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Old 08-01-2019, 17:55   #1
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Currently on ASA 101/103/104/114 certification trip

We booked with VISailingschool.com and are progressing well. The boat is a little dated but the experience is phenomenal. Captain Quincy Briscoe absolutely loves sailing and he enjoys teaching.

I got a 98 and 99 on my first two tests. Transposed two answers to the key on the first test or iíd have had a 100. My wife got two 100s

Absolutely loving this trip. Iím surprised how much iíve Learned about sailboats and repairs from reading this site. I appreciate all of your posts and advice from all the posts.

Weíll be back down here in March!

Good night from Normanís Bight.

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Old 29-01-2019, 07:49   #2
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Re: Currently on ASA 101/103/104/114 certification trip

Well the week was awesome. It was a lot to learn in a week. We had a total of four students which limited our individual practice time. Feel free to message me if you have questions about a week live aboard course.

we are set to go back in March and charter. Just got news our sunsail 404 is unavailable and a 484 has been swapped out
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Old 29-01-2019, 16:29   #3
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Re: Currently on ASA 101/103/104/114 certification trip

Congratulations, glad you enjoyed it.
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Old 01-03-2019, 18:20   #4
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Re: Currently on ASA 101/103/104/114 certification trip

If you have a more detailed trip report, review, etc I would absolutely love to read it. My wife and I passed our ASA 101 and are considering that school for a live-aboard 103/104/114 class at some point.
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Old 03-03-2019, 10:42   #5
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Re: Currently on ASA 101/103/104/114 certification trip

Definitely do it! The school was a fine choice but honestly it’s probably more about the captain you get for the trip. The school is the administrator and planner but the captain really handles everything once you’re down there. We had Quincy Briscoe who was fantastic.

Our boat was a little dated for a “luxury” boat,the speculation. But honestly I have nothing to compare it to. A few things leaked, like the hatch above my head. And it rained at 4am many nights

You really do need to go over the material before you go down there. I had read everything but my wife only got through the 101/103 books and the days of material she hadn’t reviewed yet were harder to follow and she had to study longer for the tests.

The location can’t be beat. We stopped at the Baths, Christmas Cove on great St James island for some pizza. The Bight on Norman Island, also Jost Van dyke. Spent two nights in St John bays too.

We had a total of four students on the boat plus captain and his girlfriend. She did a lot of cooking which was a huge help. The learning started from the moment we hopped on the dinghy and continued until we stepped off the last day. My wife did not like the constant attention it required from 8am-4pm ish. She wanted a vacation too. I loved every second of it

The more you prepare ahead of time the more you can relax on the boat. We snorkeled many places, used a “subwing” off St. John, explored the Baths.

We’re going back in two weeks as a true bareboat. I wanted to get back down there before we forgot everything.
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Old 03-03-2019, 12:17   #6
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Re: Currently on ASA 101/103/104/114 certification trip

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Originally Posted by Hoosierdoc View Post
My wife did not like the constant attention it required from 8am-4pm ish. She wanted a vacation too. I loved every second of it
We just finished those classes on our catamaran in January. At no point in time did the idea that I was "on vacation" ever cross my mind because I was working my butt off not to kill myself or anyone else

It was hard AF, in my opinion. We studied ahead of time, lived on our cat, and I used a really good app on my iphone that had ASA flash cards to study from. My husband consistently beat me by 1-2 points, but we both scored in the 90's, although he did ace ASA 103 and I only got a 97.

From my perspective, this doesn't completely translate to real life competency. I took the Honda Motor Riders motorcycle safety course about 10 years ago. I scored a perfect 100 on the written part, but wrecked two bikes during the hands-on part (and was covered head to toe in bruises), and while my license now has an M on it, I don't consider myself a competent biker (I prefer to ride in the back and take pics of the scenery). Same with the catamaran-I have four ASA classes that I "aced", and I still consider myself a beginner.

Luckily my husband is not egotistical about his sailing abilities, and we've been super cautious about taking her out. We're going to hire a captain to go out with us for the day in Charleston to learn the local waters now that she's got a permanent slip there.

