Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 22-03-2006, 15:13   #1
Registered User
 
Limpet's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 154
Question Learning to sail in the Carribean

I would like to learn to sail with the possible goal being to cruise the south pacific in a catamaran or charter a bareboat at various destinations in the south pacific and Carribean.

There are local sailing schools here in Northern CA, but the price is relatively high and they don't appear to be taught aboard catamarans.

So I was thinking that I might combine a vacation with learning to sail. To that end I was looking for a recommendation for a catamaran charter in the caribbean that would also provide sailing lessons. It would be ideal if I could charter the cat for myself, my wife and two of my daughters. To them it will be all about a vactaion, for me it will be all about learing to sail. I may just bring the wife.

What sort of certification is generally required before you can bareboat?

Thanks,

__________________

__________________
Limpet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-03-2006, 15:48   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
You can look at the US Sail program or the American Sail Association program. They both are about the same content and internationally regognized.

I know a little about the ASA courses. The ASA program would start with 2 keel boat classes that cover sailing in general. Then the 3rd course would be "bare boat chartering". It covers a few sailing items but mostly cruising boat marine systems. The idea is you have to know how to operate everything and what everything does and practices you have to understand to operate a boat other than just sailing. Then you would add a catamaran certification on top of all that. You still need navigation or I don't know how you'll get any place.

Most sailing schools start with keel boat sailing then add cats as an adendum. It's eaier to learn the principles that way. Cats are different than keel boat, but at a beginner level small keel boats are easier to learn with. That's why they structure the course that way.

It is in theory possible to take the first 3 ASA courses in a two week liveaboard situation, but it is really hard to actually learn everything that fast unless you had a lot of prior experience. You need a lot of sailing time to perfect the basic things you have to test on in terms of the exam and the practical sailing exam where you single hand the boat with the instructor aboard. This would all be in reasonable sea conditions.

Ok so now you have say all 4 certificates from ASA and you contact a charter company. They may say that they would prefer you to have more experience, or they may say you have to take a skipper from them and prove yourself for a day or so. or they may take your money and cut you loose. Just beacuse you find someone to give you a boat (for a lot of money) does not mean you can handle it.

If you want to try a sailing course vacation I think they work well and if done as a liveaboad not so expensive. My wife and I did our last ASA course as a one week liveaboard in San Diego and the course was cheaper than a hotel room downtown for a week. It was nice to really live on a boat the whole time too.

The bottom line is not only do you need the book learning (you can start that now) you need the practical learning from doing. You also need the experience of varied sea conditions and the confidence to take care of things. The hardest of all is you need to be able to handle the boat and manage the crew (aka the family). It's no fun on the water with most of the crew scared out of their minds because they don't know anything and are darn sure you don't either. You can NOT sail with a crew that isn't confident in their own skills as well as the skills of evryone else. To do so will be a disater for everyone and it will be all your fault! No captain sleeps when the Admiral is pissed off!

It is after all about having fun. To sail throughout the Carribean and have fun takes skill. Doing it terrified the whole time - very easy. To handle the South Pacific takes even more skill. To do all this you really should complete the entire ASA course series that would add two navigation classes and a sea passage practical. If it were you and your family then your wife should also complete most if not all of it of it too. You need a skilled crew as much as they need the training.

There some damn fools out there sailing every day doing difficult things with little training. What kind of trainning do you think it takes to drag your whole family along? Second, part of the question and have everyone have fun?

if you think the training is expensive then wait until you have to own a boat. It's not a cheap hobby by any means. You really need a couple hundred thousand to do this.
__________________

__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22-03-2006, 16:16   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 69
What PBlais said. I kind of doubt any of the ASA schools would be teaching on cats, since they aren't the fastest-tacking thing on the water, and the Basic Keelboat classes involve lots of tacking, and are by definition on--keelboats.

You certainly might find a good cat charter skipper/owner who would teach you as part of a skippered charter, but don't think it'd involve a certificate, if that's what you're looking for.

