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Old 12-06-2015, 14:46   #16
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

I completed ASA101, 103, 104 at Emerald Coast Sailing in April 2015. I can't recommend them highly enough. Captain Ralph was great at adjusting to our skill levels. We sailed on multiple boats, but lived aboard one of the Beneteaus.

http://ecsailing.com

I do echo to study the books ahead of time. It will greatly enhance your experience and the value from the class.


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Old 12-06-2015, 15:59   #17
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

There is a lot of good information and ideas here - if you are looking at the Caribbean, check us out in Grenada! Feel free to message me if you have any questions - we are always happy to help out new sailors.

By the way, I am happy to see San Juan Sailing get a recommendation - that is where I got my start teaching sailing!
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Old 12-06-2015, 21:08   #18
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

Just get the boat and do it yourself.

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Old 13-06-2015, 02:09   #19
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonDianee View Post
Hi, I just recently got the bug to learn how to sail. I am interested in getting ASA Certified before committing to buying a boat or anything.
Hello Allison, Allow me to start with a "Welcome to the world of sailing and (as you'll soon discover) the friendly community that is part of it" - and I see you've recently joined CruiserForum, so welcome to "CF" as well.
I had the same questions not long ago, say two years, so I'll describe what I view as a very economical (both, in time and $) while still providing pretty instant returns on that time investment. It's ongoing, but I've been very happy with what I'll describe. There are certainly as many opinions on this as boat preferences, so this is on of those IMHO.
I'm pretty hooked on tech generally, and my business is largely dependent on "things web" so that probably guided my initial explorations. While I had owned a 36' sloop, but twenty years ago, a long enough time that I felt rusty enough to want to start over, learning wise.
I discovered and was very happy with NauticEd ("http://www.nauticed.org"). They have done an excellent job (again, IMHO) in creating web based learning of sailing, according to skill levels and course lesson content purposes. I used to develop & teach training on computer systems, so integrating traditional lessons into web based multi-media was something already in my environment, and I felt they did an excellent job of it. Now this is all what I call "book learning" and sure, you could get there just by buying books or catching a few videos, but this course was very professionally packaged and very cost effective. I won't go on, visit their web site and see what you think. They offer "sail trim" as a free sample of their courses and the other tuitions are clearly listed for each level of study, in a very methodical progression. The only other comment, they are an "ICC" facility, similar to, but not interchangeable with ASA. But gee, for about a hundred bucks, you really get a full course (like two dozen modules) and the tests are reviewable (& re-takable) and you can repeat any course as many times as you want for no extra $.
And while were about it, the web, specifically YouTube does have a number of helpful videos too, I've watched about a dozen of the ones made by the Maryland School and found their quality to also be very good. And I'm not taking away from traditional (or electronic) books either.
OK, so that was the book learning part. Now, my upcoming next step is taking a combined ASA101-103 (4 day) course - that will be with the Nautilus school. I'll say I have a very good initial impression, based on the pre course conversations I've had with them, they sound great, very helpful. So that ahead of me, so it might be too early to endorse them formally, but I'm pretty confident of being pleased, based on my conversations with them so far. And at least one other respondent said good things about them, based on their own experiences.
To explain, the school has half a dozen school locations, most in very exotic locations, but my schedule (& $) was a bit too tight this summer, but of all things, they have one of their locations in Southern Colorado, and it's very cost effective, compared to the same courses when given in their more exotic locations, plus getting there is also cost effective as well as having more economical lodging (or even camping for a real adventure).
And finally, somewhere in this process, you'll be watching the "crews wanted" postings, and something will just jump out at you, where the skipper says something encouraging like "glad to teach a new sailor" or similar and you'll find yourself drawn to get on board, even if it's a day or two, just get out on the water, that's certainly what's calling us. There is nothing to compare taking the 3AM watch, and watching the sun emerge from the waves, and the day begins anew. Although, my initial venture into the world of "crews wanted" had me a full month in the Pacific off Central America, mostly water sailing">blue water sailing (& boat repairs, whew), but certainly an adventure and what a learning experience actually being out is. It changed my life.
So all the best. I'd be glad to provide more detail on any of this if you'd like, but I fear I'm already being long winded enough already (mea culpa, sorry).
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Old 13-06-2015, 07:24   #20
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

Think about the Pacific Northwest in order to get experience with tides, currents and rocks.
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Old 13-06-2015, 07:30   #21
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

I have taken a few asa courses from different schools. I would try to get a sense of the instructor first...i had an instructor that just chatted all day while on a beam reach and another who was a task master. Needless to say I learned a TON more from the task master and felt like I got my $$ worth from him.
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Old 13-06-2015, 07:35   #22
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

I recommend, very highly, Pete Wodraska and his gang at Reef Runner sailing school out of Panama City FL.

I originally took my ASA courses with Pete and Tish out of Blue Water SS at Ft L, and later on Pete branched off with his own school.

