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Old 07-01-2014, 16:25   #16
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Well there were a couple of students in the 2 day Basic Keelboat class which I passed. In the combined basic cruising and bareboat cruising courses, it was me and another guy with the instructor. The instructor is some famous icon in the BVI but failed to do any real teaching. I'll relay my concerns to Colgate since their director contacted me today. There was another class going on with 4 students all members of a family who had previous sailing experience so no surprise that they all passed plus they had a much better instructor whom I'd met the very last day after our instructor had bailed.
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Old 07-01-2014, 16:33   #17
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Re: Offshore Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review

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Yeah, I don't know how they can claim that with a clear conscience.

Again, my experience is with ASA, not USS, but the 104 Bareboat course is 2 or 3 days on the water and has a 120 page text to be studied for the written exam.

Take that away and that leaves 4-5 days to master the skills and secure the knowledge contained in a 200 page textbook necessary to pass the Basic Keelboat and Basic Coastal Cruising exams.

Seems an awful lot to promise to someone without any sailing experience. I know I couldn't have done it that way.
It's can be done in a week , speed read the two books. There are still sitting on my library's shelf with little post-it's still stuck in them , agh nostalgia

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Old 07-01-2014, 17:07   #18
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Re: Offshore Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review

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Well there were a couple of students in the 2 day Basic Keelboat class which I passed.
Well that's something to be proud of. I took 5 weeks to do that.

But I am curious. After those two days of training would you have felt comfortable taking out a 20-27' boat on your own?
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Old 07-01-2014, 18:27   #19
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Re: Offshore Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review

I do agree that skill and experience trump any paper certification in real world sailing. BUT if you ever want to charter a boat in a nice place like Croatia or Turkey or Europe, good luck doing that without the US Sailing credentials to get the IPC requirement for EU sailing chartering. They will laugh you out the door and never rent you a boat. Of course, if you are rich and own a yacht, then paper certs are not required. It is like trying to rent a plane without the pilot certificate, impossible.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:02   #20
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Re: Offshore Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review

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Well there were a couple of students in the 2 day Basic Keelboat class which I passed. In the combined basic cruising and bareboat cruising courses, it was me and another guy with the instructor. The instructor is some famous icon in the BVI but failed to do any real teaching. I'll relay my concerns to Colgate since their director contacted me today. There was another class going on with 4 students all members of a family who had previous sailing experience so no surprise that they all passed plus they had a much better instructor whom I'd met the very last day after our instructor had bailed.
I agree you need to sit the written portion again as soon as possible. Assuming you know the material well enough. With a 2:1 student/ instructor ratio for 4-5 days at sea for the coastal/bareboat portion, you must have had many hours as crew/helmsman?
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:13   #21
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Re: Offshore Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review

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I agree you need to sit the written portion again as soon as possible. Assuming you know the material well enough. With a 2:1 student/ instructor ratio for 4-5 days at sea for the coastal/bareboat portion, you must have had many hours as crew/helmsman?
I'm assuming he passed the skills requirements but didn't have enough time to adequately study the texts for the written exams.
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Old 08-01-2014, 07:22   #22
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Re: Offshore Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review

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I'm assuming he passed the skills requirements but didn't have enough time to adequately study the texts for the written exams.
I agree. He should be able to sit the written portion at any USS school for a fee of course. It isn't difficult material but you do have to review and put it in your mind before the exam. Allot of questions on my exam were not even covered by the instructor. Previous experience was the only thing that helped me through. My 16 year old son on the other hand, had difficulty with material that wasn't covered. He made through though with the help of dear old Dad. (we did the program together)
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Old 08-01-2014, 10:52   #23
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Re: Offshore Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review

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I do agree that skill and experience trump any paper certification in real world sailing. BUT if you ever want to charter a boat in a nice place like Croatia or Turkey or Europe, good luck doing that without the US Sailing credentials to get the IPC requirement for EU sailing chartering. They will laugh you out the door and never rent you a boat. Of course, if you are rich and own a yacht, then paper certs are not required. It is like trying to rent a plane without the pilot certificate, impossible.

Do you know for a fact that they " will laugh you out the door" , perhaps you have studied the allowable list of boats certification , USA section of the Croatia Government document. perhaps you might study it again.

hint : ASA104 or US sailing equivalent, is a great ticket for the med. Even the lesser ones are quite valid. ( talk to the charters)


note that skill and experience do not trump paper, its a complementary process. both are better then ether one

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Old 08-01-2014, 14:35   #24
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Re: Offshore Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review

Well the Moorings and Sunsail which charter sailboats in many places do require both experience and credentials via certifications.
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Old 17-03-2014, 16:08   #25
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Re: Offshore Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review

