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Old 04-09-2010
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sck5 is on a distinguished road
Also, sailing schools WANT you to pass. They dont make money or get a good reputation by failing students. If you arent getting it they will go over whatever you didnt get so you can pass.

I asked the instructor in one of my ASA courses if he had ever failed someone. He said yes, there was a guy who just couldnt concentrate enough not to pull dangerous stunts like sudden turns or mistaking port and starboard and he felt it would be wrong to pass him since he might endanger people. He also said that the point he thought a relatively high bar should be imposed is the ASA 104 exam which certifies you to go off and captain a bareboat. Even then he said the goal was to help people pass if they could reasonably do it in good conscience. He also said almost all of the people willing to cough up hundreds of dollars for sailing lessons really did want to learn all they could so he rarely had a problem. Basically, he said (as people above did) that most folks had the desire so they did fine.
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Old 04-09-2010
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sck5 has it exactly right. I teach most of the ASA classes.
I have never had anyone fail the Basic Keelboat exam.

That's not to say, we pass people indiscriminately, but you'd have to try very hard to fail that class. I keep going over the material until you get it.
It's the instructors job to ascertain who needs extra attention or extra practice.

The best advice I could give, would be to read the book ahead of the class.
Relax and try not to overthink, let the instructor guide you through.
Ask relevant questions.

The written test is pretty easy if you pay attention. I find the biggest trick to the sailing skills for students is....paying attention to where the wind is coming from, getting a feel for the boat, and teamwork handling the sails.

sck5, has also hit on a phenomenon that I notice, mostly in my male students. Some of them lose focus and get distracted by the goofiest stuff.
ADD? They start looking off to other boats, or something happening on shore, start asking questions that have nothing to do with the task at hand?
Next thing they know they have turned the boat around and don't understand what happened. They turn their heads to look at something, and turn the tiller with their head......;-)

You'll be fine! It's not good business to take $500.00 or more from someone for a Fun recreational sport...and then have them fail at it.
Sabre 34
Morgan, NJ

Last edited by Tempest; 04-09-2010 at 04:41 PM.
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