A 6 Day Sailing Class; Us vs. Them

Comparing Sailing Schools? Here is a quick look at Island Dreamer Sailing vs. two of of our competitors.  All three offer a 6 day combo class earning ASA 101-104 certifications. Below my comparison you will find a lengthier description about what to expect during a week with us along with information from the other sailing schools literature. Taking a week long class is a significant investment of your time and money, I hope that the information below helps you to find a class that is right for you. I believe that both of the schools I have used as examples have fine instructors, appropriate boats and good business practices, whoever you choose have a great week sailing!

Current published information as of 8-23-2013;

Island Dreamer Sailing School      Florida Yacht Charters         Blue Water Sailing School

On the water-6 days, 6 nights                  4 days, 3 nights                         4  1/2 days, 5 nights

2 students, 2 instructors                          2 students, 1 instructor              4 students,1 instructor

5 nights at anchor                                   2 nights at anchor                      3 nights at anchor

17 meals (we cook)                                 10 meals                                   13 meals

Start any day of the week                         Thursday through Tuesday          Saturday through Friday

Airport transfers included                         Hotel 2 nights, no transfers          Hotel 1 night, no transfer

Owner operated liveaboard boats             newer modern boats                    charter boats

$4,964 for 2 people                                 $4,000 for 2 people                  $3,990 for 2 people

6 day class with Island Dreamer Sailing School;

This describes a fairly typical 6 day class, we often modify our schedule to suit the weather and your progress.

Day 1; We pick you up at the Miami airport, hold your luggage and take you to South Beach where you get dinner on your own.  Arrive back at the boat at 7PM and get to know your captains.

Day 2; Discuss the weather and week plan over breakfast then learn the basics of the wind and boat terminology. Sail around downtown Miami on our 20′ keelboat (will not tip over) practicing points of sail, sailing to moorings and docks, man overboard under sail. Move to an calm anchorage and watch the beautiful city lights of downtown Miami at sunset.

Day 3; Check the charts over breakfast then sail down Biscayne Bay to Key Largo. You will steer a compass course in the calm waters of this pristine national park. Practice right of way questions with the many sailboats as you leave downtown then maybe we will take a break from our studies if a pod of dolphins come to play in the bow wave of our boat. Anchor in a secluded spot in the lee of an uninhabited mangrove island, have a great dinner with a glass of wine and a little jazz in the background and watch the stars come out with no city lights.

Day 4; Navigate through the twists and turns of the intracoastal waterways markers both under power and sail. More studying while we are underway, use the charts to plan your points of sail. Anchor off a “tiki” bar and after dinner go in and hear the band while you enjoy a drink or some Key Lime pie.

Day 5: Start heading back towards Miami and in the evening anchor in a narrow mangrove creek using a Bahamian Moor. Explore the surrounding creeks in our dinghy as you practice using an outboard motor. Find your location on the chart with the compass, see how close you come to the GPS position.

Day 6; Learn about the diesel and check the fluids in the morning then head for Boca Chita Key. There we will spend some time with docking practice then walk the nature trail of this island park.  Miami is 12 miles away and looks like Oz floating above the water.

Day7: Navigate on your own out of the harbor, raise the sails and get us on a heading to Miami. Take your last test as we sail back to the big city. We arrive back at the mooring late in the afternoon and can give you a ride to a local hotel or the Miami airport. We had a great time, come back and sail with us soon!


6 day class with Blue Water Sailing School;

This itinerary is sample itinerary for our Fort Lauderdale Bareboat Skipper course. Your particular week may differ in specific routes, anchorages and schedules, but the main goals of sailing instruction will remain paramount. This itinerary is not guaranteed.

Saturday, you will board your boat at 3pm and get started with orientation, provisioning, boat systems and safety. You will stay at the marina Saturday evening, dinner is not included Saturday. There are many restaurants within walking distance of the marina. Sunday morning (as most mornings) you will have a couple hours of academic instruction before starting sailing. Heading out from the marina you travel down the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) to Port Everglades and then on to the Atlantic Ocean. Traveling on the ICW will give you a practical demonstration and practice with Rules of the Road, Lights and Shapes, draw bridge procedures and proper VHF radio operation. From Port Everglades the boat will head south, with the destination this day being Miami/northern Biscayne Bay, typically somewhere in the Key Biscayne area. Anchor is down in the late afternoon and you are free to swim, study, read or otherwise relax. One of the students will have chef’s duty with another will be on galley duty. This will change each day.

Monday, as most mornings, while having coffee and breakfast, you will check the weather, look at the chart and plot the course for the day, noting any hazards to be aware of. After an engine check and some class time sailing will commence. Lots of sailing drills: tacking, gybing, Crew Overboard maneuvers. Lunch will be either underway or drop anchor for a short break. Destination this day is In the Elliott Key area. Anchor down in mid to late afternoon, furl the sails and coil the lines, time for a swim before dinner.

Tuesday morning, after breakfast and morning routine, the ASA 101 – Basic Sailing test will be given. After testing is done, more sailing and drills, ending up in the southern Biscayne Bay/Card Sound/Barnes Sound area for the evening.

Wednesday you will start to retrace your route, heading to back northern Biscayne Bay anchoring off Key Biscayne Bay or Virginia Key. The ASA 103 – Basic Coastal Cruising test will be completed.

Thursday morning, when you’re feeling refreshed after a peaceful night’s rest, the Basic Coastal Cruising (ASA 103) test will be completed. Then you will back onto the Atlantic Ocean for the sail back to Ft Lauderdale. Depending on the weather (as always) you may be able to get out into the Gulf Stream, picking up a couple knots of boat speed and making a quick sail up the coast. But if the wind is from the north the sail will stay close to shore as you make your way to windward. Pull back into our marina in Ft Lauderdale in the mid to late afternoon.

Friday morning will be the final review and the ASA 104 – Bareboat Cruising test. The instructor will review your tests, sign your logbooks and you are an ASA certified sailor. Boat clean-up, showers and you will be done in the early afternoon, usually noon – 1pm but no later than 3pm.

6 day class with Florida Yacht Charters;

101, 103, & 104 – 6 Day Course
Thursday & Friday evening classroom
4 full days on the water at anchor Saturday, Sunday & Mondaynight
Thursday classroom 3:00pm to 7:00pm (101)
Friday classroom 3:00pm to 7:00pm (103),
Saturday 9:00AM  Out on the water; Return 1:00PM Tuesday to take 104 exam.
$2,000.00 per person


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