I started off reading everything that I could get my hands on about sailing theory, terms, rules, points of sale
Once I understood everything and could sail well on paper , then my wife and I started with the ASA
courses. We did the Keel
Boat corse on a big local lake on a 25' Catalina
for several days and had a blast. We both passed our certs with good marks and set up the second ASA
Coastal Cruising course in the Bahamas
on a 7 day charter
. This was an interesting course since our Captain/Instructor was on the boat (37' Tayana) during the day teaching us and allowing us to do all the sailing, then had his wife pick him up in a chase boat and leave us on a mooring
or at a slip for the rest of the day and evening with a 13' Boston Whaler dinghy
so that we could explore islands, snorkel, etc...
Absolute best of both worlds. We really needed the experience and confidence that sailing a 37' gave us during that week.
My wife and I are in contract
with our first sailboat, a 32' Pearson
Vanguard and these classes
gave us the knowledge and experience to feel confident in our plans. Of course we will continue to learn sailing our own boat but we now possess the skill and rules of the road NOT to go out there and become a danger
to ourselves or anyone else for that matter.
I would highly reccomend at least the first 2 classes
in the ASA certification
program for anyone just starting out. If for nothing else than a great couple of days on the water
to determine if this is right for you.