The American Sailing Association (ASA) courses that we teach each have two parts:
Practical Requirements vary by course, but are essentially sailing skills and can include such skills as sailing the points of sail (ASA 101), anchoring (ASA 103), or navigating into an unfamiliar harbor (ASA 104).
Written exams confirm the students sailing knowledge for each course and can include such classroom materials as sailboat nomenclature (ASA 101), proper scope for anchoring (ASA 103), or a probable cause of an inboard diesel overheating (ASA 104).
So, how do we convey these skills and concepts to students?
We will spend as much time on the water as possible (there is no substitute for hands-on experience) - although we begin by teaching the appropriate classroom materials to ensure the students are prepared to execute the sailing skills (practical requirements) on the water.
Then it's out of the slip for practical application. The instructor demonstrates the procedure and then it's the student's turn.
Students will alternate as either crew or helmsman for each procedure (or set of procedures). After the student has successfully completed the procedure(s) as helmsman, it's time to swap places and act as crew.
Back in the slip, we have a critique of the day's activities and plan for any areas which require additional work. We don't believe doing something once is enough. We stress repetition to reinforce what the student has learned.
Our instructors only act as helmsman or crew to demonstrate procedures, the majority of the time, the students are handling the yacht. This allows our instructors to focus on safety and the progress of the students.
Our sailing school method allows (and encourages) students to learn the roles and responsibilities of both helmsman and crew and develop their skills working as a team.
We typically limit our class size to two students and extend our class length. We do this because there is a substantial amount of information and many fundamentals and techniques to be communicated to the students. Smaller classes make it possible for the instructor to focus on each student and to ensure that his or her needs are met. It also gives the student more time at the helm and as crew to allow the student to fully understand the subject matter being taught and why it is relevant.
We feel the additional time for our classes is critical to allow students to successfully complete our classes -- the more time on the water, the better. Consider that each class requires the students to take an exam that potentially occupies half of one teaching day to administer, grade, and review.
For single class descriptions and pricing, click here.
For combined class descriptions and pricing, click here.