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Old 26-01-2021, 15:53   #1
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Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

Hi all,

I would like to make my way to Florida from the frozen hell that is NY sometime in February or March to take sailing lessons. I found a few schools online, but I would prefer to take them from someone who comes recommended by the CF community here, so if you know of anyone please let me know in the thread or PM me.

Perhaps I'd like a bit of advice too. I have no plans to sail professionally, so I feel like taking ASA classes are an unnecessary expense at this time. Feel free to convince me otherwise, but I'm assuming I can get the same training via a private instructor or a non-certificate course?

I realize I'm probably being vague and I'm happy to answer questions. I don't really know what I'm looking for at this point. I just want to get on the water and learn how to sail without breaking the bank.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 27-01-2021, 03:59   #2
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Re: Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

Doris & Steve Colgate's Offshore Sailing School has a storied reputation:
https://www.offshoresailing.com/

Chapman's School of Seamanship:
https://www.chapman.org/

Those are the top two. It would be hit-and-miss with personal tuition. You have a lot to learn, Lance.

Just get out there!
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Old 27-01-2021, 05:03   #3
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pirate Re: Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

If your plans are just for coastal US sailing just head to a marina down there and pick up some day sailing where you can.. it'll teach you enough to get the basics of boat handling.
With today's electrical aids navigation can be learnt on line well enough to get you by.. kinda..
However if your ambitions lie further afield certification of competence is going to be requested sooner or later which could potentially stop you in your tracks.
Freedoms of yesteryear are a distant memory..
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Old 27-01-2021, 05:52   #4
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Re: Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
Doris & Steve Colgate's Offshore Sailing School has a storied reputation:
https://www.offshoresailing.com/

Chapman's School of Seamanship:
https://www.chapman.org/

Those are the top two. It would be hit-and-miss with personal tuition. You have a lot to learn, Lance.

Just get out there!
LittleWing77
This school looks great. Are ASA and US sailing regarded as similar?

The school I went to also had a fast track to get you from ASA 101 to 106, and this is exactly what we did in the ASA 106 course I needed to pass so I could sail 40-foot cruisers.



The Coastal Passage Making Course (OSS 106), an exciting long distance sailing adventure that takes you to far away points. You navigate non-stop, manage whatever Mother Nature conjures up, and learn what it’s like to be a long distance live aboard sailor, experiencing night time sailing.



There were five of us plus the teacher. Very useful class, and money well spent. YMMV
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Old 27-01-2021, 06:09   #5
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pirate Re: Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

For what it's worth.. I had some basic knowledge of sailboats from my time as a Junior Seaman at HMS Ganges a training establishment back in '65..
20 years later I bought an old timber 24ftr and played on that getting my handling skills honed and did an evening class for RYA Theory Coastal Skipper Tuesday evenings and RYA Offshore Skipper Thursday evenings for navigation and other essential knowledge like Colregs, weather, tidal sailing etc.
After 18mths I then booked an RYA Instructor to examine me for my Coastal Skipper ticket on my boat for the day.. solo without crew.
We spent the day sailing various courses, picking up moorings and anchoring both under sail and power all while he fired various questions about Rules, Navigation etc.
I passed.. The test cost GBP 85.. the classes were 2 quid a night but it set me up for sailing abroad, UK sailing needs no certification.
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Old 27-01-2021, 08:30   #6
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Re: Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
Doris & Steve Colgate's Offshore Sailing School has a storied reputation:
https://www.offshoresailing.com/

Chapman's School of Seamanship:
https://www.chapman.org/

Those are the top two. It would be hit-and-miss with personal tuition. You have a lot to learn, Lance.

Just get out there!
LittleWing77
I have SO MUCH to learn!

