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Discussion Starter #1
I have been sailing for a couple of months on our new to us Pearson 27 and am thinking about going ahead and getting ASA 101 Keelboat certified soon. I have read Sailing Made Easy (the ASA-approved training book), as well as several others.

There is one instructor available locally that offers the 2-day course/exam and I am considering that. However, I am going to San Diego on business in May where there is a school that offers an ASA 101 challenge as well, which is a one day paper/water exam. The challenge is much less expensive. I have a life time of learning ahead of me about the nuances of sailing and sail trim, but I don't think I would have that much of a problem passing the 101 (I hope). Any recommendations?
 

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Check out the standards on the ASA web site. If you feel confident go for the challenge. You might actually find that being on a boat with raw rookies can be a little frustrating.
 

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I took the course a couple of years ago & thought it was money well spent.

Bob
 

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I would challenge and use the $$$$ to take a more advanced class if you want. I was under the impression that you could challenge at any ASA affiliate.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all for the advice.

I would challenge and use the $$$$ to take a more advanced class if you want. I was under the impression that you could challenge at any ASA affiliate.
I'll ask our local guy if he has ever done a challenge.
 

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You should be able to challenge at any ASA school, but some dont like handling it. It is relatively easy to fail someone if the instructor is so disposed. For example, do you want to bet several hundred dollars that you'll complete your first figure eight MOB exercise right on-the-spot... the MOB to windward amidships, boat completely stopped in the safety position? If you dont know what every word in the description means, dont even think of trying...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You should be able to challenge at any ASA school, but some dont like handling it. It is relatively easy to fail someone if the instructor is so disposed. For example, do you want to bet several hundred dollars that you'll complete your first figure eight MOB exercise right on-the-spot... the MOB to windward amidships, boat completely stopped in the safety position? If you dont know what every word in the description means, dont even think of trying...
Are these skills that you require as an ASA 101 instructor? They seem to be beyond the ASA 101 standards from what I have read.
 

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I think it depends a lot on your motivation for taking it. I took the 2-day ASA 101 course a few years ago with my wife, before we had a boat. I had sailed a little and was reading everything I could on the subject, and I personally found it a little basic. But my main reason for taking it was to get my wife interested in sailing (she had never been on a sailboat). I thought it would be a good thing for us to do together, to get some real instruction with the same baseline for terminology and technique, and hopefully help talk her into buying a boat.

I don't regret it a bit, and I did learn some things--mostly from the hands-on part. If you're looking to really get some time on the water with the instructor, I think the 2 day is probably better. If you're trying to test out so that you can get into the higher classes to get bareboat certified or something, you're probably better off with the quick and dirty.
 

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boat completely stopped in the safety position?
That's the hard part.
I'm going for instruct cert and I can do it every time but I'm always moving a bit and if I slow down then I drift off. Tricky one that!!!
 

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Are these skills that you require as an ASA 101 instructor? They seem to be beyond the ASA 101 standards from what I have read.
RTFM. These steps are in the boat handling part of the "correct actions" referred to in the last ASA standard:
"item 52: Describe and demonstrate the correct actions to be taken while under sail from the time a person falls overboard until safely recovered." Its what you learn in 101 - anything else is not the ASA 101 STANDARD.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
RTFM. These steps are in fact the boat handling part of the "correct actions" referred to in the last ASA standard:
"item 52: Describe and demonstrate the correct actions to be taken while under sail from the time a person falls overboard until safely recovered." Its what yoiu learn in 101 - anything else is not the ASA STANDARD.
I have RTFM. I probably wouldn't have a problem with the correct actions to get a MOB back on board, but I hope that I am not going to challenge with an instructor that thinks
It is relatively easy to fail someone if the instructor is so disposed. For example, do you want to bet several hundred dollars that you'll complete your first figure eight MOB exercise right on-the-spot...
This comment gets to the heart of the problems with "certification" in my opinion. Granted, an ASA101 certification is pretty much not worth more than the pride it gives to the receiver, but there should not be as much subjective grading as there is, especially if an instructor has an financial interest in failing a challenge student and "get sent to class" for another sum of cash. It smells of racket in this case.
 

