After looking at and talking with a bunch of sailing schools for our 3rd class (ASA 104), and suffering from a little analysis paralysis, we've finally made a decision. Having spent all of our time thus far sailing on reservoirs in Colorado, our goal was to spend some time on the ocean and living aboard the boat in the process. The school we chose was the Tracey School of Sailing Instruction.
Most of the schools we found had choices of single courses or "fast track" courses that combined the two classes we had already taken with the course we wanted to take. While single classes would work for us, the fast track courses seemed like a waste of time and money.
The Tracy option is technically a single course but we believe they will provide us with a more unique opportunity. The school operates in two locations during different parts of the year and they take their Maine Cat when they move locations. So twice a year instead of their normal sailing classes, they divide their trip between New Jersey and Bradenton, Florida, into four live-aboard classes. Yes, we'll actually get to travel some distance in the course of the course. In addition, instead of just the 104 course, we will also be doing the 114 (Catamaran) course. We think this should give us a better breadth of experience than the courses that essentially stay in the same location.
The Tracey School appears to be a smaller school. My wife and I always like to support smaller businesses when we can. We've found that smaller businesses seem to understand customer service far better than larger ones, so hopefully this will be the case here as well.
We are SOOOOOOOOO looking forward to this trip...we just need to finish planning it.