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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 06-30-2007
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Post Blue water sailing school?

Has anyone ever used blue water sailing school? There website and information sounds great. I am intrested in the asa 101,103,104 live aborde course. Over x-mas in the virgin islands. I am very recently divorced and don't want to be here over x-mas and thought this would be a great time and way to start learning. Blue Water Sailing School Course Progression
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Old 06-30-2007
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If you do a search under Learning to Sail for Blue Water Sailing School you will find quite a few discussions about them. Some are old, some this year. Overall good, some mixed, but good information.

I also remember in the last year that someones wife took lessons there. I think that the experience was positive.
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Old 07-04-2007
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Bluewater Sailing School

I did the 101, 103 and 104 courses with the Bluewater Sailing School out of Ft Lauderdale in January 2006. The courses were great and I felt I received a maximum educational experience for my dollar. The student to teacher ratio was very good (4 to 1) and you were afforded lots of hands on experience.

This is NOT a relaxing vacation. It is an intense learning experience that will tire you out every day. I would strongly recommend get the course materials early and spending as much time as you can studying prior to the course. This will allow you to spend as much time as you can gleaning experience from the instructors, rather than palying catch up on the language and basic concepts of sailing.
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Old 07-04-2007
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I just did their A+ course. It was very good. The boat was in good condition, and the instructor was very knowledgable. One thing to keep in mind is if there is a specific skill you need / want to do, tell your instructor (for example, my sailing center at home requires picking up moorings under sail. we did it in the gulfstream

-MJB
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Old 07-05-2007
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I posted about this school previously, but i don't mind repeating myself .

-I took the 101, 103, 104 live aboard class out of the USVI
-I learned a lot
-I had a great time
-the boat was a little beat-up but it was at the end of the season [May] (so the boat was due for some maintenance)
-the other members of the class can make or break the experience (true no matter the school)
-the instructor can make or break the experience (theirs have a good rep, and the one i had was really good)
-read the books (twice) before you go (seriously) [they sent them well in advance and the week is to be spent reviewing the bookwork and practicing the practical stuff]
-as Swab said, it is work, but it is not: tedious, boring or dull (so it doesn't seem like work )

in short, i'd do it again in a heartbeat!
M
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"... the only matter of consequence before me is what I will do with my alloted time. I can remain on shore, paralyzed with fear, or I can raise my sails and dip and soar in the breeze." - Richard Bode, First you have to row a little boat (pg. 94)
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Old 09-04-2007
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Thumbs up Sailing and Learning with Blue Water Sailing School

I took the 101, 103 and 104 classes (A+) with BWSS earlier this year. Overall, I had a great time. I posted a review on TripAdvisor.com since I was not aware of SailNet at that time. Here is a copy:

I just returned from a 7 day/6 night trip with BWSS and found it to be a very educational experience. This was their A+ certification course that allows you to get three ASA certifications (101, 103,104) which will permit you to charter a boat by yourself.

We (two students, one instructor) started on a Friday afternoon in Ft. Lauderdale exploring our 43 foot sailboat and getting ready to sail to Key Largo. Since we were a small group (usually it is a 4:1 ratio) we had plenty of space on the boat. During the seven days we had to pass three practical and three theoretical exams. This requires some studying on the student’s part, but BWSS sends you the books before the trip so you can prepare.

Overall, I really liked the trip. The instructor was a former ‘racer’ and shared a lot of his experiences. Since we were a small group we got plenty of ‘attention’ and all of our questions were addressed. The tone on the boat was friendly and professional; of course, we had some fun, too. As time went on all of us got more relaxed and sometimes it felt like a ‘real’ vacation. Both of us passed the exams without any problems, but we did have to study, so be prepared to put some reading time in when on board.

The typical day started around 8:30am with breakfast. At the beginning of the trip the instructor had taken note of any special meal requests and bought the appropriate food (I even got my favorite cereal). Breakfast was followed by lectures from the instructor; some days half an hour, other days up to two hours. Once we had covered the theory we lifted anchor and sailed (or motored) towards our destination. During the day we did our practical exercises and practiced our newly acquired navigation skills. Unfortunately, we did not have a lot of wind, in particular in the morning, so we had to rely on our engine a lot. For better wind conditions I recommend a trip during the winter time, which is also peak time for BWSS. Dinner time on the boat was always great: our instructor did most of the cooking (he did it very well); simple meals, but well prepared. Dinner was followed by cleaning up and studying or talking about the day. This is the time when you can reflect and get all your questions answered. Some nights we even got ‘homework’, which consisted of exploring an assigned subject and presenting it to the other student(s) in the morning (is actually a fun way to learn).

The trip took us to a small marina at the north end of Key Largo (Route 1). We docked (exercises!) in front of an open air bar/restaurant where we spent the evening talking, drinking, eating and listening to the locals singing with the karaoke machine.

Sleeping and living on the boat was a great experience. This is obviously not your typical 5-star hotel and bathrooms and sleeping quarters are quite small. However, this trip gives you the true live-aboard feeling. The instructor was great. He prepared us well for the exams, had a good sense of humor and some interesting stories to tell. He definitely came across as very knowledgeable.

The only drawback of this certification course is the limited amount of time. I would have liked to practice my newly acquired skills a lot more, but due to the number of exercises (& exams) and the wind conditions, this was not possible. Other than that, I recommend this trip and I am thinking about taking the next ASA course with BWSS.
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Old 09-04-2007
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I concur. I took ASA105/6 with BWSS last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Two of the students had not studied in advance which impacted all of us as we ended up having to spend more time in theory than sailing. I therefore strongly back the earlier comments that you familiarize yourself with all materials before you go. You, and your peers, will get much more out of the trip.
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Last edited by SteveSouthwood; 09-04-2007 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 09-04-2007
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Must be nice to take sailing lessons on a 43 foot boat. Here most lessons are on boats 20 to 27 feet.
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