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View Poll Results: Would you charter your boat to someone who had completed ASA 101-104 in a week?
Absolutely not 16 33.33%
Probably not 26 54.17%
Probably yes 6 12.50%
Absolutely yes 0 0%
Voters: 48. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 13-06-2015, 09:01   #1
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For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

I took 6 months to complete the 3 ASA courses, primarily because I wanted to take it slow so I could adequately digest all the information.

I know a lot of students have chosen to take comprehensive, accelerated courses that grant all 3 of the certifications in a week. Obviously a good thing for those who want to get out and and start chartering boats as soon as possible, and presumably a good thing for charter companies who want to increase their business.

My question is, having completed one of those courses and witnessed first hand the competency of others in the classes as well as your own, how comfortable would you be, as an owner, handing over the keys to your $300,000 boat as a charter to one of these individuals?

Based upon my personal experience and stories I've heard, I would not be all that confident about the level of competency acquired in such a short period of time.

I've created a poll for those who might prefer some modicum of anonymity.
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Old 13-06-2015, 09:40   #2
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Re: For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

While I didn't do ASA, I went through a local school that was a lot more intensive with hands-on experience and went out in a variety of different weather conditions. Didn't hurt that the boats were also beat up and stuff was breaking down constantly so you learned how to fix that kind of stuff too. After sailing for two years (at least once or twice a week during the season), I barely learned enough to get me through my first charter on my own. Could I do that in a week? maybe in a live-aboard type training situation. Safely? Probably not.

So if I would charter MY boat to someone that did it in a week (with no prior experience).. depends on how much I like my boat
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Old 13-06-2015, 10:28   #3
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Re: For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

You have to have the same knowledge, whatever pace you take the courses at, as the exams are the same. That is why most intensive courses send you the book and expect you to study ahead of the course. The difference is how quickly you can master skills. Some people are very impressive with how fast they pick up new things. Others never do anything with grace, no matter how much practice they have. Unfortunately for those thinking of handing over the keys via a site like boatbound.com, skill tests don't give points for grace.

Personally, I took a weekend course that didn't even include certification, then started sailing my own shiny new boat (18'). But I had an instructor on board before I would dock and undock my 39', even though it already had some dings in it.
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Old 13-06-2015, 13:41   #4
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Re: For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

When I charter my boat again (if I ever do) it will have nothing to do with ASA courses, prior experience (stated) and how much money they are willing to put out. It will have everything to do with: interview, references (from known businesses, not mom and dad) and the day sail I take with them.
Last charter I did cost me a new engine. Never again will I make that mistake. My boat is part of the family, I will not hand her over to devils.
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Old 14-06-2015, 08:59   #5
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Re: For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

Ladies and gentlemen, face reality. People who assess their own abilities are biased. They will tell you anything they think they need to to get you to let them take your stuff out to sea. If you are unwilling to take the risk of untold maintenance expense get out of the business. Those who charter their boats need a pretty good contract for protection. One charterer I worked for had a decent contract but would not enforce issues and the costs drove him out of the business.

The people I have run through ASA courses were from all categories, those there for a boat ride and those there to learn as much as they could. The amount of time it takes to complete a course is of less importance than the student, instructor and schools intent. One school berated me for allowing a student to take the boat out of the slip and return. Most Students expect to pass regardless of their ability to actually sail alone.

One school I worked at wanted me to assess whether or not the school should charter to each student in the future. They did not care if the student passed the test unless the student complained. I am not in a position to rate schools but think about it. People expect to pass and don't always understand all of the risks involved. It really doesn't make any difference if the tested out in half a day or studied full time for six months.
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Old 14-06-2015, 09:29   #6
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Re: For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

Frankly this is a decision I would make solely based on what my insurance company required. Unless I felt there was a substantial reason to believe the person wasn't qualified. That being said I have never chartered my boat out, and never would.

I do lend them to specific people from time to time, or the yacht club.
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Old 14-06-2015, 09:49   #7
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Re: For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlwaysFORSAIL View Post

One school I worked at wanted me to assess whether or not the school should charter to each student in the future. They did not care if the student passed the test unless the student complained.

