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Old 14-05-2010, 08:25   #1
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Catamaran Sailing School in BVI

Does anyone know of a sailing school that teaches you how to sail on a Catamaran? We need to brush up on our sailing skills and we will be purchasing a cat eventually anyway so we may as well learn on what we want to purchase.

We had looked at a bareboat with experienced family member as captain but it looks like a sudden health issue may be a problem and we are not experienced enough to bareboat by ourselves.......

Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 14-05-2010, 10:14   #2
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snorklegirl,

Save your money. We just went form a Catalina 380 to a Mahe 36 last year and learned to sail the cat in a four hour sail ourselves. Personally think it’s easier on the cat with the two engines and the deck staying flat. You can walk around the boat far easier and safer. The only thing about a cat that is different is you have to reef earlier as the boat manufacturer recommends. In a mono if you did not reef properly she just lays over farther and spills off the stronger wind on a cat they tend to accelerate.

Just pick a mellow day for your first cruise and you will see there are really no worries.

Mark
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Old 14-05-2010, 12:58   #3
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Originally Posted by snorklegirl View Post
Does anyone know of a sailing school that teaches you how to sail on a Catamaran? We need to brush up on our sailing skills and we will be purchasing a cat eventually anyway so we may as well learn on what we want to purchase.

We had looked at a bareboat with experienced family member as captain but it looks like a sudden health issue may be a problem and we are not experienced enough to bareboat by ourselves.......

Anyone have any ideas?
Easiest thing is to take a bareboat but have the charter company put an ASA qualified skipper aboard. Last year they were available for $150-200 per day plus you feed them.
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Old 16-05-2010, 07:09   #4
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we just finished a week on a cat in the BVIs and used fairwindsailing. They were great, we got 4 ASA certifications, including Cat. Captain Francis was great. Highly recommended if this is the route you choose.
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Old 17-05-2010, 07:09   #5
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we just finished a week on a cat in the BVIs and used fairwindsailing. They were great, we got 4 ASA certifications, including Cat. Captain Francis was great. Highly recommended if this is the route you choose.
My wife and I did the same thing back in December with Fairwinds. We chose them because they would allow us to charter the entire cat for just the two of us. Which we wanted to do, to see how it would be sailing a 42 ft. cat just the two of us. We paid a little extra to have the boat and instructor ( Tim McKenna) to ourselves, but for us it was totally worth it. We did every tack, every MOB, every mooring, all week long. Just the two of us with his oversight. As a specific example, we would heave-to every day to fix lunch. The other Fairwinds boats were loaded with students, and I know that by day six they STILL had not even learned to heave-to once. That turned out to be a really valuable little thing for us. We junked the standard MOB drill to find one that works when 100% of your crew falls overboard. Valuable experience right there, I don't care who y'are. We got an intense course in it, got the undivided attention of the instructor, were not held back by the slowest non-sailing member of the group, were not packed like sardines into a four cabin boat ( we had two empty cabins), got to concentrate repeatedly on where we needed the practice, etc. Highly recommended. And we also found out that for the two of us, we don't need a 42 ft. boat. I think that revelation alone probably paid for the extra charter/ ASA instruction costs, in the long run.

And I do not agree with posters who say sailing a cat is the same as a monohull with only the reefing being different. Falling off instead of heading up into a gust is different. Riding a following sea is different. Anchoring with a bridle is definitely different. Motoring in tight spaces with two engines is different. Handling in cross winds near a dock is different. If you choose a calm day, with no surprises, sure, you can work it out on your own.

Is that realistic training? Nope.
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