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post #1 of 15 Old 06-28-2007 Thread Starter
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Training/Certification

I have owned my first cruiser (Bristol 29) for three years, and just mucked around with her in the Chesapeake Bay so far. I have sailed the small boats all my life, and fancied that I knew what I was about. But coming to Sailnet has pursuaded me otherwise. I have so much to learn about sail handling and the technical aspects of sailing (including navigation)the larger boats. What training and or certification would you all recommend in order to make me most a)safe, b)effective and c)competent? Thanks in advance

Freeman
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-28-2007
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I've gone through a few ASA classes through The Maryland School of Sailing and Seamanship Maryland School of Sailing; Chesapeake, Caribbean, Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda. Great people and nice class boats, Island Packets. One of the owners, Tom Tursi, wrote entire navigation courses for ASA, so they know their stuff. Some may say it costs to much, but I thought it was money well spent.
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-28-2007 Thread Starter
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Sapper, How basic is the 101 course? I don't know where I fall in the experience continuum. I should probably take the 101, if I'm not sure. Which did you take?
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-28-2007
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101 is VERY basic. They take you out and show you different points of sail, basic docking techniques, basic rules of the road, a few different legal matters like boating while intoxicated and how many PFDs you have to have aboard . If you've been sailing all your life on small boats and 3 yrs on a 29 footer, you should just challenge the 101 and go to 103 where you will take away more. 101 does things like teaching how to gybe, how to tack, basic basic stuff that you already know. 103 is more in depth and would probably suit you more. More planning, chart work, things like that.

The coastal nav course, 105, is excellent. They teach just about every aspect of good coastal nav including chart reading, navigation aids, nav tools,plotting, DR, position fixes, wind current and tidal calculations, and publications(light lists, coast pilots, tide and current tables, etc. etc.). They teach you how to swing your compass, and calibrate your speed log too. The course is based almost entirely on paper chart work and plotting techniques though. Highly recommended.

I would just give them a call, tell them your experience, and ask them about the finer details, and differences between 101, and 103. They can help you decide weather or not you want to challenge 101 better than I can. Good luck.
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-28-2007
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Consider joining a race crew for a little while too. While racing may not be your end goal, it will teach you a lot. Things happen faster and you will be more proficient when you need to react fast. Even the beer can races can help you to learn, and its fun. Or, you can do what I did and take a Hobie 16 out into the Ocean, you learn real fast.

Sapperwhite, thats one heck of a nice looking boat you got there.

Great men always have too much sail up. - Christopher Buckley


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post #6 of 15 Old 06-29-2007
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Also, if you're not a "racer" per se, the skills and techniques for optimizing sail trim will come in handy as a cruiser.

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post #7 of 15 Old 06-29-2007
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"Sapperwhite, thats one heck of a nice looking boat you got there."

Thanks. She's a lot of work.

Crewing is a good choice too, but if Bardo has been sailing on small boats all his life he probably has the whole Sail Theory and Sail Techniques thing in his pocket. You probably will learn something new, or become more proficient at the things you already know, and for that it's a good, inexpensive choice. These ASA classes teach more regarding planning, passage making, nav, and understanding the equipment. It's somewhat more cruiser oriented. Also, making it up to the 104 is a bareboat charter cert. So, the ASA log will be your proof of training if you want to charter someday.

The reason that I recommended this particular school is the boats. A lot of other schools I had looked at started students out in a Cat Capri 22, and thats fine, but this schools smallest boat is an Island Packet 32. That makes a big difference as they let you sleep aboard, no hotel bills, and it's a comfy learning platform. It's also closer to what Bardo is sailing now, a 29. Also, the instructors are TOP notch people, really proficient and knowledgeable. The school has been mentioned a few times in Blue Water Sailing for their great classes. PS this is not spam, I am in no way, other than being a customer and student, a part of this organization.

I haven't been sailing for a long time like a lot of people on this board, but what I've learned through the Md school is a big confidence and competence booster.
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-29-2007
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I've taught ASA 101 for a while, and it's truly a "one room schoolhouse", wherein I teach whatever level an individual student needs to move ahead.

You, who's sailed for 3 years already, sounds like you might be ready for Basic Coastal Cruising. I'm betting you have the sailing skills, but need the piloting skills, to be a weekend cruiser.

Full disclosure: I teach the occasional ASA 101 course down here, so I'm probably prone to recommend the classes. Having said that, I never took any (because there weren't any) when I was growing up, and now I'm teaching them...
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-30-2007
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[quote= Also, making it up to the 104 is a bareboat charter cert. So, the ASA log will be your proof of training if you want to charter someday.quote]

I have this cert. and I am interested in chartering in the near future. Does anyone know how much clout this carries with charter companies?

Thnks -

Ben
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-02-2007 Thread Starter
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All,
thanks for the input. I think I will challenge the 101 and take the 103. You are right that what I feel I need most is the passage making knowledge, navigation and logistical details. As an aviator, I understand the nav piece, but there is a whole book(s) of knowledge that I need to absorb to feel really competant. On the other hand, these things can be learned by taking short trips, which the bay is great for. Make my mistakes in sem-controlled circumstances. thanks again!
Freeman
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