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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking about taking some more advanced courses in sailing. I currently have my ASA 101 and of course own my own 19 ft boat so some experience (not a lot)

any ways was thinking about offshore sailing for their "fast track to cruising" class

or going to Flagship Sailing for ASA 103 and 104.

Offshore is not an ASA school, they are US Sailing ratings. they claim it's better.

there is a rather large price difference between the two. $3300 versus $850

I personally think the ASA would be sufficient, especially for what I'mm looking to get. more training and experience with bigger boats and bigger water. I have no immediate desire to bareboat charter or anything like that.

I hope to purchase a larger boat myself some day though, and would like some experience in larger systems.

anyone have experience with either? anyone think of a reason why the Offshore class would be worth that much more? the Offshore class is a little longer 7 days instead of 4 and does involve sailing on two different vessels.

thanks in advance.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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What about doing some crewing for passages? I think it is good to see a variety of approaches and get experience on different types of boats. Would be good if you could find passages to and from Bermuda for starters since it is nice distance to break into being offshore. Some people who race to Bermuda need crew to help return the boat to the US.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What about doing some crewing for passages? I think it is good to see a variety of approaches and get experience on different types of boats. Would be good if you could find passages to and from Bermuda for starters since it is nice distance to break into being offshore. Some people who race to Bermuda need crew to help return the boat to the US.
would absolutely love to get into that, BUT, I live in WI so would require travel just to get to the boat, and I have a fulltime job so am constrained for time.

I am thinking about moving back to FL sometime in the not so distant future, but for right now....

I have done some "light" looking around for folks needing crew on the big lake. Wasn't able to find any. Even answered a couple ads looking for crew, but honestly I think when I put "male" they moved to the next response.

Reason the training would work, is I have vacation time that I need to use by year end, so a trip to FL to do some sailing seemed very appealing, and I could get some extra learning out of it too.
 

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I took ASA 103-104 through Northern Breezes which teaches the classes in the Apostle Islands out of Bayfield, WI. They teach on 34' Hunters. I thought it was a very good value. I also took 106 through them and we sailed from Duluth all the way across the lake to Sault Ste. Marie, that was a really exciting trip.
 

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One not so obvious and sometimes hidden factor in cost is the number of students in the class. An in-the-boat class with many students can be cheaper, all other factors being equal, I would adjust the cost by the number of students, the fewer the more attention you get....Less than four is good, more than four is bad.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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I see your problem. Can't comment on which course might be better, but I would want to know where they go and what skills are included.
 

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Barquito
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Like Minnesail, I took some ASA courses up in Bayfield. However, in hindsight, I don't think I would do those classes again. I already had most of the knowledge and sailing experience from sailing my Catalina 22. Like you, I wanted more big boat experience. However, the price if these courses is pretty high for such a limited experience. Get on milwaukeesailors.com. There aren't too many on the forum, but, you may be able to get in touch with some sailors who would take you on some longer passages.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Minnesail: sailing the Apostle island area would be awesome just for the scenery. I am originally from Superior and still haven't gotten my kayak out to those islands.

Sailingfool: the number of students is 4 max in each class.

Killarney: thanks, that is kind of what I'm looking for. it seems as though both classes teach the same skills and in the same area. the one class is a little longer because it starts you out with ASA 101 type classes. other than that, from their brochures and emails, they both seem the same. The Offshore (that's the name of the company, not that they take you offshore) class does give you "ratings" to bareboat charter from (I think) the moorings.

Barquito: Thanks, I have seen you recommend that site before, and have visited it. It does seem to have very light traffic. I was hoping to snag a ride or two from there. I did get out on a 23 with a friend from work this season. Next summer I think I'll take my l'il 19'er out at least in the protected water by Mckinley. I see you're from Madison, do you sail Milw or in Madison area?
 

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Look to do deliveries, start with short overnights and if you like it move onto multi day passages. Lots of people looking for free help. Some may even pay for your plane ticket.
 

