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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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