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  Topic Review (Newest First)
2 Days Ago 11:21 AM
eherlihy
Re: ASA vs. US Sailing

Neither curriculum is "better" than the other; they're different. If my focus was on performance, I would take the US Sailing classes. They also seem to cater to younger sailors (tweens and teens). If my focus was on bareboat charters, or cruising, I would take ASA classes. This is not to say that ASA does not have courses that teach performance (they do), or that US Sailing has courses that focus on cruising (they do).

I would, however, be more focused on the focus and quality of the specific school rather than which sailing affiliation they use.

My personal opinion is that the "Fast Track" classes, which proport to take an inexperienced person, and make them capable of chartering a 43 to 50 foot monohull or catamaran IN A WEEK (2 days of Basic Keelboat, and 5 days of learning/living on a cruising boat) skips a lot of detail that would, and should, be covered in either the US Sailing or the ASA curriculum. These courses, however, seem to be growing in popularity, because everyone wants their certification in as short a time as possible. The equivalent US Sailing courses to the "Fast Track" courses are; Basic Keelboat - 3 days, Basic Cruising - 3 days, Bareboat Cruising - 3 days, for a total of 9 days. The ASA courses equivalent to the "Fast Track" courses would be: 101 - 3 days plus a day practice session, 103 - 3 days plus a day practice session, and 104 3-days, or a total of 10 days.
3 Days Ago 02:12 PM
ajoliver
Re: ASA vs. US Sailing

Don't mean to still up a hornets nest here, but that is what I do best

In our area most sailors will tell you that US Sailing is better than ASA.
4 Days Ago 06:22 PM
groggy
Re: ASA vs. US Sailing

Im glad it worked out. I honestly dont see how they can sell an ASA 103 course that dosent qualify you to sail a catalina 27 without additional checkout and payment, but thats not my circus, not my monkeys, and since they will do your class on the C-27, then all is good.

The membership packages seem pretty decent too.

WRT south bay sailing, there are tales of people who have spent a lot of good times sailing and anchoring in that area: (prepare yourself for some seriously Jurassic era web content) CyberCruise Anchorages
5 Days Ago 10:26 PM
pdxskipper
Re: ASA vs. US Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by groggy View Post
Reading between the lines, I would guess that the sailing school you are thinking of taking this class at is in the South Bay, which may be important if you live near there and want convenient access to the club boats after you take your classes.

Here is a question: Can you rent the C-27 after passing ASA 103 on the Merit?
if not, that would be a real problem, as it would violate the stated goals of the course per ASA...
Yeah although it's not close, it's the closest.

That's another thing, no I wouldn't be qualified. They charge an additional 'check-out fee' for some instruction after passing the 103 in the Merit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by groggy View Post
...You might want to look around at schools a little farther away if you don't like the answers you get from this one school. Who knows, maybe it was a miscommunication, and 103 is actually taught on larger boats like the C-27, which would be more appropriate.

The SF Bay area has _a LOT_ of sailing schools and clubs. It's your time and money, and more importantly, your sailing education...
No misunderstanding and you're correct, there's a lot of schools, I know as I called every one this morning including Santa Cruz and Monterey. The smallest uses a 28', everyone else uses 30'+. One uses three different boats over three days of sailing getting progressively larger and starting at 30', someone mentioned that in this thread.

It was resolved today after emailing them yesterday. They're allowing the use of one of their 27' Catalina's provided all the other students agree and they did. But I assume this is a one time thing, I'm just amazed I'm the only one who seems to have had an issue with it.

