When it comes to hands-on marina based sailing schools you have a wide choice. The curriculum may vary depending on the type of certifications available. Certainly the area of sailing will vary markedly from school to school. Also, there will probably be a difference of costs involved; Expect costs to range in the area of $1,600-$2,000/person/week. This is usually all-inclusive and could be the learning vacation of a lifetime for you. So, how does one decide? First might come the type of certification you will get upon successful completion of classes.
We prefer the ASA (American Sailing Association) for a number of reasons: There are many facilities from which to choose, the ASA standard is approved by the National Association of State Boating Law and the U.S. Coast Guard. But perhaps the best reason of all is that the ASA standard is widely recognized by the charter industry thus allowing you to charter boats world wide.
There are ASA facilities all around the U.S. and in many foreign countries. You might want to consider learning to sail in an area that you will eventually travel to in your own boat or charter boat. For instance, if you want to eventually do ocean sailing, you would choose a school that is located on an ocean.
Some questions to consider: What sort of reputation does the school and its instructors have? How long has the school been in business? How much experience do the instructors have? What ASA levels are available at a particular school? And, perhaps most importantly, how do you feel about the school in question? Do you have doubts? Or, does everything look and feel good?
One very important question you might ask is: Does the class go out on a cruise of some length and anchor out at night or do you always return to the dock? If you are serious about knowing and learning sailing you might want to only consider a school that stays out on the water. After all, this is what you will be doing eventually, right? Why not learn it the right way from the beginning. In fact, the ASA standard for Bareboat Charter (104) requires (with emphasis) that a student perform as skipper and crew on a cruise lasting at least 48 hours.
Having direct experience at several ASA sailing facilities. At this point in time we are recommending only one school and that is Blue Water Sailing School located in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Several reasons why we choose Blue Water Sailing School are: The facilities are located on the coast of south Florida with easy access to the Keys and The Bahamas. The boats are modern and kept in good condition. And, the instructors all seem to have double digit years of experience. Blue Water Sailing School also offers the 107 & 108 levels of ASA certification that few other schools offer. Blue Water Sailing School has boats located not only in Ft. Lauderdale but also the US Virgin Islands, Newport, and The Bahamas.
If you are ready to find out for yourself what it's like to sail a 35-50' boat, receive meaningful sailing lessons, and get a taste of the sea then check out an excellent resource: Blue Water Sailing School. All sailing lessons lead to ASA certification and are taught by experienced instructors who are licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard (Captain's license).
School of Sailing Contents
|Home||Learn to Sail||Navigation||Anchoring||Food & Drink||ASA Sailing Standards|
|Blog||Sailing Schools||Latitude & Longitude||Anchors & How They Work||Downloads||ASA 101 (Basic Keelboat)|
|About Us||Terminology||True & Magnetic||Anchoring Styles & Mooring||Ship's Store||ASA 103 (Basic Cruising)|
|Contact Us||Glossary||Aids to Navigation||Choosing an Anchorage||Enjoyable Links||ASA 104 (Bareboat Charter)|
|Points of Sail||Avoiding Collisions||Site Map||ASA 114 (Cruising Catamaran)|
|Basic Sail Trim||Navigation Lights||Links||ASA 105 (Coastal Navigation)|
|Tacking & Jibing||Unlocking the Chart||ASA 106 (Advanced Cruising)|
|Crew Overboard||Speed, Time, & Distance|
|True & Apparent Wind||Plotting Positions & Courses|
|Weather Helm & Lee Helm||Currents|