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Old 30-06-2007, 19:08   #16

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Sean, the Colgates probably have the largest private sailing school in the US. And they do indeed start you inshore with the basics, but they offer classes that include a full week offshore, bareboat prep, and pretty much everything else. I think they still go their own way--they held from from "lowering themselves" to issuing ASA ratings<G> for a long time.

But they eventually sold out their home base (City Island, NY, an old sailing loft and docks) in the real estate docominium craze, and relocated their hq south where there's more sailing, I guess. Locations tend to come and go kinda like vagrants as they can obtain dock space and facilities around the country, last I looked.

And then around the same time they relocated south, they also hooked up with The Moorings, so anyone credentialled from OSS was able to charter from Moorings at a discount without any further certification needed, as well. OSS also does flotilla cruises worldwide for "alumni", it is a pretty substantial operation--even if some of the spots do come and go a bit suddenly.

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Old 30-06-2007, 22:47   #17
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In our eleven year circumnavigation, I never noticed a difference between those sailors who had credentials and those who did not. It was certainly not obvious from their performance as to who carried credentials on board.

When we arrived in the Carribean at the end of the circumnavigation, there were people with credentials everywhere. They were the charterers, and I had more near misses with charterers and their credentials in the Caribbean than any other place in the world. Whatever they teach in sailing schools and credentialing courses, they most certainly don't teach how to safely and properly anchor a yacht. Everytime we came into a Caribbean anchorage, I watched the demolition derby start up when the charterers came in to anchor just before twilight. When a squall came through, the anchors started to drag, and the VHF radio came alive as people watched boats dragging down on them in the dark.

I was most impressed by the credentials from New Zealand and UK, because when they carried a certificate, they generally had done some extended high lattitude sailing, and they had real experience. Their certificate really meant something. That's not to say that certificates from other countries are no good. But I would trust a NZ or UK certificate much more than those certificates carried by so many charters in the Caribbean. High lattitude sailing and difficult anchorages really accelerates the learning curve and generally turns out a superior product.

In my entire circumnavigation, I made it almost all the way around the world without being hit by another yacht. Unfortuantely, at the end of our circumnavigation in Bequia, a charter yacht hit our port bow and caused $2000 worth of damage.

Too many certification courses show you how to raise and lower sails, back the boat into a slip, reef the sails, how to start the engine, and sail on different points of sail. It teaches the most basic rudiments of making a boat go while hopefully not creating a disaster. What all these courses can't do is give experience to people in a single week long course.

Joshua Slocum said, "You must know the sea, and know that you know it, and know that it was meant to be sailed upon." The high lattitude certifications that you get in the UK and New Zealand with their yachtmaster certificates come as close to Joshua Slocum's statement as I have seen anywhere in the world. When you have a NZ or UK yachtmaster, you not only know your yacht and how to sail it; you also know the sea and are well prepared for what it has to dish out in the high lattitudes.

In the world of certifications, not all certificates are created equal.


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Old 01-09-2007, 22:13   #18
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Hello to all..
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Old 15-05-2008, 19:26   #19
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On a business trip to Reno once, I played hooky and went to Lake Tahoe in seach of a sailboat ....after a 10 minute written test and a credit card they were fueling her up for me.

The Moorings in BVI wanted a full resume for a 47 foot catamaran.

Since you own your own vessel, why not go ahead and get an OUPV or Limited Master.
That and your logbook should cover you 99 % of the time. It's like traveling with a passport as opposed to a drivers license..less hassle

I found the ASA instructors navigation test more challenging that the coast guard exam. CG was multiple guess...ASA was completely fill in as I recall...
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:23   #20
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A couple years ago we chartered a boat,for a week, in the San Juan Islands, (friday harbor),
and were told all we needed to do was to bring a copy of our documentation papers from our boat showing we've operated a boat of LIKE size.

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