I think this is a good policy but if it were my boat I would add "X" number of other charters first, particularly for a larger boat. Let some other owner take the risk associated with less experience.
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Old 14-06-2015, 10:41   #8
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Re: For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

Passing those tests is just a beginning. It is like passing your drivers license test; you are legally qualified to drive but would anybody other than your parents give you their new car to drive.

The fact remains though that you have the certification from a respected company that says you are qualified. Your own common sense should determine what you can and cannot do in a boat. Companies that rent boats are no different than car rental companies, they take on the risk and they do have the right to refuse to rent to anyone.
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Old 14-06-2015, 10:45   #9
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Re: For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

The biggest risks in chartering are probably docking damage, groundings, and engine damage due to misuse (ex, shifting at high rpm, or from fwd straight to reverse).

I think if you charter at all you kind of need to be comfortable with the possibility of damage - it's a package deal. You get an income stream to help pay for your boat in exchange for taking on those risks (hopefully a large amount of compensation - if you're enlisting your boat full time in a sailing school you'll usually get full moorage paid plus other benefits).

I don't think the 101 - 104 one-week deals that some schools offer are a good practice (it takes more time than that to absorb knowledge and practice skills) but I'm not sure those charterers are any more likely to inflict damage than any of your other charterers. The 1-week deal people will probably be very cautious and careful - they won't go out in heavy weather, will take it slow, and probably won't even go very far.

The people that do that compressed course I think are often the super motivated, gung-ho, dive in head first types. For damage I'd be more worried about the over confident, three sheets to the wind (drunk) types.

Best advice is to have a good insurance policy.
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Old 14-06-2015, 12:29   #10
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Re: For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

In 2012 I took a one-week live-aboard course in St Thomas that included 101, 103 and 104. There were a married couple, a father and son, and myself as students. Coming aboard we were greeted by the Captain who made it clear to all that she "was not a morning person, so if we got up early we were to be very silent. She was not kidding. It was almost 9 a.m. when she crawled out of bed, surly and snarling that we ( who had been up for hours) had been walking on deck directly above her bunk. There was a nice breeze but she chose to have a workbook day. The next day there was no breeze, so out we went to learn and practice maneuvers. With a 3 knot wind that did not hold steady we tacked, we jibed, we heaved to. Everybody had two turns at the wheel and we got checked off the list as being proficient. The week played out that way. During the day the Captain was generally texting to the Captain of our sistership, with whom she had a romantic relationship, and they would decide where to meet up for dinner. Live-aboard did not extend to dinner. We were brought to a different restaurant or beach bar each night, where the Captain's meal and drinks were comped for delivering paying customers. We all passed the course with flying colors. I was prepared for an intensive week of sailing with high standards and demanding situations to deal with. This was an expensive farce. I cannot say that this was typical of all ASA schools, but it was certainly my experience. Yes, I have the certificates, but I consider them to not be a valid appraisal of my abilities.
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Old 14-06-2015, 12:59   #11
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Re: For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

I took a combined ASA 101 and 103 course over a period of 4 days. I was expected to have pre-studied all of the course materials, which I did. I passed the course but honestly, I would not have felt ready to charter any boat solo until I had more experience. I joined a local sailing club when I returned home and got a lot of hands on experience with the club owned boats. They were all dinged up but seaworthy and none of the members got upset with our learning dings and dents. Bottom line, get the training but get some "time on the water" before you go off on your own.
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Old 14-06-2015, 14:39   #12
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Re: For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

Not a chance. We are too complicated and too big. Risks too large. It took us most of the first season to able to dock; two seasons to get acceptable competency; still learning. A newbe would surely wreck the transmission and variable pitch prop. I might train someone in a summer.
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Old 14-06-2015, 21:47   #13
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Re: For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

For all the people that said- if you are going to charter, you have to fix the damage- I say buy your own boat. Fix that damage. Because your not getting close to this one.
There are reefs up here made of granite, and the currents that pull you into those reefs are going 7 to 12 knots.
I think chartering is appropriate in the BVI's or the west coast of Florida. Lots of sand. Gentle tide. Far latitudes are just not the time or the place, IMHO.
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Old 14-06-2015, 22:05   #14
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For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

There are a number of real maritime academies around the globe.

This one has a good rep.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maine_Maritime_Academy


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Old 15-06-2015, 00:32   #15
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Re: For those who have taken a comprehensive 101, 103, 104 course...

I wouldn't charter my boat to me...
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