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Old 03-09-2019, 10:21   #1
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RYA versus ASA 105-108

Greetings,

I am curious about RYA Ocean or offshore certification versus ASA 105-108. My interest is in becoming a much better sailing skipper. I am retired with minimal interest in doing this for money. Iíll provide some data points that may be helpful in assessing my situation.

-age 62
-boatowner for the last 6 years. Beneteau 343
-Iíve taken the boat from Portland Oregon to the San Juan Islands a couple times. (Google the Columbia Bar if not familiar with the area)
-My best guess is I have completed at least 3,000 nautical miles in the past 10 years. 1,500 this summer. All but about 300 as skipper.
-30 consecutive days on the boat this summer. Portland to the San Juanís, Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound and farther north
-at least 10 nights underway. All but two as skipper
-ASA 101, 103, 104 completed
-ASA docking class
-ASA spinnaker class
-A trip from Portland to the San Juanís as skipper. About 400 miles and 12 days on the water. 2017. Astoria to Neah Bay or Port Angeles or Vice versa is always overnight.
-one week charter in the San Juanís as skipper.
-hundreds of days on the Columbia river in all sorts of weather over the last 10 years.
-5+ passages of at least 60 miles. Most between Astoria and Neah Bay on open ocean.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:34   #2
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Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

Not specific to ASA 105-108, but the thread below discuss three major certification entities (ASA, USS, RYA) and the differences between them:

ASA vs USS


My 2c would be the same as on the thread above, if you have an interest in going pro then that is the key differentiator for RYA since it is the only one which offers commercial certifications. Both ASA & USS are recreational only.

Given that you state you are not interested in sailing commercially, and you already have the ASA pre-reqs completed, continuing with ASA would be a reasonable path.

Given your current training plus experience, I really dont think ASA 106 & 108 are going to be good values for you since you've already done much of what is covered in these courses. However, I do recommend completing 105 (Coastal Navigation) to gain traditional coastal piloting skills (you dont mention this skill set, so Im assuming you dont have it?). The ASA 106/108 knowledge/skills you can pick up by reading (Annapolis Book of Seamanship is the text for 106), doing more coastal sailing yourself and crewing for others. Im inferring that you would like to build more offshore experience, with your solid near coastal experience getting on as crew for longer runs should be easy.

If there are specific skills in ASA 106/108 you want to learn/practice then you could just go out with a knowledgeable friend or an instructor aboard your boat to practice those skills.
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Old 03-09-2019, 10:46   #3
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Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

RYA is more rigorous, and will play a greater role in **helping you learn** how to become a better sailor.

Inferring a more general meaning than what the above words state literally will lead to misunderstanding.
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Old 04-09-2019, 04:15   #4
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Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

RYA. Always. Their training is far-and-away better than I ever did through the ASA or, early on, bareboat certifications.

(But I'm biased. I am an RYA Yachtmaster.)

That said, if you're starting out and in North America/US and as belizesailor says, the ASA is more recreationally oriented, but a good, solid place to start.

Good luck!
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Old 04-09-2019, 08:54   #5
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Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
RYA. Always. Their training is far-and-away better than I ever did through the ASA or, early on, bareboat certifications.

(But I'm biased. I am an RYA Yachtmaster.)

That said, if you're starting out and in North America/US and as belizesailor says, the ASA is more recreationally oriented, but a good, solid place to start.

Good luck!
LittleWing77
I took a couple of RYA courses earlier this year from a "company" certified by the RYA. This was my experience:
No structure = extremely poor interaction.
Racing boat not suitable for training.
Engine malfunctioning on a number of occasions to the point of loosing control of the boat and crashing into the dock.
Provided bedding was a sleeping bag from a bargain basement shop.
A total con and ripoff.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:04   #6
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Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

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Originally Posted by davefromoregon View Post
Greetings,

I am curious about RYA Ocean or offshore certification versus ASA 105-108. My interest is in becoming a much better sailing skipper. I am retired with minimal interest in doing this for money. Iíll provide some data points that may be helpful in assessing my situation.

