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Old 07-05-2006, 18:45   #1
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Lessons

forgive me if this has been posted before, I did a search but didn't find anything like this

Anyway, I have a tiny bit of experience with actual sailing on a day sailing catamaran, and a ton of knowledge from books(well, I consider it a ton, I've been spending alot of time reading.) but my parents, say they would worry about me if I got a sailboat without any sailing lessons and are even offering to pay for them just to get me to take them.

I figure at the least I'll get to spend a bit of time on a boat.

Anyway, on to the main question. I've done a bit of searching for local sailing classes, and the cheapest I've found is about 500 dollars for a 3 day course with a maximum of two other students on the boat at the same time. I'm wondering if this is a good price or not, since it seems a bit high(for doing something as enjoyable as sailing anyway )

they say they're certified by the ASA, and this would give me a basic keelboat certification, not sure if any of that actually means anything, or if they're just trying to make people feel like they got something for their money

I don't think I'd need to spend that much money on a few days of lessons as I'm pretty sure I know enough to get out there and learn the rest on my own, but as I'll probably be mooring behind my parent's house and storing stuff there for a while, I figure I should try to make them happy.
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Old 07-05-2006, 19:27   #2
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Thant sounds about right. It will help. Here is some online video link that may help you http://www.videos.sailingcourse.com/

If you plan on cruising you should get trained up to bareboat. It is best to be trained by somebody who has done it before and knows how to teach.

Another viewpoint from J.A. Rogers "Tropical American Cruising" page 230 "When boaters finally set out on a prolonged cruise, all those past years and miles of sailing to local weekend spots gathering cruising experience don't really add up to much. And even a thousand miles or so after setting out on a cruise, the crew will still be pertty green."
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Old 07-05-2006, 20:10   #3
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The ASA course really is a well designed course. US Sail does one too that is every bit as good. These two organizations certify all the instructors and no other classes will have that level of quality (at least that could satisfy your folks). That isn't to say you can't find local people that can teach well, but it is a standard you can trust (and your folks can trust).

I have to agree with Lynx. If you add to what you have done so far with something like the ASA basic course you should be set up to really get started in a serious way. It proves you are serious to adults that don't often believe it. You need to convince people you really are serious - this would do it. There will still be more to complete.

There is a lot to learn from book learning perspective. Then there is learning all about the mechanics of boats (you have not even touched this part yet) and how it feels on the water in all kinds of weather. Last is learning both at the same time. You have to know it like you walk down stairs. That tales practice.

You need a level of proficiency before you can do this sport and have fun all the time. If you can complete a formal course to the first level you can get the rest of the way if you can find ways to get out on the water and sail on OPB's (Other Peoples Boats). If you had that level of proficency you would be welcome on a great many boats - even ours.

Look at it this way. It would convince the folks at home. I did it to convince my wife she could sail so we both could sail together. That was why I took it. It was worth it 100% and I learned a whole lot myself and it was great fun. Best money I ever spent. Getting started right could save your life. Better yet you might become a really good sailor. Just wanting to sail is not enough but you need that to start. Don't waste what I think is a great beginning.
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Old 07-05-2006, 22:13   #4
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In New Orleans I taught in an ASA basic keelboat program that was about $220. for 2 full days, maximum 6 students. That's pretty reasonable for a boat and instructor.
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Old 07-05-2006, 22:49   #5
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Originally Posted by sluissa
...the cheapest I've found is about 500 dollars for...ASA...basic keelboat certification...
I'm not sure where you are, but I'm taking that course this summer in San Diego for $199 from Seaforth Sailing Club.

I live in Minneapolis and it's available here from Northern Breezes Sailing School for $369.

In both schools the course is 12 hours, with a maximum of three students on the boat. Not having taken a course from either, I can't offer any comparison of quality, but since they're both ASA certified, I assume both must meet similar standards.

From what I've heard, the course is good, so the only thing that seems worth double-checking is the price you've been quoted. You may be able to find something cheaper. If there isn't anything else in your area, it might be worth waiting until you can take it when you're already going somewhere that teaches it. I'm saving myself $170 by taking in San Diego.
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Old 08-05-2006, 07:27   #6
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Quote:
I live in Minneapolis and it's available here from Northern Breezes Sailing School for $369.
My wife and I took that very same course. Also spent a full summer in the sail club on Minnetonka Lake too. We took the class on 6 weekday evenings over 3 weeks. The Minneapolis park Board has classes too but they are cheaper but not as good since they have more people per boat. It was four people and the instructor per boat. You don't want any more than that or you don't get enough time on the tiller. It is nice with others as you get a crew to command and you learn a litlte from watching as much as by doing. They did a nice program that a lot of different people took and all but a very small few did quite well. People of all ages and walks of life.
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:53   #7
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Sorry, I'm in pensacola, Fl, I thought I put that in my profile, but I guess not, I'll go update that right away.

