I grew up on sailboats as both of my parents are sailors. They owned a few sail boats. They also took us a few times in the Virgin Islands on bareboat charters for a week at a time when we were kids. A bareboat charter is when you charter a boat without provisions, captain or crew.
The Moorings is a popular charter company located in a variety of sailing destinations around the world. The Moorings, and other charter companies, want the captain that is responsible for the vessel to have relevant ASA certifications and experience.
I recall my parents both taking ASA certification courses in order to be able to charter boats from the Moorings. The courses were over a few days. My sister and I were also aboard along with an instructor. The instructor taught, had them perform drills and tested them during the day. At night we would drop anchor and have dinner and free time to relax. Even though they both were experienced sailors they both found the courses useful.
When Tomas and I were investigating starting a nautical tourism business I was absolutely sure I wanted it to be aboard a sailing catamaran.
Tomas did not have much experience on sailboats and I had very little experience on sailing catamarans. Early on we decided a sailing course would be useful for us. We would have the opportunity to learn, work as a team and confirm we really wanted to continue down the path we were on.
After researching it still appeared that the ASA certifications were one of the best choices. We decided to take a combination course that is for four certifications over the duration of a week. You live aboard the vessel for a week along with a Captain/instructor and other students(unless you opt to pay for private lessons).
We did the course with BLUE WATER SAILING SCHOOL in Fort Lauderdale. The certifications were for 101-Basic Sailing, 103- Basic Coastal Cruising, 104- Bareboat Chartering, and 114- Cruising Catamarans.
The experience was great for us. Both of us walked away having learned a lot. Our instructor- Captain Jaye was very experienced and outlined what each individuals goal was from the first day of the course. There were 2 other students aboard and we all got along great and have actually all kept in touch. The vessel was a 37′ Island Spirit sailing catamaran and the 7 day course started in Fort Lauderdale and went down south to the upper keys and back. There is time spent in the intracoastal waterways through bridges and then out into the Atlantic and near coastal for the longer legs of the trip.
Cost: $2495/person (May 2015)