and US Sail in the US are pretty close to the same thing. They issue certificates for each course completed. Some are more hands on and many are more technical and hands on both. I've been through quite a few of the ASA courses and the one thing about both organizations is that the instructors are certified to teach what they teach. The idea is you get the same course taught properly no matter what.
One nice thing about these groups is you can take any course any place they offer it provided you have completed the prerequisites. So you take a course near home, and a course in the BVI and do some off shore stuff in Florida
. Combined with a vacation
it's nice. My wife and I took a live aboard session at an ASA school
in San Diego
and the cost of the course was less than a downtown hotel
in San Diego
would cost and we stayed on the boat.
If you can, always try to meet the instructor or at least have a conversation with them. Some instructors are just better than others and some you may get along with better than others.
Some places will offer say the first three ASA course as a two week blitz. Unless you really have a lot behind you already I doubt you can actually complete them that fast. It does take a lot of practice to get so you really know the material and can perform the skills required. They all require a lot of book learning
especially the navigation parts