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Old 12-12-2009, 17:51   #1
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Offshore Sailing Lessons

Hope I didn't put this in the wrong spot, but here goes...

I've already done ASA 101, 102, 104, and 105 courses, bareboat through basic coastal navigation. I'm looking at doing further courses for advanced coastal nav, celestial nav, and blue water passage making. Time frame: Over the next couple years. Maybe as early as advanced coastal this coming spring. And I'd like to do it via trips from the East Coast to Bermuda (been there twice), Bahamas (not yet) or the Virgins (once).

So my question is, who of you have done these courses? If so, what trips did you make, what courses with who, and what did you think of your instructors. Worth the effort and money?
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Old 12-12-2009, 18:33   #2
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Offshore is basically through experience. If you have all the other lessons then just go out there and do the best you can. No course will make you fool proof.

You could crew with someone that plans to cross an ocean or go to work on a fishing boat. But with all these courses on your resume' what's stopping you?
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Old 12-12-2009, 19:35   #3
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Thanks.

At 53, being trained and experienced as a machinist, mechanic, draftsman, and finally, engineer, including 5 years USN Active, I am thoroughly versed with the similarities and differences between training and experience.


Thing is, when you're sailing time is limited and often requires a major trip to make it happen, schools are a great way to ensure you make the most of a training period. My ASA 101 to 104 was in '99, on board a 34' Hunter on Lake Michigan, on weekends. My ASA 105 was in '01, a week on board a 44' Oceanus in the BVI's. Since then, I picked up a 14' sprit-rigged cat boat 5 summers ago, and have since had it out about 100 times, with an average of 2-1/2 hours water-time a sail. And I've rented boats on the Carolina sounds numerous times too.

While experience matters, I'd be a damned fool to go into it blind-folded. So, to make it clear, and by no means trying to hurt anyone's feelings, it is not someone's approval to take lessons I am looking for. I will be taking them, period.

What I am looking for are the inputs of any one who HAS taken them, what they did, and what they thought of their instructors.

Thank you!

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Old 12-12-2009, 20:12   #4
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Here's a few places to start,

I'd Talk to Dave Appleton at Maryland School. He is a Serious instructor!
He'll hook you up with what you want.

Blue Water Sailing School Offshore Passagemaking

Mahina Expeditions conducts sailing and navigation training and expeditions in the South Pacific and offers offshore sailing seminars Tom and Amanda Neal

The Maryland School of Sailing & Seamanship Dave Appleton

New Page 1 Maryland School of sailing
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Old 12-12-2009, 20:13   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tempest245 View Post
Here's a few places to start,

I'd Talk to Dave Appleton at Maryland School. He is a Serious instructor!
He'll hook you up with what you want.

Blue Water Sailing School Offshore Passagemaking

Mahina Expeditions conducts sailing and navigation training and expeditions in the South Pacific and offers offshore sailing seminars Tom and Amanda Neal

The Maryland School of Sailing & Seamanship Dave Appleton

New Page 1 Maryland School of sailing

Have you personal experience with any of them?
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Old 12-12-2009, 20:28   #6
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I am an ASA instructor in NJ, Dave Appleton is a colleague. He's taught at our school. Solid reputation.

He's Probably more suited to your goals for a trip to Bermuda/Bahamas/Virgins
Than the Neals...

I have no direct experience with the Offshore Sailing School, only by reputation.
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Old 12-12-2009, 20:34   #7
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Much appreciated!
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Old 12-12-2009, 20:38   #8
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If you have the time, I would highly recommend this event. This is last years notice,
Check back for this years schedule...

Safety At Sea Seminar at the Naval Academy.

http://www.mtam.org/SAS09Registration.pdf
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Old 13-12-2009, 02:59   #9
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Ditto what Tempest wrote. Very good advice, indeed.

I haven't taken their courses, but the Maryland School has a solid reputation. One of their instructors was a highly respected member of our yacht club, once headed up the Navy sailing program at the Academy, and worked with Steve Black for quite a few years putting on the annual Caribbean 1500 cruising rally. If the other instructors are of that caliber, you'll have a great experience there.

I think you're wise to think about taking an offshore sailing course. The alternative would be to crew on someone else's boat on an offshore passage, a well-prepared boat with all the other crew members being seasoned veterans, but that's not always easy to line up. Unless Murphy is taking a vacation, your first offshore passage will almost certainly be a huge step up from your coastal cruising experience. Doing it with some vets to share their knowledge with you is well worth it.
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Old 13-12-2009, 08:25   #10
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The Maryland School is excellent. I took two of my courses there and they were the best.
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Old 13-12-2009, 10:48   #11
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One vote for the bluewater sailing school. We went out in the gulf stream in conditions I would have never tried. The old salt that ran the course (2 years ago) had done it all at least twice. It was tough, but I learned a lot. I have cruised for a few years, but we did things way beyond what I had ever done.
Left me with a ton of great stories too
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Old 13-12-2009, 11:43   #12
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My wife and I went on a Mahina Expedition trip, 3 weeks along the west coast of Norway to Tromso, just past the arctic circle. If you have the time and the money we would highly recommend John and Amanda. If you are interested I am happy to give you more information (but we are currently cruising, so I may not answer for awhile )

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