Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 13-12-2017, 13:59   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 2
Beginner seeks training and cert advice

I just started sailing a year ago or so, and would like to work towards certification to charter yachts in the US and abroad. What is the best certification to pursue? I am/was planning a 12 day course in Greece to achieve it, but it is expensive and maybe I can do the same thing much closer to home (in the DC area of US). What advice do you have?
__________________

ipsolutions is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2017, 14:23   #2
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 4,577
Images: 6
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

Depends to some extent on where you want to charter. My (admittedly limited) understanding is that a certification is required in some European countries. I don't know for sure, because I have only chartered in the Caribbean.

What I can tell you for sure is that no certification is required to charter in the Caribbean. At least, no where that I've found. On almost all of the islands, charters are available and all you have to do is provide a summary of your sailing experience. That, and a credit card!

That said, of course, education never hurt anyone. You will find plenty of sail-training opportunities in the DC area. If you don't know it, Annapolis is a hot-bed of sailing activity.

I myself have American Sailing Association (ASA) certifications. go to asa.com and you can find schools in your area.

Good luck!
__________________

denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2017, 17:06   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 12,117
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

A 12 day course in Greece would be way cool, but yes you can do it much cheaper closer to home and spread the cost out by taking a class or two at a time. As suggested, just look for sailing schools closer to home on the ASA web site.

Unfortunately, all sailing schools and instructors are not created equal...so ask around.

Also be aware that being "certified" just shows that youve completed the training it is not a "liscence"...many students are confused on this subject.

Look up ICC "International Certificate of Competence"...some venues like to see those.
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2017, 18:05   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 2
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

Are all the certifications equivalent? That is, is there any advantage
to getting the RYA Day Skipper Cert as opposed to the ASA one?
ipsolutions is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-12-2017, 19:04   #5
Registered User
 
snort's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Trunk (boot) of my car
Boat: Tinker Traveller...a dozen feet of bluewater awesomeness!
Posts: 1,111
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

I think you'd be better off getting a car-top sailboat and getting in as much sailing as you can on lakes and bays in your area.
Take a basic keelboat course, but the certification route is a business and it will extract thousands of dollars before your reach "bareboating", when the reality is that the more you sail, the better you get.
Study books, talk to sailors, get invited to crew and learn from others.
If you have the bucks though, and don't mind spending on courses, go ahead.
Charter companies might check out your skills, but I doubt they'd turn you away if you can prove by showing that you can actually dock the boat.
snort is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2017, 04:03   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 12,117
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by snort View Post
I think you'd be better off getting a car-top sailboat and getting in as much sailing as you can on lakes and bays in your area.
Take a basic keelboat course, but the certification route is a business and it will extract thousands of dollars before your reach "bareboating", when the reality is that the more you sail, the better you get.
Study books, talk to sailors, get invited to crew and learn from others.
If you have the bucks though, and don't mind spending on courses, go ahead.
Charter companies might check out your skills, but I doubt they'd turn you away if you can prove by showing that you can actually dock the boat.
True, in most venues you dont actually need a certification, proof of relevant experience, which may include an on the water check out, is all you need.

Or...plan your first charter for the BVI (when it recovers) and then all you need is for the credit card transaction to clear!
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2017, 06:50   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Falls Church, VA
Posts: 87
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

In my feeble opinion, the ASA 101, 103, and 104 courses were a good background and there are a number of schools within an hour of DC. While sailing a flying scot felt like good background to me, 103 and 104 get more into the boat systems and issues like mooring and anchoring that were helpful on a charter. It was nice to confidently catch a mooring ball first try every time. That said, a bunch of time in a similar boat would be teach one the same skills. It may take longer than classes and cost more though.
fahtcha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2017, 07:55   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 12,117
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by fahtcha View Post
In my feeble opinion, the ASA 101, 103, and 104 courses were a good background and there are a number of schools within an hour of DC. While sailing a flying scot felt like good background to me, 103 and 104 get more into the boat systems and issues like mooring and anchoring that were helpful on a charter. It was nice to confidently catch a mooring ball first try every time. That said, a bunch of time in a similar boat would be teach one the same skills. It may take longer than classes and cost more though.
What I suggest to students, and the OP, is to take one class then get out on the water and practice those skills until they are second nature...then sign up for the next class and repeat.

