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Old 01-12-2011
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Help Selecting a Sailing School

I am new to SailNet and I would like some help in finding the appropriate sailing school for me. I have sailed dinghies for several years now and I feel quite comfortable handling small boats. I have also gained some limited experience racing boats in the 30ft range. My goals are to gain additional sailing experience on 30-40ft boats and to start chartering. Initially I plan to charter in the Chesapeake for the occasional long weekend, but over the next few years I would like to move up to weeklong charters in the Caribbean.

I live in Philadelphia, and this summer I would like to complete ASA 101, 103, 104. There are quite a few sailing schools within driving distance of my locations. There seems, however, to be a significant difference in the duration and price of the courses that they offer. For example Liberty Sailing Club in Philly offers ASA 103 for two days at $399. Bay Sail offers ASA 103 for three days for $750. Maryland School of Seamanship ASA 103 is four days for $950. Is a four day course significantly better, slightly better, or the same as a two day course? Is it worth the extra money/ lost work time?

Because I am interested in gaining as much experience as possible, and because I plan to charter on the Chesapeake, I am considering singing up for 101 and 103 with Bay Sail (closer to home and it fits my schedule), and 104 with Maryland School of Seamanship.

Your opinions are appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 01-12-2011
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The equivalent course in the UK, "Day Skipper" is 50 hours of theory and 5 days aboard.

The different length of time, to grant he same certification, just shows ASA's lack of standards.

Four good days of training is just adequate; the 2 day course is just payment for the certificate!

Phil
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Old 01-12-2011
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I'd suggest a live aboard class of a week or so. If you already know the basics of sailing and are willing to do some homework before the class, a week is enough to pass 101, 103 and 104 (and get a basic understanding of coastal navigation as well - 105). It provides great hands on experience with boat systems, maintenance, maneuvering, passage planning, navigation, anchoring (anchor watch) etc. It makes for a fun vacation too.

I can recommend Blue Water Sailing School in Ft. Lauderdale on the US east coast and Modern Sailing Academy in Sausalito on the US west coast, but I'm sure there are numerous excellent ASA (and US Sailing) schools that offer combined live-aboard classes.
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Basic Livaboard for 5 days plus do coastal navigation..most charter places will allow you to charter with that. Your dingy time is very worth while.Make sure you log it on your sailing resume.....and just go sailing and get time in.
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Old 01-13-2011
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RRNic,

I think your plan sounds good.
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Old 01-13-2011
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Education for those long winter months: Seven Seas University

Quote:
Originally Posted by RRNic View Post
Because I am interested in gaining as much experience as possible, and because I plan to charter on the Chesapeake
Hi there

Ongoing education is definitely worthwhile, and we feel it is never ending - No matter how many thousands of miles we have sailed over the years. So yes I would concur that the ASA schools are a good starting point.

Commercial aspects of post deleted per forum rules-

Last edited by Jeff_H; 02-04-2011 at 04:25 PM. Reason: Commercial aspects of post deleted per forum rules-
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