California is quite a ways to go to take lessons, so I think those are out of my range but I think I will go ahead and take this local class, from what I'm hearing 3 days for 500 is a pretty good price.

Paul: you're right about needing some real boat experience, I admit, I probably think I know more than I actually do about some things.

Nolatom: I might check into the new orleans one. new orleans is a relatively short trip from here, but who knows if the sailing lessons are still going on now after the hurricane.
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Old 08-05-2006, 11:07   #8
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ASA and US Sailing both have web sites with links to authorized schools. I know you can find schools in FL. I see ASA has 3 schools in Pensacola. Pick one you want to go to and call them up. Go there and see them teach and meet them. No need to go to a school where you don't like the people. It should be fun.
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Old 08-05-2006, 11:39   #9
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My wife and I took that very same course...They did a nice program that a lot of different people took and all but a very small few did quite well. People of all ages and walks of life.
Thanks for posting the review. I'll probably end up taking the next level course from Northern Breezes. They offer the full set of ASA courses (many of which are tough on Lake Superior). The class at Seaforth in San Diego was a lucky bit of serendipity - we were going there anyway and I was able to book the class for the same weekend we were planning to travel.
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Old 08-05-2006, 16:53   #10
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I will probably get a lot

of grief for this answer, but I would spend the money on a small sailboat and go do it. "It ain't rocket science". The few principles can be mastered in several hours. You are young enough to learn through trial and error. Many years ago I gave up motorcycles for sailboats and without instruction, went sailing. It was a memorable afternoon. None of us will ever forget it. The next weekend, one of my students accompanied us and much to my surprise, she jumped out of the boat 1/2 way down the lake and said, "pick me up on your way back". It was the best instruction I ever received. Half an hour of instruction and a lifetime of learning.
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Old 08-05-2006, 17:10   #11
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You'll get no grief from me, Jim.

I believe you made the right approach. On how you told your little story.I think you did it right.
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Old 08-05-2006, 17:19   #12
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I've done some really stupid stuff over 40 years but I never did any of it sailing. The only activity I ever have been involved with I can say that about. I think it has been for the better.

Most of mine was at the end of a rope or no rope at all on a cliff so far up and / or so far out it would take weeks for anyone to know. It wasn't often and none of it was necessary nor did I learn anything useful from it. Saying you survived being an idiot has little reward.

I've done far more that I did learn from and am proud of that was done because I knew how, knew why, and able to do becuase I was ready than I ever got out being a fool.

You don't need to do dumb stuff on purpose let alone encourage others to do so. We all come to that in many ways enough in our normal activities without inviting it. Sometimes people don't survive and some fools are lucky. Luck does still count but not for enough.
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Old 08-05-2006, 17:21   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sluissa
Sorry, I'm in pensacola, Fl, I thought I put that in my profile, but I guess not, I'll go update that right away.

California is quite a ways to go to take lessons, so I think those are out of my range but I think I will go ahead and take this local class, from what I'm hearing 3 days for 500 is a pretty good price.

Paul: you're right about needing some real boat experience, I admit, I probably think I know more than I actually do about some things.

Nolatom: I might check into the new orleans one. new orleans is a relatively short trip from here, but who knows if the sailing lessons are still going on now after the hurricane.

They're doing lessons, but could use customers, they just got some new Beneteau "First 7.5" boats for the classes. Check the ASA web site for contact info, they're the only one in New Orleans. I'm giving them a plug here because I like teaching, and it doesn't happen without students.
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Old 08-05-2006, 17:55   #14
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I'd join the United States Power and Sail squadron (USPS). It is a great organization that provides tons of class for all levels of boating. The classes are a very nominal cost. The side benefit is that it is mostly a social boating club. They tend to have all kinds of rallies, get togethers, day and weekend sails. The folks tend to be a little older, but they are for the most part exception and giving folks. Some local clubs even sponsor fun races. They are a great place to volunteer as "crew" and learn the ins and outs of sailing.

The only reason I'd take the costlier class is if they make you more confident of your abilities. Other than that, it is a matter of getting some wheel and winch time. Nothing like being out here to make all the "book" learning make sense.

Keith

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Old 08-05-2006, 18:43   #15
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I'll add this that the USCG auxilary has th best naivagation classes of any of tem. They offer a real class for those that just don;t get math. US Sail and ASA only offer home studty based courses. You'll find Chapman Piloting to be to be the best text book on the subject at least in a clear format you can learn from if you don't have math issues that require an instructor.

One thing about the USCG Auxiliary I'll say is these folks they take no money for teaching. They only do it except because they really want to do it. You'll know if you ever meet them. Many are USCG or US Navy Navigators - the best there is. They don't teach the advanced class often or near enough but it is a really good one and worth a long drive if you can take it.

There are a lot of skills to sailing but advanced navigation and piloting are the the ones to know best if nothing else.
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