Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 29-07-2009, 04:51   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SW Florida U.S.A
Boat: none(fornow)
Posts: 192
Thinking about ASA Classes

Hello all. i have recently been bitten by the boating bug, I spent a lot of time on the water in boats when I was growing up, but haven't been aboard in probably 20 years. I am thinking of buying a first sailboat and taking the ASA keelboat 101 class. What is the general opinion of these classes? Are they worth the money $300 to $500 depending on where I go? Or can I just read a couple of books or whatever and learn the same things they teach in the class?

Ken
__________________

__________________
kcmarcet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-07-2009, 07:55   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cayuga Lake NY - or on the boat somewhere south of there
Boat: Caliber 40
Posts: 1,096
they are worth the money if you go to a decent school. you can read all you want but sailing is a learning-by-doing kind of thing. a good instructor is worth his/her weight in gold - you can spend three or four days asking every question you can think of and come out of it a lot more educated than you started even if you read everything you can get your hands on.
__________________

__________________
sck5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-07-2009, 08:31   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Missouri, USA
Boat: 17' Thistle and 13' Catboat
Posts: 28
It all depends. The classes are worth the money, and a ruined boat or even a ruined day caused by lack of training can cost you much more. If you have boating experience and you have an interest in studying you can certainly cut your class time, but nothing replaces the hands-on actual sailing aspects you really need to be safe.
It also depends on what boat and which water you choose to begin. Ten-feet dinghy in a local lake on a quiet day versus 25-plus-feet yacht on ICW....... If the latter is your ambition, skipping the baby steps most of us took, please do take the ASA classes. If you learn sailing from a friend, you'll also learn his/her mistakes. Same as with driving or skiing lessons. One strategy does not exclude the other. Learn from books/websites, from friends, from practice, but give your development some structure by taking some lessons from a good instructor.
__________________
htraudes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-07-2009, 08:45   #4
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
Taking lessons will most likely assure you of the ability to move forward quickly in your skills. As posted learning from someone who is not a teacher may bring in some bad habit to begin with. Sometimes these bad habit can hurt. I think lessons give you a jump start on those who are self taught for most cases.......i2f
__________________
SAILING is not always a slick magazine cover!
BORROWED..No single one of is as smart as all of us!
http://sailingwithcancer.blogspot.com/
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29-07-2009, 08:51   #5
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
If you can, go to the school and meet the instructor first. They are all certified but you may like one better. Might as well get one you like. Find out how big the class size is. Try to avoid more than 4 people in a class for the 101 course.

The school first approach is the better route than screwing up for 6 months and then unlearning all the things you were doing wrong. Starting with good habits is better. You'll have more fun and less frustration getting started. US Sail offers a very similar course with the same idea. If you can find one close to home it may be easier to go with them. Both are national programs that are well organized.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2009, 06:56   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: SW Florida U.S.A
Boat: none(fornow)
Posts: 192
Thanks for the advise. I think I will take the classes, mostly just to put my feet down on the deck of a boat again. I spent a lot of time on boats of all types when I was growing up in "The Ocean State" of Rhode Island, but haven't been aboard in probably 20 years. And I have probably forgotten every thing I did know, so i probably need to re-learn just as if I had never been on a boat before.

Ken
__________________
kcmarcet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2009, 07:12   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 32
I don't know where you are, but our experience with Pete Wodraska of Reef Runner LLC in Panama City (he was at Blue Water in Lauderdale at the time) was very positive and well worth every cent.
__________________
tami is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2009, 12:25   #8
Eternal Member
 
imagine2frolic's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Las Brisas Panama AGAIN!
Boat: Simpson, Catamaran, 46ft. IMAGINE
Posts: 4,508
Images: 123
UMMMM Panama City has a DELICIOUS mouth watering Churassco....sorry for the drift........i2f
__________________
SAILING is not always a slick magazine cover!
BORROWED..No single one of is as smart as all of us!
http://sailingwithcancer.blogspot.com/
imagine2frolic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2009, 14:33   #9
Registered User
 
