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Old 13-06-2009, 17:18   #1
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ASA vs USSA Courses

I'm wanting to get into sailing and here locally we have US Sailing courses and ASA courses. Which are better to take?


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Old 13-06-2009, 17:57   #2
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If I had to choose I would say both. It is more about the instructor that you get than anything else. If you can meet the instructor first - you will know. Of all the BS I've seen these two both have the same ideas. Second, would be where you take the class. The more sailing you get the better. The class size also matters. If there is more than 4 in the class - move on. One on one is what you want but you may have to pay more for it. $ is workable and you do learn watching others. At 6 you don't learn more not doing it yourself. If that were the case you could buy the video.

You can learn a lot watching other people screw up. I am not sure you need to see it more than few times to get the idea. Both programs certify instructors. None of them get paid enough to live on. They all do it because they like to do it. Talk to the instructors and pick the one you like. They don't charge extra to talk. People are different and so are you. Find someone you connect with and know you'll get a better course that way.

My wife an I took ASA courses, but it was the ones we could get from the folks we liked. US Sail has just as good a course track and they cost about the same.

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Old 19-09-2009, 19:41   #3
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We completely agree, both programs offer excellent opportunities to learn to sail. Suggest you contact several schools and find the one that fits your needs. Some examples of differences and interests: Location, (combine vacation with class), Would living on board during training be important, What are your end goals once you learn: racing vs cruising, would classes for couples be important? What about private lessons? Is price the key driver? Once you start filtering these wants and needs, the school that makes the most sense will become apparent. Good luck with your learning adventure!
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Old 20-09-2009, 07:07   #4
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If you do a USSA courses at a local sailing club it might help you get involved with club activities and crewing for bigger boats. It certainly is the case at my sailing club in Coconut Grove, Miami. where there are lots of crewing oportunities both racing and on rendezvous like Bimini. Often you can use club boats after you have taken the courses. Content of courses is equivalent.

One young lady who did that at our club has sailed with me in Florida, Bahamas, England, France, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Grenada. She is on my crew list for offshore passages. She is also the only crew member who leaves the boat cleaner then she finds it; which is why she is always welcome.

Good luck

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Old 21-09-2009, 07:55   #5
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Moondancer, same applies for ASA and they have some at resort type locations where you can charter for vacations.

It is the instructor that make any real difference, but anyone taking the classes need to review with is offered at the location they have in mind and compare.
I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.
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Old 21-09-2009, 08:36   #6
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But thy don't do things like this:

The members of the Coconut Grove Sailing Club would like to extend our thanks and appreciation for the tireless efforts of our local uniformed Servicemen and women and invite them to enjoy a relaxing FREE sail for themselves and their families on Miami's beautiful Biscayne Bay.
Please fill in the email registration form or call us directly and we will get you teamed up with a club member and their sailboat.

If you want to learn more after your sail, the Coconut Grove Sailing Club will be proud to set you up with two FREE one day adult or youth sailing classes that best fit your schedule.

The members of the Coconut Grove Sailing Club deeply appreciate all that you do serving in the US Armed Forces and in this small way, would like to extend our "Thank You" to you and your family.

For further information, please email directly General Manager at or the Sailing Director at, or call: 305-444-4571


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