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Old 27-12-2014, 14:21   #1
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Sailing qualifications usefulness

I've done an initial sailing course with RAA in Australia and found it a waste of money for sailing purposes.

I've also got some marine authority qualifications which I've found helpful but not necessary.

I read the following article about the need for qualifications or not and think it sums up my currant thoughts. Interested in anyone who thinks otherwise and any thoughts on benefits of them?

Are ASA , US Sailing certificate sailing schools worth it? | Sailing, Simplicity, and the Pursuit of Happiness
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Old 27-12-2014, 14:47   #2
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
I've done an initial sailing course with RAA in Australia and found it a waste of money for sailing purposes.

I've also got some marine authority qualifications which I've found helpful but not necessary.

I read the following article about the need for qualifications or not and think it sums up my currant thoughts. Interested in anyone who thinks otherwise and any thoughts on benefits of them?

Are ASA , US Sailing certificate sailing schools worth it? | Sailing, Simplicity, and the Pursuit of Happiness
You should take the appropriate sailing qualifications for what is necessary to sail in areas where you desire to go.

You should be familiar with all the elements of sailing that make you a safe and competent skipper.

One the requirements are out the way, qualifications cease to matter and knowledge needs to be updated continually.

That is the best answer I can give you.
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Old 27-12-2014, 15:01   #3
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

My wife and I took a series of ASA classes, mostly so I could have a professional instructor teach my wife. Was great for my wife, and protected our relationship.

The certificate itself has little value to us. We did get a slight discount on our boat insurance. Likely be useful if chartering (but we chartered before without certificates just fine).
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Old 27-12-2014, 15:05   #4
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

I meet people with Day Skipper Licence and other Mickey Mouse Qualifications who because they paid $1500 for a two day course think they are now competent sailors.

As long as you learn the Colregs (rules) I believe the best way to learn is cruising and racing on other peoples boats. And it takes years to learn enough to be a competent skipper and the learning never stops. Reading lots helps too.

Seen plenty of people with no experience whatsoever but lots of money buying boats and it always ends in disaster of some kind.

If you have money to throw away the courses will help a bit but experience and miles is what you really need.
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Old 27-12-2014, 15:29   #5
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

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...

If you have money to throw away the courses will help a bit but experience and miles is what you really need.
I have to disagree in general with this statement. A good instructor going through a course of instruction can go through many exercises and situations that could take many many months of cruising experience to see. If experience was all you needed, we could forget sending children to schools and just cut them loose. A sailing course of instruction can be a great help. Of course you will learn by experience, but I don't think that is really the most efficient path to knowledge. I say this going the route of experience only in my case, but seeing how taking a course helped my wife attain sailing skills much quicker than it took me.

I think however the OP's question referred to the value of the certificates that might result from taking courses. Their value I think depends much on an individuals needs, but in many cases the papers may be of little value.
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Old 27-12-2014, 15:56   #6
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

My experience with learning anything in life is you need to do it repeatedly for it to sink in.... I believe it is called programming.

An instructor can show me how to do something and I can do it there and then but if I don't repeat the exercise multiple times I will most likely have forgotten how to do it a week later.

Don't get me started on the school system. When i went to school they taught a one size fits all formula and if you didn't fit their mold you were SOL and considered an idiot... this formula of teaching unfortunately didn't seem to work for me. If I wasn't a star athlete I would have been expelled more than once. What a crock.

Just my point of view.
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Old 27-12-2014, 15:58   #7
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

I agree. The knowledge gained through courses is valuable. The certificate that says you've done it, not so much. I keep planning to do my Ocean Yachtmasters but the timing never pans out. My insurer recently told me I already had the biggest discount and that extra piece of paper wouldn't make any difference.
The knowledge will quickly fade if you dont practice it.
Experience will teach you many things that you wont find in a course.
A course will teach you the theory much faster than 'random' experience.
Most people will value your experience over your papers.

The same principles are true in most walks of life.

Consider the case of Celestial Nav...
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Old 27-12-2014, 23:18   #8
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

As someone who signed up for an ASA course form practically zero on water experience I found it a valuable start. On the water time is of course much more valuable in the long run but just as with driving you have to get your ABCs out of the way first. And it sure helps if the classes are taught by real old time salts and not by some yahoo who just recently squeaked by earning his instructor qualifications.