I just finished the basic keelboat,Basic cruising ,bareboat cruising, and catamran endorsement course thru offshore school. The instructors were great ! I have been lake sailing for 30 years with a sprinkle of gulf and island sails. I took the course to up grade my navigation and get some sailing on a cat.I just signed a contract to buy a 40'catfrom Moorings.
My only complaint was I was on a boat with a guy that argued with the instructor ,even though he had never sailed. this guy was a night mare and very unsafe
In the cat course we took the boat out , with out an instructor, for a night .
The absolute worse experience of my life ! this guy was so set on doing things his way . I verbalize my concern to the instructor but he convienced me to go any way.
By the time we got to the anchorage I was ready to take the dingy back to the dock .
This guy was crazy!! A squall blew up and he didn't want to reef the sails I just went below and let him struggle above the screams of his wife.
The next day as we were going back to the marina his wife was supposed to be the '
"Captain" I told him I was reefing the sails and just did it ! then I just ignore his bagering his wife and left the boat as soon as we got to the dock. I was met by the instructor and told him this guy was dangerous and should not ever charter a boat with out a captain!!
How ever overall I learned what I set out to learn and was very happy with the school . I will take ownership of my cat in june and will bring it back to US with a delivery Captain and seasoned crew.
I do recommend the school and instructors
Read the books , learn to tie the knots before you go to the course, and take the course seriously
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Old 17-03-2014, 16:17   #26
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Re: Offshore Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review

Did you do the one on Ft. Myers Beach? Thanks for the input and hate that you had to deal with that, frustrating to say the least
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Old 17-03-2014, 16:25   #27
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Re: Offshore Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review

No I was in the BVI
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Old 18-03-2014, 08:17   #28
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Re: Offshore Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review

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Thanks guys, I did not mean to completely slam Colgate Offshore but even their instructors admitted to us that it was unrealistic for the sales brochures to portray mastery in a week of sailing. One instructor at Offshore Colgate to his credit recommended that I get on a crew as 'rail meat' to gain experience and study and retake the failed exams. I should then be good to go in a year of experience. I had the same thing with learning scuba diving and flying. It was not until I had done 40 dives that I was comfortable as a scuba diver. With aviation, having 200+ hours after the checkride now getting ok as a pilot as well. Still learning never can stop. I will buy some ropes from West Marine and practice tying the knots until they are second nature. Then get on a crew with OCSC in the bay area. Funny, even if you have experience and credentials, most of the yacht clubs in the bay area like OCSC still require a check out evaluation before they will charter one of their yachts to you. Other places like the Moorings just want to see experience and certs in a logbook.

I have had PADI advanced open water certification since 1977
And I have to say that if it took 40 dives to get comfortable there was a real
problem with your training. My son got certified recently and. It was a joke
Compared to the training of 37 years ago. Way to much reliance on dive computers and no training with dive tables and complex situations like
Flying and Diving. Also very little training in various swimming techniques
Like swimming face in water no mask just snorkel. Basic requirement for me
was 500 yards. Even though I gave up my private ticket years and years ago
I can tell you that with 200 hours you are just entering the Danger Zone
This is where you think you got it figured out. But still really don't know jack
Did they even teach you spin recovery? Did you practice it? Get IFR even if you
Plan only on VFR. It will save your butt maybe someday
I know this is a big digression but both Scuba and Aviation (private,balloons
hang gliders ,large RC) been huge
Passions of mine and both can get you killed way quicker than Sailing

By the way this summer I plan on getting a whole bunch of ASA certs so
I don't have to jump through hoops to charter and not have to play
20 questions about sailing
I think I'm gonna go with Bluewater School in RI
Anybody have any experience with them
Happy and save sailing to All
Ps: 1st rule of Scuba Diving is Always Breath
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Old 18-03-2014, 08:26   #29
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Re: Offshore Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review

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Originally Posted by cruisernewbie View Post
Thanks guys, I did not mean to completely slam Colgate Offshore but even their instructors admitted to us that it was unrealistic for the sales brochures to portray mastery in a week of sailing. One instructor at Offshore Colgate to his credit recommended that I get on a crew as 'rail meat' to gain experience and study and retake the failed exams. I should then be good to go in a year of experience. I had the same thing with learning scuba diving and flying. It was not until I had done 40 dives that I was comfortable as a scuba diver. With aviation, having 200+ hours after the checkride now getting ok as a pilot as well. Still learning never can stop. I will buy some ropes from West Marine and practice tying the knots until they are second nature. Then get on a crew with OCSC in the bay area. Funny, even if you have experience and credentials, most of the yacht clubs in the bay area like OCSC still require a check out evaluation before they will charter one of their yachts to you. Other places like the Moorings just want to see experience and certs in a logbook.

I have had PADI advanced open water certification since 1977
And I have to say that if it took 40 dives to get comfortable there was a real
problem with your training. My son got certified recently and. It was a joke
Compared to the training of 37 years ago. Way to much reliance on dive computers and no training with dive tables and complex situations like
Flying and Diving. Also very little training in various swimming techniques
Like swimming face in water no mask just snorkel. Basic requirement for me
was 500 yards. Even though I gave up my private ticket years and years ago
I can tell you that with 200 hours you are just entering the Danger Zone
This is where you think you got it figured out. But still really don't know jack
Did they even teach you spin recovery? Did you practice it? Get IFR even if you
Plan only on VFR. It will save your butt maybe someday
I know this is a big digression but both Scuba and Aviation (private,balloons
hang gliders ,large RC) been huge
Passions of mine and both can get you killed way quicker than Sailing

By the way this summer I plan on getting a whole bunch of ASA certs so
I don't have to jump through hoops to charter and not have to play
20 questions about sailing
I think I'm gonna go with Bluewater School in RI
Anybody have any experience with them
Happy and save sailing to All
Ps: 1st rule of Scuba Diving is Always Breath
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