I echo what he said about jamming these several classes together, it can be too much in too short a time for you to get the most out of each one.
__________________
nolatom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2006, 13:52   #4
Registered User
 
Limpet's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 154
Question Sailing?earning Option

Paul and Nolatom,

What do you think about this:
orcasailing


Thanks
__________________
Limpet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2006, 20:05   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6
Caribbean Sailing Schools

Hi,

I've also been looking into sailing schools there. I took two of the cert courses here in the bay area at J-World. Feel free to e-mail me if you want info on them.

I am planning on taking the next course in the BVI's during June/July (unless there's a hurricane :-). From talking to different companies and getting opinions, I've heard that Offshore Sailing offered a good course. In addition, they seem to be linked to the Moorings, and if you complete the class (and pass of course), The Moorings will bareboat charter you a boat. Again, you still need the confidence on your side, but it's good to know that they'll bareboat charter you a boat if you want.

Anyway, I'm not affiliated with this company at all, but just wanted to pass on what I found. If you still didn't decide by June/July, let me know and I'll send you my comments after taking a course.

Their web site: http://www.offshore-sailing.com/brit...in-islands.asp

Marc
__________________
mkulla is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-03-2006, 21:35   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: midwest
Posts: 7
make a course here

become a mmber of a club and hitch a ride, always people looking for crew

than go the the BVI and cahrter a boat ... Cats are easier to handle than Monos ( in my opinion , they turn on a dime for example )

BVI certification : American Express Gold Card
( a little simplified, but basically true )


thor
__________________
thor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2006, 10:05   #7
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Unless oyu are a very experienced sailor you can not pass all three ASA courses back to back in one week! You could however learn a great deal and having done the last ASA course that way it was very valuable. You really need a lot more sailing experience than a week to really pass these three courses from scratch. The first one is in many ways the hardest as you start knowing nothing. Buy the second course you should already be able to handle a boat with basic skill. The second requires you to perform some more complex manuevers with a degree of precision. Just the idea of motoring into a slip takes a lot of practice.

Even a natural sailor (there are some) really can't master all the technical material without a lot of preparation before hand. People that have sailed a long time and never took any calsses might get through the three all at one time - normal folfs can't. It's an unreasonable expectation to place on yourself and family. In the end your goal is to take the whole group so you really need to bring them along at their own pace else they will revolt.

Just a plain captained charter might cost the same amount. Perhaps one time without a class at all would be a good place to start. You'll see what it is about and no one is under pressure to pass a course. You can gauge how well each person can adjust.

I also like sail clubs. My wife and I started with that for a whole season and it was better than just doing the class alone. A whole season of sailing after the basic class gets you way far ahead of the game. You'll save a lot of money and learn enough to start to understand what you really need when you buy a boat. Club fees sound like a lot of money until you own your own boat.

Most important is to keep it fun all the time. You can lose members of the family along the way all too easy if you push too hard. As a sailor you need to use time to your advantage. Power boaters are alwasy going some place. Sail boats are already there.

As far as Off Shore Sailing goes Steve Colgate enjoys perhaps the best reputation of any course any place. I would love to take a class from him.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-03-2006, 16:55   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Western Caribbean
Boat: Manta 40
Posts: 54
Blue water sailing school out of Ft Lauderdale has a one week course. Bare boat chartering on a cruising catamaran. Both my wife and I enjoyed the course. It is helpful if you have some basic prior sailing experience and should study the course books prior to.
__________________
cameron forsyth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2006, 11:10   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 69
Re: Sailing?earning Option

Quote:
Limpet once whispered in the wind:
Paul and Nolatom,

What do you think about this:
orcasailing


Thanks
Really look like fun, but again I find I concur with PBlais's thoughts. You could learn basic keelboat, but don't think you'd really be a qualified bareboat charter skipper in a week, even if you could get the certificate. You just need more time to get all of this new info to become second-nature, and for your brain to convert some of it to "motor muscle memory".

