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Old 28-09-2020, 18:29   #1
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Should I take ASA Sailing classes

Me and my husband have no sailing experience except for 2 catamaran sailing charters with a captain to the BVI. Should we spend the money on the ASA 101,103, and 104 courses? We def. know we need and want to learn to sail proficiently. I’ve seen where some have taught themselves and just looking for suggestions on best thing to do. We found a class in Saint Petersburg, Florida at Smartersail. Has anyone took the classes there. Is that a good starting point?
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Old 28-09-2020, 18:42   #2
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Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

Absolutely! It’s money well spent on the basics of sailing, navigation, and water safety. Sure, you can read a book, and go out and pull some lines and start figuring it out. IMHO, that just puts you in the same class of a lot of sailors who “don’t know how much they don’t know”. Get a good foundation and build from there. Don’t teach yourself bad habits and technique. Additionally, you’ll build the experience AND documentation that will help you charter on your own in the future, and could save you money on insurance for your own boat.
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Old 03-10-2020, 06:59   #3
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Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

To self learn you need to go out and sail alot. Then you learn has you ho. You might figure a solution to a situation in 5 steps. A sailing instructor migth show you how do do it in 3 steps.
A good sailing scholl will have a good structured program. This will speed up your learning progress.
Yes do take sailing classes. You will be much better daikor after it.
And after that you need to go out and practice.
Mother nature has a way of throwing stuff at you.
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Old 03-10-2020, 07:30   #4
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Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

I have been multiple places where I was asked to produce my sailing “license”. I provided a copy of pages from my ASA logbook with my photo displayed, plus pages with colored stamps and signatures for the various courses - all under headings that say “Student Certification”. Everyone was happy with this. Much easier than arguing that the USA doesn’t require a “license”. Works for the insurance companies too.
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Old 03-10-2020, 07:52   #5
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Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

RYA Dayskipper is also recognised world wide, just completed it myself, looking forward to chartering in Greece (next year)
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Old 03-10-2020, 08:15   #6
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Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

Prioritize sailing experience over courses.



Sail, sail, then sail more. And then sail some more.



Do take courses too, they do not hurt and will teach you many useful things.



Sailing is like dancing - it is done 99% on the water (on the dance floor), mostly when the boom hits our head!


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Old 03-10-2020, 10:54   #7
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Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

Yes, take the classes.

I was sailing before ASA existed. We were self taught. I wish I knew way back then, what I learned in the ASA classes.

Most of your learning will happen after the classes but the classes give you a great head start. The classes are not going to teach everything one needs to know but it is a good foundation for your future learning.

To take the 104 class the recommendation is to have 80 hours on the water. Take the 101/103 classes and then start sailing to gain experience. It is one thing to be on a boat with some one else in charge vs when it is all on YOU. That is when you really start learning.

Later,
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:29   #8
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Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

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Originally Posted by Gypsy-girl View Post
Me and my husband have no sailing experience except for 2 catamaran sailing charters with a captain to the BVI. Should we spend the money on the ASA 101,103, and 104 courses? We def. know we need and want to learn to sail proficiently. I’ve seen where some have taught themselves and just looking for suggestions on best thing to do. We found a class in Saint Petersburg, Florida at Smartersail. Has anyone took the classes there. Is that a good starting point?


Mono hull guy here. I found those classes to be quite valuable. I joined a sailing club in Portland Oregon that for a reasonable monthly fee allows me to take out a boat very week to augment my classes. After a few years, I bought a boat and have been very happy with the background from the classes. I was about to get my Yachtmaster Offshore when covid19 hit.....

I took the ASA classes in three different places. All were good.

I had two kids at home and a job so I was not able to go on longer trips early on. Now that I’m retired and once we get passed covid19, other options open up.

I mention this because your goals and options may different.
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:40   #9
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Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gypsy-girl View Post
Me and my husband have no sailing experience except for 2 catamaran sailing charters with a captain to the BVI. Should we spend the money on the ASA 101,103, and 104 courses? We def. know we need and want to learn to sail proficiently. I’ve seen where some have taught themselves and just looking for suggestions on best thing to do. We found a class in Saint Petersburg, Florida at Smartersail. Has anyone took the classes there. Is that a good starting point?

Did you end up taking the course? I ask because I am looking at signing up for that exact one.
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Old 01-02-2021, 12:52   #10
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Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

There are important skills and knowledge that will be very difficult to learn on your own, that are covered early in the ASA courses. Rules of the Road, and MOB procedures, and USCG equipment requirements come to mind.

I would suggest at least ASA 101/103, to cover those basics. After those courses you should have basic competency to sail a monohull inland without a paid skipper. Then, depending on how you feel, you could add or skip the others.
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Old 02-02-2021, 05:44   #11
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Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

My wife and I did live aboard ASA for 7 days with an instructor captain in the BVI. It was fantastic. I had previous sailing experience in the Great Lakes on a friends 38’ boat, and she had none. I got through the 3 courses, and she completed the first two, just didn’t do the exam for 103 (she completed it the following year). I would say it was pretty intense, but it was a really good experience. Afterwards we sailed an additional 4 days on our own. Since it was a week, we really spent all 7 days on all the skills and techniques required, but certain days we focused on a skill set. For example we spent 4 hours doing docking in Virgin Gorda, MOB was done two different days for a few hours each and after day 3 I was making our plan and charting our courses when I got up and tracking and calculating updates as we sailed. We also got to work together and learn to be a sailing team.

We returned annually for 11-30 day charters and then joined a boat share in the Chesapeake after we had kids and weren’t able to take the bigger trips.

So many people recommend staring with a tiny dinghy, but until recently I’ve never sailed anything smaller than a 32’. It’s likely a cheaper way to learn, but not the only way in my experience.
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Old 05-02-2021, 12:56   #12
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Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

Yes, we took the ASA 101 and 103 in dec. and I agree, it was very valuable and so happy we done it.
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Old 10-03-2021, 08:29   #13
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Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

Yes, courses and experience. I had this same question last summer and took the advice offered here. I took the ASA 101 course early last summer, got about 25-30 days of sailing experience and then took the 103, 104 course at the end of summer.
Then I sailed some more through fall and early winter.
In Jan/Feb this year I completed the 105 Navigation course which was amazing.
Just last week I spent a week in USVI for the 106 course which was truly edifying. This included a night crossing as well.
Now, on to buying a boat :-)
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Old 10-03-2021, 08:43   #14
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pirate Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

I took evening classes in RYA Theory Coastal Skipper (Mondays) Offshore (Wednesdays) and Ocean (Fridays) for a summer all the while gaining practical experience sailing my boat as often as possible (2 evenings weekdays +weekends) practicing all I was learning as I learnt it..
Theory is easy to learn online or with books, it's the hands on practical in situ experience that is all important.. so yes, get on a boat and get your ticket as you'll need it to bareboat.
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Old 10-03-2021, 09:03   #15
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Re: Should I take ASA Sailing classes

Consider taking separate classes from your husband. You will build a lot more confidence in your abilities.
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