-age 62
-boatowner for the last 6 years. Beneteau 343
-Iíve taken the boat from Portland Oregon to the San Juan Islands a couple times. (Google the Columbia Bar if not familiar with the area)
-My best guess is I have completed at least 3,000 nautical miles in the past 10 years. 1,500 this summer. All but about 300 as skipper.
-30 consecutive days on the boat this summer. Portland to the San Juanís, Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound and farther north
-at least 10 nights underway. All but two as skipper
-ASA 101, 103, 104 completed
-ASA docking class
-ASA spinnaker class
-A trip from Portland to the San Juanís as skipper. About 400 miles and 12 days on the water. 2017. Astoria to Neah Bay or Port Angeles or Vice versa is always overnight.
-one week charter in the San Juanís as skipper.
-hundreds of days on the Columbia river in all sorts of weather over the last 10 years.
-5+ passages of at least 60 miles. Most between Astoria and Neah Bay on open ocean.
If I were younger, or just starting out and wanted to be a 'better sailing skipper', I would consider the RYA. As sailors from the U.S.A., our opinion of sailors from the UK is very strong. And we certainly can't say that about other cruisers from the EU! Of course the Brits generally miserable sailing conditions help them maintain a certain stoicism ('stiff upper lip') that North Americans often seem to lack. But it isn't just attitude. Their skills on the water seem very impressive, even from the most basic sailing courses. That said, you're experience seems pretty darn good compared to a lot of recreational sailors - how much time do you want to spend at this point in your life in a training situation to become a 'better' sailor? If you have the boat and the heart to take her sailing, IMHO you'd be better off just getting out there and pursuing your cruising dream. We're burning daylight here...
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:07   #7
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Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

I have rhe RYA cert and would definitly recomend it four your aims. Not done the ASA so can't give a comparison but the sylubus apears to break things up into shorter courses. What I would say is look carfully at the instructor/school, they are definitely not all equal!! Preferable get recomendations from past students. If you fancy a holiday in a new sailing area I can recoment Flying Fish in either the UK or Austrailia.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:09   #8
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Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

On the RYA commercial cert the main difference is the inclusion of the firefighting and sea survival moduals which I found extreamy good
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:12   #9
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Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

Quote:
Originally Posted by davefromoregon View Post
Greetings,

I am curious about RYA Ocean or offshore certification versus ASA 105-108. My interest is in becoming a much better sailing skipper. I am retired with minimal interest in doing this for money. Iíll provide some data points that may be helpful in assessing my situation.

-SNIP
Hi Dave, PDX huh, you can find me over at RCYC.

I would break that desire down into 2 parts - skills development and knowledge development. Some folks have skills but have not taken the steps to understand what is really happening even though they can do it very well.

The Power Squadron in the Portland area has some strong classroom courses that can help in the knowledge arena. Both Beaverton and Vancouver as I recall are your best bets.

Their best offerings are in terms of Navigation (specifically Piloting and Advanced Piloting) and the Power Squadron Marine Weather course.

If you want celestial that can do that too (JN, N courses).

Anyway well worth a look for that type of information.

Sailing skills and theory are better improved by sailing with a "worthy" skipper. One who is both skillful and understands why they are doing it.

There are courses offered in BC that conform to IYT. You would have to go further afield for RYA.

Regards
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:59   #10
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Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxoncross View Post
I took a couple of RYA courses earlier this year from a "company" certified by the RYA. This was my experience:
No structure = extremely poor interaction.
Racing boat not suitable for training.
Engine malfunctioning on a number of occasions to the point of loosing control of the boat and crashing into the dock.
Provided bedding was a sleeping bag from a bargain basement shop.
A total con and ripoff.
This shows the importance of finding a good school and instructor. Any of the major certification organizations have schools/instructors who are not up to par (maybe they were at one time, but slid downhill). Regardless of which organization a given school is affiliated with, research that specific school.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:25   #11
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Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
This shows the importance of finding a good school and instructor. Any of the major certification organizations have schools/instructors who are not up to par (maybe they were at one time, but slid downhill). Regardless of which organization a given school is affiliated with, research that specific school.
I thought I had done my homework but you don't really know until you get there. Where is the RYA in all this. They should be policing their certified schools. Since my nightmare experience I have not been on a boat and also been spreading the word about the RYA. I am extremely pissed off as it cost a fortune and I just don't have money to throw away. There appears to be no recourse in getting a refund or even an apology!
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:17   #12
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Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxoncross View Post
I thought I had done my homework but you don't really know until you get there. Where is the RYA in all this. They should be policing their certified schools. Since my nightmare experience I have not been on a boat and also been spreading the word about the RYA. I am extremely pissed off as it cost a fortune and I just don't have money to throw away. There appears to be no recourse in getting a refund or even an apology!
Did you tell the RYA? What did they say?
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:22   #13
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Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

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Did you tell the RYA? What did they say?
I wrote to them. Never heard anything back. Surprise, surprise.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:32   #14
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Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

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Originally Posted by Saxoncross View Post
I wrote to them. Never heard anything back. Surprise, surprise.
That is a surprise. They like to know of problems and generally are very good with correspondence, though email is probably the most common way.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:40   #15
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pirate Re: RYA versus ASA 105-108

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That is a surprise. They like to know of problems and generally are very good with correspondence, though email is probably the most common way.
I too am surprised, I have always found their HQ very quick to respond to my emails and queries.
It is in their interest to investigate any complaints about Schools operating and issuing licences in their name.
Also the RYA works very hard limiting the craziness that often springs out of Brussels.
Back a few years when liferafts became mandatory for offshore the original bill would have meant even a Lazer would have had to carry one
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