PilotJesse's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Palm Beach, Florida
Boat: To Be Announced
Posts: 26
We really enjoyed our ASA 101 class a few months ago out of Bellingham, Washington. It's right at the entrance to the San Juan Islands. The rates at our school were the best around, our instructor was excellent, and the boat we used was (to me) very nice, a 2002 Hunter 320 (32'). If you think of the cost alone of chartering a boat like that for a weekend, the class paid for itself. Well worth it. We also lucked out as the other couple who were supposed to come did not, so it was just my fiancee and I on the boat, plus the instructor! Perfect.
__________________
PilotJesse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2009, 15:46   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Seattle
Boat: Wauquiez Hood 38, MK I
Posts: 20
I took the US Sailing series here in Seattle several years ago now. Like you, I had some experience, but it had been over 20 years. I'd second the advice to go meet some instructors first - some are more experienced sailors than others and some you will likely just hit it off with better. Regardless, in addition to the basics of how to sail, check out systems, etc., you'll also learn (or review) navigational rules, markers, charts, basic systems maintenance, Man Overboard Drills, and all the rest that many folks never really learn. I took the Basic Keelboat class, challenged the Cruising (bigger) boats, took the Nav and Chartering courses. I learned a good bit from the instructors that went beyond the basic curicullum and tips they had been able to pick up as frequent questions just from their experiences teaching. I don't know how the east coast is leaning, but out here we are transitioning to everyone having to get a "license" and a formal training certificate pretty much gets you fast-tracked in.

You may also want to consider putting off actual boat purchase and join a sailing club for a bit. That will usually get you discounted classes, use of various sized boats, some racing and group trips. It's just a good, lower cost way to get experience and learn what you like and don't like about particular sized boats without commiting too early to buying a specific boat, paying for mooring, insurance, repairs ...

I started about five years ago, and my $35 per month fee and average $130/day rental is still much cheaper than what it would've cost to get and keep my own boat. Rhode Island is much like Washington in that your real sailing season isn't long ... those months you're just paying the monthly fee without all the other expenses.

I guess I should add that the formal credentials make chartering pretty much anywhere in the world a breeze - though I suspect most places will let you charter with just a written sailing resume anyway.

So, in my long-winded way I guess I'd recommend taking at least a basic class.
__________________
Elzaar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2009, 00:28   #11
Registered User
 
Bluemoon755's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Oceanside, CA
Boat: West Wight Potter 19' Bluemoon
Posts: 2
A.S.A. classes 101, 103, & 104

I just got back from a week long A.S.A. class on the water sailing around the San Juan Islands. There were three sloops, 36' to 38' feet long. Fine, well kept Sailboats , French names we're all familiar with and I can't spell! You know, the ones you see at all the "on the water boat shows." Each boat had one well experienced female instructor and four female students. I was by far the most seasoned sailer on the Benteneau I was assigned to. The sailing school has an excellent reputation, I might add. The course was designed to get your ASA certification for bareboat charter in one week. I went to have fun and improve my sailing skills. I improved my sailing skills but I didn't have fun. Imagine, five women over fifty on a 38' boat for a week. One a complete novice, two with some experience and one blue-water veteran. Then, there's the sailing instructor who has been teaching sailing for 40 + years. The second day on the water, winds 38 knots, short period wind waves , close-hulled, heading up the strait of Juan de Fuca, all the women got sick but me and the instructor. I had the helm the whole time and the instructor complemented me on my abilities. Day three, winds are calm, time for the " passive-aggressive - vegetarian -allergic to nuts and everything- right of a carbon- footprint" to enforce her will and monopolize the converstions for the rest of the trip, talking that sailing jargon and how great she is. As per boat- handling, she demonstrated a total lack of skill and co-ordination, failure to follow directions, name-calling, Empiracle attitude and general in-eptitude. The other two students got it, they were on their way to ASA 104. I aced all the skills portion, (100%)figure eight man overboard recoveries, bouy mooring, docking, turning in place, anchoring, downwind, broad reaching, heading up, right of way, navigation, mastering tide tables, land bearings, chart plotting, etc.and passed the written tests for 101 & 103. The instructor got way behind in her ciriculum because her head wasn't in the game (family emergency on the home front) and the psychologically unstable vegetarian occupied way too much of her time. We all had to appease the lunatic to a certain extent. When I was at the helm, this particular woman never followed directions, weather it was on purpose or she was just a nut case i don't know..because of her, I got marked down for not communicating orders clearly while at the helm. The other two students had no difficulty carrying out my commands..."ready about! Starboard, ready? Port ready? Main, ready? Helms a lee! Release the jib....Port, whinch it in some more, keep whinching..perfect! Main,(the vegetarian) ease out on on that main sheet, no, not that line! That's the roller furling! About this point our "smaller carbon footprint vegetarian princess" tells me to shut up! She's got the right line, which of course she doesn't and the instructor has to step in and re-instruct her. I think you get the gist...Long story short, I wasn't permitted to take my ASA 104 written exam because we ran out of time. In fact, none of us were! The instructors' one day behind pacing got blamed on the blustery weather that second day out and my poor communication skills at the helm was the other factor she sited as far as her not permitting me to take the 104 exam. This after telling me I'm a better sailer than
she is! There's always one. I'm very unhappy about the way things turned out. I paid $1500.00 for this one week Learn to Sail course which promised it would prepare us to pass the 101, 103 & 104, yet I wasn't even given the opportunity to take the 104 test! Who you sail with is just as important as the skills & knowledge of the crew, seaworthyness of the vessel and the fickle hand of the weather gods.
__________________
Bluemoon
Bluemoon755 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2009, 05:56   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
Talbot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Brighton, UK
Boat: Privilege 37
Posts: 3,579
Images: 32
I had a similar problem with an inept idiot who thought he knew everything when I did my yachtmaster (RYA exam) Too much of the week before was used up trying to bring him up to speed, and not enough on the rest of us being able to hone skills. Two days before the exam, the rest of us made our views known forcibly, and during our tests, this person was allocated jobs that kept him well away from any critical path requirement.

