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Old 23-11-2007, 07:51   #1
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Sailing convert seeks school advice

Hi there, we are currently power boat coastal cruisers (PNW to So. Ca. area) and are coming up on semi retirement. This will allow us to spend more time on a boat and take longer trips, Longer trips mean more money for Fuel, and more fuel economy needed for the range we need. Adding the ability to Sail supplements that as well as adding stability to rough conditions, so we are searching for a blue water motor-cruiser to replace our Power Boat.

To make an educated decision about the rigging, hull and cabin configuration we are looking to complete and get certified in an ASA Sailing school.

My question - any recommendations on a So Ca area School that can be attended in consecutive days, or in blocks of time, as we live in Tucson.

Any other advice?

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Old 23-11-2007, 08:47   #2
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Hey there! San Diego resident here, and my fiancee (and her brother) have both attended J-World, which is right across the harbor from us here. They do their classes on J-80s, and teach from a racing point of view, which is the best way to go in my opinion.

San Diego Sailing School - J World the Sailing School in San Diego - Learn to Sail

They have weekend, and 5 day classes. She took the 5 day class, and it cost maybe around $1000 or so. Totally worth it. She learned:

- docking under sail
- tacking / jibing
- reefing
- spinnakers
- rules of the road
- all kinds of other good stuff

It's a really great course, and I'm even thinking of going myself to bone up on some skills. You can also rent J80's out of there after you take the course, so that's a bonus.

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Old 23-11-2007, 10:38   #3
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Hi Matey,
Can't provide the specific advice you seek but suggest with a motor / sailor in mind, getting trained on a race boat is not actually the best route.
Hopefully there will be other schools where you can learn to get the best out of a motor / sailor - they are a different kettle of fish than a J.
Good luck
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Old 23-11-2007, 11:29   #4
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Again, just my opinion:

If you want to learn how to sail, learn from racers. They go out in every condition imagineable, don't rely on engines (J80's you'll train on don't even have them), and really know how a sailboat works. These guys grew up on boats, and all they do all day is sail. They sail dinghies, mid range, cats, and crew on America's cup boats.

I've been to some of the "cruising classes", and there's too much lost in all the stuff that has nothing to do with a sailboat. If you want a diesel lecture, go to a diesel place. But if you want to learn "sailing", learn from the pros.

JWorld is highly recommended by everyone I know that's gone there. See if you can get an instructor named Rob; he's the best. Very cool guy.
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Old 23-11-2007, 12:03   #5
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I agree with swagman, a motor sailer has nothing to do with racer training. Different boat entirely
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Old 23-11-2007, 14:34   #6
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Old Pueblo - Seems to be an overlap here. My wife and I went through some ASA courses in the San Juans in Washington, and we bought a boat in Washington, and we are nearing semi-retirement, but we live in Tucson. We took the ASA courses from San Juan Sailing in Bellingham. PNW certainly has its unique challenges, and its a great place to get some more training.
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Old 23-11-2007, 16:16   #7
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Old 23-11-2007, 18:22   #8
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Aloha BobbnAlong,
Welcome aboard!! My advice is to go to any school you can find. You'll learn a lot no matter where you go. Racing is fun and competitive and teaches you how to trim your sails for optimum performance. For learning how to choose a boat for motor sailing I'd not go to a racing centered course.
We teach classes for $3 a session here in Hawaii and cover all the things mentioned above for club members at $50 a year. We're cheap but we teach the same things over a much longer period of time. You might find some clubs in your area that do the same kind of thing.
Kind Regards,
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Old 24-11-2007, 04:49   #9
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My wife and I went for a one week liveaboard course in San Diego. San Diego Sailing Academy. San Diego Sailing Academy

They do a nice private session for the both of you and you live on the boat the whole time. When you add up hotel room charges we found the school was cheaper than staying in a hotel. This also means the class is one on one. J World there is also popular as noted above. They do groups of students and the course itself is very similar. Nick is the owner and a good instructor and his son is a Catalina 30 national champ racer. I would say if you do only one thing you should find out who will teach your course and try to meet them or talk to them on the phone. The ASA and US Sail schools all have a well developed program but every instructor is different.

Doing multiple classes is not easy to pass all in one shot. I have seen the first 3 ASA courses taught back to back as a liveaboard. I just can't see how you can master the first class soon enough to get through the other two. Doing the second and third course basically gets you bare boat charter certificates. I would really suggest doing the first class and then try and spend more time on the water actually sailing for some experience before attempting to do the last two.

Taking the course together can be a great idea. You do need to build confidence in each other for good sailing.

All the courses require a lot of reading and written work. Having read and studied all the material for the 2nd and 3rd course before we got there

Paul Blais
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