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ASA 101... Why Bother?


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#1 akoutdoors

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:47 AM

What good is an ASA certification? Seems like a money grab to me. People talk a lot about sailing not being an elitist sport, about how anyone can do it. I guess no one told the guys running sailing schools about that. My wife wants sailing lessons in San Diego this winter, but the 101 classes are crazy expensive. We'd like to be able to charter a boat in the future, but the cost of certifications to do so is the same cost as a boat!

#2 sailglobal

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:14 AM

Ak, skip the ASA101 unless you're planning to become a pro. Instead I suggest you come to Newport Beach as an alternative to San Diego. Orange Coast College has a wonderful sailing school and has classes for all aspects of sailing. They have a great facility and library and a good fleet of yachts. Unlike San Diego, Newport (or Long Beach) has Catalina Island a comfortable sail offshore and the Channel Islands are a day up the coast. Good Luck

#3 shanedennis

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:17 AM

For low key, non-pompous ASA classes in San Diego I liked Seaforth in Coronado.

I do anything to keep Wifey loving sailing, and that included taking ASAs with her even though I had been sailing most of my life.

Nice thing thing about ASAs is they make it a little easier to charter worldwide. Outside the US people want some proof on paper thay you have some competency training.

#4 ultimategumby

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:22 AM

Don't they had an option where you can "challenge" for a rating without actually taking the courses if you have experience? Should make it much cheaper to get the "official" rating and get whatever benefits that go with it for chartering etc

#5 B.J. Porter

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 01:30 AM

Don't they had an option where you can "challenge" for a rating without actually taking the courses if you have experience? Should make it much cheaper to get the "official" rating and get whatever benefits that go with it for chartering etc


They do have something like that. I went through the bareboat charter certification a number of years ago, for 101 I found an ASA instructor that spent a day with me out sailing the boat. I showed him what I knew, he passed me. I then went on to do the rest of it at the Chapman Offshore School program.

But you DO have to know the basics of sailing even if you aren't perfect.


In theory the Bareboat certification (which is 101, 102, & 105 if memory serves) is supposed to tell charter companies you are 'certified' to skipper the boat. They guy I took my cert from also basically told me that it counted very little against your actual sailing resume & experience and they still are probably going to make you back in and out of the slip and do a check out.

#6 bmiller

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 12:56 PM

I thought all you needed to charter was a credit card?
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=EAyDS1NuK_A

#7 shanedennis

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 03:02 PM

Funny. Just noticed it was a Conch boat in the video. Friends of mine couldn't believe Conch let him charter an 50 foot plus cat a few years back... their 18 footer is moored on a city lake in Minneapolis!

#8 Innocent Bystander

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 03:23 PM

The best thing about that video is the green bikini.

First time I chartered was in the Whitsundays. Checkout was an actual sail, just me and the non sailing girlfriend and the checker. I raised the main, sailed off the mooring and as we left the mooring field asked what was next. His response was that we could do anything I wanted as I had already passed. Second time was in Charlotte Amalie on a spot charter. Checkout was a 5 minute discussion with the broker as we inspected the boat.

Has anyone been turned down for not having a "ticket"?

#9 Speng

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

AFAIK you don't need that to bareboat charter. Several of mates of mine have chartered and their sailing resume was enough and the biggest boats they sailed were J24s. Yachtmaster would be a better choice but those are probably pricey in the US

#10 Great Red Shark

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:45 PM

Perhaps you should start a business and then let US tell you what is appropriate to charge for your time & investment.

Not to say ASA (or anyone) is 'perfect' but you DO realize they are running a business, right ?

Just because YOU don't think they should pay a living wage and meet the costs of a boating business doesn't mean they are 'overpriced', -- and teaching anyone you KNOW a skill like sailing, driving or motorcycling can be fraught with peril - it is very easy for 'instruction' to be recieved as 'criticism' and for 'feedback' to be heard as 'whining'.

It may very well be worth it to have her learn from another source is all I'm saying.

Disclosure: I attended the ASA instructor's program in Annapolis in 1985, so I'm obviously in their pocket....

#11 Merit 25

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 09:46 PM

The best thing about that video is the green bikini.

+1




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