Hello! I'm getting back to sailing after too many years away. I sailed at university for a while, 40 odd years ago, but haven't since. I figure it's now or never, so now
it became. Got the boat; want to get the lessons to make me safe for myself and others on the water.
It's likely that I'll be sailing on a smallish lake in south-western Ontario, near London, Ontario. From looking at different school offerings, I think that the CYA Basic Cruising
(BC) course (DAY SKIPPER SAIL) will benefit me most. I don't think the White Sail 1 - 3 would cut it. The BC course covers 'the skills required to cruise safely by day in local waters as either skipper or crew of a sailing cruiser of 20-30 feet, in moderate wind and sea conditions'. Sounds to me like a good foundation on which to build and gain experience. Even though I won't yet be sailing on open water, I'd have the foundation to go there following good experience on the lake.
My first stop was to look at the list of schools at OntarioSailing
There are intensive
courses available that say they meet the CYA BC course requirement with a training period of four consecutive days and about 32 hours on water. Seems to me that that would be a better learning experience, which would be retained and carried over to practice with my own boat, than spreading it over several week-ends.
The typical cost for these BC courses seems to be about $600, which isn't too much more than what the local sailing club charges for its White Sail program!
There are several courses offered, all based on a keel boat, and knowing that a successful course depends so much on the instructor, as well as boat condition, I wondered if anyone had any feedback, best based on personal experience, about them?
The courses I'm considering are:
with a course in scenic Georgian Bay (in June - the earliest start date, and... it's done in one week! Clean water, and not inconvenient to get to for one trip - Penetanguishene)
Midland Bay Sailing School
also on Georgian Bay (in July, two weekends)
Port Credit Yacht Club
although this site bills itself as 'Mediterranean & Caribbean', the page link that brings one to this
page says 'Port Credit Yacht Club'; on Lake Ontario (two consecutive weekends or long weekend intensive Friday thru Monday) Sadly, the website doesn't show course dates...
Bronte Harbour Yacht Club
on Lake Ontario (in July, two weekends)
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!
"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