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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #11  
Old 08-20-2013
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Re: How we chose a school

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Originally Posted by CaribDream View Post
Personally I didn't consider either of those organizations because the information that I found locally seemed that it wasn't geared towards sailing... For our purposes, I was looking at US Sailing and ASA because they are completely sailing oriented classes.
You are correct the Coast Guard Aux courses and the Power Squadron teach the courses that you actually need to know as a boater: safety, navigation, seamanship, radio usage, mooring, anchoring, and all the working systems on a boat. These are the areas, along with poor judgment and decision-making, that cause the greatest problems, not the mechanics of sailing. The USCG Basic Sailing and Seamanship course does give an introduction to sailing.

You wasted $5,000 by attending any "sailing school" in my opinion. Sailing is the easy part. There are a multitude of good books on sailing, sail handling and trim. Volunteering as crew on a racing boat for a season will teach you everything you need to know about sailing and boat handling as part of a team. There are always folks looking for crew, both racing and cruising. There is no reason to pay for that experience.

It might be a fun way to take a vacation, but it is a mighty expensive way to learn a very small part of cruising.

Last edited by jameswilson29; 08-20-2013 at 12:02 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-20-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jameswilson29:1076652


You wasted $5,000 by attending any "sailing school" in my opinion. Sailing is the easy part. There are a multitude of good books on sailing, sail handling and trim. Volunteering as crew on a racing boat for a season will teach you everything you need to know about sailing and boat handling as part of a team.

It might be a fun way to take a vacation, but it is a mighty expensive way to learn a very small part of cruising.
Why do you believe that ASA doesn't teach "safety, navigation, seamanship, radio usage, mooring, anchoring, and boat systems"????

Those were the majority of the curriculum, centered around a sailing vessel. We covered rescue techniques, radio usage including real instances of hailing bridges etc. We covered the water systems, diesel topics, maintenance etc. We practiced anchoring, mooring, plotting courses, etc many, many times daily.

Your view of ASA is not accurate based on these statements. I really don't see what I posted that was so offensive to illicit a response like yours. I did not insult USCG or US power squadron.
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Last edited by CaribDream; 08-20-2013 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 08-20-2013
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Re: How we chose a school

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Originally Posted by CaribDream View Post
Why do you believe that ASA doesn't teach "safety, navigation, seamanship, radio usage, mooring, anchoring, and boat systems"????

Those were the majority of the curriculum, centered around a sailing vessel. We covered rescue techniques, radio usage including real instances of hailing bridges etc. We covered the water systems, diesel topics, maintenance etc. We practiced anchoring, mooring, plotting courses, etc many, many times daily.

Your view of ASA is not accurate based on these statements. I really don't see what I posted that was so offensive to illicit a response like yours. I did not insult USCG or US power squadron.
My question would be "Did you have a great time, learn lots of stuff that gave you more confidence, and feel good about how you spent your money?" If the answer is Hell Yes then who gives a damn what someone else thinks. I ]remember you saying that you wanted to share, NOT that you wanted an opinion from someone that was not there. For some people there is only one way and one opinion that matters....theirs! I think James proved that in his post.
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Last edited by tomandchris; 08-20-2013 at 12:58 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-20-2013
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Re: How we chose a school

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
Volunteering as crew on a racing boat for a season will teach you everything you need to know about sailing and boat handling as part of a team.
Could not disagree more. There is much more to skippering a boat than knowing how to trim a jib - which is about all most of my racing crew learn to do their first season. The ASA courses teach you how to cruise in a sailboat - everything from leaving the dock to provisioning the boat and handling emergencies. Sure, you can learn all this stuff on your own, but you can learn calculus on your own, too - after all there are books on the subject. For most people, taking a course is the most time-efficient way of learning these subjects. In a week-long ASA course, the typical student will learn what it could take them years to learn on thier own.
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Old 08-20-2013
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Re: How we chose a school

One advantage that I do see in one of the offered ASA courses that one tears up someone else's boat, easily exceeding the cost of the course in damages, from practicing skills like maneuvering and docking. Unfortunately ones own boat could become a 'fender' as these ASA boats practice in adjacent slips. I can personally attest to this as the Maryland School of Sailing has there business at our marina....

