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  #21  
Old 04-11-2011
Abbott 22
 
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@InkyMatt I decided the Georgian Bay live-aboard course might be the best for me. I thought a live-aboard would give me a taste of cruising, and it's a five day course so there's an extra day, plus it's continuous and intensive learning, and therefore hopefully better retained. The Basic Cruising course Iíve signed up for starts June 20, and as that week's course is a mixed level Basic-Intermediate Cruising course, it should be well worth while.

Georgian Bay is colder than Lake Ontario, so I'll share some of your pain, though on a keel boat there shouldn't be too much; not like sailing a dinghy

Let us know your opinion of the course that you're to take, and I'll start a listing of Ontario courses with comments, which I think would be very helpful for other sailors facing similar choices.

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"You start with an empty cup of experience and a full barrel of luck. The trick is to fill your cup before the barrel runs dry." - bljones
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  #22  
Old 05-11-2011
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Which Course to take...

Having taken a whole pile of these courses myself, and taught a bunch more, I'll throw in my two cent's worth. I don't know any of these schools, so I can't recommend one over another. But my preference when taking sailing courses, and teaching them, is to favor a multi-day, continuous course over day-sailing. Besides, Georgian Bay is a gorgeous place to sail!!

The reality is that you wind up on a liveaboard course, spending your entire day with your instructor and classmates, and evenings, aside from being pretty sociable, are generally spent talking about boating, clarifying question's from the day's practical lessons, and observing other boaters, etc. I feel as though I get more out of liveaboard courses, than day courses. To me, weekend lessons have a way of losing some momentum between weekends. Whichever route you go, you're absolutely right - the quality of the instructor, and your personality 'fit' with him or her makes a huge difference. Feel free to 'interview' the various schools to figure out which one you feel most comfortable with. And yes, one or two negative reviews out of a whole stack may be more indicative of a personality mis-match than a systematic problem, but go with your gut instincts when making your choice of school.

As for which body to go with, CYA or ISPA, the CYA is a bigger, older organization. My understanding, or the story as I heard it, was that the ISPA was born out of frustration of instructors in coastal areas (BC in particular) who felt as though the CYA over-focused on lake sailing and ignored important elements specific to coastal cruising, which seems to have been remedied. Just what I heard, though, I wasn't there at the time...

Aside from that, we're both teaching the same fundamentals, with slightly different packaging. I'd place more importance on finding the right fit in terms of instructor, and not worry about which yachting authority you certify with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by knotted View Post

I'm thinking hard about the 'Adventure Sailing' course. It gives me a little time to get my boat sorted (new to me, lots to do), and doesn't cram all the spending (boat, gear, course) in too close a time.

So, does anyone have any feedback on these courses, especially the Adventure Sailing course? Please feel free to make any other suggestions, also.

Thank you in advance for your input, suggestions, comments and advice!
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Jeremy Gow
SeaLife Sailing (Sailing School Operator)
Vancouver, BC
Lancer 36
s/v 'Ma Provence'
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  #23  
Old 05-11-2011
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I'm sorry I've missed this thread until now. I do think you got the necessary answers above so I won't pile on more of the same.

One question though, you mentioned that you plan to sail on a small lake in SW Ontario; I assume, since you're from London, that you mean Fanshawe. I grew up in London also and know that you won't be putting a keelboat in that lake... so I'm wondering why you want to take a CYA keelboat instead of CYA White sail? I've done both and would think the White Sail would be more applicable for sailing on Fanshawe Lake.
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  #24  
Old 05-17-2011
Abbott 22
 
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@SeaLifeSailing
Quote:
...my preference when taking sailing courses, and teaching them, is to favor a multi-day, continuous course...
I couldn't agree more and with your reasons for saying this...
Quote:
...on a liveaboard course, spending your entire day with your instructor and classmates, and evenings, aside from being pretty sociable, are generally spent talking about boating, clarifying question's from the day's practical lessons, and observing other boaters, etc.
Live to sail, sail to live!

