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Old 24-12-2014, 22:17   #31
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

I hold a commercial captain licence with a sailing endorsement, doing a lot of delivery and instruction..
I recommend instruction for everybody. Always you can learn something new from other experience.
I come from aeronautical industry where the learning curve is always course-assisted and instructors, evaluation and endorsement for every type of airplane you want to fly is a different step.
Sailing is like anybody with enough money get a A380 and fly over New York.. not a good idea right?
So.. why you think it's a good idea get a brand new 50' (or 30' or whatever you want it) and simply go out with null, zero, little or minimum experience???
Sailing need a learning curve about multiples skills, not just turn on and off the engine or raise sails or back safely at port.. evolve weather, safety practice, rules of navigation and a lot other little knowledge and skills.
Be a good captain take time, patience.. and money...
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Old 24-12-2014, 22:43   #32
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

As others say, what a particular person should do is particular; statistics describe populations but not individuals.

As far as my own experience goes, on my first ASA course one of my classmates was a person who'd owned his own boat for some years and used it a lot. He and his wife were keen on chartering elsewhere, which is the reason he took the course; not being certified forecloses a lot of possibilities unless your name happens to be Robin Knox Johnston. That said, this person was an enthusiastic learner, wasn't shy about admitting when he'd learned something "obvious" that had escaped his autodidacticism. The course was useful, for him, because he made it so. My most recent course had two such persons, both older and both keen to check their own work by comparison with a standard; chartering was not in their list of objectives.

Further to what was mentioned upthread per "unknown unknowns," look up "Dunning Kruger effect." I've just finished reading a grim collection of stories about cruising yachts lost in various places and by various means. A couple of them struck me as remarkable because the vessels sank due to paper and other trash that had been allowed to accumulate in bilges. Both vessels were skippered by highly experienced individuals. Trash in the bilge is sort of elementary; check the MAIB's multiple examples. The random arrival of wisdom for these people didn't include something that is included in boat operation primers for beginners.

With regard to charter firms and leaving aside the persistent fad for ragging on charter customers despite so many owners sinking their own boats every year, an excellent first diagnostic for deciding whether to charter from one fleet versus another is the expectation of a sailing resume, the level of detail expected to be supplied as part of that and the willingness of a firm to quiz customers. Firms with slack requirements are the same as those with poorly maintained boats. Don't hire them. Reputable smaller (thus desirable) charter firms with reputable insurance of the kind needed to back up decent boats require certification of a less squishy kind.

I own a sailboat in charter. I can use it as much as I want but that's not enough. A sad boat is a boat at the dock. It pleases me that my boat is making other people happy when I'm not using it. Demanding certification or a sailing resume so impressive it's harder to write than fiction is a necessary part of making happy for strangers possible. Certification improves my statistics, as indicated by insurance cover costs.
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Old 26-12-2014, 17:59   #33
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

I've done both ASA courses and RYA ( upto Yachtmaster instructor ) the ASA courses are quite good , albeit less rigorous on certain things.

RYA Yachtmaster is probably the pinnacle of leisure certification ( I would rate USCG as a commercial ticket )

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Old 26-12-2014, 18:20   #34
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
RYA Yachtmaster is probably the pinnacle of leisure certification ( I would rate USCG as a commercial ticket )
Why do you say that?
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Old 26-12-2014, 18:50   #35
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

The Certificate, while perhaps necessary for chartering...... is not as important as developing a good learning/teaching experience.

Find an instructor who can slow down and segment the sailing process and challenges into a meaningful awareness of the forces involved and then show you how to relieve them safely so you can solve the problem.....

That is where the value of taking on the water instruction lies.

