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Old 18-06-2012, 10:48   #1
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ASA 106 Bay Area recommendation

I am considering taking the ASA 106 certification course this October and my preference is to take it in the SF Bay area. I researched and found five schools in the SF Bay area and one in Santa Cruz. There are differences in price and in the length of the course. My priority is to enroll in the most effective instructional setting. I've completed the prereqs and have bareboat chartering experience in addition.
Has anyone had experience with the 106 and able to recommend (or not recommend) any particular school? Thanks! Ron
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Old 18-06-2012, 11:45   #2
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Re: ASA 106 Bay Area recommendation

OCSC...if you want the most effective. It's not the cheapest, but you get what you pay for with them. Ok, I'm biased, I taught there a long time ago. But I also knew much of the competition were certificate farms....just get you in and out for the least amount of money, truly competent or not, so they can sell you on a charter membership where they made their big money.

OCSC was not like that. You had to become truly competent to pass their courses. I have not been there in many years, but I know the same two guys still run the place and I doubt they have changed their philosophies about learning.
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Old 18-06-2012, 11:54   #3
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I agree with David. Taught there myself for 6 years. They are not ASA but USSailing. IMO the USSailing program is a vastly superior certificate program than ASA and you will note that most "certificate farms" run on ASA.

OCSC is not for everyone, but if you want to really learn how to sail versus only looking for a worthless piece of paper than OCSC is the only way to go. They have more than once been listed as the best school in the nation.

Don't be afraid of the prices as it includes access to the OCSC community and they have a policy that once you take a class you can take as many additional training lessons as required to pass that certificate level for free until you pass which is unique as most places just lower the standards of the test to let you pass.

Rich Jebson and Max Francher who run the facility are stellar sailors and the sailing programme and instructors are under constant development.

Consider yourself lucky to be in an area where you can take lessons from this place.

One bit of advice, if you are with an instructor you are not gelling with ask to change, personality fit is important...
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Old 18-06-2012, 12:08   #4
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Also.....

Give OCSC a call...number can be found here ocscsailing.com. More important than their classes is the sailing club you join by taking classes. It has online features and is designed to help you meet fellow crew and get out on the water to rack up miles in a fun a reasonably affordable way. They have tons of events each month and they organise 2-4 international charter sailing events each year where you can sign on as crew or skipper based on your level and sail with upto 15 OCSC filled boats all over the world. It is seriously fun.

This school is more than just a certificate farm, it is designed to get you out there sailing and not just in the bay but in the world and to jump start your admission to the sailing fraternity.

...uh yea you can tell I'm a fan. I have taught sailing for over 20 years all over the world and this place operated at the highest standards of any facility I worked at.

Ok, enough said
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Old 18-06-2012, 13:42   #5
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Re: ASA 106 Bay Area recommendation

OCSC is a wonderful school and I have several friends that taught there... I think that the caliber of instructors is also very good. I attended my US Sailing Instructor Courses at their facility. I was even the Beat Cop for them for about three yers and grew to know the staff very well.

With that said, another option is Club Nautique (Alameda & Sausalito), which has a very good US Sailing Coastal Cruising Course and instructors... I worked there several years before I went fulltime cruising and think that their Off-Shore programs rank evenly or a little higher than OCSC.

With that said, OCSC and Club Nautique would be the only sailing schools in the San Francisco Bay area I would use for me or my family.

As far as ASA, I would evaluate each facility individually... ASA, the organisation, has had problems and I have met several of there certified instructors, who I didn't think were up for the task. Just my opnion
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