And my biggest learning curve is achieved on the water in the company of marine pros with decades of experience. Each such day is like a week/month's equivalent of sailing grad. school.
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Old 27-12-2014, 23:34   #9
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

Unless you tell us how old you are, we can't answer the question.

If you're an old, experienced, grizzled veteran, classes are for wimps, regardless of their gender. You can tell I'm old 'cuz I didn't use the word sex.

If you're young, you should know that the educational systems around the world have been eviscerated by the right wing politicians, so classes won't help you.

If you're middle-aged these days, you're basically screwed: too young to get grandfathered in, and too old to use a bad educational system as an excuse.

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Old 28-12-2014, 00:24   #10
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

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Originally Posted by Dennis.G View Post
I have to disagree in general with this statement. A good instructor going through a course of instruction can go through many exercises and situations that could take many many months of cruising experience to see. If experience was all you needed, we could forget sending children to schools and just cut them loose. A sailing course of instruction can be a great help. Of course you will learn by experience, but I don't think that is really the most efficient path to knowledge. I say this going the route of experience only in my case, but seeing how taking a course helped my wife attain sailing skills much quicker than it took me.

I think however the OP's question referred to the value of the certificates that might result from taking courses. Their value I think depends much on an individuals needs, but in many cases the papers may be of little value.
You are correct, I was mainly referring to the usefulness of accreditation.

In relation the the course I did, the instructor was not very good, spending most of the time to talk about himself and how great he is.

But I don't believe you can relate 'sailing experience' with school/curriculum education. Formal sailing education is still in most places a luxury and an expensive luxury at that. I guess I do question whether it is necessary at all.

But you are correct, my question was about the usefulness of 'accreditation'.
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Old 28-12-2014, 04:19   #11
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

We did the ASA courses and it provided us a base line from which to build. And without that little book and stamps we would have been thrown out of Montenegro and maybe Croatia.
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Old 28-12-2014, 05:07   #12
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

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We did the ASA courses and it provided us a base line from which to build. And without that little book and stamps we would have been thrown out of Montenegro and maybe Croatia.
What do you mean?

Are you saying you need some form of qualifications to sail in Montenegro and Croatia?
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Old 28-12-2014, 05:21   #13
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
What do you mean?

Are you saying you need some form of qualifications to sail in Montenegro and Croatia?
When we checked into Montenegro they wanted my capt license. Told them i did not have one and was told i would have to leave Montenegro as soon as possible. I told them i had ASA courses and handed them my book with the stamps and they took that. Now that was the clerk. The next day i had to go back with an insurance rider for 1 million euro liability and the port capt was there and went through my paperwork and a bit unfriendly until he asked how i got the boat across the Atlantic and i said sailed it - 2 person crew. His attitude immediately changed and we chatted for quite a while.

Our next stop they started to ask for my license when they noted my last port was Montenegro so did not. Guess they knew the folks in Montenegro are a bit stiff lipped about the license.
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Old 28-12-2014, 15:33   #14
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

If you're young, you should know that the educational systems around the world have been eviscerated by the right wing politicians, so classes won't help you.


Let's try this again, what do "right wing politicians" have to do with my sailing qualifications? Now I'm being nice and also within the guidelines
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Old 28-12-2014, 20:03   #15
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Re: Sailing qualifications usefulness

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When we checked into Montenegro they wanted my capt license. Told them i did not have one and was told i would have to leave Montenegro as soon as possible. I told them i had ASA courses and handed them my book with the stamps and they took that. Now that was the clerk. The next day i had to go back with an insurance rider for 1 million euro liability and the port capt was there and went through my paperwork and a bit unfriendly until he asked how i got the boat across the Atlantic and i said sailed it - 2 person crew. His attitude immediately changed and we chatted for quite a while.

Our next stop they started to ask for my license when they noted my last port was Montenegro so did not. Guess they knew the folks in Montenegro are a bit stiff lipped about the license.
This really surprises me. I wonder if any others have had this experience? I also wonder what would have happened you you didn't have that?

In Australia you need the equivalent of a speed boat license 'if' your boat has an engine greater than 4 hp I think it is. But, other than that nothing is needed. Which is pretty bad really, to think you can go out and purchase a 100 foot motor cruiser and use it on nothing more than the license it takes to operate a rubber ducks with an outboard.
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