As far as training, what's the best route? ASA courses? Charters? or any other ways to gain the experience? Are certs required by USCG?
No certs are required by the USCG though depending on your age and where you live some states will require a general boating safety
course. You need that level just to be on the water
. It's not even close to minimal for what you need to know. If you can read you can pass the on line state boating safety
course in an evening. It's important but not sufficient.
Formal training I think is good. US Sail or ASA are the standards here in the US but they offer courses in FUN places too. I think you get started right and thinking right from these courses through the levels to get you bare boat certification
. Even if you never charter
but plan on getting your own boat it gets your head
on right. You can hang around here too
People dream of doing a lot of things but this is serious stuff that takes a lot of work. It can be done in a fun way too. If you enjoy the process it can't help but lead you to enjoy the actual doing of it all. Start with the idea you want to be better and want to have fun too.
Getting back to racing
may lead you to OPB's (other peoples boats) and learning
in that way is at least cheaper but not without commitment.
Reading is still good because it too leads to more thinking. If you want to make the dream real you need to go beyond the dream and that means getting and acting real. It means learning
, knowing, and doing any way that works for you!