Too many students want to do them all at once, and while this is possible, it is not the best way to learn (...but it is great sailing school revenue!). Repeatative learning is much more effective.

The combination of training plus experience building accomplishes two things: 1. It shortens your learning curve dramatically. Properly done, the classes are intense and you will learn more during one than you might learn in a few seasons of casual sailing. 2. A strucutred curriculum fills in the gaps in your knowledge base. Example, Ive been on the water with many good experience sailors who have gaps in their knowledge because they simply never learned a particular skill/knowledge. Heaving-to is a common example. I consider it a basic sailing skill, but it is common for even experienced self taught sailors not to know how.

You will hear arguments on both sides: pro-training, pro-self-taught, but I think the most effective approach is both.
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2017, 08:42   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Monroe, Ga
Boat: Sailing club & Chartering for the time being.
Posts: 112
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

This was the best solution for me. I had lots of sailing experience from my younger days. Lots of it racing and I was a better "sailor" then most of my instructors. I did learn a lot through more advanced courses about navigation and systems and found it worth the money. It also has made chartering easier. I was able to find a local inland school that offered everything up to asa114 locally. The prices for the classes where fair, taught individually on my schedule. It worked out well for me.
flee27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2017, 09:12   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 14,612
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

I think all the replies so far are quite correct. Based on my limited experience chartering boats.

1. In the Caribbean they didn't care at all what certifications you did or did not have. The approval to charter a boat was based on a resume of your sailing experience which did include any classes or certifications but more focused on actual boating experience and whether you were crew or captain. The resume was confirmed by a personal interview before they let you go with the boat. It's usually pretty clear from a discussion if you know what you're doing or not but if any doubt the operator would take you out for a check ride.

2. Nothing at all wrong with taking a class but they are expensive. Whether you should or not depends on how you learn and your budget. I learned by reading and study mixed with sailing with experienced boaters. I highly concur with Belizesailor's recommendation to alternate study (whether formal or self study) with on the water practise. Getting on a boat all the theory suddenly makes sense and sinks in. Then go back and study some more and you will get a lot more out of the same books.

3. If budget is limited and you have the time, volunteer to crew for other boaters. Racers are frequently looking for warm bodies as are delivery skippers.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
Sometimes it's necessary to state the obvious for the benefit of the oblivious.
Rust is the poor man's Loctite.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2017, 09:47   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Lake Havasu City, AZ, and PNW
Boat: Seaward 25, Beneteau 40
Posts: 235
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ipsolutions View Post
Are all the certifications equivalent? That is, is there any advantage
to getting the RYA Day Skipper Cert as opposed to the ASA one?
Unless you are primarily going to charter and sail in Europe or the Med, I would stick with the ASA courses. I think, on the whole, the RYA courses are a bit more thorough but you will spend a lot of time learning rules and regs that might not directly apply over here. The cost will also be much higher but the fun of doing it over there might be worth it.

Work your way through ASA 101, 103 and 104 then do a BVI charter, either as skipper or crew. This will give you a broad base of knowledge in order to select where you go from there. Based upon your stated experience, now is a good time do the training. Enough experience to somewhat speak the language but not to late to break any bad habits.
canyonbat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2017, 10:16   #12
Marine Service Provider
 
Captain Scott's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: St Thomas/Ventura CA
Boat: Leopard 44
Posts: 32
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

I am an ASA certified instructor currently teaching classes.

I read all the answers and all talked about a balance of book work and on the water experience, which I endorse. Nobody (at this point) in this forum stated, "I took some ASA classes and it wasn't worth it". ASA is very picky about quality of instruction and school. The ASA 105 navigation test I did not pass on the first try... even though I did so on the USCG Masters License version less than a year before. So it is not a rubber stamp. That being said, at my school, there has been less than 5% of students who did not pass. ASA's textbooks are also top notch. What you spend on these classes/books you more than make up for in headaches, injuries, broken equipment, etc. Two ways I would approach your goals:
#1. Take ASA 101 then sail often until you feel yourself doing things second nature. Then come down for a week at my school (bald faced promo here). or-
#2. Take a one week live-aboard course and then sail your butt (more off for 6 months to a few years. There is still advanced navigation, off shore passage making or celestial navigation if the bug really bites.
Cheers,
Capt. Scott
Captain Scott is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2017, 12:16   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Southwestern USA
Boat: Macgregor 25
Posts: 7
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