Chapman's seems like a pretty good deal. Their CSC 100 & 200 seem comparable to ASA 101 & 103, and they include materials. Taking both classes costs $1000.

https://www.chapman.org/p/317/csc-10...g-fundamentals
https://www.chapman.org/p/318/csc-200-sailboat-handling

I found Beachside Sailing on Merritt Island outside of Orlando. Their prices are the lowest I've found yet for actual ASA certs. It looks like I could do a 5-day Bareboat Combination Cruising Package (ASA 101/103/104) for $1475 (if they allow singles). That seems like a pretty good deal to me. Does anyone have experience with them?

https://www.beachsidesailing.com/lessons

Colgate looks very professional but they don't have any prices listed for their practical courses, which bugs me enough that I'm not going to take one. It's 2021, people. However I did find this online course they offer, Offshore Sailing School's Learn To Sail for $39, which seems reasonable for an introduction before I take a practical course. Any thoughts on this?

https://learn.boatus.org/catalog/course.asp?id=76&cid=0
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Old 27-01-2021, 08:40   #7
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Re: Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
If your plans are just for coastal US sailing just head to a marina down there and pick up some day sailing where you can.. it'll teach you enough to get the basics of boat handling.
With today's electrical aids navigation can be learnt on line well enough to get you by.. kinda..
However if your ambitions lie further afield certification of competence is going to be requested sooner or later which could potentially stop you in your tracks.
Freedoms of yesteryear are a distant memory..
Heading to a marina seems like a great idea. I do plan on doing that up here in NY during sailing season. But I have to manage a day job so my time needs to be somewhat structured. I'll be burning vacation days, so as much as I'd like to I can't drive around Florida marinas looking for anyone foolish enough to take me onboard.

As far as future ambitions, I'm figuring I should become a competent sailor first. If I like it, I can decide later to take it to the next leve.
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Old 27-01-2021, 08:41   #8
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Re: Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

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Originally Posted by DMF Sailing View Post
This school looks great. Are ASA and US sailing regarded as similar?

The school I went to also had a fast track to get you from ASA 101 to 106, and this is exactly what we did in the ASA 106 course I needed to pass so I could sail 40-foot cruisers.



The Coastal Passage Making Course (OSS 106), an exciting long distance sailing adventure that takes you to far away points. You navigate non-stop, manage whatever Mother Nature conjures up, and learn what it’s like to be a long distance live aboard sailor, experiencing night time sailing.



There were five of us plus the teacher. Very useful class, and money well spent. YMMV
I like the idea of these combined courses, but it seems they're usually REALLY expensive.
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Old 27-01-2021, 09:06   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Monotone View Post
Heading to a marina seems like a great idea. I do plan on doing that up here in NY during sailing season. But I have to manage a day job so my time needs to be somewhat structured. I'll be burning vacation days, so as much as I'd like to I can't drive around Florida marinas looking for anyone foolish enough to take me onboard.

As far as future ambitions, I'm figuring I should become a competent sailor first. If I like it, I can decide later to take it to the next leve.
You don't have to..
Its quite possible you could set it up on CF..
Just post in the Crew Available Forum here and tell folks when your available and where followed by what your looking for.. Day sailing crewing.. Hops to Bahama's share expenses for w/end trip or longer and see what comes back at you..
State lack of experience but keen to learn and personal assets like cooking, guitar, WHY..
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Old 27-01-2021, 09:30   #10
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Re: Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

Sailingflorida.com. Just not far from Tampa Airport and the marina has a Marriott across from it. Great place to learn and charter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Monotone View Post
Hi all,

I would like to make my way to Florida from the frozen hell that is NY sometime in February or March to take sailing lessons. I found a few schools online, but I would prefer to take them from someone who comes recommended by the CF community here, so if you know of anyone please let me know in the thread or PM me.

Perhaps I'd like a bit of advice too. I have no plans to sail professionally, so I feel like taking ASA classes are an unnecessary expense at this time. Feel free to convince me otherwise, but I'm assuming I can get the same training via a private instructor or a non-certificate course?

