asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self? - Page 3 - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #21  
Old 07-26-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

The course is going to go by in a blur and leave you months later unsure of how much you remember and what your skill level is. A cheap boat will keep teaching you.
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  #22  
Old 07-26-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

Do both.

The course gives you the basics, will force you to learn some things that you may otherwise never try (like man overboard rescues, going into hove-to, and steering with the sails) and lets you know that you'll like sailing. You'll also get introduced to a community of sailors, which is helpful when you want to find crew, learn how to race, or just get other new or experienced sailors out on the water with you.

Boat ownership of a simple/inexpensive sailboat (to me that means outboard, no electrical required to operate the thing, good quality sails) will let you know what it means to upkeep a simple boat and give you unlimited time to practice on it. Such boats can usually be sold for what they are purchased for, so your cost of ownership is just the ongoing stuff. Being in a marina on a regular basis will also help you meet more sailors.

If you really get into it and want a bigger boat you'll have a much better idea of what to look for when you buy the second one.

This was my route and it worked well for me. I'm glad that I didn't buy a well equipped and large cruiser for my first boat and that I didn't skip taking lessons.
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  #23  
Old 07-27-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

I was in a similar position, thinking of buying a boat and getting people to go out with me to learn, and through books, etc. I ended up taking ASA 103 (I had to to a 101 test first to 'place' into it). It was expensive, maybe around 700, but money well spent. What I learned about boat safety, navigating, and docking would have been hard to get elsewhere. We didn't focus on sailing that much, which is where having a boat and practicing, with friends prefereably, comes in. But I'm really glad I took that course. Between that and getting experience on my boat, I think I'll be really ready to charter somewhere, which sounds fantastic.
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  #24  
Old 07-28-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

If you can do both, I'd say...well, er, do both!

I am a complete beginner, so I took some RYA intro to sailing courses. They were only for the weekend, but they gave me a lot and got me started. I just bought a 16 foot dinghy so I can keep learning. It's like driving: take a class to learn the basics, but in order to get really good you just have to get behind the wheel and drive.

I've been out 3 times in 4 days last week, and I'm heading out now for another hour and a half....just get on the water!

Mike
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Old 07-28-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

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Originally Posted by JIvories View Post
I was in a similar position, thinking of buying a boat and getting people to go out with me to learn, and through books, etc. I ended up taking ASA 103 (I had to to a 101 test first to 'place' into it). It was expensive, maybe around 700, but money well spent. What I learned about boat safety, navigating, and docking would have been hard to get elsewhere. We didn't focus on sailing that much, which is where having a boat and practicing, with friends prefereably, comes in. But I'm really glad I took that course. Between that and getting experience on my boat, I think I'll be really ready to charter somewhere, which sounds fantastic.
JIvories
Where were you able to test up to 103?? This is what I have been looking to do. Thanks for any info you can provide.

Sal
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  #26  
Old 07-28-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

We went the buy a boat route and don't regret. Have owned and sailed a 28' now for 4 months. but one thing we did was ride with others a few times before buying. Had to pay a little bit but at least we could test the waters for lots less than course costs. I feel we have most of the basics down with still much to learn. But by buying and getting in a marina we have several newfriends who are experienced hands and could probably be talked into sharing their knowledge/experience. I say buy with help and go slow on the learning curve.
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Old 07-28-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

First I would suggest doing research on Youtube, forums and getting some books so that you at least understand the vocabulary of sailing, parts of the boat, parts of the sails, etc. The concepts of sailing aren't all that complex to learn but the lingo can trip up beginners. See if anybody teaches a power squadron course in the area and take it. Maybe try community colleges too. Next I would suggest finding a marina or yacht club to hang out in on a Friday night or Saturday so that you can meet some sailboat owners. Tell them up front that you want to learn to sail and that you will provide sandwiches and appropriate refreshments (I see you are in Utah). Get some time on the water on a variety of boats. Once you get "in" with the right group of people you should be able to spend time on OPBs (other peoples boats) and learn how to sail along with docking and other tasks. A Craigslist add may not be a bad option to meet up with boat owners.

If you end up getting a decent grasp of sailing then whether you have a formal training certification or not should not preclude you from being able to charter a boat in the Caribbean. It would be money well spent to pay for a captain for 3-5 days if you do make it down here. A captain should be able to teach you the intricacies of the vessel you are on and take all the pressure off while you are learning what you need to know. If you aren't comfortable to be turned loose by the fourth day, make arrangements for the captain to stay for your entire charter.

Considering your location, I probably wouldn't suggest buying a sailboat until you were more experienced and understanding more about which sailboat serves your purpose the best.
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  #28  
Old 07-28-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

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Originally Posted by redbaron View Post
So I'm new to sailing and was wondering from other people who have experienced these situations on what to do. I live in utah so lake sailing is my only way to go really. Question is to learn the proper skills I need to one day charter in the caribbean should I head down to cali and take a ASA course which runs around 1200 $ or buy my own small boat, 25ft or so, and teach/ have local yatch club people teach me at the lake
Buying your own boat is better and you can learn at your own pace. There are so many videos and books out there. That's what I have been doing. I am going to get my own boat next year. Good luck.
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  #29  
Old 08-02-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

Red,

6 years ago ago we bought a boat, took a sailing and seamanship course and hit the ocean. As my wife puts it, I have an above average ability to solve problems and fix things. (From wy wife of all people) so as clueless as we were, we weren't complete idiots. That said, that was about 1500 miles ago. You can certainly just start sailing. It isn't rockrt science, making it go. Plus you'll learn more from your screw ups anyway. But, I wish I had taken a class on sail trim. Real instruction would be nice when things aren, t perfect.

Don
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  #30  
Old 08-02-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

I would suggest you to take a course...Say ASA 101. Why? Because it teaches you some rudiments of sailing and docking, etc.

How do you act like you know what you are doing when you have others less experienced than you aboard? What are some of the gotchas to look out for so that you don't end up with your sheets tangled close onto a lee shore or some other common foolishness.

A good course and instructor can really accelerate you learning experience.

Much of the above and more you will learn by experience. But some book-learnin' stuff you just need to know.

A surprising number of skippers don't know the "rules of the road (rode?)". When do you have the right-of-way (are the stand-on vessel) and when should you give way (are the give-way vessel) and what are your obligations as such? What do the various lights, flags, horn signals and balls all mean? The various buoys? As far as I can make out a large number of weekend boat operators here on San Francisco Bay haven't had any formal training and therefore don't have a clue.
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