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Old 04-09-2022, 07:22   #1
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New Catamaran Owners- Need Certifications and Instruction

Hey Wise Sailors!

We're a retired couple who've purchased a Lagoon 40. It's located in the Virginia. Our goal is to feel competent and confident sailing down the ICW to Key West this fall. Our insurance would like us to have all the ASA certifications.

We're looking for a very flexible, very relaxed, very easy going captain to teach us the ropes (pun intended), get us certified, and some understanding of the complex systems on the catamaran. Our thinking is that it'll take 1-2 weeks of instruction? We've done some practicing on our boat and older Lagoon models. We've also had some experience on monohulls.

One option we've considered is hiring a captain to work with us sailing around the Chesapeake. Another option would be to live aboard with a captain and get the training either in and around the Bay--or join us as we start the putter down the ICW. We're open to suggestions as to how best to get us going. And looking for recommendations for who might be a good fit to help with the training and captaining.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 04-09-2022, 08:56   #2
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Re: New Catamaran Owners- Need Certifications and Instruction

Let me start with - I am a delivery guy who is booked into November. So I am likely not a candidate.

My suggestion is to find a USCG Master, who is an ASA Instructor YOU are comfortable with. Make sure they have experience on cats and crossing open water. Spend the time to interview him/her.

Then engage them to help you move your boat south. Yes, the hired individual will have ultimate responsibility for you and the vessel. And they will, rightly, demand final authority. But, good captains, like good managers, can "lead from behind". The hard part is that this can NOT be done as a delivery.

To clarify, on a delivery that boat is moving non-stop. It is impossible for me to stand watches, train and get enough sleep to be safe. To accommodate the need for training, the move should be done in hops. With programmed rest/teaching days.

Going down the ICW, is not a training. It is penance for some past transgression. True learning will happen if you go outside in hops. You will learn more and actually get to sail your new boat.

As to certifications, -meh- ASA 101 will get you the insurance discount. Going down in the ocean in hops, you will get more training and hands-on sail time than a 101, 103, 114 cram-course with 4 other people aboard. What is even more important, you will get hands-on training on your boat. You will also get to download knowledge from whoever you hire on things like weather routing and navigation.

Of course the down-side to this is that the engagement will not be cheap.
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