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Discussion Starter #1
What are the differences if any between these two courses? I believe they both give certificates. Any clarification? Thank-you

Can the US sailing "basic keelboat" class be good enough to skip the ASA 101 course and go to the 103 course etc?
 

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The basic courses present the same material.

Overall US Sailing is more geared towards racing. ASA toward recreational sailing.

One of the instructors who are in the forum can tell you if they reciprocate.
 

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There may also be non-certificate based programs near you that could be good options depending on your long term goals. I'd personally look for the school that has the smallest number of students on the boat so that you get as much on-helm time as possible. Learning on smaller boats (25' or under) will also teach you sail trim better and faster than learning on a larger boat.

I'm a volunteer instructor at the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle and we teach on 20' boats with 2 students per boat. The basic class has 12 hours of on the water time, so every student gets a healthy amount of time on the helm.

The advantage of getting a certificate is that it can make chartering a boat a little easier down the line.
 

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...
The advantage of getting a certificate is that it can make chartering a boat a little easier down the line.
And potential insurance discounts.
 

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I've never seen an insurance discount for ASA or US Sailing courses. Can you recommend an insurer that does take them into account? Boat US, for instance, are only interested in USCG qualifications.
 

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Donna hit it on the head.
US Sailing is focused on developing competitive sailors, and is an entryway for the US Olympic Sailing program
ASA, and the ASA curriculum, is focused on developing competent cruisers
 
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Ahhh I see...

So does the US Sailing syllabus include items like :

Ramming another sailboat while yelling "starboard"
Crashing into buoys
Overpowering the boat with massive foresails in strong winds resulting in a spectacular broach

I could go on...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I've completed the "Learn to Sail" class thru US Sailing recently. My goal is to move on and get a certificate at least in "basic keelboat" As of right now the racing doesn't interest me as much as the cruising but, I guess that all could change after some time/experience.

My biggest concern is if I were take my "basic keelboat" class thru US Sailing. Because its pretty close to where I live, and like the instructor and atmosphere. Would ASA recognize that if I decide to switch and want to take the next course (I believe it would be 103?) Or would I have to take ASA's 101 course first.
 

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Is your intention to be an ASA instructor?

I'm looking at the course descriptions. You might benefit more by saving your money, using the skills you learned in the course you took, practice them on the water and take the Coastal Navigation course, which has no prereq.

I'm all for boating education but unless you get out there and use it, you'll forget it anyway.
 

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I've completed the "Learn to Sail" class thru US Sailing recently. My goal is to move on and get a certificate at least in "basic keelboat" As of right now the racing doesn't interest me as much as the cruising but, I guess that all could change after some time/experience.

My biggest concern is if I were take my "basic keelboat" class thru US Sailing. Because its pretty close to where I live, and like the instructor and atmosphere. Would ASA recognize that if I decide to switch and want to take the next course (I believe it would be 103?) Or would I have to take ASA's 101 course first.
You can always "challenge" the ASA standards, meaning to take the test only part. There will still be a fee (including instructor time for the on-the-water part) but you don't have to do the whole course.
 

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Donna hit it on the head.
US Sailing is focused on developing competitive sailors, and is an entryway for the US Olympic Sailing program
ASA, and the ASA curriculum, is focused on developing competent cruisers
This characterization may be be true of the two bodies, but has little to do with the entry level courses taught by either of them. Additionally the priorities may be flipped at individual schools. There are both ASA and US Sailing schools at my marina and the ASA school is heavily involved in racing (they have boats out for almost all of the local races) while the US Sailing school barely does any racing and is more heavily focused on cruising.

I still don't think that the basic classes taught at either will cover racing at all.

I'm surprised that Donna brought up insurance. I've never heard of an insurance program offering a discount for any sailing certification. Sailboat insurance is so inexpensive anyway that I doubt this would make a big difference.
 

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I've completed the "Learn to Sail" class thru US Sailing recently. My goal is to move on and get a certificate at least in "basic keelboat" As of right now the racing doesn't interest me as much as the cruising but, I guess that all could change after some time/experience.

My biggest concern is if I were take my "basic keelboat" class thru US Sailing. Because its pretty close to where I live, and like the instructor and atmosphere. Would ASA recognize that if I decide to switch and want to take the next course (I believe it would be 103?) Or would I have to take ASA's 101 course first.
Answer is;
Basic Coastal Cruising Standard (ASA 103) - American Sailing Association
Basic Coastal Cruising Standard (ASA 103)

Updated August 9, 2012

Prerequisites: Basic Keelboat Sailing (ASA 101) Certification

ASA103 certification requires demonstration of ASA101 knowledge and skills standards. ASA recommends a minimum of 24-40 sailing hours before undertaking ASA 103.

