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Old 12-06-2008, 08:06   #1
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Time to learn it right!

Although I have been an owner and casual sailer, week ends and such, read all the books and spent time on line, I think its high time I went to school to get the complete knowlege. Can anyone recommend a certified and good sailing school? Some where perhaps in Florida?

I've read a lot of adverts but 'believe half of what you read.......yada yada"
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:17   #2
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A lot of sailing schools are "hire anybody, pass anybody" diploma mills. I work at on that is NOT, and see people coming in who are supposed to have been "certified" at other places who haven't a clue. (and can't find a clew)

I honestly can't give you a simple checklist, because you can't trust advertising, but a good hint are the ones who tell you that 90% or other improbable fraction of people certify at the end of 3 days of class are probably the ones to avoid.

Low student/teacher ratios are a very good thing. I teach with 3 students per boat, and there are schools that have 5 or 6 per boat--not good.
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Old 13-06-2008, 11:39   #3
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Aloha Rich,
Welcome aboard! The two schools that I know are fairly reputable are U. S. Sailing and ASA. They have a pretty stringent course for their instructors and good study guides. I went through their instructor training syllabus and it was pretty good.
Your question is pretty specific for a meets and greets thread so you might want to go to Discussion Board and choose a more appropriate subject and start a new thread. I think you would get more responses and experienced opinions.
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Old 13-06-2008, 11:44   #4
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I second US Sailing, we hold many classes from them each year and they are top notch.
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Old 13-06-2008, 12:43   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richkd View Post
Although I have been an owner and casual sailer, week ends and such, read all the books and spent time on line, I think its high time I went to school to get the complete knowlege. Can anyone recommend a certified and good sailing school? Some where perhaps in Florida?
No doubt you have noticed specific schools haven't been mentioned, which I think is quite fair. Most people haven't taken lessons from six different schools and can't give you really good comparison, myself included. And if you’ve had a generally positive experience what does that really say?

I personally think RYA is a much more stringent certification than the other two. Testing is through a third party. But, in addition to the course, you have to have a lot logged hours to actually gain the RYA certification. If you are going to charter in the Caribbean, RYA certification is not needed so it tends to be a bit of a hard sell in the US. It was for me – I went with ASA.

One thing I have noticed about Florida schools is that some are a bit more geared to racing as a whole whereas others are more towards cruising. Both seem good.
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Old 13-06-2008, 12:55   #6
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One of the things I read about classes is take the ones where you spend the most time on the water, IE live on the boat for a week. The costal crusing/bareboat classes where you ware back at the same marina every night can't be (in my opinion) as the ones where you live on the boat for a week going to different places/doing different things (mornings/anchoring/docking).
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Old 13-06-2008, 13:01   #7
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One of the things I read about classes is take the ones where you spend the most time on the water, IE live on the boat for a week. The costal crusing/bareboat classes where you ware back at the same marina every night can't be (in my opinion) as the ones where you live on the boat for a week going to different places/doing different things (mornings/anchoring/docking).
I have to agree with this. Return to the dock each night is nice if you want to go to restaurants and practice docking (which is important) but live aboard classes where you spend a good deal anchoring out, attaching to moorings and docking are a bit better rounded. And more interesting in my opinion.
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Old 13-06-2008, 13:45   #8
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In theory anything ASA certified teaches to that standard. In Florida you also have the Colgate's Offshore Sailing School, one of the larger independents with hq on Sanibel/Captiva if I recall. They're hooked up with The Moorings for charters, but ages ago I learned with them while they were hq'd in NY and they did a good job teaching.
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Old 13-06-2008, 13:52   #9
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US Sailing and ASA are the two national organizations. I have heard good things about Colgate too. I would try to talk to the actual instructor that would teach the class you would really take. I've met a lot of instructors and they all are different. Most really like what they do because you don't make a lot of money doing it but you might as well find someone you like. In discussions find out how many are in the class and how much time you actually get on the water and how much time do you control the boat. A few in a class is not bad as you watch someone and learn from their mistakes too but you do want time for yourself too. Ask around good instructors usually get a good reputation too.
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