I realize I'm probably being vague and I'm happy to answer questions. I don't really know what I'm looking for at this point. I just want to get on the water and learn how to sail without breaking the bank.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 27-01-2021, 10:29   #11
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Re: Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

Emerald Coast Sailing are terrific people operating from an excellent sailing area (Pensacola) but they are recovering from a bad hurricane season so depending on your timing they may not be a good option. I enjoyed my courses from Blue Water Sailing out of Fort Lauderdale.
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Old 27-01-2021, 10:46   #12
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Re: Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

+1 on the Sailing Florida in St. Petersburg. You would probably staying on their boats during the class.

I did not do my ASA classes with them but, they are professional and well staffed.

I charter boats from them from time to time.

FYI - your ASA certifications do not expire.
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Old 27-01-2021, 11:48   #13
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Re: Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Monotone View Post
...

Perhaps I'd like a bit of advice too. I have no plans to sail professionally, so I feel like taking ASA classes are an unnecessary expense at this time. Feel free to convince me otherwise, but I'm assuming I can get the same training via a private instructor or a non-certificate course?

...
Not sure why you think ASA is for professional sailors. ASA is for people who want to learn to sail. It is not training to get a job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lance Monotone View Post
...

As far as future ambitions, I'm figuring I should become a competent sailor first. If I like it, I can decide later to take it to the next leve.
If you want to be a competent sailor, that is why there are ASA, and similar organizations, providing classes.

With ASA classes you are getting a uniform curriculum that is recognized. Taking a class with a private instructor or a non-certificate class might help your knowledge but will it be recognized if you want to charter a boat?

As a paying student, who does not know what you do not know, how will you know if the training you are getting from a private instructor or a non-certificate class, is worth what you are paying? With ASA and similar organizations, you can see the curriculum and know what you should be taught.

I went sailing with my father before ASA existed. I wish I knew then, what I have learned from the ASA classes we have taken.

Taking classes from ASA or other recognized organizations would be my advice.

Later,
Dan
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Old 27-01-2021, 12:42   #14
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Re: Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

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Not sure why you think ASA is for professional sailors. ASA is for people who want to learn to sail. It is not training to get a job.



If you want to be a competent sailor, that is why there are ASA, and similar organizations, providing classes.

With ASA classes you are getting a uniform curriculum that is recognized. Taking a class with a private instructor or a non-certificate class might help your knowledge but will it be recognized if you want to charter a boat?

As a paying student, who does not know what you do not know, how will you know if the training you are getting from a private instructor or a non-certificate class, is worth what you are paying? With ASA and similar organizations, you can see the curriculum and know what you should be taught.

I went sailing with my father before ASA existed. I wish I knew then, what I have learned from the ASA classes we have taken.

Taking classes from ASA or other recognized organizations would be my advice.

Later,
Dan
What Dan said.

Also, I can say for a fact that I have waltzed into places, flashed my ASA 104 [bareboat] card, displayed that I comprehend basic things about sailing, and gotten a boat. (After filling out some waivers.)

The card expires after a year, and you have to pay like $40 to get a new one, but no one has ever checked the date on mine.

Taking these classes doesn't teach you to sail—that you gotta do on your own—but it sure does fill in the gaps for guys like me and Dan, who sailed with Dad and wish we'd known then what we know now.
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Old 27-01-2021, 12:47   #15
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Re: Seeking Sailing Instructor Recommendations in Florida

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Not sure why you think ASA is for professional sailors. ASA is for people who want to learn to sail. It is not training to get a job.
My apologies. I assumed that being certified would enable one to gain employment. I am not opposed to taking ASA courses but my question was whether there are equivalent non-cert courses that cost less.

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Taking a class with a private instructor or a non-certificate class might help your knowledge but will it be recognized if you want to charter a boat?
I have no plans to charter a boat. I plan on living on my own boat

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As a paying student, who does not know what you do not know, how will you know if the training you are getting from a private instructor or a non-certificate class, is worth what you are paying?
You're asking my question back at me. How will I know? I am hoping the recommendations of folks reading this thread will inform me. That's why I posted it.

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Taking classes from ASA or other recognized organizations would be my advice.
Thank you.
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