Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-06-2015, 05:56   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 21
Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

I have decided to get some sailing experience and certifications before I take the plunge and while still looking to buy a boat.

Both of these schools seem to have good reviews, with both being almost identical in price. The cost of taking these classes in the USA are almost the same price in the end. So having a bit of vacation while I do this in the Caribbean is a plus.

I was considering BOSS, but due to some terrible reviews I have marked them off the list. Grenada would have been nice and I would have gotten 10 days sailing time for the price 6 in the BVI's.


I am looking at 101, 103, 104 ASA certs to be done on the fastrack program. Out of these two schools, which would you choose and why. Also, is there a specific instructor I should request ?
__________________

__________________
Islandnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2015, 07:24   #2
Registered User

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Florida
Boat: Jeanneau 44i SO
Posts: 139
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

I did the 101, 103 and 104 in BVI with Sunsail. Matt and Mick were they instructors and both were excellent. My only issue is with the challenge in scheduling. They could do many more classes if there scheduling group in Clearwater were more responsive. Another school that has great reviews is Blue Water out of Ft Lauderdale. Only talked to one student, but they were very positive and online reviews are excellent. However they are more expensive. You do get cheaper airfare so I guess it's a wash.
__________________

__________________
l2ridehd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2015, 07:36   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 21
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

Yes, it's kind of crazy that you can fly to the bvi's and do the same courses for close to the cost of doing them in the states. I used to live in FL and I know how high the east coast is on things. When you compare staying in the islands to S FL, this is where it becomes a no brainer. I even looked into doing lessons in Dallas, but it will still come in close to a BVI package by the time you add in travel and lodging.

The biggest plus for me, is that I am not working so my dates are very flexible.
__________________
Islandnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2015, 07:48   #4
Registered User

Join Date: May 2015
Location: Florida
Boat: Jeanneau 44i SO
Posts: 139
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

Again, check Blue Water as their prices are all inclusive. Live aboard, all but a couple meals covered, so no hotel and limited food cost. I am looking for a couple follow on classes and when I compared everything they were the lower cost and they do have a good reputation.
__________________
l2ridehd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2015, 09:58   #5
Registered User
 
brownoarsman's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Round Bay, Severn River
Boat: Formerly Pearson 28-1, now just a sailing dinghy
Posts: 1,320
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

Tom Farbanish at swain sailing is excellent. Knowledgeable cruiser and racer, and great at adapting what he teaches to your interest.

As far as choosing between the two; I've only experienced swain; but I'm sure they are both great programs with great reviews. So choose based either on instructor or on "extras." Swain will give you a 10% discount on all future charters as a past student. Not sure if the other co offers something similar. You can always call them and ask them to compare themselves to the other, maybe even get a deal if there's a half full boat going out


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
brownoarsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2015, 10:49   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Boca Raton, Florida
Boat: lagoon 410 S2
Posts: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Bliss-Schip
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

we attended the swain school in bvi's in 2012, completing the fast track program from 101 through barefoot catamaran certs.
the basic courses are provided on small J boat, which requires you to stay at nanny cay hotel for the first 3 nights. we had Rob for the basic sailing courses. Steve for the cat classes. we had a great experience having traveled to some of the islands during the course, and the instruction was first rate.
__________________
Bliss-Schip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2015, 12:08   #7
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Virgin Islands
Boat: 1999 Leopard 45, 45 foot cat, 1980 Hunter 33, 33 foot monohull
Posts: 405
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

You might give Affordable Sailing School a try. They do courses in the BVI, too and get great reviews.
__________________
contrail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2015, 14:13   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 18
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

Did my 101-104 at SW Florida Yachts when they were still at Punta Gorda, Fl a number of years ago. They have moved to a beautiful base at a hotel in Cape Coral. You might want to check in with them. You didn't say where you were from, but Allegiant Airlines flies non stop to Punta Gorda from many US cities at great rates. They may still be doing the Live-a board. swf yachts
__________________
defensible is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2015, 14:58   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Camas, WA
Boat: FP, Orana 44, Mari's Leonardo
Posts: 30
Send a message via Skype™ to marisleonardo
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

Quote:
Originally Posted by brownoarsman View Post
Tom Farbanish at swain sailing is excellent. Knowledgeable cruiser and racer, and great at adapting what he teaches to your interest.

As far as choosing between the two; I've only experienced swain; but I'm sure they are both great programs with great reviews. So choose based either on instructor or on "extras." Swain will give you a 10% discount on all future charters as a past student. Not sure if the other co offers something similar. You can always call them and ask them to compare themselves to the other, maybe even get a deal if there's a half full boat going out


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
I used to teach at Swain school...Tom F is a great instructor, if he's not around ask for Rory. Either one of these two are their best instructors. Have fun!
__________________
marisleonardo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2015, 15:00   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Camas, WA
Boat: FP, Orana 44, Mari's Leonardo
Posts: 30
Send a message via Skype™ to marisleonardo
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bliss-Schip View Post
we attended the swain school in bvi's in 2012, completing the fast track program from 101 through barefoot catamaran certs.
the basic courses are provided on small J boat, which requires you to stay at nanny cay hotel for the first 3 nights. we had Rob for the basic sailing courses. Steve for the cat classes. we had a great experience having traveled to some of the islands during the course, and the instruction was first rate.
Thanks Bliss-Schip...i had fun too.
Sea ya, Steve
__________________
marisleonardo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2015, 19:35   #11
Registered User
 
ErBrown's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Austin TX
Boat: IP 40
Posts: 361
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

Here's another recommendation for Swain.