From the get-go, I pretty much ruled out evenings or weekends because of this. As I haven't sailed in over 40 years, since university, I'll come back from my liveaboard course very much confirmed as either a sailor or a landlubber! Live the dream, or change it to one you can live.

@JordanH
Quote:
from FYC: For sailboats, any boat with a length under 26 feet is allowed.
I know they sail 24s, two feet longer than mine, so it didn't seem unusual/unlikely/strange that I'd be able to sail an Abbott 22 there.... just might have to pull it out a week or so earlier than the shallower boats

I agree that if your ambitions are limited to sailing on Fanshawe or similar sized and sheltered waters, then White Sail is in line and quite likely the best choice; however my thinking re Fanshawe is that it would be a conveniently located and sheltered water on which to practice for a year, before going out on the 'big waves', the 'real world' so to speak. Look on it as a local shakedown cruise... Fast learning/competence through lots of practice with minimised risk and many people handy to advise and assist when necessary.

I'm anticipating that most often I'll sail single handed, and would like to qualify for the GLSS and I know that'll take a while, but that's my ambition. Hence Basic Cruising...

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  #25  
Old 05-17-2011
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HA! That's awesome. I never would have thought! I've been out there in canoes, dragon boats and my buddy has a dinghy out there... but I wouldn't have thought to put in a larger sailboat. I'm sure you'll have fun.
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  #26  
Old 05-17-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knotted View Post
@InkyMatt Let us know your opinion of the course that you're to take, and I'll start a listing of Ontario courses with comments, which I think would be very helpful for other sailors facing similar choices.
Hi Knotted,
I finished the CYA Basic Cruising Standard at the Harborfront Centre. I went into it with almost no experience, and having read Sailing For Dummies. I learned a lot in the program, and was on the water for 5-6 hours for each of the four days. Everything taught was listed on the CYA website and followed their guidelines.
The instructors were intelligent and supportive. They saw which students were "getting it" and encouraged them to push their skills. They also saw which were unable to grasp the concepts and reined them back into a safe position.
The general attitude was encouraging enough that I signed up for a 1-year membership there. If it's not what i'm looking for, i can always go elsewhere afterwards.
Highly recommended.
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  #27  
Old 05-17-2011
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I'm glad that it went well for you! It sounds that you had a very positive experience.

Were the four days consecutive days or split up? Any comments from your experience on the benefits of consecutive or non-sequential days?
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  #28  
Old 05-18-2011
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My course was two consecutive weekends. Full 9-hour days.

It might have been good to be totally immersed in a non-stop program, but the 5 days in between were a convenient time to read the CYA textbook we were given. This way, we had more theoretical knowledge for the second weekend. I noticed a large improvement on all 4 students assigned to my boat, so i think the reading time paid off for everyone. I wonder if a 4-day consecutive course might have been "too much too soon" for some of us?
As the instructors seem to love their job, we got that "after-hours" conversation as well. They stayed late chatting, getting to know us, and answering any questions we had.
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  #29  
Old 05-19-2011
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@JordanH I hope so, if that's where I end up. I too dragon boated, years ago in TO. Loads of fun!

@InkyMattOn the intensive course for which I'm booked, the CYA manual is provided about 3 months beforehand, so there's ample opportunity to bone up in advance and hopefully have the theoretical side down before showing up dockside. Of course, practical application opens the eyes tremendously, and things suddenly fall into place, that might have been a bit foggy when seen on the page, or so I'm hoping!

I'll post my comments on the course afterwards, if I've not too embarrassed myself...

Last edited by knotted; 05-19-2011 at 04:03 PM.
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  #30  
Old 05-19-2011
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Knotted, as someone who did extensive reading before taking the course, you're right - being on the water definitely helped things fall into place. It took a few hours of maneuvers to really align what i'd read with what I was seeing and feeling. The man-overboard "triangle manoeuver" seemed very different on the water from the instructions I'd read, even though it was the same procedure.
I hope your CYA program goes as well as mine did!
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