There is a sailing school to meet every sailor’s dreams and desires — from daysailing to racing, from bareboat charter training to cruising preparation. The tough part is wading through all the brochures and web sites to find the right school for you. In other words, as many callers ask us, Why should I choose your school?
We’ve listed several reasons why we think we’re the best school for you, but don’t just take our word for it — read what Blue Water alumni are saying about their experience with us.
We are exclusively a sailing school. One hundred percent of our efforts are devoted to sailing education and training. Many other schools are adjuncts of charter companies, whose primary goal is to drive as many people as possible to their charter fleet.
We were recently ranked by readers of Practical Sailor magazine as one of the best sailing schools in the United States, and we were the highest rated American Sailing Association (ASA) school in their survey. We received ASA’s annual Outstanding School award (Southeast Region) in 2000, 2001, 2002, and twice prior to 2000.
Our instructors often receive the ASA’s Outstanding Instructor award. Capt. Joe Logan was named Outstanding Instructor in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Also earning this honor in 2005 was Capt. Bill Mount, who had previously received the honor in 2000. In 2002, Capt. Ted Wheeler and Capt. Rick Neilson were both named Outstanding Instructor. This was the fourth year that Capt. Ted received the award and was the third time — and second year in a row — for Capt. Rick.
All of our sailing instructors are licensed by the United States Coast Guard, and are certified by the American Sailing Association as instructors after an exhaustive evaluation process.
We actually go on a weeklong live-aboard cruise, mooring at a different location every night. Many schools concentrate on day sailing, with lodging in a hotel at night. Other schools offer a “live-aboard” experience, but the boat returns to the same dock each night.
We choose the area sailed to by the composition of the students and the course level. Our beginning and intermediate courses sail to the Florida Keys, while our advanced courses cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamian island of Bimini. Our offshore courses make a passage to Bermuda, further out in the Bahamas, or to the Caribbean. We do not feel that it is appropriate to throw beginning and bareboat level students into a Gulf Stream crossing.
Our rates include the boat, instructor, provisions, fuel, ice, customs and immigration fees, books, certification fees and sales tax. Check other schools’ rates carefully; some have you buy books and course material separately, some charge extra for a recognized certification, some make you buy food for yourself and the instructor, and every other school we’ve seen adds on sales tax — an extra 6% in Florida and possibly more in other states.
You may be able to find sailing schools that charge less, you will certainly find many that charge more, but you will not find any that offer more for the money.
Check our schedule, we offer more courses and more dates than any other school in Florida, and possibly in the United States.
We are one of the only schools in the United States to offer the entire range of sailing education — from Basic Sailing to Offshore Passagemaking. Our advanced courses cross the Gulf Stream to the Bahamas, and we do an offshore passage every year. In 1997 we were the first ASA school to do a Transatlantic Passage.
In 2001 we continued our Offshore tradition with trips from Gibraltar to the Canary Islands, and a west bound Transatlantic Passage, crossing from the Canaries to the Caribbean. Other schools teach only the lower levels, and still other schools run offshore courses only in their advertising. We do the trips other schools only dream about.
Our standard one week live-aboard courses have no more than four students and one instructor. Other schools regularly have 5 or even 6 students on a 40 foot boat. We feel that four students is the most that can be comfortably accommodated and still have a reasonable chance of learning and practicing.
For couples, families and others who would prefer a boat to themselves we offer Private Instruction. We can customize courses, schedules, and boats to almost any requirement.
We actually went somewhere (Key Largo), rather than returning to the dock each evening. The course was made to be an adventure, as well as simply instructional. The weather was “made to order” — sun and gentle breeze Saturday through Wednesday, then Force 8 for our ‘foul weather instruction’ on Thursday.Read More Testimonials
I thought it was an excellent, challenging course. It definitely wasn’t a “cruise.” The instructor expected a lot from the students. I like that.Read More Testimonials
I have nothing but the utmost praise for your entire operation and the quality of the instruction that I received. Al Hatch is a consummate instructor and brings to this activity a love and a passion that is genuine and expansive. I hope to be able to return to Blue Water to experience some of the higher-level courses of instruction, and I certainly would have no trouble at all recommending your company to anyone.Read More Testimonials