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mike21070 08-21-2012 01:56 PM

From Zero to Sixty...
Hello All,

I would like to learn sailing as fast as possible. I have taken a couple of 2-day courses for beginners, but that's not nearly enough. Here is my goal: in 8-10 years, I want to own a sailboat and charter it. So, I have time to get to this goal, but I need some help...

Which schools do you recommend? I live in the Middle East, and I am thinking of spending a summer doing a live aboard. However, most I've seen are about 6-7 days. Are there courses that can take me from beginner to...what? I am looking for something like 4-6 weeks to really get my feet wet (yes, that was on purpose!). I know I won't be a captain in a summer, but what is a realistic goal to become one?

I have many more questions, but I'll stop now and see if anyone has any ideas.


Vogel515 08-21-2012 02:11 PM

Re: From Zero to Sixty...
No idea what offerings are available in your area, but most important thing will be time on the water. Get on the water, sail big boats, small boats, be crew, drive, listen, observe...

johnnyquest37 08-21-2012 02:14 PM

Re: From Zero to Sixty...
Option 1: Take ASA courses. Once you have the Bareboat standard (104) start doing 1-2 week charters while you save up for your own boat in 8 years.

Option 2: Buy a boat now. Read some books, talk to other boat owners, take whatever classes you need to, ASA or otherwise.

It will take you at least a few years to accumulate the number of days at sea required to become eligible for a USCG Captain's License, if that is what you mean. All you need to become a skipper is a boat, and all you need for that is to write the check.

Donna_F 08-21-2012 02:27 PM

Re: From Zero to Sixty...
Here is a list of ASA schools outside of the U.S.:

Outside the United States - Sailing Clubs | American Sailing Association

There are probably other international schools that others could mention.

Since you have had a couple beginner courses, my suggestion is to buy a smallish boat and sail it. You can take all the courses you want but it's also about getting out there on your own and sailing. If your goal is a captain's license, find out the criteria in whatever country you'll be obtaining the license in and just...sail...and work toward ticking off whatever it is you'll need to obtain the license. Log your sea time as, in the U.S. at least, you must have a certain amount of sea time under your belt in order to qualify.

If you are this new to sailing, you probably have not yet experienced everything that goes along with it (maintenance, storage, repairs, more repairs, etc.). I get the feeling from your wanting to "learn sailing as fast as possible" that you're more focused on the business end of owning a charter boat rather than sailing for the sake of sailing. Which is fine, I suppose, but a shame if you don't get a chance to appreciate the aesthetics of sailing.

In addition to sailing, courses in weather, basic electronics and engine repair would also benefit you as a captain.

Capt.aaron 08-21-2012 06:14 PM

Re: From Zero to Sixty...
I've seen people go from sandy to salty pretty quick aboard Tallship training programs. There are a number of them out there. This takes commitment. But it is with out a doubt the fastest way to become a skilled Seaman. It's complete immersion in the art and craft of seamanship. You could go from knowing nothing to being pretty well versed in seamanship skills in a much quiker time frame than weekend courses etc. You live, breath and sleep all things seaman. It's like boot camp for a sailor.

kosta.k 08-23-2012 09:45 AM

Re: From Zero to Sixty...
RYA (UK Royal Yachting Association) is offering a so called Yachtmaster Offshore Fastrack course. It runs for 12- 14 weeks usually, you live and sail on different boats with different crew and several instructors. By the end of the 12 weeks you hold a certificate that lets you work in the industry worldwide and you can get it commercialized, i.e. you can skipper recreational boats up to 200 tons with as many guests on board as the boat is certified for (in theory). The Fastrack course not only gets you the license but all additional certificates you need from first aid, to radio license etc.. A good source to start is here: . You can find schools all over the world. Good luck.

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