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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-12-2008 02:33 PM
Grotius StuCohen, thanks for that detailed reply. I took a look at the Maryland School's website. It looks promising, and my wife likes anything to do with the Eastern Shore, so maybe that's a possibility.

The Chesapeake School website also looks interesting. It does include catamaran training, but I can't tell which cat they use; I'm too much of a newb to tell from looking. (I'd include a link, but I don't have enough posts yet.)

Thanks also for the info on Belle Haven. That might be a way to hook the kids. I have my doubts about the wife, though. Yeah, she has tried dramamine, but it doesn't seem to help her. She gets sick if she rides as a passenger in a car. She's OK if she drives, and in fact she didn't get sick when I talked her into Laser lessons many years ago, since again she was always at the helm. But her level of enthusiasm isn't exactly high.
07-12-2008 08:13 AM
In your neighborhood

I also live in the DC area and have some places to suggest trying out. A few years ago I did my ASA 101 and 103 courses at the Maryland School of Sailing and Seamanship. They're a great school and (relatively) not too far of a drive from DC. They're on the northern part of the Eastern Shore in a small town called Rock Hall....practically due east across the bay from Baltimore. The course includes overnights on the boat while it's docked in a sheltered marina, so it's pretty calm. Just a little gentle swaying all night. But if that's too much or your boatmates complain about the snoring, you can always stay at a hotel in town and just "commute" to the marina. It's not too far. I would go into town before the class started every morning anyway to get a coffee.

You can also take the kids (and the wife, if she'll go) out for a quicky sail at the Belle Haven Marina. It's just south of Old Town Alexandria, just off the GW Parkway. They rent out 19' Flying Scots, which can comfortably seat 4 in an open cockpit, for a couple hours at a time and the sailing area is a pretty wide patch on the Potomac just south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. It's pretty calm water except for the occassional giant powerboat owner who doesn't know the meaning of "no wake". So I would imagine this would be a good chance for your wife to try a little sailing without a giant time or money committment. You could be back in the marina in minutes if she got uncomfortable. They also offer basic sailing classes.

I've discovered a few other places on the Bay that offer day sail rentals and lessons. You can try the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels for lessons, South River Boat Rentals near Annapolis for rentals and the Chesapeake Sailing School in Annapolis also does ASA classes and I think they offer discount rentals for their "graduates." Their website also says they offer the ASA 114 course. I stayed away from them when doing my ASA class specifically because they don't offer a live aboard option, but that may be perfect for you. You could sleep at home and drive out there every day for the class. But the sailing area's a bit more crowded than Rock Hall, and going home everyday means you lose that feeling of a sailing vacation I got in Rock Hall.

As for your wife's seasickness, I can offer my own experience. I suffer from a bit of seasickness I think many sailors I preventatively take a Dramamine every morning when I wake up. I got that advice from my ASA 103 instructor who does the same thing...and he's one of those "old salts" who's been sailing for 40 years. My wife also has seasickness problems and when I took her sailing in the BVIs for the first time a couple years ago, she discovered that 2 Dramamines did wonders for her. 1 pill still left her a bit uneasy, but after that discovery she had a blast living aboard a boat for a week. So much so that we're going sailing in Belize next month. We even went to the Bahamas last spring for a quick land-based getaway, and she kept complaing the whole time that we should've been on a boat. So I think there's hope for your wife. Good luck, and feel free to contact me if you need any more infro...since I'm right nearby.
07-12-2008 06:00 AM
Grotius Thanks for the further replies. I'm sorry I haven't replied sooner; I've been busy studying beach geography (translation: vacationing) here in Hawaii. I'm here for a couple of weeks, and if nothing else I hope to get the family to try a little beach-boat sailing. Er, if the wind ever drops below 25 knots, that is. But maybe I should also ask around and see if we could do a captained charter here for a day. Er, if the wind ever drops below 25 knots, that is.

Sailingdog, your snoring story made me chuckle, and it was reassuring too -- it's good to hear of a fellow snorer who is an accomplished bareboat cruiser. For what it's worth, I like the idea of sleeping in the cockpit.

Kymbie, I like the sleep-at-marina idea too. Again, maybe that's something I could look into while I'm here in the Aloha state.

TommyT, thanks for looking into ASA 114 courses in the north. Hmm. We do usually take one or two warm-weather vacations a year, so if I want a formal 114 course, I guess I'll have to do it during a holiday. Like the one I'm currently on.
If that does not work, I am sure you could do a captained charter for about the same costs almost anywhere, get your family out on the boat, sleep on board, and find out if you will forever single hand.
Heh, that sums it up well. Actually, I think at least one of my kids will love sailing, but I suppose I can't rely on kids to serve as crew in the long term, as they grow up and go to college and get married and all that. On the other hand, some economist once reminded us: in the long term we're all dead, so carpe diem. My wife hates boats, but my brother- and sister-in-law both love to sail, so maybe there's hope yet.

Anyway, thank you for all the replies.
07-11-2008 10:18 PM
tommyt I looked at ASA classes and there are not many places that offer 114, which is the catamaran class. The only one I see in the north at all is Bay Breeze ( Bay Breeze Yacht Charters & Sales) which is in northern Michigan, which is not to close to you. If that does not work, I am sure you could do a captained charter for about the same costs almost anywhere, get your family out on the boat, sleep on board, and find out if you will forever single hand.
07-09-2008 09:22 PM
tommyt Well, first, if your doctor does not want you to get a Sleep Study, he is not getting a big enough referral fee...yet! Yes, I have Apnea per the tests, and I have a CPAP which I use regularly, and yes, it has stopped my snoring. I don't think that I sleep any better, in fact maybe not as well. My wife thinks it is the greatest thing in the world because I don't snore anymore.She sleeps much better!!!!!! Question for others: Has anyone ever done a sleep study and been found to NOT have Sleep Apnea? It is the new disease dujour.

