Seems like there is some hostility towards sailing schools out there. May be due to some misinformation or maybe a few bad instructors/schools, so let me clear up a few things. (Yes, I have taught at a sailing school
First: In at least one of the sailing schools in Kemah
, a weekend ASA
101 sailing course is less than $300 which includes
classroom time, boat time, books, ASA registration
, certificates, a year's magazine subscription, a free mentor sail on the Bay on a later weekend, and a free boat charter
on another weekend after that. If you bring the boat back that you chartered for the day (usually a 28-32 foot older model) in reasonable condition, you can start chartering other, bigger, nicer boars whenever you want.
I took that course ten years ago, bought my boat soon after, and now have 8000+ miles on her, mostly in Gulf of Mexico
and a lot of that solo. I learned a lot in that class, despite that fact that I had sailed a catamaran
in the Pacific for years before. It was the best $275 I've ever spent.
Second: Some of your friends here recommend that you just buy a boat and sail. Sailing in Gal Bay or the Gulf requires a minimum 30 ft boat if you plan to sail in diff wx conditions. This means you will have to find a full time dock/slip and handle a regular maintenance
schedule. This is an expensive proposition. Plan on $4000-5000/year.
Answer: Take the basic class (not the $2000 package you refer to) to refresh memory and learn some new stuff. Then charter
a few boats locally. Use the money you've saved by not
paying slip and maint fees
to get some friends together and go charter really cool boats in the Caribbean
using the cert you got from the class.
After you do that a couple of times, sit back, relax, and decide from there what to do with the flexibility and freedom you still have.