He's got boats in PC and in the Keys, so you can have choices as to where.

check 'em out
Reef Runner Sailing School in Panama City & Key Largo, FL
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Old 13-06-2015, 08:34   #23
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

Allison, you never told us where you are located. Might make a difference.
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Old 13-06-2015, 08:51   #24
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

Since my husband and I both wanted/needed to take the classes, it was going to take about 3 summer vacations to take all of the classes we needed. So he purchased a used sailboat and since we live on a lake, we started with that boat and practiced sailing. Then we went to Tortola and hired our own captain for 10 days. So we lived aboard the cat, studied the books, practiced what we had studied and learned LOTS and there were only 2 students in the class! LOL Once we had passed all of our tests and proved our proficiency, the captain returned to Tortola and let us solo the last 2 days on our own. He was impressed when we returned the boat due to how windy the day was and how successful we were with our first solo docking on the cat!
We are presently winding down our work careers, selling the home, moving the personal possessions to a condo in FL. Next up is purchasing our cat for full time live aboard!
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Old 13-06-2015, 15:05   #25
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

Allison, you might get better advice if we know a bit about where you want to sail, on what sorts of boats, and what kinds of experiences you want to have. One-size-fits all-advice... Doesn't. People have different dreams, goals, resources, values, experiences, and limitations.
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Old 13-06-2015, 15:58   #26
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

We did 101 near home, then chartered in the BVIs with an instructor/captain for a week and completed 103, 104 and 114 (multihull). Getting 101 out of the way allowed us to spend the full week in the BVIs on the cat (101 is best done on a small tiller boat). It was full days of sailing, although we did do two half-days of diving and a half-day at Anegada). Definitely read the books thoroughly before you do 103 and 104, you might not like reading on the boat and don't need to be stressing the tests (they're not that hard).

Once you've completed 101, 103 and 104, ASA will issue you some sort of competency certificate that's supposed to be the equivalent of the RSA certificate issued in Europe. I understand many charter operations in Europe (maybe not Croatia) will accept the ASA thingy.
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Old 13-06-2015, 16:07   #27
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

Getting 101 out of the way is a great suggestion. Do it on a lake in a dinghy. Also be totally prepared before your learning cruise. You will not feel like studying on the boat. I have taught hundreds of these week-long cruises and those who were prepared had a lot better time.
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Old 13-06-2015, 17:50   #28
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

Quote:
Originally Posted by softgoodsint View Post
Hello Allison, Allow me to start with a "Welcome to the world of sailing and (as you'll soon discover) the friendly community that is part of it" - and I see you've recently joined CruiserForum, so welcome to "CF" as well.
I had the same questions not long ago, say two years, so I'll describe what I view as a very economical (both, in time and $) while still providing pretty instant returns on that time investment. It's ongoing, but I've been very happy with what I'll describe. There are certainly as many opinions on this as boat preferences, so this is on of those IMHO.
I'm pretty hooked on tech generally, and my business is largely dependent on "things web" so that probably guided my initial explorations. While I had owned a 36' sloop, but twenty years ago, a long enough time that I felt rusty enough to want to start over, learning wise.
I discovered and was very happy with NauticEd ("http://www.nauticed.org"). They have done an excellent job (again, IMHO) in creating web based learning of sailing, according to skill levels and course lesson content purposes. I used to develop & teach training on computer systems, so integrating traditional lessons into web based multi-media was something already in my environment, and I felt they did an excellent job of it. Now this is all what I call "book learning" and sure, you could get there just by buying books or catching a few videos, but this course was very professionally packaged and very cost effective. I won't go on, visit their web site and see what you think. They offer "sail trim" as a free sample of their courses and the other tuitions are clearly listed for each level of study, in a very methodical progression. The only other comment, they are an "ICC" facility, similar to, but not interchangeable with ASA. But gee, for about a hundred bucks, you really get a full course (like two dozen modules) and the tests are reviewable (& re-takable) and you can repeat any course as many times as you want for no extra $.
And while were about it, the web, specifically YouTube does have a number of helpful videos too, I've watched about a dozen of the ones made by the Maryland School and found their quality to also be very good. And I'm not taking away from traditional (or electronic) books either.
OK, so that was the book learning part. Now, my upcoming next step is taking a combined ASA101-103 (4 day) course - that will be with the Nautilus school. I'll say I have a very good initial impression, based on the pre course conversations I've had with them, they sound great, very helpful. So that ahead of me, so it might be too early to endorse them formally, but I'm pretty confident of being pleased, based on my conversations with them so far. And at least one other respondent said good things about them, based on their own experiences.
To explain, the school has half a dozen school locations, most in very exotic locations, but my schedule (& $) was a bit too tight this summer, but of all things, they have one of their locations in Southern Colorado, and it's very cost effective, compared to the same courses when given in their more exotic locations, plus getting there is also cost effective as well as having more economical lodging (or even camping for a real adventure).
And finally, somewhere in this process, you'll be watching the "crews wanted" postings, and something will just jump out at you, where the skipper says something encouraging like "glad to teach a new sailor" or similar and you'll find yourself drawn to get on board, even if it's a day or two, just get out on the water, that's certainly what's calling us. There is nothing to compare taking the 3AM watch, and watching the sun emerge from the waves, and the day begins anew. Although, my initial venture into the world of "crews wanted" had me a full month in the Pacific off Central America, mostly blue water sailing (& boat repairs, whew), but certainly an adventure and what a learning experience actually being out is. It changed my life.
So all the best. I'd be glad to provide more detail on any of this if you'd like, but I fear I'm already being long winded enough already (mea culpa, sorry).
We used to sail on the lake where Nautilus got started and have met Tim several times. We have had several occasions to watch his instructors and they seem very thorough. Blue Mesa winds are reliable but can be overwhelming so you should get some good practice. The only thing you miss is working with tides and currents and dealing with all the harbor nav aids and traffic.
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Old 13-06-2015, 19:18   #29
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

Very impressed with NauticEd.
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Old 13-06-2015, 21:00   #30
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

We did the week long bareboat charter course in Ft. Lauderdale Fl. Not a vacation! No beach time! But, we passed 4 courses in one week, sailed from Ft. Lauderdale to Key Largo and back, sailed in 15-20 N winds with one reef, and learned advanced navigation, beyond our course books. It was work! But we had a great instructor, Jennifer, that taught us well. I would recommend Ft. Lauderdale, but they also have a course from the BVi's.
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