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Old 07-08-2002
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Keelboat Certification Question...

Hello All ! I completed my basic sailing certification through US Sailing in May. I am scheduled to take the Keelboat Certification in Erie Pa. this July. I''ve been reading the Keelboat book and the study information is almost the same as in my basic certification class, aside from some navigating basics, winches, few new knots etc. My question is.. ( and it is in regards to furthur classes such as coastal cruising, bareboat, etc)... Is Basic Keelboat still a prerequisite to Coastal Cruising even though I''ve completed my basic sailing certification? I''d hate to take a class and learn things I already have in my previous class. I know the keelboats are somewhat bigger than in my certification class, but the principles are the same , ie: sail handling, tacking, returning to dock etc.
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Old 07-09-2002
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Keelboat Certification Question...


I''m a little confused in that I thought the Basic Keelboat certification was the lowest level (but I could be wrong). Basic Keelboat is a prereq for Coastal Cruising, which is a prereq for Bareboat Cruising.

Having completed all 3 levels in the past 6 months, I can tell you that there is a great deal of repetition of information. I like to believe that''s because the fundamentals of sailing, the rules of the road, weather, etc. are the same no matter what size boat you are on.

Where the 3 courses differ is in larger boat handling, docking, systems (plumbing, electrical, auxiliary engines, etc.). My opinion is that Bareboat is not that much more informative than Coastal. It does give you reinforcement of what you should already have learned, but on a much heavier boat (a 40'' vs. 30'' for example).

And another unsolicited opinion: the US Sailing certification series worked well for me; I thrive on structured, challenging instruction. To make it work for you, get in with a good school and try to get the most out of it you can. Nothing teaches like "doing." I skippered a 45'' boat in the BVIs last month as my first charter, and I really felt pretty well prepared and confident about it all.

Good luck and fair winds.

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Old 07-09-2002
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Keelboat Certification Question...

I have heard about keelboat certification, but know very little about it. I have over 20 years of keelboat sailing and bareboat chartering experience, and have both taken and taught many sailing courses. (1) How, if at all, would certification benefit a person who is a fairly experienced sailor. (I plan to buy a bigger boat in the next year or two, and will not be chartering anymore.)

(2) If there is a benefit to me in obtaining certification, is there an inexpensive, home-study way of preparing for and taking the exam, and, if so, what company or organization can I contact to arrange to take the course and exam?

Thanks for your advice.
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Old 07-10-2002
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Keelboat Certification Question...


My fellow US Sailing members might take exception with my opinion, but I doubt the certification(s) would be of much value to you.

I view them as a structured way of "ensuring" that all the important skills and knowledge are covered. For example, you might have taken 10 classes of non-certification instruction and spent 100 hours on the water on your own, but still never "hove-to" or "steered the boat with sail trim and not the rudder". If you pass the certification tests, you should have demonstrated competency in all the areas listed on the syllabus.

From what I have heard, charter companies value the certifications to varying degrees. I felt that the training prepared me well for the challenge of my first bareboat charter, so it was worth it to me. You don''t plan to charter anymore, so that point is moot anyway.

In your specific case, I would consider just finding a competent instructor who can tailor the lessons to your needs - an experienced sailor who is moving up to a larger boat.

If you want to spend a few bucks, you can buy the certification study books directly from US Sailing at their website (I''m sure you can find it). If you are experienced, you may not find that much new in them.

Hope my 2 cents helped.

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