asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self? - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 34 Old 07-22-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

How about an ASA course in the Caribbean? You get certified, you see what the sailing is like there compared to a lake, you have a great time. Return to Utah, practice your skills on a smaller boat.

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post #12 of 34 Old 07-22-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

From the point of view of someone with no sailing experience before currently taking the ASA courses:

If you skip taking a course and go straight into buying a boat:
1) How do you know you are going to like sailing?
2) How do you know what type of boat you actually want?
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post #13 of 34 Old 07-22-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

Benjamen has a point. I seem to be in the minority, but I highly recommend taking the course first. For starters, you will become a better sailor quicker. Secondly, the price of the boat is just the beginning of the expense. You have to add in everything else from dockage to maintenance. Lastly, you may want a totally different boat after lessons than you thought you did before.

I started with an intro to sailing course on the bay in Miami and have since completed ASA 101, 103 and 104. I learned something valuable in each and every one. I also like the suggestion of going down to the caribbean to take your lessons. That way you make an exciting trip of it and you'll be prepared for all kinds of sailing when you're done.

Good luck.
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post #14 of 34 Old 07-22-2013 Thread Starter
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I'm asa 101 certified and as for the boat I was just thinking like a dinghy or this oday22 for cheap in my area. So the investment of the boat is very minimal since its trailer sailor so the price of either classes and boat are around the same. What I'm thinking now though is to do buy a dinghy or the oday which is priced at 1500.practice a bit and then take a class in the caribbean like mentioned earlier by someone
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post #15 of 34 Old 07-22-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

Buy a boat, something you sit 'in' not 'on' and get someone to come out with you to show you how to hang the rags on the sticks.

Go sailing until you are comfortable then get a racer to come out with you and show you how to use the spinnaker if you have one and how to get the best out of your sails. Even better if it is preparation for an evening 'beer can' race. Everybody should do a race at least once, some will get the bug and others will say once is enough.

Sailing is 99+% common sense. Mind you there will be a time you need to know what to do and to do it in a hurry.
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post #16 of 34 Old 07-22-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

I don't own a boat but think about it everyday and can only equate your question with riding a motorcycle. Taking the MC class will certify you, get you a license and even an insurance discount but it in no way prepares you for riding on the street.

In fact, most would tell you if they waited a month or two they would be scared to even get on a bike without additional training and basically starting all over again.

My plan is to buy a boat and sail my butt off and maybe get some training for the 1st few outings...
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post #17 of 34 Old 07-22-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

I took a basic sailing course for a summer at the local yacht club when i was 12 and sailed thru my teens. Then joined the military and never sailed again for 20 years.

5 years ago i took what i would call a refresher course for a week. One on one with a ASA instructor and received my basic, keel and bareboat certs. Yes; it was expensive, but, it was worth every penny.
i am absolutely amazed how much more i know than than a lot of other sailors. Docking, anchoring, systems, maintenance, and sailing in general.

But ! You can learn a lot by joining a yacht club and sailing a small boat to learn your skills. It's really the only way to learn to feel the boat. There are a lot of cheap programs out there.

Another option would be to by the boat and hire the ASA instructor to go on your boat. it's a lot cheaper.

Or just buy a sunfish or laser; sail, sail, sail and then move up. You will lose very little money this way.
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post #18 of 34 Old 07-22-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

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Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
I agree with everything Paul said. There are some great videos on YouTube for beginning sailors, too. That being said, it IS nice to take a class. But it doesn't have to be an ASA 101 course. Our local lake had an "introduction to sailing" class that met one night a week for 4 or 5 weeks for a few hours, and almost all of it was on the water time in a small boat. I think we paid $85 each to join, and it was well worth it.
Which lake was this on as I need a refresher and the wife is new to sailing? Also any contact info you have for this learn to sail course would be greatly appreciated.

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post #19 of 34 Old 07-22-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

As someone who took up sailing by enrolling in an 8-day ASA series (101, 103 & 104) in Santa Barbara (mostly on a Catalina 42), followed that with a summer timeshare on Lake Michigan (Jeanneau 42), then chartered for two weeks in the San Juan Islands, during one week of which my wife completed the 101, 103 & 104 sequence (Islander 32), I made my way into sailing via classes on larger boats. I learned a lot (especially about how much there is to learn), and loved every minute of it! Our plan was to do our sailing by chartering a couple of weeks each year.

Note the "was" in that last sentence. Chartering is great, but for us it just wasn't enough sailing. Last month we bought a used sailboat (Beneteau 210) and put it in a slip at the nearest sailing lake - about 1.5 hours away. We don't have the crazy tides and roaring currents of the PNW to contend with in planning routes (San Juan Islands), we don't have to watch for freighters on the way to the Channel Islands for a night's anchorage (Santa Barbara), nor do we have the city lights of Chicago to gaze upon during a warm summer evening (while keeping a sharp eye out for powerboaters). And it is a heck of a lot easier to dock a 21 foot boat than a 40 footer.

OK, the sailing challenges aren't the same, but there still are challenges: hanking on sails, rather than working a furler. Making sure that *your* boat is shipshape and safe. Balancing the boat with one's own body weight. Sheeting the jib without a winch. It's more elemental. I've discovered that my spouse is a better sailor than I, no doubt because her father bought her a (wood) X-boat and she sailed it alone on a Minnesota lake as a teenager. I'm learning a lot from her. I have found that I can sail this boat single-handed, and that too is a benefit.

So, all this is to say - coming from someone who did the classes and learned on bigger boats - buy your own boat and head for the lake. Something you can sail with one or two crew as well as sail alone. Something you can trailer and set up in 30 minutes max, ideally by yourself. A daysailer would do that for you, and there are a lot of O'Day 17s around on Craigslist for $2500 or so (some have mast steps that make them easy to rig). Go much bigger or heavier, and you will need either a tow vehicle or a slip, and neither is inexpensive. Plus, boats at the upper end of the 20-30 foot range often come with expensive and unreliable systems like marine heads, pressure water systems, stoves, and the like.

As I said, the classes are great - and if you can join a local sailing club so much the better. But find a way to get out on the water with the boat (hopefully) under your control in a freshening breeze.
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post #20 of 34 Old 07-26-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

Take a class, it will make things much easier. Watching a video on YouTube isn't the same as having someone teach you hands on.
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