My 101 class instructor was great and I've learned a lot from the many others I've sailed with. So I like the school overall, the only major downside is having to sail the south bay. I look forward to finally getting north of the San Mateo bridge


Quote:
Originally Posted by groggy View Post
...As a counterpoint though, there are other schools who also teach BK and BC (101, 103), on one model of a smaller keelboat with the following logic:

"Using a "tiller-steered" boat is important to your education
We choose to use tiller steered boats for both Basic Keelboat and Basic Cruising courses because it is the best way to become a well-rounded sailor. Our commitment is to teach sailing in the best way to assure our students develop the confidence and confidence to handle any yacht. Traditionally sailors have always started learning to steer with a tiller before moving on to learning wheel steering on larger boats. A tiller gives a sailor instant feedback with every movement of the rudder. Learning to feel and read the force at play on a boat as it moves through the water is much easier with a tiller due to instant feedback. Steering properly and keeping the boat in balance and trim becomes a natural instinct that once learned is never forgotten. Moving on to wheel steering boats is very easy, but the accomplished sailor will still feel comfortable aboard anything from a sailing dingy or a tender with an outboard engine to a large racing yacht with a tiller or a wheel."
Your point is well taken and can fully understand why someone might want to stick with a tiller. And I wouldn't have a problem with a small club or school that can't afford anything larger, the more people sailing the better regardless on what they learn on.

But it's obvious an industry standard to teach coastal cruising on a cruiser, not daysailers or racers. For me, I have enough tiller experience having sailed on my fathers boats so I'd like to start sailing the type and size I hope to buy next year asap.
5 Days Ago 04:25 PM
groggy
Re: ASA vs. US Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxskipper View Post
The school I'm attending has been around for over 35 years, they came highly recommended and they claim to have won awards (don't ask me which or what).

But I just read the ASA's 103 knowledge list and I don't think I'm going to be learning much about binnacles, seacocks, windlass's and through-hull fittings on a 25' Merit daysailer.

I'm going to talk to the them today and will bring this up to the ASA if they insist on training with the Merit. Thanks for everyone's response!


Reading between the lines, I would guess that the sailing school you are thinking of taking this class at is in the South Bay, which may be important if you live near there and want convenient access to the club boats after you take your classes.

Here is a question: Can you rent the C-27 after passing ASA 103 on the Merit?
if not, that would be a real problem, as it would violate the stated goals of the course per ASA.

You might want to look around at schools a little farther away if you don't like the answers you get from this one school. Who knows, maybe it was a miscommunication, and 103 is actually taught on larger boats like the C-27, which would be more appropriate.

The SF Bay area has _a LOT_ of sailing schools and clubs. It's your time and money, and more importantly, your sailing education.

As a counterpoint though, there are other schools who also teach BK and BC (101, 103), on one model of a smaller keelboat with the following logic:

"Using a "tiller-steered" boat is important to your education
We choose to use tiller steered boats for both Basic Keelboat and Basic Cruising courses because it is the best way to become a well-rounded sailor. Our commitment is to teach sailing in the best way to assure our students develop the confidence and confidence to handle any yacht. Traditionally sailors have always started learning to steer with a tiller before moving on to learning wheel steering on larger boats. A tiller gives a sailor instant feedback with every movement of the rudder. Learning to feel and read the force at play on a boat as it moves through the water is much easier with a tiller due to instant feedback. Steering properly and keeping the boat in balance and trim becomes a natural instinct that once learned is never forgotten. Moving on to wheel steering boats is very easy, but the accomplished sailor will still feel comfortable aboard anything from a sailing dingy or a tender with an outboard engine to a large racing yacht with a tiller or a wheel."
1 Week Ago 12:31 PM
Yorksailor
Re: ASA vs. US Sailing

There can be a significant advantage in taking US Sailing courses at a sailing club like Coconut Grove Sailing Club | A membership club on Miami's waterfront that encourages new members to use club boats and participate in club racing and regattas. It is possible to get significant low-cost experience on other club members boats. One enthusiastic lady has sailed on my boats in Florida, Bahamas, Trinidad, Grenada, Virgins and even did an English Channel crossing England to France and back. Several other club members have done off-shore passages of 5 to 25 days.

