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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.
 

· 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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