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Old 11-05-2006, 19:38   #1
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Hello

Let me introduce myself, I am about ready to fall into retirement with my first mate of 35 years (really the skipper). We always had a dream of sailing off into the sunset once we check out of the rat race. Looking to gain knowledge on cruising multihulls, a Cat in the 38-42ft range. We have boated all our lives, mostly power boats and small sail boats. We live on a small lake, and currently own a 24' pontoon boat, a sunfish, and 17' power boat used for pulling the kids behind on an inner tube, and for fishing. I have done some racing on a J35 with a friend, did the Newport to Ensenada race 3 times. We would like to some day charter a Cat, but before that we feel the need for more sailing instructions on a Cat. Looking for suggestions- sailing schools? Captain charters? How are they for 2 handed sailing? Will be appreciative of any suggestions by those who have been there and done it.
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Old 11-05-2006, 23:35   #2
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Welcome aboard to cruisersforum, Doug.

Well. There are plenty of catamaran or trimaran owners on this forum. They could help you out with some advice.

I have looked into them myself. But, I own a mono hull myself.

Good luck in your quest. And welcome abaord.
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Old 12-05-2006, 11:47   #3
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Doug, Welcome!

ASA (American Sailing Association) teaches a catamaran class as part of their sailing series. They teach a course you take after the beginning keelboats classes. They seem to prefer to start with mono hull sailing then teach the catamaran class as more of a these are the differences approach. They assume some intermediate level of keelboat sailing when you start. I think it gets you to the meat of the class to have that background first.

Obviously your J35 experience matches more of the types of things you want to learn more about. You might like the ASA series and you can do them as a liveaboard class in many areas. It's nice because it isn't just basic sailing school, it's a lot of fun.

With all your experience, you should breeze through the basic class and most schools will let you "test out" of prerequisit classes. I would encourage you and the Admiral to take the series as it covers just about everything and in most every way you both need the training. My wife and I dd the bareboat chartering series as a liveaboard class in San Diego - great place to take a class.

That would get you into a good position to charter other boats and cover basic boat operations through intermediate sailing as well as beginning navigation. It's at that point you would take the ASA catamaran class. I would contact some of the schools and talk to them on the phone to get a beter feel how they work and if you like that approach. Each has it's own subtle differences. The liveaboard class we took in San Diego was nice just us on the boat and an instructor from 9 to 3 every day. We each dd everything and slept aboard.

2 handed sailing you can handle a large boat, but it really means two handed with each of you doing all the various parts working together. There isn't a size limit more as there is a skill limit and a level of practice and experience that is needed. Since you have sailed a J35 I would say when you both feel comfortable at that level the next steps are more a matter of practice and patience to build some experience and confidence. I think you'll get there faster starting smaller and working up as you grow plus learn together.

It would really be nice to just show up at the dock and go, but I think you'll want to be able to get back too. If you make it a fun time learning can be great fun too.
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Old 12-05-2006, 18:26   #4
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Thank you for the advice. We live well outside of Chicago, and will look into if there are ASA classes in the city, I believe there are, but as far as Catamarans go, they are somewhat non existent on Lake Michigan, and ASA would probably not offer a class on them here locally. Again thank you for your advice.
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Old 12-05-2006, 19:16   #5
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Northern Breezes out of Bayfiled, WI teaches the Catamaran course in the Virgin Islands at least once per year. They do winter trips there as the Lake Superior Sailing in March is not so great.

You would need the prerequisit calsses first and you could take those in Chicago. I took a class from them in Minneapolis some years ago. They teach all of the ASA classes. That is an advantage to the ASA system you can take the classes where you want. Some you take on the lake near home and others you take where ever you want.
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Old 13-05-2006, 19:10   #6
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My wife and I completed all the different classifications for bare boat catamaran certification (course 114) on a week course out of Ft Lauderdale with water sailing">Blue Water sailing school. Rated the course as very instructive for beginner novices.
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