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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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Don't worry too much about the wheel vs. tiller. There will be a short period of adjustment! What's more important is to learn the fundamentals of sailing. Are you in SF? I learned with Spinnaker in Redwood City and they were great, I'm sure that the schools in the central bay are fine, too.
 
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