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Old 11-06-2015, 14:17   #1
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Best Places to get ASA Certified?

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.

Any advice on good place to go get ASA certified. I thought it might be fun to do a week long course somewhere abroad too, but there are a lot of options out there and for different prices. I'm wondering if anyone has any personal experience with a course they can recommend.

Any explanation on the ASA process and places to get certified would be welcome.

Cheers.
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Old 11-06-2015, 14:22   #2
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

I did the week long course in La Paz, Mx earlier this year (jan) with Nautilus Sailing. All in all it w as good. We had enough wind to sail every day and I enjoyed La Paz (stayed an extra week even). Realize that it is a lot to learn in one week so don't expect to do a lot of "vacationing" stuff while out on the boat. Also read all the books twice before going. This way you can focus on learning/practicing the hands on stuff and get a little snorkel time in. I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed it doing a couple hours of reading/studying each night.
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Old 11-06-2015, 19:29   #3
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

I have been an ASA sailing instructor since 1985. A week long program is a lot of fun and can produce great results. the most important thing is to keep sailing after the lessons.

After your week of sailing instruction, join a sailing club where you can practice. Have fun and tell the story later. OK?
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Old 12-06-2015, 06:33   #4
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

A consideration is to take courses in or near where you plan to do most of your sailing on bigger boats. Sailing is easy compared to navigation and seamanship. Using boats that are typical for an area and navigating your local waters with an instructor are good ideas.
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:13   #5
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

I took several classes with different schools I learned alot but it didn't transfer well to other schools. I then started going to the Maryland school of sailing and seamanship in Rockhall Maryland. First I liked that I could stay on the boat and not have another loging bill. They have week long or weekend classes. Basic to advanced navigation, docking, offshore. Tho not really crusing you get a feeling of what that is like. I am just a happy student. I wish I had found them first. I would have saved alot of money by not repeating basics. I also took awesome courses at the annapolis school of seamanship on 12 volt basic and advanced and diesel maintenance and repair. I took a week long diesel class with the wooden boat school that place is fantastic. Depends on your location and budget. The first class I took was a winter long on costal navigation. That was before I'd ever been on a boat and it helped so much. I was so far above others just in terminology and understanding. Best of luck to you.
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Old 12-06-2015, 08:55   #6
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

water sailing">Blue water sailing school, fort Lauderdale, Florida. No frills, hard work, great school. Took us out into the triangle for a week.
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:15   #7
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

I got the same bug, and my ultimate goal was to cruise the BVIs and the chain down to Trini someday. Took ASA 101 on our local lake/marina, then later chartered a 36' Mahe out of Tortola for a week with an instructor/captain. Really helpful to read the books before you go, then do the sailing hands-on and take the tests all in the same day. Have chartered two BVI trips since with friends, as my own captain. I'm by no means an old salt, but they'll let me charter and go out on my own, I have a blast, and the training was just as fun as the subsequent trips. Good luck!
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:20   #8
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

Avoid San Diego - We did a week long live aboard and hardly saw any wind the whole week. Instructor said it was pretty typical. Dead calm in the mornings, a nice breeze for a couple of hours in the afternoon then dead calm again by 5:00. Unfortunately for us the afternoon breezes didn't really show up.
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:30   #9
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

It might sound trite but I would suggest getting certified close to where you will be sailing. That way you get the benefit of local knowledge regarding conditions, marinas, etc.

Once certified you can always charter in more exotic locales.
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:58   #10
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

I took a week long combined course of ASA 101 and 103 in Florida a few years ago to get started. Upon my return to Pennsylvania, my local sailing club required me to take the U.S. Sailing organization beginners course for liability concerns to sail their boats. It was identical to ASA. Consider both organizations registered schools. You can find them all listed in the classifieds of the major sailing magazines.
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Old 12-06-2015, 09:59   #11
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

AllisonDianee,

Where are you located?
I live in Tampa and there was a company ACSS that my wife and I got our ASA 101, 102, and 104 cerifications over a course of 5 days. I don't think the company is still together but, we charter from Sailing Florida in St. Pete and they run a school too and you can obtain your Bareboat certification.

Another thing that I do and I suggest you do is find where people race. It is a lot of fun and you can be rail rats and learn before you go to school.

How much boating experience do you have? Power, Sail, or even riding ferries and cruise ships?

We took our ASA certifications over 9 years ago and we still don't have a boat. We have chartered at least 6 times and have been countless races since then.
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:41   #12
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

I am going thru this myself atm. I live where there is no where to sail and traveling for classes in the states would have cost just as much as going down to the carribean for a week almost. It's really close on price if doing a fasttrack course. If you do a little at a time it cost even more. If you have someone to stay with its only fuel and a bit of food, but most of us do not have that luxury.

What I can tell you is Rob Swain sailing school will cost you right at 3k with airfare. If you look over at my thread Swain has many good reviews as well as Tortola Sailing.

The bottom line is you can go to the BVI's for a week long course for just a bit more money. I would go ahead and get my passport now, do the fast service it takes 2 weeks to get it. Then do lots of reading on here and searches. If you want to sail...why not go where everyone else goes ??? live the life !!!!
If you have not ever been to the carribean, then get a passport and start saving for that class, and then go to the BVI's.

It will change your life.

Start watching you tube vids:
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Old 12-06-2015, 13:21   #13
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

I went to San Juan Sailing School, out of Bellingham. I did an all-woman, week long instruction course. We covered 101, 103, and 104. One of the reasons I choose this particular school, (in addition to being close to my locale), was that you had to do pre-study, and take your first test, 101, even before we left the dock on the first day. (and pass it, or you didn't get to go) I had absolutely no sailing experience, and it was a challenge, but I liked that we were expected to be serious about our learning the curriculum. Our instructor was the best I could have asked for, my fellow students were just as committed as I was, and we had a terrific time together. It was a total foundation to my sailing knowledge today.
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Old 12-06-2015, 13:31   #14
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

I live in Michigan and just finished ASA 101/103 & 104 up in Traverse City, MI 2 weeks ago. I learned a lot even though I have sailed for a for years on the Great lakes and down in Florida. The Great Lakes Sailing Co. provided access to many nice sailboats including boats to live aboard during 101 & 103, along with a lounge, showers, etc. We (3 students) sailed 30 to 40+ foot boats with furled mains and without. I had different instructors for 101/103 and 104 and both were excellent. It will definitely help to read the textbooks prior to starting class so you might need a little prep time. Also, make sure there will be some decent wind at the place and time of year you decide to take your class. Most classes on Florida's Gulf side stayed in the bays and harbors and never went out into the Gulf itself. I also discovered that some "schools" are more like a guy trying to pay off his boat than a fully organized school. Send me an email if you want more insight. Good Luck!

Terry
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Old 12-06-2015, 14:00   #15
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Re: Best Places to get ASA Certified?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllisonDianee View Post

Any advice on good place to go get ASA certified.
If just looking to just take sailing lessons go someplace close to you. If looking to make a vacation out of it look for where you want to go.

Is it there really any more to it?
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