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My friend and our wives are looking to learn to sail. The long term hope and plan is to be able to charter and take sailing vacation wherever it is we feel like going. Really, my buddy and I are the ones that really want to learn. If the girls pick some things up along the way, all the better. What would be the best way of going about this where we would become competent bareboat charterers? I have look into doing live aboard combo courses with sailing schools, the problem is that for our wives to come along most charge just as much for them whether they are getting certification or not. (unless someone here knows a school that doesn’t charge as much for “ride alongs” Really, I don’t so much care about certification, but I do want to be able to charter boats wherever I go, so whatever I need to do I’ll do it. The reason we considered a live aboard combo course is because it would kind of give a learning vacation. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I hope this was not too confusing. If I can clear anything up, let me know. Thanks.
 

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Where are you?

A live aboard cruise and learn with the spouses can work. I have done some these as skippered charters. You charter the boat, pay for provisions, moorage, fuel, etc.. Then hire an instructor who you pay directly. This might be a savings.

Jack
 

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Learning to bareboat

I agree with Jack. There may be some savings in chartering a boat and hiring an instructor directly. I have been teaching couples on five day live-aboard courses for 30 years. It makes a great holiday and you really learn what cruising can be like. I believe it is vital that the spouses learn as well. I have had many wives who are worried what will happen if the husband gets injured and she does not know how to handle the boat. I have taught a number of women-only courses. They just wanted to learn away from their husbands. Kind of like teaching your wife or child how to drive!:)
 

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You could charter a boat with a captain to go along for all or part of the trip to give you some instruction. In our case, I'm sure something could be worked out with the sailing school here to have it count toward certification. I would think most other charter companies would be able/willing to set up something similar.
 

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I do not want to sound self-servicing, but I would suggest using an instructor as a captain. Many experienced sailors find what they are doing comes naturally. Instructors have to engage in reflective practice to be able to analyze their skills and knowledge to able to impart that to others. As an example when teaching knots, I have spent considerable watching my own hands and learning what to describe what my fingers and hands are doing to each step.

I have learned never to say "this is easy.", because it is not.

Jack
 

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You might call some of the sailing schools directly and see what they offer. I know that last spring Offshore Sailing school was pretty willing to work out arrangements when we wanted to bring our two teenage sons along on a week long course, and there were two other schools that were also willing to make accommodations without paying much. Try some of the Caribbean locations, particularly in the fall or early winter (off-peak). There are also a number of charters with captains licensed to teach, and only charge the training cost for those getting certification. I had looked into one such arrangement through a broker (Hamilton) who gave me several different options, for little more than the cost of chartering the boat. Just get references, since a bad week aboard may hurt your chances of ever getting the women back on a boat. The advantage of certificates is to prove to someone else that you at least have the training.
 

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Having just gone through that process in the past year can I suggest Offshore sailing's Fast track to Cruising. Its a 10 day course beginning on Colgate 26's morning sail followed by a lecture and free for most of the afternoon. Then 6 days on a 40-50 ft boat with the instructor. The last day away you go on your own. I would suggest after you complete the course that you then charter for one week in the same area you took the course to relax and let the lessons sink in It gives you three US Sail certification up to Bare boat and qualifies you to rent a bare boat with all of the suppliers in limited areas based on your experience. Eg baja, Tortola etc. Offshore offers the courses in Tortola and Florida. Sailing Schools, Catamaran Sailing Schools, Sailing Vacations, Sailing Lessons

Enjoy we did.
 

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O'day 26
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How about taking the course in Mex, "Learn to Sail in San Carlos Mexico"
Great people, think you will find that they will be willing and able to set up about any kind/length of course you would want. They can also give you the exposure to small mono to 40' tri, and you can do a "live aboard" on the 41' OI, while you are taking the course. However you decide to go, think you will find that most of the smaller ASA schools will be willing to work with you.
 

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Seaward 26rk
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San Diego Sailing Academy thoughts?

I'm in a similar boat as the OP, difference being my wife wants to get certified also. San Diego Sailing Academy sounds perfect for our needs just would like a little more feedback from satisfied customers before I make the plunge.
 

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Regarding the wifes interest...I had to drag my wife kicking and screaming to the liveaboard course. Once she got onboard she discovered she loved it and is totally converted. She managed to get through the course and emerged doing fairly well. She is definitely "very competent crew" and if I am hurt I know she can get us back to shore on her own. That is an advantage. Of course as we look for our first boat she is still more concerned about the interior layout and less about the quality of fittings on deck. I spent some time explaining to her that the boat with Harken roller furling and Harken self trailing winches was more interesting to me that the one with the new seat covers in the settee area.

I knew I had lost the moment I opened my mouth. Now looking for a compromise. :)
 
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