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Old 25-04-2016, 12:15   #1
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Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

Initially Posted - 04/23/2016 : 19:50:01 Hi All

My wife and I are exploring the possibility of doing a bareboat charter vacation some summer in the next few years. We are considering the Puget Sound area, as it is the closest geographically to us, and would be able to drive there. I have done an ASA basic keelboat and basic costal cruising course about 15yr ago, but my wife only has been sailing with me on our Capri 25 on local lakes, and with friends 2-3 times on San Francisco Bay. She feels she would benefit from some formal instruction/sailing classes before embarking on a bareboat charter. So my question is two-fold:

1. Recommendations on a good sailing school. We are thinking we would do a 1 week "learn to sail" course together, as I could probably do with some brushing up of some skills. It would be ideal if the school would include accommodations on one of the boats we would use during the course. I know this is offered in San Diego, as that was the arrangement the school offered when I did my course.

2. Recommendations on a bareboat charter company. I would think it would be ideal to charter the boat from the same company that offered the learn to sail course, as they would have more confidence in the quality of instruction, and we would be more of a "known entity" to them. Eventually, we would like to possibly do some bareboat chartering in more exotic locations, but for now with the finances and family obligations the way they are, more local would be better.

I posted these same questions over on the Catalina/Capri 25 forum, but didn't get much response there.


Thanks
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Old 26-04-2016, 09:26   #2
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Re: Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

I will bump this for you.

You are looking for a liveboard course.

I have not chartered in the US for a awhile, but I was pleased with Anacortes Yacht Charters years ago. The probably offer lessons as well.
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Old 26-04-2016, 11:29   #3
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Re: Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

Yes, looking for a live-aboard class that runs Mon-Fri. Could do Sun, but would prefer to keep the weekends clear.
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Old 26-04-2016, 12:12   #4
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Re: Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

I enrolled in 101 with San Juan Sailing School in Bellingham. Nice people and A nice Boat. I did 103 with Bellhaven also in Bellingham, a little cheaper and a nice boat. Instructors were good in both cases.

I'm returning to San Juan Sailing School for a week long 101 103 and 104 for my wife to learn. 7 days in late June early July.

Bellingham is a really great place to sail and travel. Lots to do and see in the marina area.
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Old 26-04-2016, 12:17   #5
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Re: Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

My wife and I did our ASA 101 and 103 courses over 5 days (M-F) at Modern Sailing School in Sausalito. The school offered the option of staying on one of the boats if arranged in advance.

Our experience with this school was excellent. San Francisco Bay has fairly strong winds and currents. I found getting some exposure to both of these conditions during our course was helpful.
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Old 26-04-2016, 14:04   #6
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Re: Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

Thanks for the replies so far. I looked into San Juan Sailing School, but their courses run Sat. to Fri. I need a Mon. to Fri. course. I'm not ruling out San Francisco, but Seattle is within a day's drive, and San Francisco is not.
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Old 26-04-2016, 14:06   #7
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Re: Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrichmon View Post
My wife and I did our ASA 101 and 103 courses over 5 days (M-F) at Modern Sailing School in Sausalito. The school offered the option of staying on one of the boats if arranged in advance.

Our experience with this school was excellent. San Francisco Bay has fairly strong winds and currents. I found getting some exposure to both of these conditions during our course was helpful.
I did my ASA 214 cat instructor course with Modern Sailing. It was a good experience. Sausalito is a great town. Short ferry ride to the piers at San Francisco. We also took a day to go up to the Napa Valley.
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Old 26-04-2016, 14:42   #8
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Re: Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

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Originally Posted by johngfoster View Post
Thanks for the replies so far. I looked into San Juan Sailing School, but their courses run Sat. to Fri. I need a Mon. to Fri. course. I'm not ruling out San Francisco, but Seattle is within a day's drive, and San Francisco is not.
You might look into private instruction as an option. The wife and I are doing a private 103/104 with San Juan Sailing next week after having completed ASA 101 (equivalent) in Portland and sailed some here on smaller boats. We have hired an instructor privately a couple times for half day sessions and have found we learn a lot more when time isn't split between an additional 2-3 people aboard, some of whom may or may not have any past experience on the water at all. We felt that this is a fairly crucial period of instruction for us and so is worth it in this instance anyway. Seems that something like ASA 106/RYA Coastal Skipper is probably better with more crew aboard.
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Old 30-04-2016, 15:35   #9
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Re: Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