I am sorry that you were not able to have the same control.

On the other hand, I do believe you learn more by having to watch and ensure that the idiot does the right thing, rather than just leaving it in the hands of those who are competent.
__________________
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein
Talbot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2009, 06:04   #13
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
The three in one week courses promise far more than they can deliver. You need perfect weather the entore time and all the students need to have had a leg up and get along. It's fine if you want to do the first course on a challenge then take the other two, but going from nothing to everything takes just too much.

My wife and I did 103 / 104 in a week liveaboard but we were the only students. We took them both togther after completing 101 and then sailing a whole season. We could sail when we got there. I passed both and she passed 102 but lost a bit on the written parts of 104. The sailing parts in 104 are not much.

On board crew dynamics are not covered in any course but they sure matter as much as trimming sails.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2009, 06:15   #14
Registered User
 
svHyLyte's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Tampa Bay area, USA
Boat: Beneteau First 42
Posts: 3,434
Images: 25
Quote:
Each boat had one well experienced female instructor and four female students.
On a 36 to 38 foot boat? No wonder you had difficulty. Five people on a 36 foot boat would be tough if they were all related, to say nothing of people you have just met! Moreover, while it's probably not PC, in 50 years of sailing I have observed that females seem to occupy a disproportionately large amount of space aboard a boat for their physical size. (I have a 4'-11" tall, 105# wife and a 4'-6" tall, 85# daughter aboard a 42 foot boat, both complaining there isn't enough room, yet the yacht seems to be able to accomodate 7-male-crew on a 3-4 day race without difficulty or imposition.)

In fact, some of the training programs do offer some good instruction, such as the Colgate School--Offshore--but they seem to make an effort to screen prospective students.

In any case it seems like you learned quite a bit; and, taught quite a bit.

Cheers--

s/v HyLyte

PS: The Potter is a great little yacht--good for you.
__________________
"It is not so much for its beauty that the Sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
svHyLyte is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2009, 06:20   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Centreville, VA
Boat: Lagoon 410 ELECTRIC!
Posts: 361
We took the 101,103,104, and 114 class down in the Abocos. This is way to much for 1 week of training and I wish we had broken it into 2 weeks. Since the class was on a 43' FP and the winds were in the 25 knot range everything was done at a much faster pace. It was a little overwhelming for the wife but we had a blast and learned alot. I can't stress it enough (as several have pointed out)...
GET RECOMMENDATIONS AND MEET THE INSTRUCTOR!!!
Ours was not what I would call a people person, he new his stuff but his methods left a lot to be desired. I studied for 6 months before the trip and was glad I did. My wife studied for 2 weeks before and we both aced the written tests. I did learn how to sit for a couple of hours after running aground, unhook from a power line he hooked at anchor, and replace a starter motor on one of the engines, he was a little to big to fit in the engine compartment. Even with these and other issues the 4 students still had a blast and I learned a lot. After returning home I spent the summer and fall racing on a 30' monohull and really learned a lot. We now own "Electra Glide", a 41' Lagoon and are having a ball on the Chesapeake Bay

Steve in Solomons MD
__________________

__________________
Hyprdrv is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
asa

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ASA vs USSA Courses OS2009 Training, Licensing & Certification 5 21-09-2009 09:36
Best ASA Course for Novice? Sybil General Sailing Forum 8 16-06-2009 06:27
ASA/US Sailing unbusted67 Training, Licensing & Certification 17 28-01-2009 08:32
Which certs or classes are the best bet financially? teneicm Training, Licensing & Certification 10 17-04-2008 04:56
ASA 114 Reed Training, Licensing & Certification 8 02-01-2007 22:30



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:12.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.