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Old 18-12-2008, 12:27   #1
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ASA 104 course and Strictly Sail, Chicago

My husband and I are taking ASA courses101 and 103 the first weekend in June on Lake Michigan (Torresen Marina in Muskegon, MI). We are hoping to take 104 in the summer (when my in-laws can watch our kids and when they are out of school). We would like to go south for a change of scenery and are looking at taking it through Upper Bay Sailing (Chesapeake Bay, MD area) either in mid July or August. Any thoughts on this? We want to take 104 so we can charter in the BVI whenever the opportunity (translation: $) presents itself. Would ASA 104 be good at this time of year in MD? Also--anyone else going to Strictly Sail Chicago. Are there more sailing schools there that may offer specials for lessons?

Thank you for your input.

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Old 18-12-2008, 14:18   #2
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asa 104

I'm not sure what their cruising schedule is for 104. The Chesapeake is nice. it's July or August...the weather can Hot and Humid, Hazy Hot and Humid...or gorgeous.....Evening thunderstorms are always possible..nothing out of the ordinary.

I think you'd enjoy the area....

There are some schools in Annapolis..and I wouldn't make the trip to the chesapeake and not at least see Annapolis...and Maybe St Michael's Island.

Chestertown is a nice town as well.

Good Luck to you.

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Old 18-12-2008, 14:22   #3
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Old 18-12-2008, 15:27   #4
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Most of the time 103/104 are taught at the same time. I've seen it a few times where 101/103 are taught but it's far more the exception than the norm from what I've seen.

Myself I took 101 locally (in Minnesota) then did 103/104 in the BVI's. Worked out as you get to see all the fun places and learn the in's and the outs of the BVI's while getting the certs. Made sense to me to take 101 and see if I liked sailing then do the 103/104 combo.

I was thinking of going to the Chicago for the first time this year, should be a bunch of schools there.
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Old 18-12-2008, 18:11   #5
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Old 19-12-2008, 07:39   #6
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My thought is that if your goal is to charter regularly in the BVIs why not take your Bareboat course there? You'll be sailing where you want to sail and getting a feel for the area which will make your first charter more comfortable.

August has some potential for tropical storms / hurricanes, but most companies have a weather cancelation/refund policy. However be sure to look into that when booking the course and flights. The risk is less the earlier in the summer you go. I sail there frequently in June/early July.
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Old 19-12-2008, 10:30   #7
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My wife and I did ASA courses similar similar to Marty (we did 101 in Minnesota too). We took the 101 course and then joined a sail club for a year. After that we did a live aboard course for a week to complete 103/104. Those two combine quite well since 104 has less sailing and more boat systems and it's not too much to combine. 101 / 103 at the same time can work if you already know how to sail and have some experience and hopefully not many bad habits. There is even all three taught as a live aboard course over week. Unless you have some prior experience all these combined courses are more a matter of paying your money and starting all over after the course.

Having time to practice really does matter a whole lot. You can't become proficient in all this material in a week. All training is only just the beginning and it does lay a solid foundation but time on the water is mandatory to be able to take off for more than a day sail. Regular practice over a period of weeks makes it sink in and feel comfortable.

It won't be fun until it's comfortable and familiar.

Mid July to August mostly sucks. Early June or September is clearly superior with September being my favorite time. The kids are back in school and the weekend power boaters are slowing down. The wind is better and the anchorages not too humid to sleep in.

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