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I'm not sure where in Florida you intend to relocate to, but here's a very descriptive outline of the next chapter in my sail training, located in Pensacola Florida. (ASA 103 & 104)
I can tell you that the instructors are great all around, and their prices are very reasonable. I'm currently scheduled to take that course in March of next year, and I can't wait.

Bareboat chartering might not be your thing, but the knowledge gained could certainly be useful, I would think.

Basic Coastal Cruising (103) & Bareboat Cruising (104) Certification ? Pensacola Bay « Lanier Sailing Academy
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Too bad you don't have the time (and likely the money) to do an offshore yachtmaster certificate in South Africa. I think it is a three week program and you get to tackle the real offshore bits along the coast there. I saw a crew who were doing it in one of the ports and they looked like what you would expect for a crew doing a passage where it can be nasty. We were just sitting there drinking beer while we waited an extra day or so for a better weather window.

In SA if you want to take a boat out of the one of the harbours you must have this certification. Even the British yachtmaster certificate is not accepted. Fortunately the rule did not apply to foreign boats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Too bad you don't have the time (and likely the money) to do an offshore yachtmaster certificate in South Africa. I think it is a three week program and you get to tackle the real offshore bits along the coast there. I saw a crew who were doing it in one of the ports and they looked like what you would expect for a crew doing a passage where it can be nasty. We were just sitting there drinking beer while we waited an extra day or so for a better weather window.

In SA if you want to take a boat out of the one of the harbours you must have this certification. Even the British yachtmaster certificate is not accepted. Fortunately the rule did not apply to foreign boats.
that sounds like a very interesting and informative class.........however, I think I'd rather sit on the boat with you and have a beer. LOL
 

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I know people who have taken Offshore Sailing's Fast Track to Cruising course. It's really designed to take people from near zero sailing experience to fair weather competent cruising sailors in a one week. I've seen it happen!! Sent my wife to it. Really amazed. It's not just sailing, its anchoring, mooring, docking, galley systems, engines, etc. Highly recommended.

It is a bit expensive, but that price difference between schools above has to be apples and oranges. With Fast Track, you live aboard 24/7 and cruise/work/test most of the entire day. (they'll tell you not to bother bringing your snorkel gear). Your final exam is to take a 40ish foot boat, without the instructor, to another island, stay overnight and return in the morning. 7 days earlier, the students had no idea how to sail at all !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I know people who have taken Offshore Sailing's Fast Track to Cruising course. It's really designed to take people from near zero sailing experience to fair weather competent cruising sailors in a one week. I've seen it happen!! Sent my wife to it. Really amazed. It's not just sailing, its anchoring, mooring, docking, galley systems, engines, etc. Highly recommended.

It is a bit expensive, but that price difference between schools above has to be apples and oranges. With Fast Track, you live aboard 24/7 and cruise/work/test most of the entire day. (they'll tell you not to bother bringing your snorkel gear). Your final exam is to take a 40ish foot boat, without the instructor, to another island, stay overnight and return in the morning. 7 days earlier, the students had no idea how to sail at all !!
Thanks Minnewaska!!! that was exactly the information I was looking for. Only difference would be, I chose the the live ashore class. My dad lives right there in the area so would be nice to visit him a little as well.

Sounds like there is definitely some differences than.

now choices, choices.
 

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Thanks Minnewaska!!! that was exactly the information I was looking for. Only difference would be, I chose the the live ashore class. My dad lives right there in the area so would be nice to visit him a little as well.

Sounds like there is definitely some differences than.

now choices, choices.
FWIW, I think the live-aboard course is more valuable and a better experience and I would highly recommend doing it in the BVI. The experience of being on-board 24/7 is a different feeling than 'day sailing' and going home every night.

And I think the BVI is a better sailing experience both because the winds can be better and possibly stronger and you can go 'outside' and get a taste of more open water sailing.
 
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