Phil
1 Week Ago 12:27 PM
pdxskipper
Re: ASA vs. US Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by newt View Post
Interesting posts all around, but I am going to say what was hinted at but not brought out concretely:
Sailing schools vary in quality. Schools tend to have good and bad instructors. One offshore school I went to had the best old captain I could ask for. Another had a young man who could not tell the shore from the ocean. Both were labeled as offshore instructors. One did outstanding, the other put his Bendy 39 on the beach not long after I was there.
Take home lesson is to research the school carefully before going, and listen to your heart. Be very careful of what they are selling. Look for transparency, and look for long term experience. One giveaway that I should of picked up is that the old captain taught military groups sailing.
I also believe that schools only get you started. They are an important place you can network quickly with other young sailors. Leave knowing you don't know a lot about sailing, but you have the experience to get out with other sailors and not be a burden.
30 years later, I still take a new guys and gals out. But I expect them to pull their weight. Often, the challenges in passage making overwhelms them. With a sailing school, at least they have an idea of what they are getting into.
The school I'm attending has been around for over 35 years, they came highly recommended and they claim to have won awards (don't ask me which or what).

But I just read the ASA's 103 knowledge list and I don't think I'm going to be learning much about binnacles, seacocks, windlass's and through-hull fittings on a 25' Merit daysailer.

I'm going to talk to the them today and will bring this up to the ASA if they insist on training with the Merit. Thanks for everyone's response!
1 Week Ago 10:44 AM
Yamsailor
Re: ASA vs. US Sailing

Agreed. The equipment the school uses is very important as well. A school should be teaching ASA 103 on a sail boat with inboard diesel and a steering wheel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by newt View Post
Interesting posts all around, but I am going to say what was hinted at but not brought out concretely:
Sailing schools vary in quality. Schools tend to have good and bad instructors. One offshore school I went to had the best old captain I could ask for. Another had a young man who could not tell the shore from the ocean. Both were labeled as offshore instructors. One did outstanding, the other put his Bendy 39 on the beach not long after I was there.
Take home lesson is to research the school carefully before going, and listen to your heart. Be very careful of what they are selling. Look for transparency, and look for long term experience. One giveaway that I should of picked up is that the old captain taught military groups sailing.
I also believe that schools only get you started. They are an important place you can network quickly with other young sailors. Leave knowing you don't know a lot about sailing, but you have the experience to get out with other sailors and not be a burden.
30 years later, I still take a new guys and gals out. But I expect them to pull their weight. Often, the challenges in passage making overwhelms them. With a sailing school, at least they have an idea of what they are getting into.
1 Week Ago 09:25 AM
newt
Re: ASA vs. US Sailing

Interesting posts all around, but I am going to say what was hinted at but not brought out concretely:
Sailing schools vary in quality. Schools tend to have good and bad instructors. One offshore school I went to had the best old captain I could ask for. Another had a young man who could not tell the shore from the ocean. Both were labeled as offshore instructors. One did outstanding, the other put his Bendy 39 on the beach not long after I was there.
Take home lesson is to research the school carefully before going, and listen to your heart. Be very careful of what they are selling. Look for transparency, and look for long term experience. One giveaway that I should of picked up is that the old captain taught military groups sailing.
I also believe that schools only get you started. They are an important place you can network quickly with other young sailors. Leave knowing you don't know a lot about sailing, but you have the experience to get out with other sailors and not be a burden.
30 years later, I still take a new guys and gals out. But I expect them to pull their weight. Often, the challenges in passage making overwhelms them. With a sailing school, at least they have an idea of what they are getting into.
1 Week Ago 08:50 AM
eherlihy
Re: ASA vs. US Sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxskipper View Post
I have a question for you.

I started reading the ASA 103 textbook as I start my BCC class in a couple of weeks. The book course is based on a typical 33' cruiser, but my school will be using the same 25' Merit's with an outboard, that I sailed in my basic keel class. Even though they have 5 Catalina 27's in their club that seem more suited to the study material.

So how common is this? I know 25' is the minimum ASA standard for a BCC class, but after searching a few schools online, it seems many (or most?) use larger boats with inboard diesels or do I have the wrong impression?
The goal of ASA 101 is teaching how to make a sailboat go where you want it to go, and how to stop. This is usually taught on a 20-26 foot boat with a tiller and an outboard engine.

The goal of ASA 103 is teaching how to handle a larger boat under power. Objectives include bow in docking and anchoring. This is usually taught on a 30-35 foot boat with an inboard engine and a wheel.

If after taking this class and passing the test, you do not feel that you have achieved these objectives, you may wish to contact the school, and if necessary escalate to ASA.
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