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

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Old 07-21-2013
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asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

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
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

Lake sailing in Utah?

Buy it and go sailing. Stop by the YC and see if there's an RKI ta invite aboard

Big, open water (readcean) Go ASA

Next qualifier would be cost of boat.
A $2500 25 footer can be replaced and a $1200 course would be like paying a $1000 surveyor If yer talking a new, $50k+ boat; the cost of a course is quite a bit smaller percentage-wise

HTH,
Paul
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Old 07-21-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

Sunsail, at least, is fine with allowing bareboat charters for lake sailors. A few in my sail club, who normally sail on an inland lake were allowed to captain the charter boats.

They decided not to, and instead had more experienced folks share the boat.
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

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.
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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
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
If it is either or, I would for sure go with the buy your own option. You will learn just as much or more at the local yacht club (it will take longer, but you will) and you will get lots of experience too. Make sure you anchor a lot.
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I've done a weekend course which got me small sailboat certified. We sailed 25 and 28 ft.
I'd like to someday sail ocean waters so that's y I'm a little nervous that the lake won't offer enough big water similarities. Then again 3 day course vs own boat sail whenever.. the latter sounds more bang for my buck
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

This post merits more than I can type , but I learned at the age of 12 on a 12' catboat. Sailed on Long Island Sound 6 miles across from Greenwich to Loyds Neck (I think)( my parents never knew). Learning to sail on a small boat teaches sailing, in my opinion, if you can make a small boat go the lessons apply to larger boats you just have to learn more controls/systems. If you buy a 25' or larger boat you will have to learn systems as well. Fresh water, head plumbing (porta potty/waste tank), engine, electrical generation, lighting.. I currently sail a 42' ketch with my wife. Get a sunfish.
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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
I've done a weekend course which got me small sailboat certified. We sailed 25 and 28 ft.
I'd like to someday sail ocean waters so that's y I'm a little nervous that the lake won't offer enough big water similarities. Then again 3 day course vs own boat sail whenever.. the latter sounds more bang for my buck
I am 100% convinced that if you start on a lake, then go ocean, you will be a much better sailor than 90% of the people who start on the ocean. You tack frequently and use all points of sail. This teaches you a ton, especially if you race. Most people I have seen sail in salt, never beat and only tack a few times all day.

You can also safely and comfortably sail in very hight winds on the lake. This teaches you to handle boats in these conditions. In salt you would be far less likely to go out in these conditions.

When you switch to salt you will have to learn tides, current, navigation. That would be a good time to take a class perhaps. None of these skiils are really that important in beginning charter locations such as the BVI. You will mostly be on mooring balls and navigation is a non-issue.

In the long run I really think you will be a better sailor for learning on the lake.
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

Buy yourself a boat!

I would suggest first buying a dinghy like a laser, sunfish ect just to mess around with if you don't have experience, if you want to buy a bigger boat in the 18-25ft range then go for it, but invite some people who know how to sail out with you while you're learning the boat, a keel boat is much less forgiving for learning to sail so having someone who has experience is a must until you can nail the basic boat handling,

give it some time and you'll be rockin'!

Also, I've taught several people who've had sailing school lessons and paid ALOT of money, not that all schools are bad but, these individuals learned more in an hour with me than weeks in sailing school, I got them sailing confidently on their own no problem
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Old 07-22-2013
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Re: asa school vs buying own 20-30ft and teach self?

You are comparing $1200 in classes with buying up to a 30 foot sailboat. Its not really a fair comparison. Even if you bought a boat for $1200 the long term costs will be much higher as will the benefits. After buying your own boat you may still have to pay for lessons anyways. As there is not much organized sailing in Utah unless they popped up since i left 2 years ago.

I have sailed the Salt Lake and Bear Lake and liked Bear Lake better for sailing, the GSL is kind of nasty, there are also nicer boats on Bear Lake.

Analyze all the costs of ownership and if you can afford it go for it. One thing to consider is where do you want to sail eventually? If it is the tropics or the ocean, can you afford a small boat in Utah and vacations in the Caribbean? Also experience in a 25 foot boat on a lake may not apply to a 40 footer unless you have some other experience. Owning your own boat lets you get started on the learning process.
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