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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 10-17-2012
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Too Much, Too Soon?

Hello everyone,
I havenít set foot on a sailboat in quite a while, and never acted as crew on one before, but I generally love the feel of being on the water in most any boat. Assuming that I truly enjoy sailing as much as I remember, I was wondering if any of you have encountered or heard anything about the ASA SUPER TRACK. Itís the certification for 101-105 over a span of one week. It certainly makes sense financially, as itís a few hundred dollars cheaper than taking each course individually, and taking time off of work would be more manageable, as I could take a single week off instead of a few days at a time. But, Iím worried that taking all of those courses at once would be too much in too small amount of time. What are your thoughts?

-Spec.
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Old 10-18-2012
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Re: Too Much, Too Soon?

Can't hurt, will help. Personally I'd spread the various classes out both in time and location so you'd get different instructors, companions, boats, weather, and geography. Also you'd have more time to "internalize" and work on what you'd learned before moving up to the next step.

For reasons of logistics what you've proposed may work best for you. So I wouldn't second-guess you if you decide to go ahead.
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Old 10-18-2012
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Re: Too Much, Too Soon?

I agree with nolatom about different instructors, time to digest, etc.

None of the courses near you are offered only on weekends or over a series of weekends? I took ASA 101 on a Saturday-Sunday.

Taking 101 alone may also give you the opportunity to see if you still like sailing without being trapped for an entire week. Then maybe bundle the rest of the courses. You could probably find an instructor to do the week-long multi-course sans 101.
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Old 10-22-2012
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Re: Too Much, Too Soon?

I couldn't handle all that at once. I've been out on Pensacola Bay four days straight on a Catalina 22 trying to digest and integrate what I learned in 101. I'm still scratching my head as to why the boat won't stop spinning in a circle on a heave-to, couldn't imagine trying to deal with anything more than the basics at this point.

Spreading it out in order to master things from level to level isn't the worst idea in the world.
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Old 10-22-2012
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Re: Too Much, Too Soon?

We (my wife and I) did our 101 course at the end of August and did our 103 course in October. We tried to sail as much as possible between the two classes which turned out to be 4 outings. While I don't regret taking the 103 course I still think I would have preferred more small boat experience before moving on to the larger boat.

Although our school is suggesting we take the 104, we will definitely hold off until we get most of a season of independent sailing.

Consequently, if it were me, I would not do the fast track.
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Old 10-22-2012
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Re: Too Much, Too Soon?

*sigh*...I hope your expectation is not that you'll take these courses and will be capable to go out and buy a cruising vessel and sail off into the sunset. These courses will give you the feel of sailing a keelboat, but not about how to own, maintain, upgrade, and cruise such a vessel over a long period of time.

My suggestion is that take the class you need at a minimum to charter. Then charter a few times and decide if you like this lifestyle.

Just for reference, I never took ASA classes....but we bought a 34 foot sailboat after a boat show was over and the right deal came along. I had sailed small dinghys and a Catalina 30 briefly before then. We jumped into the deep end. My whole sailing/sailboat ownership journey has been documented in my sailnet posts in the last 6 or so years.

Almost 4 years later, I've learned how to do boat plumbing, some entry level diesel repair, fiberglass maintenance, canvas work...and more importantly, what to do myself vs outsource. I've done damage to a nice crispy set of sails and shortened their life significantly, but I'm getting good enough in our Club racing to push for hardware with steady crew in my class. SOON I hope to have the financial resources to cast off...but till then, I'll sail my boat that I bought practically on a whim.

Best decision we ever made....and not a single class taught me what to do.
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Old 10-22-2012
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Re: Too Much, Too Soon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TerralTheSeeker View Post
I couldn't handle all that at once. I've been out on Pensacola Bay four days straight on a Catalina 22 trying to digest and integrate what I learned in 101. I'm still scratching my head as to why the boat won't stop spinning in a circle on a heave-to, couldn't imagine trying to deal with anything more than the basics at this point.

Spreading it out in order to master things from level to level isn't the worst idea in the world.
You need to furl down the jib to a much smaller size - it's too big and the main can't balance out the force on the jib.

My Bristol will spin around unless the jib is really furled down to half size or less.
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Re: Too Much, Too Soon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecOnAPaleBlueDot View Post
Hello everyone,
I havenít set foot on a sailboat in quite a while, and never acted as crew on one before, but I generally love the feel of being on the water in most any boat. Assuming that I truly enjoy sailing as much as I remember, I was wondering if any of you have encountered or heard anything about the ASA SUPER TRACK. Itís the certification for 101-105 over a span of one week. It certainly makes sense financially, as itís a few hundred dollars cheaper than taking each course individually, and taking time off of work would be more manageable, as I could take a single week off instead of a few days at a time. But, Iím worried that taking all of those courses at once would be too much in too small amount of time. What are your thoughts?

-Spec.
My experience is that the ASA classes are excellent but I'm in complete agreement with those who suggest doing the classes over a longer period, getting some experience in between. Normally ASA 101 takes 4 days, 103 4 days, and so on. That time on the water is valuable.
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Old 10-23-2012
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Smile Re: Too Much, Too Soon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkSF View Post
You need to furl down the jib to a much smaller size - it's too big and the main can't balance out the force on the jib.

My Bristol will spin around unless the jib is really furled down to half size or less.
I'll be out on the water all day this upcoming Friday - I'll try that and see if it works.

Thanks!

T
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Old 10-23-2012
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Re: Too Much, Too Soon?

Also you might have to play with the main sheeting a bit - some boats like it sheeted way out, some it needs to be sheeted in more. It's all about a balance of forces.
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