Saturday, July 14, 2012

Options, options, and more options.

As mentioned in my last post, we need to decide on the class(es), location for those classes, and the type of boat we want to learn on for the next step after we complete our current course.

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.
Of course, not having any significant experience on either type of boat, we are not sure which way to go here.  Each has advantages and disadvantages.  Ideally, we would like to be able to spend a little time on each in hopes of helping us decide.

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)
Various schools offer multiple class options.  Of course, they are usually starting with the two courses we have already taken (101, 103, and 104 combos are common).  If we want to do multiple courses starting with the Intermediate/Bareboat Cruising class, it seems we will be doing a more custom (read: expensive) option.  At a minimum we definitely want to go with the coastal cruising course, and I would think the passage making course would be the next logical choice.  I've got some experience with navigation, so I'm thinking those can be learned at home or online.

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment