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Old 07-07-2011, 18:00   #196
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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And I took offense at someone who said that anyone who doesn't go for YM offshore is scared of failing... Touche
As a teacher/instructor, I know why I took offense. Why did you?

I teach YM Offshore (ISPA, not RYA); I do not recommend it to all nor do I encourage all to take it. I would suggest that those who are keen to coastal cruise, continue to do so. Personally, I find coastal cruising more relaxing and more enjoyable than bluewater sailing. Professionally I get offered more offshore gigs.
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Old 07-07-2011, 18:03   #197
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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Thanks, I just learned by experience... The best way.
Sorry, that was my experience from which you just learned.
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Old 07-07-2011, 18:10   #198
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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And I took offense at someone who said that anyone who doesn't go for YM offshore is scared of failing... Touche
Actually thats not what I said, I said that I found that often people critising formal training, where often to scared to take the exam. ie that theyd fail.

I didnt generalise that if you didnt go for a YM ( in general) I was addressing myself to those that seem to constantly critise formal training ( for reasons I can never really understand)

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Old 07-07-2011, 18:20   #199
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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That definitely seems to be the way with scuba courses. After one course there is a dose of paranoia for having to do the next. Before you know it you have paid another couple of hundred bucks and bought some waterproof diapers so that you are qualified to fart underwater.
It wasn't always that way. In the early days--I was first certified in 1972--you learned everything at once, and it could take months of training to get a C card. Most scuba instructors were former Navy divers, and they were training their students the same way they'd been trained by the Navy. When I got certified, we'd begin a pool session with 15 minutes of calisthenics, because that's the way the Navy did it.

Along came PADI (and I should mention here that I'm both a retired PADI and NAUI instructor) and came up with a training model where they figured out that a beginning recreational diver didn't need to learn everything at once. They put together a simplified program where a novice could get a C card after only 4 classroom sessions, 4 pool sessions, and 4 open-water dives. It revolutionized the diving industry. Why spend an entire summer getting trained by NAUI, when you could finish everything up in a month with PADI?

But here's the problem: that basic diver who has only spent one weekend in open water is potentially a disaster in the making. And while most of my colleagues preferred teaching the NAUI way, we ended up having to teach PADI courses because most beginners, walking into a dive shop, only wanted to know how long it would take and how much it would cost.

When I became a master instructor and worked as Director of Education for a dive shop, I evaluated the instructors who worked for me in terms of how many of their basic-level students came back for advanced training. Clearly, with the best instructors, their students wanted to come back for further training, while with the weakest instructors, their students were glad to get their training over with as soon as possible.

The point is: we all knew that regardless of what the C card represented, a student wasn't fully trained until they AT LEAST achieved the rescue diver level. And the main reason we wanted them to get to that level was for their own safety, and the safety of those with whom they dived.
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Old 07-07-2011, 18:35   #200
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

Yes , Bash, This is a common problem with all non-mandatory leisure training. There is a compromise between the theorectical requirements and the need to attract beginners into a sport and not present them with a large cost or commitment.

The same is true of sailing , until realistically a sailer gets to say YM Coastal standard, is he or she in any way a proper competent person. BUT, if that was to be the only course then huge numbers would skip any training at all. Its a trade off. in sailing at least for now, unlike diving, a requirement for mandatory training isnt there, so people can still access it without formal training, but for how long thats remains, well see.

In teh case of PADI, you must admit that it allows 0000s to access a heretofore unaccessible sport and simple clear water recreational diving mushroomed as a result. The same is true of sailing

Its a unfortunate compromise. But it doesnt invalidate formal training as a generic way of picking up knowledge and some experience ( ie hands on)

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Old 07-07-2011, 18:40   #201
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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Sorry, that was my experience from which you just learned.
Yes, from your experience, not from Irish quotations 101... As I say thanks for the experience.
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Old 07-07-2011, 18:54   #202
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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Sorry, that was my experience from which you just learned.
I think that may have been the OP's original point. That's how most of us have learnt... from the experience of others, but informally.

Informal instruction is the way most sailors who haven't taken courses, have learnt. Almost nobody learns by getting a book, getting a boat, getting a pond, and putting it all together in a vaccuum.
Even Zeehag admitts to learning hands on from a genuine old salt.

I know I learned from sailing as crew on other peoples' boats, look, learn, ask questions, get your own boat, and continue learning.

I don't think it's the instruction that was raised as the issue. More that we seem to now have a society where people think in any field, doing a course is the only way to start.
They wouldn't even try to cook a chinese meal without doing a course in Asian cooking.

And the next concern already mentioned, is the course graduate with the shiny new certificate thinking he is way more capable than he actually is... "... the boat seems to be heeling too much... what do I do...?"

Sailing is a big recreational activity, lifestyle, and industry.
It's the industry part that, like any other field, will have good and bad operators. If a business depends on having students, it's a commercial reality that they will do whatever they can to fill classes.
I don't think anybody seriously doubts that there is a valid place for courses.