So to obtain the ASA 103 certification you must have the 101 certification. You can challenge for the 101 certification, which in addition to the written test requires an on-the-water test, for which schools typically might charge as one-on-one instruction, around $3-400. As I suspect US Sailing does not instruct the figure 8 MOB recovery, you likelihood of passing the on-the-water challenge may be low unless you practice to the ASA test.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I don't plan on being A ASA instructor but, I figure if I'm dishing out all this money to learn to sail I want atleast something I can put on my refrigerator! I still have many options by me taking the learn to sail class it was just that, it just touched the surface on what is out there as far as sailing.
Crewing on a boat someday would be a dream of mine and I'm sure something on paper would be better then nothing..


Sailingfool thanks for that useful info. That explains thing a bit better. The ins tutor I had did teach us man overboard drills btw. Both circle and figure 8 but, obviously I still need to get out and get more hours on the water and practice.

Thank-you to everyone for your comments.
 

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I'm surprised that Donna brought up insurance. I've never heard of an insurance program offering a discount for any sailing certification. Sailboat insurance is so inexpensive anyway that I doubt this would make a big difference.
My insurer gives a small discount (maybe 10%?) for certain safety certifications and my ASA 101 thru 104 certs qualified as such, not sure which one. A different company insures my outboard runabout and also gives a discount for the CG Aux safety class that meets the state standards.
 

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This has been an interesting thread. As has already been said, ASA is targeted at cruisers while US Sailing is targeted at racers. Both will have course curriculum overlap because . . . sailing is sailing. My wife and I, along with another couple, did a week long live aboard ASA 101/103/104 School. It was expected that we did all the book learning prior to arrival and the 101 course written test was given before we were allowed to board the school boat. The 101 practical exam took place while underway to our first anchorage.

Having a “certification” really doesn’t get you much. It’s just an indicator that you completed a formal course of instruction and anybody can research/read the published standard. Equivalent credit can be earned through a variety of established sailing schools. Charter outfits do recognize the certifications, to a limited extent, but they are really more concerned with “what you have done”. All charter outfits what to know your actual experience as both “crew” and “skipper”. And speaking about “what you have done”, don’t bother spending any money on formal schools unless you have access to a boat where you can practice, practice, practice after you have been in the classroom.

Neither course certification will provide an insurance discount.

Yes. Premium discounts are available with successful completion of any safe boating courses approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA). These include courses by the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Power Squadron, Red Cross, the online course administered by the Boat US Foundation for Boating Safety and others. The current list can be found at: NASBLA- Approved Boating Safety Course Database - National Association of State Boating Law Administrators US Sailing does offer two powerboat safety courses but nothing that is recognized for sailing.
 
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Lots of great comments. I have a couple of things to add.

US Sailing is analagous to US Fencing, US Gymnastics, US Archery, US Rowing. That is, they are the US governing body for Olympic sailing. They manage qualificiation paths and selection of the Olympic Sailing teams. That is, of course, when Sailing is included in the Olymics. Their primary mission is to identify Olympic atheletes. It is in their interests to promote all aspects of the sport as you never know where the next star will come from. They need an extensive paying membership to support this primary mission. I am not saying that this is a bad thing. This is why they are viewed as primarily a racing organisation.

ASA is primarly an organization focused on education of cruising sailors. Credentials are nearly universally accepted worldwide by charter ourfits. Of course credentials are not the only qualificiation to charter a $100k+ vessel.

Classes from each qualify as "Safe Boating" courses.

As far as insurance discounts go, I too have heard that these courses qualify a person to get some discounts. I have no fist hand knowledge as mine is a commercial policy. Some posters have said that they see no benefits to their insurance rates.

Some may find this report by the USCG interesting:

http://www.uscgboating.org/assets/1/News/2012ReportR2.pdf

If you look at page 62, you will see "Number of Injured Victims by Primary Injury and Vessel Type". Note that out of 3000 total injuries, 2691 were caused by a power boat and 84 were caused by a Sailboat. This makes sailors in general a very safe group. Of course we knew that.


What I really wanted to know but could't pull from the report was the impact on boating education and casualty losses. I would predict that Sailors who have taken Safe Boating courses are, statisticaly, among the safest on the water.

Conclusion: Take a class. ASA or US Sailing

Peace.
 

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Classes from each qualify as "Safe Boating" courses.

That really depends on the State. ASA and US sailing issue their own certificates. Each State will have it's own regulations regarding "Boating Safety Certificates" Licenses, or whatever they decide to call them.

NY's new law now affects everyone born after 1996 requires an 8 hour approved class, and issues a separate certificate if you want to operate a mechanically powered vessel..
 

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That really depends on the State. ASA and US sailing issue their own certificates. Each State will have it's own regulations regarding "Boating Safety Certificates" Licenses, or whatever they decide to call them.

NY's new law now affects everyone born after 1996 requires an 8 hour approved class, and issues a separate certificate if you want to operate a mechanically powered vessel..
It also may depend on the school providing the ASA/US Sailing course. The ASA course I took was also an approved PA course and at the end I was issued a PA state boating cert as well as the ASA cert.
 

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From what I found out your best option would be to "Challange" the ASA 101 course. Which is to test only your knowledge without having to take the full class. its about 1/2 the cost of the full class.
 
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