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I think it depends a lot on your motivation for taking it. I took the 2-day ASA 101 course a few years ago with my wife, before we had a boat. I had sailed a little and was reading everything I could on the subject, and I personally found it a little basic. But my main reason for taking it was to get my wife interested in sailing (she had never been on a sailboat). I thought it would be a good thing for us to do together, to get some real instruction with the same baseline for terminology and technique, and hopefully help talk her into buying a boat.

I don't regret it a bit, and I did learn some things--mostly from the hands-on part. If you're looking to really get some time on the water with the instructor, I think the 2 day is probably better. If you're trying to test out so that you can get into the higher classes to get bareboat certified or something, you're probably better off with the quick and dirty.
I'm just surprised it can be done in two days. When I did it, it took 4.
 

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If you've been sailing and studying the book, then you probably already know what's on the test, and the rest is common sense. Take the challenge. It's always fun sailing outside ofhome waters, and you get casually note in future conversations how you sailed in San Diego! Have fun!
 

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...This comment gets to the heart of the problems with "certification" in my opinion. Granted, an ASA101 certification is pretty much not worth more than the pride it gives to the receiver, but there should not be as much subjective grading as there is, especially if an instructor has an financial interest in failing a challenge student and "get sent to class" for another sum of cash. It smells of racket in this case.
No accreditation of any type would be worth much if the requirements it presents were lightly skipped. I dont think there's a lot of subjectivity about whether a skill is demonstrated properly or not. The subjectivity is what happens when it is not - after demonstrating what is expected, how often do you coach the candidate through additional attempts...actually an instructor may be just as disposed to pass a 101 challenge as diisposed otherwise, usually the challenger wants to go into a 103 or a club sailing program. A good instructor is free to be what he or she should naturally be, firm but fair. As in any business, a customer who is jerked around can go somewhere else.
 

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After searching my memory, I can honestly say that I don't believe I have ever been asked by any individual or organization if I have had passed ASA101 - except to take other ASA courses. At any rate, it's fun sailing past all of those huge Naval ships in San Diego Bay.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
At any rate, it's fun sailing past all of those huge Naval ships in San Diego Bay.
Now, that's something worth the price of admission! I thought about renting a boat, but for about the same price I can hit the water with a competent instructor/examiner and possibly walk away with a piece of paper with a gold star!:)
 

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After searching my memory, I can honestly say that I don't believe I have ever been asked by any individual or organization if I have had passed ASA101 - except to take other ASA courses. At any rate, it's fun sailing past all of those huge Naval ships in San Diego Bay.
I have only been asked for it to charter a boat. But when I first wanted to learn how to sail, with no family or friends who sailed and no knowledge of local, inexpensive sailing clubs, it was the only option that I could see to get me on the road to reaching my goal. I'm sure there are others in that situation.

I hope we're not discouraging future sailors because taking the course is a learning experience. It's not always about getting the little sticker for your log book (and in the course I took, the PA state boating certificate as well).

In any event, I also see it as a way to pick the brain of a more experienced sailor. Something everyone should take advantage of whenever possible.
 

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When I recently took the ASA 101 course (3 Sundays, IIRC), I had very limited experience with sailing. I could not repeatedly perform the MOB drill to perfection, and the instructor would not pass me until I could. He brought me in for 4 additional hours of practice on his own time. We worked until I could do it SPOT ON. :) I feel that with any certification course, you get out what you put in. If your just looking for a stamp, do the challenge. If your looking to perfect a technique that may one day save someone....Just my 2 $ from a nube. Best of luck either way.
 

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I have read Sailing Made Easy (the ASA-approved training book), as well as several others.
From the standpoint of what's on the 101 written exam, I'm sure the book you have covers it all but the ASA approved class I just took used, Sailing Fundamentals by Gary Jobson.
 

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From the standpoint of what's on the 101 written exam, I'm sure the book you have covers it all but the ASA approved class I just took used, Sailing Fundamentals by Gary Jobson.
Sailing Fundamentals is OK but was subject to some criticism, and as a response ASA came out with Sailing Made Easy. So the latter is the latest, greatest ASA101 book and is supposed to be a considerable improvement on the old course book.

The biggest criticism I would have concerning Sailing Fundamentals is that it mixes 101 and 103 content and it is seldom clear which material applies to which standard.

If you want a sort of simple summary of everything, the course notes I got from the sailing school take some beating.
 
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