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Rich
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm totally new to sailing, and I'm finally taking the first steps to learning how!

I enrolled in a dual ASA101/103 course, and I've been studying the texts and materials, yet I am curious as to how difficult (or easy) it will be to earn both certifications???

I've never even been on a boat, but it's always been a passion of mine. Most of it seems rather straightforward, yet some things look a bit more tricky...

I'm just wondering if I am trying to tackle too much at once, or if I'm just being paranoid....
 

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Read your text, listen to your instructor and relax, you'll do fine but, study the text

btw, we do 101/103 as a basic package over two consecutive weekends ( 20 hrs ) again study and you'll be fine
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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The key to success is to practice with the boat without the instructor. When I teach, I try to cover all of the basics, but sometimes am limited by the student's knowledge or experience.

You will meet people in the class. After the 101 class, you and another student should ask to take the boat that you learned on, for at least a half day, on your own.
 
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I personally think it a mistake for someone new to sailing to take the 103 immediately following the 101. After your 101 you should practice what you have experienced in class, the practice is key to burning in the concepts, and to making much of sailing as second-nature as it should become.Then when you go to 103, if there are things you didn't get right or forgot from 101, you have a chance to fill them in as you learn the new material. Go right into the 103 and what you dont have down after 101, you are likely to still not have down after 103.
 

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I personally think it a mistake for someone new to sailing to take the 103 immediately following the 101. After your 101 you should practice what you have experienced in class, the practice is key to burning in the concepts, and to making much of sailing as second-nature as it should become.Then when you go to 103, if there are things you didn't get right or forgot from 101, you have a chance to fill them in as you learn the new material. Go right into the 103 and what you dont have down after 101, you are likely to still not have down after 103.
I agree with ya, practice is always best but, I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a mistake as it really depends on the student and the instructors evaluation of the student.

You'll know early on who gets it and who doesn't, who needs more time and who could handle moving forward.
 

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Rich
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Everyone- thank you for the replies! Definitely gets one thinking...

Still, regarding the 103 class, it seems a lot of the material is just an extension of the 101, just with a little more detail...

I'll be attending the Maryland School of Sailing & Seamanship. The 101 is taught as a full 4 day, then the 103 is a full 3 day (both are live-aboard). Class of 4 (or 5) taught on a 32ft packet boat, so definitely gives me a feel for the mid/larger boats, and small class size seems like a good fit.

I dunno... guess it seems like it'll be a lot of hand/mind coordination with some solid common sense. Understanding hydro/aerodynamics isn't too bad, and remembering which of the road rules applies will take some practice. Obviously there's an infinite amount to learn, based on difference scenarios, Wx, locations, etc., that makes each sailor's background unique.

Still, looking forward to it. Either way it's a starting point!!!
 

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IMHO more than 3 is a big class, and 101 on 32 a bad idea. You wont get much boat handling drill in with that big a boat. For example a common 101 drill is sailing figure 8s around a pair of floats about 100 feet apart. First tacking for awhile, then gybing, then windward/leeward. Maybe 5-600 iterations of the basics, and they become natural. 32 footer, maybe 10% of that...
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It's all about individual aptitude. Some people learn quickly, others don't. That does not mean those that don't learn quickly, don't become equally proficient, they just take longer to get there.

You need to know yourself, to know what will work for you. Combining the two is done all time.
 

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Learning the HARD way...
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I agree with sailingfool about the size of the vessel; taking ASA 101 on a big boat (over 10K lbs) is less than optimal. Smaller boats will respond more quickly to your input to the helm or sails than a larger, heavier boat. Making the transition from small boat to larger boat is logical and easy; making the transition from big to small, not so much.

Regarding class size; I think that for 101 a group of 3 or 4 would be OK. The key here is that each student needs lots of time at the helm. And, for 103, a group of 4 (or 5) is fine, but no more. Students learn by doing, but they also learn by observing what other students do well, and by the mistakes other students make.
 