Also, 46' sloop/cutters may be just great to live on, but kind of big to learn the finer points of boathandling, trim, body english, etc, which are more apparent on smaller, lighter boats with less mass and inertia. I think the best sailors come out of small boats (centerboarders) which give you more of the seat-of-the-pants feeling and are more immediately responsive, then work your way up to the bigger ones.

But it looks like a great cruise, you'd learn a lot anyway. You'd just still need lots more seasoning to get the knowledge and self-confidence. But it all comes in time, just stick with it, and you'll enjoy the trip.
__________________
nolatom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2006, 12:10   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Poconos PA
Boat: 32' Bristol
Posts: 18
Limpet,

My wife and I just came back from an ASA/Charter course thru OrcaSailing on a 37' TAYANA "LOKADUNE" in the Abacos (Bahamas). It was an amazing experience.
We had previously taken the ASA 101 course in a large local lake on a 25' Catalina, then opted to go with OrcaSailing in the Abacos for the ASA 103 course. The interesting part of the course aboard Lokadune was that the Instructor (captain) stayed with us during the day while we sailed the 37' Tayana and left us alone during the evenings aboard the boat, usually moored or anchored out in some gorgeous cove with a 13' Boston Whaler dinghy that we could take anywhere we pleased. This was the BEST of both worlds. We had our sailing classes during the day and were alone during the evening to check out small towns or go snorkeling by ourselves. Not all the charter boat captains / ASA instructors will do this.
We had the absolute best time while we passed our ASA 103 certifications. The 37' Tayana also gave us the confidence to handle a larger boat after the 25' boats that we took the ASA 101 courses and all the smaller rentals that we were used to.
We have since purchased our first sailboat, a 32' Bristol and have the confidence to handle the vessel on our own. The courses were an important part of the learning process and we couldn't have had a nicer vacation than sailing the Abacos while we learned.

This particular vessel and captain can be found at cruiseabaco.com, the captains name is Mark Gonsalves.

Best of luck!

Bajamas
__________________
bajamas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2006, 15:39   #11
Registered User
 
BC Mike's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Gabriola BC
Boat: Viking 33 Tanzer 8.5m Tanzer 22
Posts: 1,034
Images: 5
Memory

Nolatom, you mentioned motor muscle memory. This is not something you hear often, helps explain why Horowitz could play like he did in his eighties. Are you a musician type?
Michael
__________________
BC Mike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-03-2006, 16:40   #12
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Quote:
explain why Horowitz could play like he did in his eighties
He already knew how to play! He practiced a lot of years before he was 80.

I think that is the point. There are so many things you do automatically without thinking much once you become a capeable sailor (I'm not talking of Horwitz calber). When you first start out you don't know anything and often you forget all the other things you should be watching as you focus on just one thing. You watch the sail and forget to watch the depth. Oyt of any number of factors at any one time, one is the most important.

It takes time to get comforatble with just the idea of where the wind is. All the sounds on a boat tell so much but until you have heard it a lot of time you don't understand. The sense of how the boat is moving tells you about a lot of things and in general what you should do next. The depth meter (here on the Chesapeake you need to watch that a lot).

It's practice! So in a one week course how many times can you practice any one thing? You don't need a lifetime but it sure would be a nice life.
__________________

__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
learning

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Island Packet 31 for Liveaboard / Offshore? Gray Monohull Sailboats 33 01-09-2013 07:26
Junk Rigs sail_the_stars General Sailing Forum 45 17-02-2012 05:27
I need advice for a first purchase MrShankmmz Monohull Sailboats 34 16-03-2007 20:39
Learn to Sail? GordMay Training, Licensing & Certification 8 06-11-2006 07:42
is there a huge difference in price between... fujiwara takumi General Sailing Forum 10 26-08-2004 03:18



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.