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  #1  
Old 09-04-2011
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Passed Basic Cruising Practical Test

Just excited that I managed to pass the OSCS Basic Cruising course practical test today. It took two exam tries and several review sessions after the Basic Cruising course course, but I passed. After two charters with another similarly or higher qualified member, I will be able to take the boats out as loan skipper. Fair warning.

In my defense, OCSC is at Berkeley, CA at the bottom of the slot on SF Bay. Today was fairly easy with only about 20 knot winds for our J24. OCSC doesn't test in less than 15 knots.

I don't know other schools in the Bay area, but I have been very impressed by OCSC's professionalism and willingness to work with you until you can handle SF Bay conditions and even concur the man overboards -- especially important to OCSC because of the cold Bay water.

Anyway, I'm just excited to pass and thought that people here would understand that better than most.
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Old 09-04-2011
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Sailing the slot is good stuff. I kept Frolic at Emery Cove for 17 years, and I use to shoot the gap at the Berkely pier in all weather to get home.

I am just curious as to what they teach in a cruising class. Cruising is a whole other dimension to sailing. Don't get me wrong. I am an advocate to lessons, and took mine with Spinnaker at Pier 40. I also know the OSCS is a well liked school. Reality, and lessons are sometimes 2 different things. Don't ever believe if you can sail S.F Bay you can sail anywhere. The bay is a good learning spot, but Mother Ocean is still another dimension to sailing. BESt WISHES in your upcoming adventures. It is addicting to type the least.....i2f
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Old 09-08-2011
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Congrats!

I took my keelboat lessons there, too, up through the ?bareboat class, (not exactly sure what it's called anymore-that was in 1994 or thereabouts), and it was OCSC then...

Great instruction! Made commonplace the reefing, etc that make us comfortable with stronger winds. I was a little perplexed that when I then moved to Florida, everyone stayed in port when it was blowing more than 10-15 knots-too windy.

And now in the Puget Sound region, shortening sail is once more routine.

Enjoy, and now let the learning truly begin!
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Old 09-18-2011
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Congratulations. I recently passed keelboat and basic cruising as well. It was a good feeling to pass the tests.

What is amazing is how much there is to learn when you are renting the boats yourself and sailing with friends. Things that were learned with a boatload of other students helping out are very different when you have direct friends and relatives who don't have the same sailing training you have.

It's not rocket surgery, but it does take a whole reconsidering of how and when you do stuff that seemed easy in class.

Dont take this a doomsaying, it's fun, and the learning never ends. To that end, I'm sailing and filling my logbook so I can take the bareboat charter class.

Last edited by groggy; 09-18-2011 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 11-04-2011
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I am new here, and just took the Keelboat certification, my goal is to take the cruising course eventually. When do you recomend taking the crusing course after taking keelboat. How many sailing hours would you say one needs to be confortable before he can move on to the next levels?
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Old 11-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagres View Post
I am new here, and just took the Keelboat certification, my goal is to take the cruising course eventually. When do you recomend taking the crusing course after taking keelboat. How many sailing hours would you say one needs to be confortable before he can move on to the next levels?

It depends on how comfortable you are with your completion of basic keelboat, and what you want to do next. I looked forward to more classes and access to larger boats immediately after BK, so I took BC right away.

It worked for me as I felt very comfortable completing the BK class, and because I really wanted access to larger boats knowing that my wife and friends wouldn't enjoy going out on the bay in the smaller/sportier keelboats.

It all depends on your comfort level and your goals. I found sailing the larger boats in the BC class to be easier wrt the wind and water. There are more systems to learn like the inboard engine, head, electrical, plumbing, and furling systems. And the larger boats are a little more challenging to maneuver in the harbor, but thats what the class is for. There is also a lot more detail on dayshapes, lights, sound signals, right of way, and some more knots, which is all just stuff you can study at home in advance of the class anyway.

Have your school loan you a copy of their Basic Cruising textbook to get a look at what they cover, to see if you feel its overwhelming and you need more log time, or if it looks pretty easy and you're ready.

I read the guide at US Sailing Lessons and Online Sailing School (each chapter is on the left side navigation) and then took the cruising test at Online Sailing Test

That covered a fair amount of the classroom material for BC, so I could concentrate on any new material and just focus on the sailing part of the class.

So.. long answer: 0 hours.

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Old 11-05-2011
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I pretty much went straight from the basic keelboat to cruising class too. It was good to keep the momentum rolling, since I didn't have a boat, wasn't planning on joining a club/rental arrangement, and would get rusty if I didn't keep moving on.
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