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Old 28-12-2023, 11:51   #1
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Private Training

I’ve taken the RYA Competent Crew and Day Skipper practical courses as well as the associated online navigation course. Unfortunately, I did not perform at a high enough level to pass the Day Skipper course. The instructor stated that most students that pass have had prior boating experience and I have had zero experience. The RYA Day Skipper license is required by most/all Mediterranean charter firms as well as by many countries even if sailing your own boat.

I’m an American; however, I thought the ASA system for the equivalent courses were far too compressed, so I went with the RYA. The RYA courses which I took in the UK in the Solent were over a longer period of time, but they throw a lot of material at you and I just had too much difficulty absorbing the material in the time span required.

So, I believe the best course of action would be to buy a boat and hire an instructor for private training on my boat. Additionally, as I will be single-handing I would need training on best practices for single-handing.

I’ve located an insurance company that will provide insurance cover for newly minted skippers. For skippers without prior experience, they would require an insurance sign-out from a USCG licensed skipper. The insurance sign-out form essentially covers what the RYA courses cover, although, interestingly with no coverage on sail handling.

My Plan: (1) Buy a boat located on the east coast of the USA. (2) Hire a private instructor and conduct training in the port of purchase. (3) With the instructor sail the boat to my home port in northern Florida conducting training along the way. Receive my insurance sign-out. (4) At this point I should be sufficiently competent to continue learning on my own in a safe fashion.

Question: Is this a reasonable plan? How does one go about locating a private instructor? What would be a reasonable daily rate for the USA?
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Old 28-12-2023, 12:32   #2
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Re: Private Training

Since you don't already own a boat, and aren't confident enough in yourself to answer your own simple personal question, I suggest purchasing the boat of your dreams, it will be a project boat, and, while you are fixing it up, spend your free time* going sailing with all the new friends you will make. By time your new boat is ready to sail you will either be an experienced sailor or dead from old age and/or frustration. As an added bonus, you will be broke too!

* haha when you own a project boat there is NO free time.
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Old 28-12-2023, 18:19   #3
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Re: Private Training

Frequently the best way to find a private instructor is to call a local sailing school and ask about private lessons. They will usually have qualified instructors who can help.

As for what it costs, I charge $600 a day for instruction. I am sure you can pay more--or less. I have signed-off for insurance a number of new skippers. When you are paying a private instructor, you can pretty quickly get a feel for what you want. The sign-off? Or actually getting the training needed.
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Old 28-12-2023, 20:51   #4
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Re: Private Training

Casablanca, not an unreasonable thought to buy the boat, and getting private tuition on that boat, although 2 pitfalls:

- the buying process, or rather the picking of the right boat, might be difficult for someone with little or no experience, and no, a surveyor may not pick up all the issues with a boat, and certainly will or cannot not advice on the suitability of the intended purchase. I don't know if a 'buyer's broker' can fill such role. Best would be a local guy with lots of experience and one you can trust.

- the instructor with the most qualifications is not necessarily the best instructor, and even the best sailor might make a lousy instructor, and these 3 skills (knowledge, experience and teaching) are not often found in the same package. As said in the post above, a local sailing club might point you in the right direction.

Disclaimer, I am a qualified instructor (with Australian Sailing), and assist with a buying process at times, although it is not my profession.
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Old 28-12-2023, 22:34   #5
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Re: Private Training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Casablanca1942 View Post
The RYA Day Skipper license is required by most/all Mediterranean charter firms as well as by many countries even if sailing your own boat.
Actually, most Med charters want an ICC, which is equivalent to the RYA Day Skipper. Most Caribbean charters will accept ASA certifications.

If you want to charter, the question to ask a private instructor is what certificates he can give you.

OTOH, if you sail your own boat in Europe, no one is going to require a Day Skipper License.

It might make more sense to repeat the Day Skipper course. with a different instructor.
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Old 29-12-2023, 00:01   #6
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Re: Private Training

I fully support private, on your boat instruction, even with much more experience than you have. My wife and I had previous large monohulls and a full complement of the ASA courses, so could handle boats. When we bought our catamaran however, we hired a local professional captain with experience on a 40 foot catamarans for focused training on slow speed maneuvering and docking. Best $500 we’ve spent. A good instructor / coach should be able to spot your weaknesses and focus drills to remedy problems.
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Old 03-01-2024, 19:22   #7
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Re: Private Training

All, thanks for your feedback. It has been helpful.
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Old 03-01-2024, 19:54   #8
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Re: Private Training

Yes, I think getting private instruction is a good idea and I would suggest, as others have, to get an instructor from a sailing school. One needs someone who can TEACH and hopefully an instructor from a school has the knowledge.

We have taken classes with Jason at https://myrtlebeachsailingschool.com...idual-courses/ is an excellent instructor. The schools in Little River, SC, which is just north of Myrtle Beach, SC so it is not that far from Jacksonville.

Later,
Dan
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Old 03-01-2024, 21:36   #9
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Re: Private Training

1. I wouldn't buy your own boat, join a sailing club and sail more with less boat maintenance.
2. Then retake the RYA / ASA course that will allow you to charter in your desired location.
3. Now buy your own boat if you still want to.
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Old 03-01-2024, 22:55   #10
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Re: Private Training

All, my ultimate goal is to sail my own boat, not to charter.
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Old 04-01-2024, 14:13   #11
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Re: Private Training

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Originally Posted by Casablanca1942 View Post
All, my ultimate goal is to sail my own boat, not to charter.
If I had listened to my wife, we would have bought a boat years ago. I said no.

Yes, you read the correctly.

The reasons we don't own a boat:
  1. A boat costs money to buy.
  2. A boat costs money to own.
  3. A boat costs TIME to maintain.
  4. We don't have money we can spend on 1 and 2.
  5. We don't have much time for 3.
  6. Paying for 1 to 5, both in terms of money and time, means less time on a boat for us.
So we rent a boat from our sailing school when we have time. This saves us money and time while letting us sail to have fun and gain experience.

Our long term goal is to get a boat. I have known of people who bought the Boat, aka, The Dream, and it turned into a nightmare. If they had spent more time sailing before purchasing the boat, it would have been better for them. We have avoid that fate so far.

Later,
Dan
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Old 04-01-2024, 14:56   #12
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Re: Private Training

Just keep taking courses - RYA or ASA or just mile building without an exam until you can:

a) Pass the prior exam that set you back.
b) Feel comfortable going sailing without paying an instructor to come along/provide tuition etc.

Don't pay anyone to sail with you unless you have a particular aspect of sailing you feel deficient in and that you are also sure that the person you are paying has proven practical skill in that area.


Then buy a boat.

It would not be wise to buy a car to learn to drive. Learn first and then you will know what you want/need.
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Old 04-01-2024, 15:45   #13
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Re: Private Training

If your ultimate goal is owning your own boat, and you're sure you're hooked, I'd buy a smaller local boat. Cost is lower, carrying cost is lower. You'll take it out more often. Mix in some training, but then you'll get a lot of time practicing what you learned.

You'll get a LOT more experience a lot more quickly. For your first boat, go with Miss Right Now, don't go for Mrs Right, as your needs will change with time.

We've all been there.

I noticed this is the opposite advice from the two above. Go figure. But it's what I did and I never regretted it. I should say I had a partner in that boat, which worked well because we often sailed together, we were at the same level, and it saved us on cost.
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