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Old 10-05-2013, 13:11   #1
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Live Aboard Sailing School?

I've been looking at some of these live aboard sailing schools down in Florida and Im wondering if anyone has done one of these courses or knows if its worth the 1500-2000 dollars per person to take one of these courses? Which schools are better? Or maybe someone who lives in Florida would be interested in making some extra money and taking my friend and i out and teach us some sailing skills. I've mentioned previous threads we are taking a 3-4 month trip this winter starting in Florida and heading to the Bahamas and wherever else our time allows.
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Old 10-05-2013, 13:48   #2
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Re: live aboard sailing school?

I took a few of 5-11 day courses with Annapolis Sailing School when they had a sailing school branch in St. Croix, USVI; the school is not present there any more. One of the best courses that I have taken, was "Bare boat Chartering" in the USVI & BVI. It was a 9-day hands-on sailing course, following a 2-day intro/refresher course. It is too bad that Annapolis Sailing discontinued their training in St. Croix. By far, it was a lot of fun...practically every day, 4-6 students planned to anchor/spend the night at a different cove. Choice of boats were either O'Day 37 or Gulfstar 50; depending on the level of comfort you were willing to pay for. The bottom line...nothing beats hands-on sailing experience, augmented by book learning under the supervision of an old salt. After a few years of sailing...the pace travel was getting very slow to me...so, moved up to floatplane travel; much less traveling time spent to get to the SCUBA diving sites I want to explore. Mauritz
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Old 10-05-2013, 14:00   #3
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Re: live aboard sailing school?

I did the Annapolis Sailing School on the Chesapeake for 5 days. Well worth it. We were on the O'Day 37.
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Old 10-05-2013, 14:22   #4
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Re: live aboard sailing school?

I did Rob Swain Sailing School's Live Aboard class on Tortola in January. The recommendation came from a friend in the charter business. It was a great experience. Shoot me a PM if you want more details.

Cheers, RickG
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:20   #5
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Re: live aboard sailing school?

Hi!
My brother and I did the BWSS (Blue Water Sailing School) Bareboat Skipper course a couple years ago, out of Ft Lauderdale. It was the first "big boat" sailing I'd done, a number of years after the last laser/sunfish/etc time I'd had.
We were both very happy with the school- nice boat (Dufour Gib Sea 42), 4 students and an instructor... even the food was good. You do the ASA 101, 103 and 104 modules, with the tests at the end. Lots of hands on the wheel time, sailing all day for 4 (or 5? I can't remember) days.
I'd certainly recommend it, a great experience.

(and hello! first post here!)
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Old 11-05-2013, 11:26   #6
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Re: live aboard sailing school?

I took my basic and advanced cruising classes at JWorld in Annapolis and highly recommend them. Don't write off the Chesapeake in the summer - it's a lot of fun and more affordable than going to the Caribbean. Also, are you there to drink and laze around on beaches all day or are you there to learn how to sail? The amount of educational materials covered in the US Sailing courses is so broad that I don't see how you could get enough time to really laze around, which is what you want when you spend a lot of money and time getting to the caribbean or florida from where you are.

My wife and a few friends took the ASA curricula and I took the US Sailing curricula.

Although it may appear that the ASA and US Sailing curricula are similar, I have found that the educational quality of the US Sailing curricula to be superior on what was actually covered during the courses. IMO - ASA is learning to sail at a price point whereas you pay a bit more (in some cases a lot more) but have better overall instruction under US Sailing.
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Old 11-05-2013, 15:38   #7
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Thanks for the info guys. We were thinking it would be a good idea to go take our classes down in Florida because he has no experience and i have only a little so we wanted to the class there to get a feel for the ocean rather than take the class on lake superior. We aren't looking to drink and laze. We want to learn so that we are comfortable enough to drink and laze on the big trip.
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Old 11-05-2013, 16:54   #8
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Re: live aboard sailing school?

There are lots of great schools and instructors out there. IMHO, stick to schools and instructors who are sanctioned under the ASA or US Sailing.

In Florida, I have sailed with water sailing">Blue Water Sailing School. Echoing the comments above, they are a great operation with nice boats, great instructors, and a solid program of instruction based on the ASA progession. Well worth the money and time, at whatever level you are looking to gain experience.

www.bwss.com

Highly recommended.
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Old 12-05-2013, 14:42   #9
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I guess i should have looked into these schools before i got my tickets. Had such a small window between jobs so just jumped on he cheapest flight i could get. Now Im having a hard time finding a course to get into. The bwss is full. Going to keep looking see what i can find. Otherwise I guess ill just be boat shopping this week and next. Flying into Orlando wed afternoon. Can't wait to get out of Minnesota. It snowed again yesterday and freezing again tonight.
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Old 12-05-2013, 14:42   #10
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Happy mothers day by the way
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Old 12-05-2013, 15:40   #11
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Re: live aboard sailing school?

You can try Colgate sailing school. Their boats are so good we bought one many years ago...

Sailing School Locations - Sailing Schools | Offshore Sailing School
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Old 15-05-2013, 22:40   #12
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found a place to take asa 101. they will let me rent there boats with just that so rather than burn up my whole vacation reading books im just going with one course fir now. by the way im loving the Florida weather. driving to the keys right now.
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Old 16-05-2013, 04:40   #13
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Re: live aboard sailing school?

Many years ago , I did all my ASA courses with Sunsail in Tampa Bay, very good is was too, stayed on the boat the whole time?

Had a great instructor, thats what made all teh difference, took the exams on the boat ,classroom instruction on the boat etc etc. I enjoyed it immensely

Dont know if they are still doing it of course,

dave
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Old 16-05-2013, 06:39   #14
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Re: live aboard sailing school?

Yes, the instructor makes all the difference. The school that used to be run by Sunsail in Tampa Bay is now this one...
Florida Sailing - Florida Sailing School - Florida Sailboat Charter - Team Building, Florida Sailing, Florida Yacht, Bareboat Sailing, Florida Sailing Vacation, Florida, Learn to Sail Florida, Bareboat Charters Florida, Team Building, Sunset Cruises,

They have a nice facility and well-kept boats. I have taken a couple of courses from them, and can recommend them.
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Old 23-05-2013, 20:21   #15
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Smile Re: live aboard sailing school?

Hi,

If you live in Minnesota I'd go to "the islands" instead of Florida. The air fare will only be an additional $150-220. At least, that is what I found flying out of Pittsburgh.

I learned how to sail in the USVI this January with Blue Water Sailing School (BWSS). They are totally legit. For $2000 + $200 tip I lived aboard a 43-footer for seven days with three other students and our teacher. After a week, I got my ASA 101/103/104 certification. I would strongly recommend them if $2200 isn't too much for you. For me, it was a little too much but it was the only way to get started. BWSS is based in Ft. Lauderdale if you would prefer Florida.

Our teacher with BWSS was good friends with other teachers from the Fair Wind Sailing School. We often ended up in the same places as they did so we got to know some of them and their students. They were a great bunch and the school is also totally legit and I'd recommend them.

The same teacher also taught at Barefoot Offshore Sailing School (BOSS) in the Grenadines for many years. She remembers them with fondness and strongly recommends them. I am probably going to get my ASA 105/106 certification with them because I enjoy visiting new places.

One thing I cannot stress strongly enough is to read the three ASA textbooks in their entirety before going. If you do, then sailing school can be much more relaxing and enjoyable--like a vacation. Why shouldn't it be if you are paying that much.

Best wishes. . .

John
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