It will formulate how you avoid or solve chronic sailing mistakes in the future, when you become the captain/teacher.
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Old 29-12-2014, 22:16   #36
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

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Originally Posted by Time2Go View Post
I believe you're talking RYA certs and not ASA?
After having sailed for a few months with a Brit this summer
I don't think they are comparable. I know how to sail & navigate
But have no certs. To me getting ASA certs would be a wast of time and money
However getting at least Coastal Skipper from the RYA to me would be worth it
Because I consider it more of an achievement and to be a much more serious
Credential. As far as I know there is no formal requirements to go from there to
Yachtmaster except putting yourself up for the exam and passing.
I earned PADI basic in college thru the PE department
30 hours in the pool, 30 hours in the classroom
Way more than a 3 day course in the pool at a resort
Go ask one of those Graduates to explain Partial Pressure
And do a complex calculation of decompression for a
Multiple dive to different depths holiday.
My point being that certs are worth something
If the accrediting organization has credibility
IMHO RYA certs are worth more than ASA
It's a Way more serious organization
I'd be interested in what others think about RYA v ASA
The OP was referring to his IYT (International Yacht Training) certifications and not RYA or ASA. ASA should not even be mentioned in the same conversation as IYT or RYA. ASA is a good old boys club of recreational sailors. IYT is commercial as well as recreational but it is accepted worldwide and the curriculum is not comparable. IYT can provide an ICC where ASA is still trying to figure out what that acronym stands for.
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Old 29-12-2014, 22:17   #37
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelagic View Post
The Certificate, while perhaps necessary for chartering...... is not as important as developing a good learning/teaching experience.

Find an instructor who can slow down and segment the sailing process and challenges into a meaningful awareness of the forces involved and then show you how to relieve them safely so you can solve the problem.....

That is where the value of taking on the water instruction lies.

It will formulate how you avoid or solve chronic sailing mistakes in the future, when you become the captain/teacher.
Very well said...
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Old 29-12-2014, 23:30   #38
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by garrobito View Post
I hold a commercial captain licence with a sailing endorsement, doing a lot of delivery and instruction..
I recommend instruction for everybody. Always you can learn something new from other experience.
I come from aeronautical industry where the learning curve is always course-assisted and instructors, evaluation and endorsement for every type of airplane you want to fly is a different step.
Sailing is like anybody with enough money get a A380 and fly over New York.. not a good idea right?
I'm sorry, but I think linking sailing with flying yet alone 'commercial' flying is being melodramatic.

And as someone who has done a competent crew course with a well known Sydney school, I found it a total waste of money. I share your sentiment that buying a big boat with a big motor worth a lot of money, is silly without doing some schooling or training, but for most lesire sailing, just get out there and do it.
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Old 30-12-2014, 00:11   #39
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

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I'm sorry, but I think linking sailing with flying yet alone 'commercial' flying is being melodramatic.



And as someone who has done a competent crew course with a well known Sydney school, I found it a total waste of money. I share your sentiment that buying a big boat with a big motor worth a lot of money, is silly without doing some schooling or training, but for most lesire sailing, just get out there and do it.

I understand the "get out and do it" logic but taking a 30, 40, 50 foot boat out the first time in a busy sea port with big masses of steel traveling at 18 knots, traffic separation schemes and Christmas colored lights everywhere may be a little daunting to some. Plus a bit of a risk to other boaters. Would you agree?


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Old 30-12-2014, 00:19   #40
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

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I understand the "get out and do it" logic but taking a 30, 40, 50 foot boat out the first time in a busy sea port with big masses of steel traveling at 18 knots, traffic separation schemes and Christmas colored lights everywhere may be a little daunting to some. Plus a bit of a risk to other boaters. Would you agree?


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Well, there are other alternatives for non-schooled learning.

How about taking a 15 foot 300 lb daysailor out in a lake and learning how to sail it about... all on your own?

Worked for me...

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Old 30-12-2014, 01:48   #41
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

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Originally Posted by Sailing Cowboy View Post
I understand the "get out and do it" logic but taking a 30, 40, 50 foot boat out the first time in a busy sea port with big masses of steel traveling at 18 knots, traffic separation schemes and Christmas colored lights everywhere may be a little daunting to some. Plus a bit of a risk to other boaters. Would you agree?


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Yes, I would agree for such a scenario.

Most 30 footers and under can be handled enough by an inexperienced sailor to start learning with. Common sense would determine taking someone with experience with them until they get used to it. Getting into the 40 plus feet boats are moving away from being a one person boat. (Clarification for CF literalness, I'm aware there are some modern 60 footers out there you can single hand).

