Originally Posted by IslandInfedel
I see lots about ASA courses.
Always for more knowledge is better, that said would someone who grew up on boats, sailed optimists until he was tall and heavy enough for the laser 2, and all sorts of stuff after that, lived aboard, lots of costal single
handed sailing, anchoring
, good mechanical abilities.
Seems like back then I don’t remember much ASA stuff, most of the sailing was through yacht clubs, and for the bigger boats just folks around the marina and odd ball opportunities.
Would I get much out of ASA stuff? Bring your own boat
? Just wondering if I’m missing out as I keep seeing ASA stuff listed.
I also need to buckle down and figure my sea time out, but that’s a different topic.
My 2c (ASA Instructor since 1994, ASA Instructor Evaluator, former ASA school
Questions are often posted here about learning
by experience building vs formal training and often these posts generate strong opinions for either approach. My perspective is different: they are not competing forms of learning
, they are complimentary. Formal training combined with experience building dramatically shortens learning curves and, in my experience, is the optimal approach. Another advantage is that formal training also fills in the gaps in subject areas/skills, that even experienced sailors are often not very familiar with.
Example: Many times I've had more experienced sailors participate in classes
with a less experienced spouse/child/friend. They often started the classes
with a ho-hum I already know all this stuff attitude...I let it ride. As we progressed in the training they began to hear about subjects a bit unfamiliar to them and that peaked their interest. By the end of the training they are usually enthusiastically participating. I've watched this transition many times so it's always a little humorous to me when the situation presents itself again.
I've had this same scenario evolve with experienced boat owners who just want some private training for their spouse/child/friend aboard their boat. I start out just training the third-party, the owner begins to eavesdrop on unfamiliar subjects...by the end the owner is participating in the class.
One aspect of sailing that keeps me interested is that there is always more to learn...no matter what your level of experience.
For someone like you with some solid experience, my suggestion is that you review each of the ASA standards in detail as an evaluation to determine which knowledge/skills you could benefit from learning. From that exercise you can determine whether additional training will benefit you or if you just need to self study some specific areas.
A few areas that even more experienced sailors often benefit from additional study/training in are:
Heaving-to. It is surprising how many experienced sailors know very little about this basic sailing skill.
Tactics. I used to teach a heavy weather
seminar. We kept an on call list of interested students and watched the weather. When the weather was going to be really crappy...we started calling students. There are also some classic
works on the subject by the likes of Dashew, Coles, and Pardey
. Traditional non-electronic navigation
Weather. A big mystery for many.
You can find the detailed ASA standards on their web site: