So, starting with the last one first, what type of boat. For lesson purposes the size should be similar to what we intend to own, but a few feet shouldn't be too big of a deal. The number of hulls, on the other hand, is a bigger question.
As far as location is concerned, we definitely want a course that spends all of it's time on the ocean. While learning on a reservoir was fine for basic sailing skills, it just isn't realistic for our intended goal. To get a better feel for living aboard a boat, we want the next course(s) to be multi-day and live-aboard. For these options, there seems to be two main locations, either Florida or the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
And finally the classes. Beyond the minor differences between the two competing sailing organizations, there are multiple classes that can be taken from where we are now:
- Intermediate Coastal Cruising (ASA 104) / Bareboat Cruising (US)
- Coastal Navigation (ASA and US)
- Offshore Passage Making (ASA and US)
- Celestial Navigation (ASA and US)
Choices in schools seem to range from large schools run by famous sailors to smaller mom & pop operations. Most are smaller classes between two and six students per boat with the smaller operations typically having the smaller class sizes. Since it will eventually just be the two of us (and the dogs), I would think the smaller classes would be better. Of course, more students may present more situations leading to more learning.
Lots of choices...what to do...what to do.