To your real questions. Yes, you can do 101/103 and stay ashore.You can take 101/103 and usually charter the 30' teaching boat for the next 1/2/3 days which will let you know if you can sleep on the boat. Take one of your kids with you and they will certainly tell you how loud you are in the plastic shell
104, or 104/105, are usually cruising trips, so that may be an issue unless you test through 104 which would not be that hard based on what the course covers. 105, the navigation part, you really don't need to take 114. 104 is a requirement, and I have no idea why. I took 114 and went home at night, but that does not get you a berth to test. Usually there is a limit of 4 students in 114 and the captain at the school that I took it at did not spend the night aboard. That leaves four berths, some small, for four people. How bad could it be if they threw you overboard because you were so loud.?
07-09-2008 08:44 PM
sailingdog The 104 course would be tough, but I did an equivalent of a 104 course for my bareboat certification, and had to sleep aboard, and I can snore like a nitro-powered chainsaw. The second night we were anchored out, I slept in the cockpit and never slept better or more quietly. I must admit, the first night was really tough on some of the others aboard, since sleeping in the cabin didn't stop my snoring like sleeping in the cockpit did. The guys aboard were in pretty rough shape come morning...except the instructor, who did sleep in the cockpit.
07-09-2008 04:36 PM
kymbie I don't know about the sailing schools on the East coast but one of the sailing schools down in Kemah, TX offers an option to sleep on one of the boats they have available for charter in the marina whilst taking the ASA 101/103/105 courses. The prices are supposed to be quite cheap and there are some hotels close by if you felt you needed to get off the boat. I don't think you would be sharing with anyone either. It might be worth asking any sailing schools you were looking at about this type of option.

As for ASA 104 one of the requirements is that you spend a night on the boat, so you wouldn't be able to avoid that.
07-09-2008 01:56 PM
Grotius Well, thank you for all the wonderful comments. This sure seems like a great forum. Incidentally, one person PMd me, but as I have only 3 posts so far, I can't PM back yet. I'll get that post count up soon enough. (To answer the question in PM: I live in Wash DC now.) I won't be posting much today, though; I just arrived in Hawaii. I need to "research" the beach here.
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Take the basic ASA 101, 103, 104, 105 courses, and you should be able to qualify to charter a small sailboat.
I would love to do this -- but can I take all these courses (especially ASA 104) without sleeping on board with the instructor and class? Likewise: an I take an ASA 114 course without sleeping on board? That would be optimal: I could learn cruising skills (anchoring, piloting, etc.) and then charter my own boat to "learn to sleep" with just my family around.

good news, you didn't say the thought of being on a boat made you nauseous for days
Also, some people who can't stand normal sailboats do quite well on multihulls—the motion is very different and many people do not get seasick on them.
I have been seasick only once in my life, on a ferry to Nantucket in big swells and waves, and I got over it before the ferry ride was over -- I didn't hurl, I just watched the horizon while sitting on the centerline of the vessel for a while. On those occasions when I've been on multihulls, it's certainly never been an issue for me. Who knows, maybe sleeping would be different, but I'm not particularly worried about seasickness for me.

My wife, on the other hand, gets seasick on everything she's tried -- keelboats, powerboats, ocean liners, hydrofoils, canoes, rowboats, whatever. But she hasn't tried a cat. So I'm holding out a little hope. And while she hated sailing Lasers, I don't think she got sick in them, so maybe it will help her if she steers. Maybe.
Don't tuck the top sheets or blankets in. Try and pick a place where you'll see more of the boat than just a bulkhead, hull, and overhead when you open your eyes.
Yep, definitely! I do those things routinely even on land. As I mentioned, I'm concerned about both claustrophobia and snoring, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't feel claustrophobic sleeping in the saloon in a cat. I'm going to look at a bunch at the Annapolis boat show. I've been reading reviews of the Gemini (which I know from lurking that Chuck loves) and, in daydream mode, of larger Lagoon cats and the like.

Thanks for all the comments on sleep apnea. I've certainly read about it, and I've mentioned it to my doctor, but he doesn't seem concerned that I have it. I sleep pretty soundly once I'm asleep, waking up once to use the loo. During the day, I feel rested, I don't fall asleep in meetings, I don't nap, and I never consume caffeine. On the other hand, I've snored like Fred Flintstone since I was a kid -- I remember other kids throwing pillows at me on my first night of camp because I was keeping everyone awake.

Anyway, I hadn't heard of CPAP, so I'll certainly raise it with my doctor. I have noticed some other "remedies" for snoring but haven't pursued them.
07-08-2008 08:23 PM
badsanta Not to be alarmist, but people die from untreated sleep apnea. It causes undue stress on the heart. Not everyone that snores has sleep apnea, but every one that has sleep apnea snores. You will feel much better with treatment, You wont be as tired and it will keep you from falling asleep while driving or in a meeting. I lived on cafeen and sugar for years. I am so much better now. I Love the CPAP
07-08-2008 06:19 PM
nolatom I've usually slept better on boats than on land. Do you fall asleep as a passenger in a car? On a train? Then you're probably a good candidate on a boat, whether mono (my experience) or multi-hull. If you find the cabin too confining, then if weather permits, sleep out on deck.

If you have any particular sleep problems, as discussed intelligently above, that's beyond my knowledge. But you may find that sleeping on a boat is easier and more restful than on land.
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