Given your preference for something in the Boston area, I'd highly recommend going with the Boston Sailing Center
, which is based out of a boat on Boston Harbor. They have both a la carte or macro based offerings, where you can get everything from a basic ASA 101 learn-to-sail course up to the full coastal or passagemaking courses as a package.
One thing that is nice, is that their lessons and courses come with a short-term membership and allow you to sail different boats from their fleet, which includes J/24s, Olson 25s, Sonars, Solings, on up to a C&C and Bavaria 37s, and larger boats. No multihulls though.
I'd point out that one of my friends went through the courses at the BSC and was a member there for about two years. He went from buying a boat last April to cruising the Bahamas and coming back from the Bahamas in their own boat in just a year. I think that says a lot about the preparation and skills you can learn in a relatively short period of time.
I'd point out that one of my good friends is an instructor at the BSC as part full disclosure. He often teaches their cruising courses.
I lived on a small lake my entire life. I have sailed small boats, but I want to up the ante with larger boats in bigger bodies of water.
My goal is to be able to charter a large sailboat (single or multi hull) all over the world.
From my research I have learned there are two sailing certifications ASA and US Sailing. I have read they are identical. That being said ASA has an emphasis on day sailing and US Sailing is more racing. I have also heard that US Sailing helps determine sailing guidelines for the US. I don't care which one, I just want the one that will help me reach my goal. US Sailing is the one I am leaning toward, as the name seems to have more weight and racing could be something I do in the future. I like to compete.
In addition, I have heard that where you take sailing lessons might effect where or if you can charter a boat? Is this true?
Courses/certifications I have been looking at:
Basic Keelboat (prerequisite)
Basic Cruising (prerequisite)
Bareboat Cruising (The only one I really one)
Coastal Navigation (Seems VERY useful)
Bottom line, looking for the best place for me to learn to sail a boat in the Boston area. I don't mind going out to the Cape or driving up and down the coast. It is nice to escape the city. It would be great if it wasn't that expensive, but I would rather have a good education that is expensive than a no-so-good education at a cheap price.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.
—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.