Originally Posted by Belle25
I start to guess any class will provide a 22, and then I can either move to a bigger or stay on the same size.
In the US, sailing schools are usually sponsored by the American Sailing Association. Beginners start at ASA 101 and learn how to sail a small keel
boat. The course descriptions are pretty vague as to what you'll actually learn but you do learn how to sail.
Right now I'm in the middle of taking ASA 101 and will be taking 103 immediately afterward. We were out beyond the breakwater the very first day (see my photo
gallery for pics). I had to demonstrate that I knew how to tie a couple of easy knots (bowline and figure 8) and what the parts
of the boat were called plus hanking on the jib
and connecting the halyards to both the jib
At that point my instructor took us away from the dock
and I raised the sails
. In minutes he explained and showed me how to tack the boat. Immediately after that I was at the helm
tacking the boat and watching the telltales to keep us on course.
I was at the helm
when we doused the sails
and motored back to the slip. I docked the boat and my instructor tied us up.
Second week was jibing. I took us off the dock
, out of the marina and went sailing then docking
us again this time after we were done (with a lot fewer mistakes
than the first time)
Third week was sailing on all points of sail. Close hauled, close reach, beam reach, and broad reach before jibing and coming back up to close hauled again only to tack and resume our prior course.
Sailing to the dock and Man Overboard
are weeks 4 and 5 then you test for your ASA 101 sticker in your logbook. It's all done in a Catalina 22 or similar.
ASA 103 uses a bigger boat than the Catalina 22 and this is where you learn all the things you don't know about how to sail other than sailing the boat. You learn how to use the radio
, etc. That class has what they call a night sail (which is actually just sailing in the evening after dark) and ends with a "confidence sail" where you take the boat out by yourself (with your own crew and your instructor stays behind).
When I started my ASA 101 class I had sailed a dingy a few times and had been out as passenger on a few other boats. I'm not done with my ASA 101 class and yet I can now sail a boat single
handed through all aspects from the dock, to raising/lowering the sails, sailing all points of sail and then returning to the dock.
I can sail a keel boat by myself and I'm not done with all my ASA 101 classes
My recommendation is to find and take at least the ASA 101 course then, if you can, take the ASA 103 course to round off your knowledge and abilities. When you're done you'll be able to sail anything you want to sail anywhere you want to sail it.