And , no! Shouldn't be learning in a busy shipping channel.mbut at least in this part of the world we don't have no Panama canals or Engkish Channels.
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Old 30-12-2014, 02:05   #42
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

I think people are missing the point of structured learning. ( nor does it matter how you access that ).

While there are many routes to acquiring knowledge. Structured learning provides a basic path covering the basics. It helps avoid knowledge gaps or the concentration of skils problem which often happens when you learn purely from doing.

If you use a reputable school and program you also get the benefit of certified instructors

Structured learning is there to get you to a " point " it must be in conjunction with practical experience across a broadest range of situations.

What I find when I see people that have lots of practical experience but little formal learning, is that they may have great competencies in one area but are often lacking in others, often because their practical experience is limited by what they like to do or their environment.

For example, So I seen coastal skippers with loads of experience who couldn't navigate properly , they knew their specific coastline extremely well, but move them to another less familiar location and problems arose.

The best of both worlds is the optimism.

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Old 30-12-2014, 08:28   #43
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

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I think people are missing the point of structured learning. ( nor does it matter how you access that ).
+2

There are a couple elements to "structured" learning.

The first is having a standard or curriculum that need to be covered. One of the sections of that curriculum is emergencies; while you you might never (hopefully) need to know what to do in case of an emergency; knowing what to do is invaluable. As an example, when discovering significant water on the cabin sole knowing the source of the water is essential. Fresh water (in a salt water environment) can be less of an issue than salt water. One of the standard methods is taste the water. Having split a holding tank, I recommend smelling before tasting. On older boats there is a real possibility that salt water is as simple as a head flush level being in the wet bowl position.

Moving up from one standard to another is based on a spiral curriculum in which the knowledge and skills of one level are built on the knowledge and skill sof the previous level. We do not teach all of the IRPCS in one level. Day skippers do not really need to know all the light combinations for all vessels, but they need to know the basic rules of the road. Similarly sail trim becomes more sophisticated as you move forward.

Another element of structured learning is a using a step-by-step method for teaching skills. Throughout my navigation courses I use step-by-step methods for just about everything. For calculating tides and currents I use worksheets that follow logically. Even teaching someone to tie all 10 knots that I employ utilizes a step-by-step method. While I do not need to think about how to tie a bowline, newbies need to learn the steps in doing so.
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Old 30-12-2014, 09:00   #44
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

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Yes, I would agree for such a scenario.

Most 30 footers and under can be handled enough by an inexperienced sailor to start learning with. Common sense would determine taking someone with experience with them until they get used to it. Getting into the 40 plus feet boats are moving away from being a one person boat. (Clarification for CF literalness, I'm aware there are some modern 60 footers out there you can single hand).

And , no! Shouldn't be learning in a busy shipping channel.mbut at least in this part of the world we don't have no Panama canals or Engkish Channels.
Here in the US or Canada, you are usually sailing in and out of a busy sea port loaded with navigational aids and commercial shipping traffic and some have nasty military vessels that carry M60's on the bow deck. Aircraft carriers, submarines and destroyers don't have flexibility in their CTS and they let you know it in a hurry.
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Old 30-12-2014, 09:04   #45
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Re: Certification: Worth it?

I have no beef with structured learning. Hell, I live with a university professor. My issue is, as it would be with any post secondary, the cost-benefit analysis. All of these courses are expensive in both time and money.

As other have said in this thread, I guess the only answer is a combination of working with my learning styles and my goals. I don't want to cross an ocean but I think I do want to cross a sea or two. And I do want to do it in the fastest and most economical way. Economy in this case demands I don't kill myself or wreck my boat.

Personally I think I am coming to the conclusion that I will try to stick to the curriculums of the various courses, but not fret to much over exams or pieces of paper. I need the experience, of both a mentor/teacher and personal experience and I think that's where my ongoing focus will be. And if it ends up costing an arm and a leg... well c'est la vie. Hopefully it will still be fun.
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