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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 05-19-2006
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US Sailing vs. ASA certification

What is the difference between the sailing certification courses offered by these two groups? Is there any? Or, are they basically the same? I am thinking about taking some classes and have both available to me.
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Old 05-20-2006
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They are pretty much the same in terms of what you get. In many cases the certifications are considered equivalent... If you are interested in chartering a boat someplace, you might want to check with the charter operator, as some only accept the USS certifications and others the ASA certifications, and some accept both.
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Old 05-21-2006
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That's what I figured. I don't have a preference, but there are schools close to me that offer both. Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2006
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In general, ASA is more cruising-oriented, while USSA is more racing-oriented.
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Old 05-24-2006
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and IYT, too

While we're on the subject of certification schemes, how about IYT - International Yachtmaster Training. I'm looking at a course offered by an outfit in Pattaya that uses it. Do any of these - IYT, USS, ASA - offer any particular advantages or disadvantages?

Thanks!
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Old 05-26-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edo Kazumichi
While we're on the subject of certification schemes, how about IYT - International Yachtmaster Training. I'm looking at a course offered by an outfit in Pattaya that uses it. Do any of these - IYT, USS, ASA - offer any particular advantages or disadvantages?

Thanks!
These are all private, I think. Does any flag state accept them in lieu of their own government-issued licenses? I've got a dusty 100-ton Coast Guard near-coastal license for aux. sail, where would these outfits get me that I'm not already? Can they carry passengers for hire on US vessels?
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Old 05-27-2006
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The "Certifications" these associations offer are in reality little more than a piece of paper you can show a charter company that you have some of the knowledge needed to take their boat for a bareboat charter.

The only "Ticket" that matters is the one the Coast Guard gives you after you have passed a RIGOROUS test and have shown proven miles/days at sea in a vessel of a specific size. It starts at the "Six-Pack" level and goes up from there. Those are the only recognized certifications which allow you to take passengers "For Hire" as in a captained charter. As a matter of fact, before you set foot on a boat in any of the sailing schools, it is a good idea to check that your instructor has at least a "Six-Pack" in his papers.

USCG requires extensive documentation, regular recertification, and drug/alcohol testing.
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Old 05-27-2006
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Smile Pitates opinion

Ahoy me mateys, iffin ye need school and a piece of paper de piece of paper ye needs is de one youse is gonna actually use. I's ain't never needed a piece of paper to take a cruise, no schooling neither cepting de risk yer life kind. Certifications are indeed important when chartering. Be wary of any insurance problems tied to your qualifications. The problems of finance and liability are the price you pay for not sailing your own the hard way. Good luck. Pirate of Pine Island
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Old 05-28-2006
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Silmaril and BigRed56,

Thanks!

Lets see if the picture forming in my befuddled brain is the correct one. These training programs - ASA, USS, IYT - are purely private sector operations. The certificates they offer might make it easier to rent a boat but aren't necessarily required. Similarly they might get you a break on insurance and financing but, then again, maybe not. If you want to carry passengers for hire then you have to go through the US Coast Guard prescribed training.

To put it in terms of the aviation industry it goes like this: The USCG is the FAA for boats but unlike the FAA they only issue and govern commercial licenses. Official, government recognized private licenses don't really exist.

Have I got this right?
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Old 05-28-2006
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Here's the bottom line: It depends on who is giving you the course. A certified instructor may or may not be too lenient and laid back. Search out one who is very demanding and thorough in HIS training.
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