you also need a USCG license, which is time-consuming to get and much more demanding than ASA certs.
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Old 12-16-2011
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Hi David,

I obtained a number of ASA instructor certifications about 10 years ago ( before I retired) and I've been teaching part-time at a few schools in my area.

I sailed for close to 30 years before taking the instructor clinics. I had excellent instructor qualifiers and learned alot from them and my fellow instructors, so I found it to be a good experience, overall.

For the most part, I have enjoyed teaching and sharing my knowledge with others. Any money I make from teaching goes right back into my boat.

Most schools will probably want you to set yourself up as an independent contractor and will send you a 1099 at the end of the year. So be aware of the tax implications. Keep track of your all your expenses. The pay for instructors is not all that great, so you have to like people, sailing and being on the water.

It's a big plus if you can find a well run program, near you, with boats that are maintained. Nothing is more frustrating that having to deal with poorly maintained boats, and motors.

In most cases ( see the insert on your link) you will also need a CG license to teach, if you are taking passengers for hire.
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Old 12-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
If you've kicked about sailing for a few years, you should be able to pass the exams and the on-the-water, the IQC instructor and ASA want applicants to pass and add to the pool of instructors, so in my experience, they are very understanding.

Note that if you want to use your ASA credentials as an instructor you have to work at a ASA certified school, you cant just hang a sign on the stern of your boat. Also if oyu want to teach courses involving a boat with an engine, you also need a USCG license, which is time-consuming to get and much more demanding than ASA certs.
What is the story on PSIA classes? Don't seem much on line about them

Last edited by davidpm; 12-17-2011 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 12-17-2011
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I am an instructor-evaluator for International Sail and Power Association. I see problems on two extremes with potential students.

At one level are those who have not had enough experience; for example, when discussing emergencies on a boat, being able to say "when that happened to me ..." adds to the lesson. Of course some "when happened" situations (holing, fires, etc.)are ones I just wish to avoid.

On the other hand are those who with a wealth experience for whom sailing is so natural that they cannot reflect on their practice enough to be able to pass on their knowledge and skills; for them this is easy.

As an instructor you will spend a lot of time on boats, but you will not do much sailing. The students are paying for helm time, not to watch you sail. There are some things I will demonstrate, MOB, docking etc..

Most of the folks you will sail with are great. This is important because you will be sailing with strangers.

Since I love to sail and love to teach, my retirement plan after 33 years with the school board was to teach sailing. The teaching is great; some of politics of the sailing schools and organizations is a PITA.
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Old 12-17-2011
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When did the requirement for a USCG license take effect? When I worked for a small sailing school, teaching aboard an auxiliary equipped sailboat did not require a license. Of course that was more years ago than I can remember.
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Old 12-17-2011
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There are some things I will demonstrate, MOB, docking etc..
I don't know if it is the right way or not but with adult students I usually ask how they learn best.

Some people do learn best by seeing it done first.
Some like the theory first. They can't do it unless they know why first.
Some like to just jump in and try and be corrected.

Does ASA recommend that the instructors follow a prescribed sequence for all students?
Or as an instructor are you free to adjust the sequence according to the students needs.
I'm sure ASA knows what works after all these years.

Last edited by davidpm; 12-17-2011 at 10:41 PM.
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Old 12-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidpm View Post

Does ASA recommend that the instructors follow a prescribed sequence for all students?
Or as an instructor are you free to adjust the sequence according to the students needs.
I'm sure ASA knows what works after all these years.
David,

My experience has been that we're not working for ASA, we're working for an affiliated school. While ASA has set the standards, each school owner will set their own program that they want their instructors to follow. Some are very specific. Beyond that, once you're on the water with your students it's really up to you to figure out the best teaching style that a particular student or group will respond to.
Which is what it sounds like you do already.

I don't want over generalize, but it's been my experience that men often try to get technical early; they want to understand the all the principles, mechanics, the Rigging construction etc. Their questions tend to reveal that. They want to know how everyting works..Running and standing rigging etc. which is part of the program anyway..

Women often, have a better " feel' for the helm quicker, they seem to be more open and receptive to instruction. They stay more in the moment.

Like you said you can tailor your style to each student.

The biggest challenge at times can be couples.... the male will try to provide instruction when it's the wife's turn at the helm....I like when she tells him to zip it...but if she doesn't, I have to be tactful and find the best way to do it. That's where having a read on your client comes in handy.

By far, the biggest challenge is getting new students to always know where the wind is...and what point of sail they're on. Then how to respond to a head-up or fall-off command. After that the rest is easy.
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Old 12-18-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
When did the requirement for a USCG license take effect? When I worked for a small sailing school, teaching aboard an auxiliary equipped sailboat did not require a license. Of course that was more years ago than I can remember.
I can't remember exactly, it seems like it was about 6 or 7 years ago, either the coast guard or the schools or both, suddenly realized that they were taking " passengers for hire." and they began requiring licenses. I think I've seen where there are some "limited" GC licenses available. I don't think they require all the normal sea time, and limit you to the particular waters that a school operates in.
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