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Old 14-11-2017, 13:30   #1
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Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

Aloha,

My wife and I have owned a 24' Trimaran for the last 3 years. This is our first sail boat and we have no formal sailing education. We are looking to obtain the ASA 101, 103, 104 and 114 certifications in one 1 week, live-aboard vacation on a catamaran. We live in Hawaii and our window is either spring break (mid-march) or July.

Looking for some feedback and recommendations of Sailing Schools.

Thanks!

T808
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Old 14-11-2017, 14:10   #2
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

There's a Mahina Expedition from Hilo to Papeete in July. That would be fun!

Mahina Expeditions conducts sailing and navigation training and expeditions in the South Pacific and offers offshore sailing seminars
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Old 14-11-2017, 19:25   #3
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

Thanks for the link. That looks awesome. I'll definitely keep an eye on their expeditions and maybe one day join them.

Keep the suggestions coming.

Aloha!
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Old 14-11-2017, 19:50   #4
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

LTD sailing on here.

I have spoken with Chris. Very nice and informative fella. My wife and are planning on the 10 day sailing school in Grenada at some point in 2018. They are ASA and can get you all the certificates
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Old 15-11-2017, 05:23   #5
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

Friend of mine runs Belize Sailing Vacations and does an excellent job of charters and classes. See reviews on Trip Advisor.

ASA 101, 103, 104, 114 is a lot to absorb in one week, if done properly you also wont have much time to just enjoy your vacation.

My suggestion: there are ASA schools in Hawaii, knock out 101/103 (which are not liveaboard classes anyway, and should be delivered on small monos...not liveaboard size boats) there and then complete 104/114 in a liveaboard charter environment on a cat. This will give you experience on multiple boats and allow you some time to build experience and enjoy your vacation on the liveaboard charter. A liveaboard is an excellent way to build more experience by participating in the day to day operation of the boat, not just completing class material.

If you do decide to do ASA 101/103 as part of a liveaboard experience then ask what boat will be used to deliver them...a 45' cat is the wrong answer.
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Old 15-11-2017, 06:37   #6
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

+1 on the suggestion of @belizesailor
Taking classes on a sailboat is not a vacation, it's class. Not that it is not enjoyable, if you like formal education, but there is little time to sit in the cockpit drinking margaritas and listening to Jimmy Buffet. Doing three or four classes in a week is work, perhaps not college-level reading, but time consuming. You need time to read and absorb a hundred-page book, per class, and then taking a three- or four-page multiple choice quiz. Take the classes over some time from a reputable school. It won't teach you all there about sailing, but it's a good overview and you learn sailing by sailing your own boat.
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Old 15-11-2017, 07:08   #7
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

From the perspective of someone that just completed an 8 day live aboard ASA 101-114. We were on a Helia in the Abacos (CruiseAbaco)
  • Although I had some prior boating experience power-boating on the Great Lakes, I had virtually no sailing experience (an aviation background was helpful.)
  • The student(s) days will be busy training and testing (I tested every other day.)
  • I took my family (7 in total) along for the trip and all had a great time. They rarely felt they were limited by my training.
  • We were extremely satisfied with both the training and quality of vacation for the family.
In my mind, the key was completing all of the course reading material and pre-testing, then re-visiting all just prior to the trip. I averaged 97% on the ASA testing and was comfortable acting as Captain the final days of the trip (in ideal conditions.)

We chose to train on the largest cat available as we knew "if" we went ahead with our plans, it would only be on a cat (we pick up our Saba in La Rochelle 9/18 )

Overall I really liked the "live-eat-breath" immersive feel to live-board training. A bonus was my family participated in most of the training (sans ASA cert) and as a result are now a very functional crew.
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Old 15-11-2017, 08:57   #8
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

Years ago I took a week long sailing asa course by Bluewater sailing. I had a great instructor named Ted. It was probably mid 90s. We sailed around the keys.

was really great.