Last edited by aa3jy; 08-20-2013 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 08-20-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aa3jy:1076751
One advantage that I do see in one of the offered ASA courses that one tears up someone else's boat, easily exceeding the cost of the course in damages, from practicing skills like maneuvering and docking. Unfortunately ones own boat could become a 'fender' as these ASA boats practice in adjacent slips. I can personally attest to this as the Maryland School of Sailing has there business at our marina....
I can only speak for my personal case, and I'm sure my instructor would attest to the fact that I, and my wife, did not "tear up" his boat or any other during my training. We did not leave so much as a scratch.

Considering we trained on my instructor's boat which is also his *home*, it was in his best interest to be cognisant of our situation and his instruction methods as to not put us in a situation in which this was a possibility. He did a great job
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Last edited by CaribDream; 08-20-2013 at 02:30 PM.
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Re: How we chose a school

My husband and I will be departing next Monday on a week long CYA intermediate cruising course which will get us our ICC certification. We've also decided to go this route since it will enable my husband to get both his basic and intermediate standard, while I will be tested for the intermediate standard again. (I have the equivalent of the advanced standard from the CSTA but apparently it doesn't mean anything outside of the realm of Tall Ships).

This will be a light refresher course for me, as well as an opportunity to better learn how to apply the principles I know from Tall Ship sailing to a cruising yacht. It will also give my husband the chance to catch up so that if we were to go out I wouldn't constantly feel like I have to be in charge of navigation and boat safety at all times. The last bareboat charter we did was a little more stressful than I had anticipated since I had three non-boaters onboard.

Furthermore, this way I don't have to teach my husband, which is probably for the best since he never listens to me anyway!
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Re: How we chose a school

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Originally Posted by aprilsails View Post
Furthermore, this way I don't have to teach my husband, which is probably for the best since he never listens to me anyway!
A prerequisite for becoming a Sailnet....Naaaa I wont go there...
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Re: How we chose a school

Okay, first post. Bear with me...

I’ve enjoyed Carib’s topics and posts because they somewhat relate to where we are with our own sailing aspirations. After years of only occasional sailing opportunities on, well, anything I could get my hands on... (cat’s and mono’s 23’ or less) we did a week of “real adventure” (in our humble experience) getting our ASA cert’s for bareboat cruising and multihulls. The curriculum CaribDream describes mirrors our own on a week-plus from Sarasota thru the Keys to Lauderdale... lots of study, lots of work, lots of fun, and a captain/instructor who yelled at me when I needed it. Wasn’t about just sailing, but about being competent, safe, knowledgeable on the water. Maybe those don’t compare with all you can (will!) learn with LOTS of time on the water, but for some it’s a big step forward in terms of confidence and essential skills and knowledge. Plus, it was a damn good vacation, not much more than we’d spend sitting on a beach for a week somewhere WISHING we were on one of those boats.

One can quickly see the risks here of trying to post anything that seems a POSITIVE from your personal perspective.. something valuable to YOU that you want to share. SOMEONE here will no doubt see it otherwise. (Is that the downside of anonymity?) Anyway, I guess as a newbie I should just quietly keep to our wherever-whenever-we-can sailing forays and our occasional blue-water charters, never mind that we feel some sort of camaraderie with others who share the love and enthusiasm for sailing that we do, even though on far, FAR different levels. I certainly respect and enjoy that in others who share other passions that WE enjoy and are accomplished “old hands” at... biking, scuba, skiing, whatever.

Besides, folks, I have learned SO MUCH in these forums from all the experienced, long-time sailing enthusiasts. You are all mentors even if you don’t know it, or (sometimes) don’t know it all.

Landlokd in CO
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  #20  
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Re: How we chose a school

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Originally Posted by CaribDream View Post
Documenting our progress towards living aboard in a blog. Looking back at our ASA certification and how we decided on a school that was right for us.

The Great Island Escape: Step 2: Choosing a sailing school
Here are the meta-tags for your blog on Google:

The Great Island Escape
thegreatislandescape.blogspot.com/‎
19 hours ago - A blog about learning to sail and moving to the Caribbean islands. American Sailing Association, bareboating, sailing charters, virgin islands.

Just out of curiousity, why did you decide to put the "American Sailing Association" as one of the tags for your blog?
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