My wife and I spent a week in the BVIs a year or so ago and did 103/104 it was great. Rory was a great instructor, it's not a super relaxing week, lots to do. That being said, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Busy days but great place to learn and a Rory was pretty darn good.

Good luck and Enjoy
__________________
vela-boat.com (a work in progress)
ErBrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2015, 00:00   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2015
Posts: 21
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

Thanks for all the replies. I booked with Swain Sailing today, he was a tad cheaper than tortola was. I will be doing the FastTrack Program. As a second bonus its in Nanny Cay which is where bvi yachts are at anyway. I am booked the third week in July atm.

The review's of Swain are too numerous to pass up imho. I am getting there 3 days prior to the start of 101, then staying 3 days after. Airfare was cheaper that way and the arrival time to SST was not at 930pm. So I saved on airfare , but paying more days for a room now. I think it is a good decision. It will give me a bit of time to have fun and look around before and after sailing for a week.

I have bought 101, 103, 104 ASA books already and am reading those. I have a short piece of rope to tie knots with also. The class is supposed to take place on one of his Beneteau 39 or 44 foot boats. Thats the only downside I see atm from going with Swain. Tortola was going to be on a 36' boat, which would be closer to what I am going to buy.


defensible, I used to live on Ft. Myers Beach, man do I miss it. A beer and some Osso Buco from SOB's sounds really good about now. Or maybe Leftovers Cafe in Juniper Beach. ATM I live in NW Oklahoma where there is nothing to do but shoot guns. OK City is 2.5 hrs away and not really worth making a drive to have a bit of fun.

Back on subject, is there anything worth bringing on the trip that I may miss ? For all of you who have done this, what did you forget or been nice to have ?? I will need to order it before I leave since I live off of Amazon Prime here.

I will have 1 evening on arrival(should be on Tortola by 5 pm), 2 open days, then two days of 101 keel class in Nanny Cay before I leave on the big boat. If any of you who have been there can think of something worth doing please chime in. The only thing I feel the need to do is the Soggy Dollar Bar, and eating fresh seafood.
What restaurants should I make time for ? I am originally from Texas, so Tex-Mex and steaks and BBQ, I am kind of partial to mesquite wood. I do not tend to eat these things unless cooked by me. It's the only thing I like about Texas. Those things cannot be beat there. I am more of a seafood/sushi guy. So lobster, escargot, grilled/blackened fish are at the top.....oh, and coffee.
__________________
Islandnut is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2015, 05:54   #13
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Virgin Islands
Boat: 1999 Leopard 45, 45 foot cat, 1980 Hunter 33, 33 foot monohull
Posts: 405
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

Make sure you have completed the reading before you arrive! Leaving your reading until you are in the course is a waste of valuable BVI and course time.
__________________
contrail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2015, 06:35   #14
Registered User
 
ErBrown's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Austin TX
Boat: IP 40
Posts: 361
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

Yeah definitely get all the reading done ahead of time. We did and still had to spend more time than I would have liked reviewing things from the day, but hey there's much worse places to read.

This might go without saying but I'd also be sure to bring your snorkeling gear if you enjoy that kind of thing. We got in some great snorkeling in some of the anchorages. There's also some fairly decent diving around and a decent dive shop right there at Nanny Cay.

Also as far as the boats go, depending on the size of the class Swain also has a 37 Bene - Pretty Girl. We where expecting to be on one of the larger boats but since it was since my wife and I where the only students that's te boat we used. She was great for what we where doing and so be aware that might be an option.

We had some great meals there and found the folks at and around Nanny Cay to be super friendly and helpful.

Enjoy it!
__________________
vela-boat.com (a work in progress)
ErBrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2015, 07:37   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Camas, WA
Boat: FP, Orana 44, Mari's Leonardo
Posts: 30
Send a message via Skype™ to marisleonardo
Re: Tortola vs Swain sailing Schools

As an ASA instructor qualifer one bit of advice. ..read all materials BEFORE arriving at Swains...your week will be much more fun and meaningful by doing so.
Say hi to Rory and Tom for me.
Steve on Mari's Leonardo -44' cat
__________________

__________________
marisleonardo is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sail, sailing, sailing school, school

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sailing Schools in the Caribbean humpback Training, Licensing & Certification 8 27-02-2012 13:51
West Coast Sailing Schools TheBadLT Training, Licensing & Certification 9 19-07-2009 14:02
sailing schools west coaster Training, Licensing & Certification 6 14-11-2006 11:55
Sailing Schools - Scotland Jimbo1 Meets & Greets 0 26-07-2006 08:04
suggestion: sailing schools cbare Forum Tech Support & Site Help 0 04-06-2003 10:41



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:32.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.