San Carlos Sailing in Sonora, Mexico was great for my ASA 101 (keelboat). Went aboard a 32' Erickson Sloop with a fellow taking his 102. Instructor had us sailing in/out of docking, tight harbor navigation (although traffic was very light). Light winds while I was there. Look it up on-line and contact them. They are very accommodating, and I think they can cert on other vessels. Good luck.
snowbeard54 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2017, 12:38   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dana Point, Ca.
Boat: olsen / ericson 34
Posts: 390
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

Agree with having a great and fun time with the ASA courses, and learning and getting certified thru local sailing clubs. Check em out. They have several ASA evolutions, load up, and then get out there sailing in your own local waters, and then coastal cruising and then on to international.

As to the bare boat charter companies, as mentioned they do require you to fill out a sailing resume, and ask what certifications that you have.

I have not personally had any problem , but I did go thru a very excellent demanding no nonsense training program with a sailing school before ASA was created. And after I logged 720 days at sea, documented time, I studied more and tested and attained my U.S.C.G. Captains License for vessels up to 100 tons. That was because I need that if working for hire or compensation. ( not necessary for bare boat charters ).

But, prior to getting the U.S.C.G License,we were bare boating world wide thru the moorings and sunsail, with just the Sailing Club training, tests, check outs, sea time, catalina certification three day flotilla check out, and additional seminars. Those I listed on the sailing back ground form that I had to fill out for the moorings, sunsail and other bare boat organizations. No U.S.C.G. license at that time. Actually took five years documented time to get my sea time.

From being in the Charter and Sailing Club biz, for about 25 years or more, we liked it when potential bare boat charter clients had prior professional training and experience.

But, unlike the charter companies of today, the propsective bare boat charter people , for us, still had to take a several page written exam, pass that, and then a boat systems check, and an on the water singlehanded vessel check out, which including , reefing, pre - sailing checks, sailing into and out of the slip under sail, NO POWER, and single handing the boat, trimming sails, etc, and securing the vessel, etc. If the person failed anything, they were done . It was the same for our members.

The places that we bare boated, with no problems, and followed their procedures and turned in our sailing resumes.....Whitsunday islands, AU,
The Kingdom of Tonga, Tahiti... Abaco Bahamas.....BVI.....French West Indies, Windards and Grenadines, a motor vessel up the River Shannon in Ireland. Those were thru bare boat charter companies, and never had a problem.

As to other bare boat charter bases, internationally, you might wish to contact them and discover what they require. No surprises when you arrive ready to sail one of their vessels for a couple of weeks.

Enjoy your endeavor, have fun, meet new fellow sailors, and the world is waiting for you , skipper.
Lihuedooley77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-12-2017, 13:12   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 12,117
Re: Beginner seeks training and cert advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbeard54 View Post
San Carlos Sailing in Sonora, Mexico was great for my ASA 101 (keelboat). Went aboard a 32' Erickson Sloop with a fellow taking his 102. Instructor had us sailing in/out of docking, tight harbor navigation (although traffic was very light). Light winds while I was there. Look it up on-line and contact them. They are very accommodating, and I think they can cert on other vessels. Good luck.
102?

(Its a trick question: there is no ASA 102) 😆
__________________

belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
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
Crew Wanted: Captain and/or Crew wanting ASA cert: Miami to Panama 18Feb +/- a few days Joel86 Crew Archives 11 23-01-2015 06:06
To Cert or not to Cert, that is the Question hesmysnowman Training, Licensing & Certification 41 01-08-2014 16:16
Catalina 30' CE Cert 'A' storyinframes Monohull Sailboats 4 02-02-2012 19:43
Training - Advice for Total Beginner? todm Training, Licensing & Certification 11 17-09-2009 03:45
Sailing cert and charter combination in Florida? Blue Skye Training, Licensing & Certification 7 01-04-2008 07:09

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.