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Old 10-29-2002
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I have read everything I can get my hands on about sailing, and I met someone who said that she would teach me to sail. My question is...What are the benefits of getting certified, as opposed to reading and learning from friends? Are ASA couses really necessary? Is it worth the expense?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-29-2002
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I don''t think that there is oen right way to learn to sail. Schools tend to rush through the material and tend to not spend a lot of time with anyone student, but they have all of the basic information organized so that they will hit all of the major topics.

A friend will spend more time with you and will focus on what seems to be helpful but may not cover all of the key issues that one should know.

I think it is helpful to combine the two. Perhaps start out sailing with a friend to pick up the basic skills and then read or take more advanced courses to fill in the blanks or get an alternative point of view.

The certifications help with chartering and insurance rates, but really are not necessary in most other applications.

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Old 10-29-2002
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Ahoy, Denise. You don''t need an ASA certification, but if you intend to bareboat, it will help you get accepted as a client although they will still quiz you and maybe have you do a little sailing with them before they turn you loose. The other thing is that it will help you get on as crew if the person doesn''t know you. It will at least show them that you have been exposed to some formal training. And it may ease the mind of your friends if you ask them to go sailing with them and they are nervous about your ability. The best way to learn is to go with someone who knows what they are doing and sail, sail, sail. Finally, the order and progression of a formal curriculum does help you learn and understand the fundamentals, but you still need to practice until you have the physical feel and understanding to go with your intellectual understanding. I recommend school after you have done some sailing and not as the first sailing that you do. You will have an experiential base that will greatly aid your learning and understanding.
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