Check out CruiseAbaco. We did a ten day course. Here was my write up:

Mark and Patti own Cruise Abaco. They have about 20 sailboats and catamarans (and one cat cruiser). They all are in great shape and well equipped. They can do captained day sails, full charters, captain by day charters, bareboat charters and ASA sailing certification training. We did the later for ten days with Capt. Joe. He was spectacular! He was fun, knowledgeable, interesting, understanding, personable, hands on and an all around great instructor. We learned so much over our nine days of sailing that we can feel confident going out on our own on our next charter.

We planned this trip over three months out. Patti sent each of us our four ASA books to read and take practice tests. Having read these really helped. I had sailed as a young boy, but my wife and her best friend had not. The books made the hands on a quick adjustment. Capt. Joe's teaching techniques made so much sense. His patience during student difficulties and praise for accomplishments are right on.

When we first landed in Abaco, after clearing customs, we got a cab and headed to Maxwells to provision (buy food) for our trip. While the taxi waited, we loaded up with what we thought we would need for nine days and nights. The store is like any other large grocery chain store and has most everything you could need. Liquor store is also on the way. We got to Abaco Beach Resort and unloaded our bags and groceries into carts and pushed them down to the dock. We got help loading our bags onto Fat Iguana, our 44 foot Fountaine Pajot Helia catamaran. Staff came on board to show us how everything worked. Very helpful and kind.

We cooked our own dinner and breakfast and then Capt. Joe headed us out into the Sea of Abaco to really start our adventure. The Sea of Abaco is approx 34 miles long and 6 miles wide. The eastern boundary is the reef and islands which knock down the Atlantic waves. There are many different and beautiful places to anchor, moor or dock. Not to mention there are bars and restaurants that can't be missed. I would guess there are over 100 beaches to investigate or snorkel off of. The weather was fantastic and the waters just beautiful.

We were introduced to other sailors/owners in the Cruise Abaco family. We had a pot luck dinner on our boat the last night, using up all the extra foods. Wine and guitar playing! New friends for sure and we look forward to seeing them again at the Annapolis Sailboat show and on our next charter in November. We just wish it could be a lot sooner! Patti and Mark were always monitoring Channel 9 on the radio should we have any questions or concerns. Kudos to Cruise Abaco and their great staff!
Just another option!
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Old 30-05-2016, 04:14   #10
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Re: Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

Hey John!

I'm a very green sailor, but I've spent a lot of time (and money) going through training and certification courses with Offshore Sailing. They offer certifications under US Sailing Association. They have branches in NY, FL, and the BVIs. They offer everything from 3-day Learn to Sail all the way through celestial navigation and offshore cruising.

They're expensive, but I can attest that the instruction you'll receive is top-notch. I was comfortable single-handing a Hunter 309 after I completed my liveaboard basic cruising course.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 04-06-2016, 16:34   #11
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Re: Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

If you decide to do something a little more exotic - I would love to have you come sailing with us in Grenada! But if you are sticking closer to home - you can't do better than San Juan Sailing! Take the extra time and do it right! They offer the best Live Aboard sailing school in the area.
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Old 12-06-2016, 08:37   #12
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Re: Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

If you want to make sure all will love it, I would keep it simple. Assuming you are comfortable handling basic sailing ( 12-18 knots breeze ) in a 32-37 foot, I would spend a week in the BVIs in a top notch american based company ( TUI ). One of the best sailing locations, weather, wind, moorings, etc. All very standard, very organized. When some say BVI is the Disneyland of sailing, there is no best analogy in my opinion. Very practical, safe, fun, literally all good. Wife and family just love it.
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Old 25-06-2016, 14:39   #13
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Re: Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

My family is doing a week in July with LTD in Grenada... Hi Chris! 101, 103,104 & 114 are on the agenda. The three of us have been studying our ASA books and even watched Captain Ron to get ready.


I'll write up a review once we get back however the communication has been top notch prior to the trip and that is usually a good sign of things to come.
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Old 02-07-2016, 14:45   #14
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Re: Sailing School/Bareboat Charter Recommendations

Looking forward to sailing with you soon! Watching Captain Ron is probably the best preparation you can do really!
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