Rich
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Old 15-11-2017, 09:22   #9
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

Or you could do what I did 30 years ago.
Buy a 10 m sailboat and a copy of Chapman’s and go sailing.
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Old 15-11-2017, 10:07   #10
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

I did the same thing a few years ago and enjoyed the Santa Barbara ASA school. The cost was much less than tropical locations, and Santa Barbra is a great place ... though not a lot of heavy weather anchorages on the coast and the Channel Islands.
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Old 15-11-2017, 10:37   #11
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

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Originally Posted by guyrj33 View Post
Or you could do what I did 30 years ago.
Buy a 10 m sailboat and a copy of Chapman’s and go sailing.
The only problems with that are the insurance companies and there are some dummies without common sense.
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Old 15-11-2017, 17:38   #12
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

Thank you so much for all the recommendations and advises.

We understand that taking the ASA 101, 103, 104 and 114 in one week is a lot to absorb and not a relaxing vacation but it seems like it's very doable and is offered by several schools around the world.

We have been sailing for the last 3 years and never felt the need to take a class. When I started to look into chartering a boat in Europe this summer and realized that not having the proper certification was a problem.

We decided to instead work on getting the certifications this spring or summer and postpone the bare boat chartering to the following year.

From our research, the Caribbean offers the most options but wife is a school teacher and our windows are limited. We only have 1 week during March (Caribean is too far from HI to make it happen in 1 week) and summer time which my understanding is hurricane season. We tried to sign up for the Nautilus Sailing School in La Paz (sea of cortez) but the dates did not work out.

Considering Europe during the summer.

Thanks for all the input.

Aloha!
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Old 15-11-2017, 18:49   #13
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

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Originally Posted by trimaran808 View Post
Thank you so much for all the recommendations and advises.



We understand that taking the ASA 101, 103, 104 and 114 in one week is a lot to absorb and not a relaxing vacation but it seems like it's very doable and is offered by several schools around the world.



We have been sailing for the last 3 years and never felt the need to take a class. When I started to look into chartering a boat in Europe this summer and realized that not having the proper certification was a problem.



We decided to instead work on getting the certifications this spring or summer and postpone the bare boat chartering to the following year.



From our research, the Caribbean offers the most options but wife is a school teacher and our windows are limited. We only have 1 week during March (Caribean is too far from HI to make it happen in 1 week) and summer time which my understanding is hurricane season. We tried to sign up for the Nautilus Sailing School in La Paz (sea of cortez) but the dates did not work out.



Considering Europe during the summer.



Thanks for all the input.



Aloha!


Summer 2016 we used Captain Scott at VI Sailing School (http://sailusvis.com) to do exactly what you want and had a great time doing it while literally “learning the ropes”. Personally, it’s the way I like to do it. We read the books in advance, then while on the boat rehashed everything, asked questions, then took the tests. Dinner and boat drinks after. This spring we sent our son to do it on his own since he broke his leg right before we went. I’d recommend Scott highly.

BTW, our new Leopard 45 is ordered and should be here August 2018.
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Old 16-11-2017, 05:45   #14
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

As has been mentioned by a few, pre-class preparation makes a big difference. When I ran a sailing school, we emphasized this to students and sent them all materials well in advance.

This also improves retention by repeatative learning (read about it, hear it from instructor, do it).

Not only will you learn more effectively, but you will have a little more time to relax and enjoy.
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Old 16-11-2017, 06:20   #15
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Re: Live Aboard Sailing School Recomendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by trimaran808 View Post
We have been sailing for the last 3 years and never felt the need to take a class. When I started to look into chartering a boat in Europe this summer and realized that not having the proper certification was a problem.

We decided to instead work on getting the certifications this spring or summer and postpone the bare boat chartering to the following year.

If you already know how to sail and handle a boat, and all you're looking for is the certification, you can 'challenge' ASA courses. I don't think you can do that with US Sailing or RYA (?). Anyhow, you can buy the books either from ASA in California, or probably borrow them from most public libraries and read what they consider important. Most of 101 is just vocabulary, if I remember correctly. Most schools will charge you $50 to take the test and step on a boat with an instructor to demonstrate you know the difference between a halyard and a sheet. Anyhow, that might save you a few hundred and a few days of remedial sailing instruction.
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