Which course should I take?
We are an American Sailing Association school. The first level of certification is Basic Keelboat 101 (BKB101); this is a prerequisite to all the other levels. So if you don’t have your Basic Keelboat certification, you need to start there. If you have been sailing a long time you can do what we call a BKB “challenge” and take the test the first or second day ....and then work on getting other certifications during your trip.
How many students do you teach on a boat at a time?
We have a maximum of 6 students per boat. In some cases we take 8 customers on non teaching trips.
Do we sail in bad weather?
Yes. We teach you how to sail in all types of weather. We will never put you in danger, but we feel that learning in all types of weather will prepare you better and you will be a more confident sailor when the time comes to charter your own boat.
What is the American Sailing Association and why do I need to be certified?
The ASA is an association of sailors, professional sailing instructors, sailing schools, and charter companies. The ASA's education system consists of Certification Standards for students and instructors alike. These Standards are minimum requirements of knowledge and ability in safety and seamanship. ASA Certification provides documentation of an individual's acquirement and is recognized by many national authorities, charter, and insurance companies. Sailors may join the ASA and take advantage of many valuable member benefits.
What other expenses are involved?
You are responsible for all your travel expenses and hotels. Also any other expenses and a few dinners that you have while you are not on the boat.
What kind of food is provided?
We provide most breakfasts, most lunches, and 1 dinner cooked aboard the boat. We also provide snacks, soft drinks, and water. We do not provide alcohol, but you are welcome to bring your favorite adult beverage aboard. Typical breakfasts are muffins, fruit, eggs, sausage, bagels, coffee, juice. Lunches are deli meat sandwiches, pasta salads, fruits, and chips. The dinners are usually game hens or a fish or pasta meal. If you have special dietary needs, or are allergic to certain foods, please let us know PRIOR to your trip.
Can we snorkel or scuba dive?
We do provide snorkel gear and you will have a few opportunities to snorkel along the way. You may wish to bring your own mask if you have good gear. However, our boats are not equipped for scuba diving. We can give you the names of a few dive centers that do day dives before or after your Sea Dog Sailing trip.
If you enjoyed your trip feel free to let your Captain know.
Can we stay on the boat the night before?
You will be staying on the boat the first night -ie Saturday night. However, due to clean-up for the next class, you will not be able to stay overnight upon your return. Everyone disembarks at 9am the following Saturday.
When should I book my return flight?
We recommend that you have your return flight the following day AFTER you leave the trip.
Do you do customized sailing courses?
Yes! Just email us with the dates you have in mind, how may people will be crewing, and if you are going for fun or if you want to do a "cruise and learn". We will get back with you on prices.
What if I am single?
If you are a single male or female: if another male or female signs up for the same trip, we will have you share a cabin. (Male with male and female with female.) If another single male or female does not sign up, you will have your own cabin at no additional cost. However if you REQUEST a single in a double cabin then the price is 75% of per person price ADDED TO YOUR PRICE.
Do you provide travel insurance?
We do not provide travel insurance, but we feel that anyone investing in a vacation or yacht charter should consider purchasing travel insurance. Whether you use a travel agent or book your own trip, you can purchase Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance.
Here are a few companies: http://www.travelguardins.com Toll Free Phone: (800) 672-7485 http://www.travelinsured.com Toll Free Phone: (800) 243-3174 e:mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Global Care Toll Free Phone: (800) 779-1017 e:mail: email@example.com
What levels of certification can I get during your trips?
On all of our Teaching trips we teach Basic Keelboat (BKB) 101, Basic Coastal Cruising (BCC) 103 and Bareboat Charter (BBC) 104. However each trip and each individual is different so we agree on all before the trip.
Are there any additional fees for certifications?
No! The fee for your BVI week **includes** certifications…there is no additional cost. This includes your sailing manuals, logbook, testing materials, and certification stickers.
Ok! I am ready to sign up! What is the process?
1. Call us with your desired dates to check for availability in the week(s) you want. 2. Research airfare. Book your plane, and make your deposit with us. 3. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will send you out a confirmation Welcome letter, and a sailing resume and waiver form to be returned, as well as detailed information for your Sea Dog trip. 4. Upon receipt of your completed sailing resume and waiver, we will send you your sailing manuals, your ASA logbook, and study materials. 5. if you would like to stay a few days before or after your trip, book your hotel reservations for those times. 6. Upon landing in St. Thomas, take a 5 minute cab (passenger van) ride to the ferry. 7. Take the CHARLOTTE-AMALIE ferry. Buy a round trip ticket. 8. Take ferry through one stop to Roadtown. 9. From ferry dock in Roadtown: Catch a cab (25 minutes) to Fat Hog's Bay, East End Tortola if you are going straight to our boat, "Dreamfinder", or to your hotel of choice. 10. Meet us at boat at the designated time, noted in your welcome letter. 11. Have fun!
What is covered in Basic Keelboat (BKB) 101?
If you are new to sailing, you begin with 101 Basic keelboat Certification. BKB 101 includes boat parts (names/uses), sail parts, Rules of the Road, basic safety, basic sail theory (why a boat sails), and federal requirements for the type of vessel you would be sailing (i.e.: life jackets, fire extinguishers, flares, running lights, etc.). ...........Sailing skills learned include: sailing all points of sail through tacking and gybing; heaving-to (controlled drift to stop the boat for reefing, repair, or simply lunch!); reefing (reducing sail due to increasing wind/weather), and "figure-eight" man-overboard (MOB) recovery (as helmsman and crew) with correct commands/responses.
What is covered in Basic Coastal Crusing (BCC) 103 and Bareboat Charter (BBC) 104 certifications?
The 103 and 104 certifications introduce you to systems found on larger sailboats such as DC batteries, roller-furling, AC shore power, water systems, head (toilet), and intro to basic engine systems (raw water intake, fuel systems, etc), galley saftey, as well as basic navigation, intro to current, tides and docking/anchoring manouevers, safety/dinghy, and yacht management.
How does the crew work together when studying different levels of certifications?
All of this is done in a really relaxed atmosphere, with a rotating crew duty roster, where one day you may find yourself at the helm, and the next you may be communications/navigation, mentoring the next person at the helm. We review the day over breakfast, then sail to our new anchorage destination, have a relaxed cocktail hour on board discussing the day’s events and plans for the evening dinner! Rotating crew dduty roster covers the following positions: Helm, Anchor, Sail Trim, Communications/navigation, Safety/Dinghy, and Galley. You will be learning all systems and participating fully!
What is the average crew like?
The crews vary upon each trip, single females, single males, couples and all age ranges! We find that every trip and crew is different, and most crews really "gel" and have a super fabulous time working as a team. It really is a great way to meet people at all levels of sailing. Some on the trip may have more experience than you, and will wind up mentoring you, and vice versa.
What is your policy on children?
We can suggest that if you have a number of people interested in going together, we can arrange a private trip and include your children. We love teaching kids to sail.... however, our trips are geared towards adults.
Do I need a passport?
A passport is preferred, but an original birth certificate with a raised seal will work fine.