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taking the classes the way you are planning is a waste, I'm pretty sure ASA recommends 40-50 hours of sailing before taking 103.

The best way is to take ASA 101, find a spot to rent 18 or 22' boats and sail, then take ASA 103.

Remember, it's not just about passing, it's about learning.

I also agree, a huge boat is stupid for the 101, it should be taught on a 22 or 25 with a tiller....again IMHO
 

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The wife and I took 101 & 103 back-to-back and I don't see an issue with it. Yes, while it would be ideal to practice in between, the OP may have some difficulty in finding someone willing to let them take a boat out on their own after only 101...we certainly did.
 

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Here's an article from Salon that recommends "spaced practice" as being more efficient: Ditch the 10,000 hour rule!

I took 101 in October and 103/104 in May with absolutely no sailing in between (just thinking about sailing during a winter 105 course). I'm sure that's not ideal, but whatev's, it worked.

I think the real necessity is to use the knowledge. Don't let it be a year before you go sailing again or you will have forgotten all of it. Get out again to reinforce what you've learned while you still remember it.
 

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Good points about trying some sailing between 101 and 103. I did that and it worked very well.

Also I'm surprised that some schools pack 101 and 103 into 2 weekends. I did 101 over 2 weekends, then the same for 103, then we got a free day charter on our own. That's 9 days on the water. Not saying you won't pass, but there's more to it than that.
 

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PS small daysailers or dinghies, that you can take out into sheltered waters like a lake, can be had for small money. I sailed a Wayfarer for a year between 101 and 103, and the cost of ownership was minimal - sold it for pretty much what I paid for it, but spent some time improving it (varnishing, painting etc). Also interesting experience actually.
 

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I actually did the 101/103 combo at Maryland School of Sailing and Seamanship last year. The instructors are great, and I tend to do well with immersive learning situations. Eight days of doing nothing but learning to sail, tying knots, reviewing scenarios, etc. It was a lot of fun.

A few caveats. The boats are big, and given the dock configuration you will not be learning how to depart and dock under sail. You'll be doing all of that under power. Make sure you continue to use those skills as soon as you finish the course. Receiving the 101/103 certifications is just one step in the learning process and it takes a lot more practice to become comfortable. For example, I ended up taking a docking clinic at my local sailing center to help fill in the gaps on the smaller boats.

My wife took her ASA 101 course last fall and she's currently taking her 103 course. She prefers to space things out so she has time to learn and digest the information.

In short, to each their own. If you're a fast/agile learner then the combo is good for you. If you're a methodical learner, spacing things out may be better for you. The key is to put the skills into practice as soon as you're done with the courses so you don't lose them.

Hope this helps!
 

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Rich
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I passed both ASA101 and 103 certifications last week!!! :) Was pure heaven- best fun I have had in my entire life!!! Learned a TON, feel confident with docking, sailing, anchoring/mooring a 32-35ft boat- all thanks to the awesome instructors at the MD School of Sailing & Seamanship!!!

Now just trying to find some relatively inexpensive boats for some day sails, then take the 105 Nav cert, and 104 next spring!

I took to it like a natural- everything came together and just flowed while I was learning- truly an out-of-body experience for me! :)
 

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Congratulation Rich, sounds like you are hooked.

Obviously there are lots of opinions on how and when to take these courses. There are also lots of people that think they are a waste of time. Opinions are just that, and you found that this format worked for you. Great!

I took ASA 101/103 many years ago in a four day live aboard format. Loved it, and happy that they were combined. I had experience with boats, but mostly power. Had not sailed anything but a Sunfish in many years before the class.

I also believe that most people taking the time and dollars to take ASA classes are thinking about bigger boats for the family and want the experience to see if it works for them. Sailing dingies is great fun, but sometimes not so much for wife and kids. Getting the feel of a bigger boat, and living on it for days, gives you an idea of how much you may like it down the road. If your plans are for a bigger boat, you don't miss much by not sailing into a dock, because you are probably never going to do it with a big boat.

Good luck with your future in sailing.
 
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