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Thread: ASA 104 Live Aboard Courses, Virgin Islands - Feedback? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
06-10-2008 12:59 PM
retclt Got mine through Bay Area Sailing in Kemah, Texas at Watergate Marina. I was extremely impressed at how seriously they focused on safety. Far beyond the ASA material. Three days on a really nice 38 Beneteau. "All" of the instructors had many years experience, were patient, and didn't let you leave without knowing you understood completely every detail of what they taught. Captain Steve Weir was my instructor.

My only complaint was the BBQ grill needed clips for the lid. That's it. Had a blast!!! I plan to fill out the rest of my training there.

home page
06-10-2008 10:07 AM
eryka Good idea MrRagu.

We used David Kummerle for multiple liveaboard/learn-to-sail charters and he was FABULOUS! He was in charge on Annapolis Sailing School branch in St Croix before he went private.
His link is: Glory of Christiansted 37' CSY Cutter Charter Yacht - Cruising the Caribbean waters with Admiralty Yacht Vacations
06-10-2008 08:57 AM
MrRagu OK. If I read this thread correctly, the schools are all good and the instructors make the difference. Should we have a composite listing of great instructors? Just a suggestion from a newbie that will one day want to know this information.
06-08-2008 10:50 AM
Melrna I took mine from Blue Water about 3 years ago in the BVI. Had a great time and the course was great. Highly recommend them.
Rhapsody in Blue
05-29-2008 11:58 PM
slokaj My husband and I took ASA104 with Rob Swain last summer and would strongly recommend his school. We had limited sailing experience (ASA101 on a small inland lake on a 17' keelboat the previous summer and ASA103 on Lake Michigan early last summer, other than that our only experience was on a Hunter 170 in SW Michigan), but were extremely comfortable sailing the 43' Jeanneau. His typical class size is 4 people, we ended up as a class of 2 as the other people cancelled at the last minute. It was the best vacation we ever had -- great experience (from the moment we left the dock at Nanny Cay with my husband at the wheel to our final docking with me at the helm, one of us was at the helm at all times), great companionship, learned a ton and had fun doing so. My husband's favorite memory is watching me maneuver the boat under power in reverse throughout Cane Garden Bay -- after that I'll never be nervous backing out of a dock again. While we didn't go to the Baths or to Jost, we did sail to Anegada and back. While we have no experience with the other schools, we had such a good experience we're planning on going back to take the offshore class through Swain as well.
03-29-2008 11:11 AM
ps21 I'm new to these forums, but I'll toss in my two cents.

As another suggestion for a school, my wife and I did the 104 course with Sistership Sailing School in the BVI. Small school run by a woman named Pat Nolan (in addition to her courses that are only for women, she also does programs for couples). We had a great trip and learned a lot on a nice boat (Beneteau 43). She was a very thorough, dedicated instructor (and a lot of fun to be around too).

Having taken a number of classes (and gotten several certifications) over the last few years at several different schools, it seems that what matters most is the individual instructor. In my first (and last) experience with a larger school some time back, the on-the-water instruction was with someone who was great and we learned a lot, but the classroom was with someone who just wasn't a very good teacher, and it was a waste of time. That experience has given me a preference for smaller operations ever since.

That was why I sought out Sistership. I knew who the instructor would be, and she came well-recommended. Having no experience with the other schools that have been mentioned, I have no way to make a comparison, but you might want to at least check out Sistership.

Good luck and have a great time.
03-28-2008 09:15 PM

I also went through BlueWater like 8 years ago, sailing out of Fort Lauderdale. For my wife and I, it was preparation for our first sail on cruising boats- in the BVI's as a matter of fact. I learned tons from a great captain, the facts as in the books and the attitude and need to pay attention from an experienced sailor. When we finished, our instructor said we were ready for anything we were likely to encounter in the BVI's. He was right. Sailing south Florida with the traffic, the tides, the anchor dragging storms at night, and the more complicated piloting required was a big part of the education. Have fun and, unlike me, read the books before you go.
03-28-2008 08:05 PM
johndotson I went through Blue Water Sailing School out of Fort Lauderdale. I got my ASA 101, ASA 103, and ASA 104 from them. I didn’t sail to the USVI, I stayed in the Keys. By the way all the islands are called keys. Joe Logan was my instructor he was great, however towards the end he got a little short with the crew but I don’t think he was ill with us. Joe was a great instructor, I had a really great time and learned a little as well and boy did we eat, no chances of scurvy on Joe’s boats. I there realized that I was more comfortable on the water than on land. I went in scared that I would be a nameless sailor swallowed up by the sea but when I came back I was more worried about being swallowed up by society than the sea. I was very please with BWSS they teach you what you need to know and work with you if you need extra help. When I left I felt that I could perform any crew duty asked of me, perhaps not the best but safely enough to not endanger the crew or myself in the least. If you have any specific questions please feel free to ask.
03-27-2008 04:10 PM
XTR I did my ASA courses with Rob Swain. They go to St. Maarten on their offshore course (108), not the 104.

I had fun, I learned some things, and I got my 104 sticker for my ASA book. No complaints here. I'm sure that your experience will depend on the captain that you get.
03-26-2008 03:37 PM
JSMehlin I'd like to hear some feedback about schools like this also - anybody know or hear anything about them?
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