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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 03-15-2004
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greg9 is on a distinguished road
Liveaboard Sailing Classes

Hi. I''m thinking about enrolling in a week-long liveaboard sailing class and getting the bareboat charter certification.

Based on my internet search, I''ve come up with two top choices: The San Carlos Sailing School in the Sea of Cortez, Mexico or Blue Water Sailing School in Ft. Lauderdale.

They both cost about the same-- around $1400, although with San Carlos, this does not include food. Air fare is cheaper by about two-thirds to fly from L.A. to Ft. Lauderdale, than into Guaymas, Mexico.

So Blue Water is the economic choice. However, San Carlos has its allure. The Sea of Cortez seems more remote and exotic than the Ft. Lauderale/Biscayne Bay/Florida Keys area.

FWIW, they both offer ASA certification.

Does anyone have any experiences with either of these schools, or any advice to help me decide?

Greg.
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Old 03-15-2004
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DuaneIsing is on a distinguished road
Liveaboard Sailing Classes

greg9,

1. Are you going from "zero" to bareboat certified in one week?

If so, remember that you will be getting a crash course (pardon the pun). The skills and knowledge you come away with will depend greatly upon your level of pre-course book reading/preparation, your instructor, and your own aptitude and attitude.

2. If you will be learning a lot of new stuff, instead of just demonstrating your already-good skill set, then the setting may not be so important. After several hours of classroom-type lecture, then 4+ hours of sailing and drills, you might need to study another 2-3 hours each night. Will that leave time for really enjoying your surroundings?

3. FWIW, I took my most advanced training course in an ASA school, and the instructor just happened to be someone from whom I learned very little. Nothing against ASA, just an observation that the instructor can matter a LOT.

4. My opinion is that excellent instruction is very helpful, but the certification process is just a "license to learn." It will get you started where you have no other good options (learning from a trusted and accomplished sailor friend or relative). From there, you need to learn and practice good seamanship as best you can - on the water.

Best of luck to you.

Duane
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Old 03-15-2004
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greg9 is on a distinguished road
Liveaboard Sailing Classes

Thank you for your insights.

I am going to try to "challenge" the Basic Keelboat and Coastal Cruising Certifications and then just deal with the Bareboat Chartering.

I was hoping for a kind of vacation, but you make it sound like a lot of hard work.

I guess it may largely depend on my level of experience.

Greg.
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Old 03-16-2004
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DuaneIsing is on a distinguished road
Liveaboard Sailing Classes

greg9,

See, that''s why I had to ask. If you are really pretty up-to-snuff on your theory and don''t need to study to pass the tests, then it can be a great vacation. In that case, go wherever you want to be and can afford.

Hopefully, the instruction you get at that place will be equally satisfying.

Good luck and have fun!

Duane
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Old 03-16-2004
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Thermal is on a distinguished road
Liveaboard Sailing Classes

I think Guaymas is only about 200 miles south of the border, a one or two day drive from LA. The road was in fairly good condition once you get through the mess at Mexicali. Cheaper than flying and the journey is fun by itself. Seems like every time I have visited the Sea of Cortez there was either almost no wind, or it was blowing like stink.
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Old 03-17-2004
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capttb is on a distinguished road
Liveaboard Sailing Classes

I took one of these classes last year in San Juan Islands of Washington State. I learned to sail as a kid with no formal instruction. The basic keelboat & coastal cruising are pretty basic and you shouldn''t have a problem challenging them. The bareboat is a little more difficult if only because of navigation problems.
We got a great deal from www.Orcasailing.com, $995 per person for my wife & myself, because it was after labor day other openings on boat were not filled so it was just us and the instructor on a 45'' Beneteau, with 4 cabins. Lots of time to work on practical skills, airfare from LA to Bellingham was only $250 RT.
If you are concerned about cert. tests get the books and read them before you go. Many places put 6 students on a boat this size, these guys will only book 4 at a time. The student/instructor ratio really determines how much time you get to spend on the aspects most important to you.
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Old 03-18-2004
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DuaneIsing is on a distinguished road
Liveaboard Sailing Classes

As capttb said, get the study texts ahead of time and really pore over them. Others in our training class failed to prepare properly (IMHO) and struggled the entire time. It doesn''t sound like you will have that problem.

Again, good luck!

Duane
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Old 06-23-2004
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Ilove2sail is on a distinguished road
Liveaboard Sailing Classes

Does anyone have any experience with the School of ocean Sailing at www.sailingschool.com ?
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Old 07-09-2004
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saf122 is on a distinguished road
Liveaboard Sailing Classes

Actually - yes.

In fact returned from the 10 day offshore course over Christmas this year down in the USVI''s. Larry and Letty are brilliant and Samana is very well appointed. If you want to see what a riot we had, here''s my website www.geocities.com/saf122

The Christmas Trades blew in for the proposed trip from St. Thomas to St. Croix and the weather got a bit hairy for prudent sailing (think: a couple of us up late monitoring the vhf and hearing of charter boats dragging and having to be rescued and 35 - 40 knot blows overnight)

We had a great time though and plotted courses and sailed them pretty much every day plus an hour of two of snorkelling before dinner each night. Letty is an awesome cook and Larry is such a character. I warn you - it is a dry boat - if yo ho ho and a bottle of rum is essential - you won''t get it on this trip.

My email addy is on my website - drop me a line if you want more info on specifically where we went and what we did. I would definitely go again if I could. PS I was a solo female on the trip and was made to feel very comfortable and made some excellent friends in the ten days. Hope this helps.

Jane
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Old 07-10-2004
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CaptainGordon is on a distinguished road
Liveaboard Sailing Classes

Check out the Maryland school of seamanship. They are the best or close to it. If you are interested in private lessons, then I can help you out. If you want to sail in the chesapeake bay. I have a fifty ton uscg license, ASA instructor cert through bareboat cert. masters in outdoor education, former outward bound instructor, NOLS graduate, former live aboard and have thousands of miles in my log. Teaching sailing is what I do. I''ll set up all the charter details if you''re interested. Let me know....
410-263-1585
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