So much that just can't be learned without time at the wheel and local knowledge.
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:39   #7
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Re: Currently on ASA 101/103/104/114 certification trip

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Originally Posted by picklz View Post
If you have a more detailed trip report, review, etc I would absolutely love to read it. My wife and I passed our ASA 101 and are considering that school for a live-aboard 103/104/114 class at some point.
We did that a whole bunch of years ago. We had a great capt who made us work as a team. we both took turns in the galley, at the helm, giving orders on anchoring or setting sails or tacking, or selecting an anchoring spot -- after 12 years underway we are still a team and talk a lot about what we want to do and how to do it. TEAMWORK works
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:46   #8
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Re: Currently on ASA 101/103/104/114 certification trip

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I have four ASA classes that I "aced", and I still consider myself a beginner.

Luckily my husband is not egotistical about his sailing abilities, and we've been super cautious about taking her out. We're going to hire a captain to go out with us for the day in Charleston to learn the local waters now that she's got a permanent slip there.

So much that just can't be learned without time at the wheel and local knowledge.
We took our lessons back in 2001 and we are still beginners after sailing over 40knm, cruising almost the entire Med, an Atlantic crossing, a circum nav of the Black Sea and sailing almost all the Med. I don't think we will ever get away from that beginner title. We learned so much from other sailors and to say we are good sailors would be telling a lie. We just keep working on it and still make HUGE mistakes and try to learn from them.

As an aside we had an inspection of our boat so we could stay in Israel and the inspector is a world class racer, world class race judge, and an instructor - he told us at the examines he gives his last question is what is the most important thing in sailing. The majority answer is when to go. WRONG answer - the correct answer is when not to go.

have fun it is a great life out here
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Old 16-06-2019, 06:43   #9
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Re: Currently on ASA 101/103/104/114 certification trip

We just got back from Virgin Island Sailing School and took the ASA 101, 103, 104, and 114 class. Overall I would say I was disappointed. The boat, Speculation - 44′ Leopard Catamaran is NOT what is displayed on their website. It is actually a boat 2 years older and the photos are not of the boat. One of the cabin's leaked when it rained so no one could sleep there. The generator did not work, the AC did not work, the sump pump on one of the showers did not work, the wind indicator didn't work (not a must have but important for students), and there were various other issues including the boat hook being broken.

The instructor basically taught us how to sail the catamaran which was fine for me but, if I was new to sailing, I definitely would not have come out of that week with the knowledge needed to sail a different type of boat. We didn't do anything surrounding docking.

We have been sailing off and on for the past 20 years but still took the "pre-work" seriously and read all of the books and studied all of the associated prep questions and were able to tie the knots. The tests were easy to pass given that we were prepared. They were given to us in the evening and we returned them in the morning so it was basically an open book test. We didn't need to tie any knots.

I would not recommend this sailing school. I'm guessing there are other schools where as least the boat is in better condition. The instructor is also a key factor so get references before you go to make sure the class will meet your expectations.
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Old 16-06-2019, 06:51   #10
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Re: Currently on ASA 101/103/104/114 certification trip

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We just got back from Virgin Island Sailing School and took the ASA 101, 103, 104, and 114 class. Overall I would say I was disappointed. The boat, Speculation - 44′ Leopard Catamaran is NOT what is displayed on their website. It is actually a boat 2 years older and the photos are not of the boat. One of the cabin's leaked when it rained so no one could sleep there. The generator did not work, the AC did not work, the sump pump on one of the showers did not work, the wind indicator didn't work (not a must have but important for students), and there were various other issues including the boat hook being broken.



The instructor basically taught us how to sail the catamaran which was fine for me but, if I was new to sailing, I definitely would not have come out of that week with the knowledge needed to sail a different type of boat. We didn't do anything surrounding docking.



We have been sailing off and on for the past 20 years but still took the "pre-work" seriously and read all of the books and studied all of the associated prep questions and were able to tie the knots. The tests were easy to pass given that we were prepared. They were given to us in the evening and we returned them in the morning so it was basically an open book test. We didn't need to tie any knots.



I would not recommend this sailing school. I'm guessing there are other schools where as least the boat is in better condition. The instructor is also a key factor so get references before you go to make sure the class will meet your expectations.


Thanks for the info. We are currently looking for a school for 5-6ppl next summer.
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Old 16-06-2019, 07:34   #11
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Re: Currently on ASA 101/103/104/114 certification trip

Sorry to hear, the boat was definitely not in “luxury” state. Was the leak the starboard aft cabin? The hatch leaked on me every time it rained. The generator had been out since August but our captain at the time had been making calls to get it repaired, in January.

Disappointing that they cannot make the boat functional after this amount of time.
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