I am a certified sailing instructor by American Sailing Association, teaching through Island Cruising on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.
The format is called "Cruise and Learn" where you eat, live, and breathe sailing for 5 (or more) days all while cruising through the beautiful island chain between Vancouver and the mainland in some of the most beautiful and luxurious boats in North America. During the day you'll be sailing through the islands and then in the evening you can have alone time, study time, or even chat about sailing, boating, or whatever comes to mind, followed by being lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of the boat.
Sometimes we'll be anchored in coves away from the cities and towns and sometimes we can dock so you can stretch your legs and see the sights and shop - the itinerary can be customized for the experience you want.
So what sort of experience do you need to attend these classes? Basically, you don't need any experience We'll take you even if you've never set foot on a sailboat before. In fact, some of the best memories I have are of introducing people to sailing. Of course, there are also advanced classes available for people with experience.
Here are some of the classes taught:
ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing
Learn to skipper a 20' - 27' sloop-rigged keelboat by day, in light to moderate winds and sea conditions. Learn basic sailing terminology, parts and functions, helm commands, basic sail trim, points of sail, buoyage, seamanship and safety including basic navigation rules to avoid collisions and hazards.
ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising
Learn to skipper a sloop-rigged auxiliary powered 25'-35' keelboat by day in moderate winds and sea conditions. Learn cruising sailboat terminology, basic boat systems, auxiliary engine operation, docking procedures, intermediate sail trim, navigation rules, basic coastal navigation, anchoring, weather, safety and seamanship.
ASA 105, Coastal Navigation
Learn the the navigational theory and practices for safe navigation of a sailing vessel in coastal and inland waters. On-water coastal navigation skills elements are contained in the ASA103, Basic Coastal Cruising, ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising, and ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising, in progressively increasing levels of detail.
ASA 111, Sailing Review
Desire to improve or re-familiarize sailing knowledge and skills imparted during previous ASA keelboat certification course(s). Student and Instructor jointly decide on goals prior to the start of the review. Student receives a written, personalized Recommended Plan suggesting steps for continued improvement in knowledge and skills proficiencies after the review is completed. This review may be taken multiple times.
ASA 114, Cruising Catamaran
Learn to skipper an auxiliary-powered sailing cruising catamaran of approximately 30-45' feet in length during a multi-day liveaboard cruise upon inland or coastal waters in moderate to heavy winds (up to 30 knots) and sea conditions.