A big part of the sailing community are sailors who are independent, self sufficient types who go cruising to get away from red tape beaurocracy. It's our nature to want to work things out ourselves for the most part.
We resent the big brother mentality that is creeping in, where you can and can't do stuff based on some beaurocrat's idea of a controlled, structured method of controlling the herd.
The industry side of sailing has a vested interest in lobbying authorities to require formalised training. It's a commercial strategy for them. And raising safety as the reason gets beaurocracy on side every time.
So in that regard, the training industry is seen with a lot of skepticism.
Have your livlihood, but don't stuff things up for the rest of us.

Some operators will have far less integrity and scruples than you appear to have.
These are the ones who are giving you a hard time... we're just the folk who have been negatively affected by their activities and output.
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Old 07-07-2011, 18:56   #203
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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Yes , Bash, This is a common problem with all non-mandatory leisure training. There is a compromise between the theorectical requirements and the need to attract beginners into a sport and not present them with a large cost or commitment.
Agreed. For the scuba industry, it was fundamentally an economic problem. They had to create their client base via training.

The guy who owned the dive shop I worked for didn't make a dime off the lessons. His money came from renting and/or selling gear, and providing air fills. His business model was predicated on the fact that the more people who got certified as divers, the more customers there would be who could pay for air fills.

Imagine where the boating industry would be these days without the sail-training agencies. I was lucky: my dad taught me how to sail, and after that I formalized my training by earning sailing merit badge. When it came time to learn more, I earned my training by grinding winches on race boats, gradually working my way into the afterguard.

In a way, I feel sad for those who had to learn by plopping down the bucks for an ASA course. But at the same time, I'm glad those courses are there. I have bunches of friends who got into sailing via that back door.
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Old 07-07-2011, 18:58   #204
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Just to keep on the subject.

I still don't understand why in a non regulated sport, people would criticise formal training. Beginners still are beginners but at least they have learned something to start with.

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Old 07-07-2011, 19:04   #205
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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Just to keep on the subject.

I still don't understand why in a non regulated sport, people would criticise formal training. Beginners still are beginners but at least they have learned something to start with.

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Old 07-07-2011, 19:11   #206
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I don't think it's the instruction that was raised as the issue. More that we seem to now have a society where people think in any field, doing a course is the only way to start.
They wouldn't even try to cook a chinese meal without doing a course in Asian cooking.
Well that's a tilting at windmills issue. Once a sport/ hobby reaches a critical mass and starts to attract the ordinary punter, then a demand for instruction begins. Traditionally yachting was a closed minority sport and it's participants learned it from their dad or another crusty sea dog.

Now you have mass Market ( well allmost ) hobby, hence those without a nautical background will seek to acquire some knowledge by way of formal training. The " industry " responds with such courses.

As to people parading around claiming to know more simply as a result of a particular ticket. Well certainly at beginners levels that obvious to all that's not the case and the trainee is rapidly taken down a peg. Anyway in sailing people didn't need certs to boast about their abilities in my view.

Formal trailing works. It had limitations but it has been in place for close to 40 years now.

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Old 07-07-2011, 19:20   #207
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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As to people parading around claiming to know more simply as a result of a particular ticket. Well certainly at beginners levels that obvious to all that's not the case and the trainee is rapidly taken down a peg. Anyway in sailing people didn't need certs to boast about their abilities in my view.


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In the midst of a discussion about some issue associated with sailing, I had student tell me that he had read a lot books about sailing. I responded by saying that I had done a lot of sailing. Not exactly diplomatic ...
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Old 07-07-2011, 19:28   #208
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

It would be nice if we could all be Beryl and Miles Smeeton ...

I sail past their Saltspring farm occassionally and they eventually retired just NW of where I live. I never knew them, but I wish I did.
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Old 07-07-2011, 20:37   #209
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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Originally Posted by VirtualVagabond View Post
A big part of the sailing community are sailors who are independent, self sufficient types who go cruising to get away from red tape beaurocracy. It's our nature to want to work things out ourselves for the most part.
We resent the big brother mentality that is creeping in, where you can and can't do stuff based on some beaurocrat's idea of a controlled, structured method of controlling the herd.
The industry side of sailing has a vested interest in lobbying authorities to require formalised training. It's a commercial strategy for them. And raising safety as the reason gets beaurocracy on side every time.
So in that regard, the training industry is seen with a lot of skepticism.
Have your livlihood, but don't stuff things up for the rest of us.
Very well put, I have nothing more to add to this thread.
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Old 07-07-2011, 20:43   #210
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Re: What Ever Happened to Learn by Doing ? Read a Book and Go for it !

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It would be nice if we could all be Beryl and Miles Smeeton ...
Nice to read the old books, but we should be careful recommending them as they were just so long ago - 1950's and 60's when sailing and cruisnig was confined to a very few. Now cruising is a mainstream adventure that can be done by anyone, and safely, ...but in a differnt way than the old timers. We can't be like them. The world have moved.




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