We received this letter from Dave & Jamie Stadler who took our Coastal Nav course in March 2008:
If people learned to
fly airplanes like most people learn to sail, we would have a lot fewer living
pilots! I am amazed at the fact
that if you can just afford the boat, there is nothing to stop you from sailing
around the world. My wife and I
place a high value on getting education first and being safe sailors.
We discovered Tom
Tursi on an ASA Navigation DVD that we bought to learn a bit about navigation on
our own. His teaching style clicked with us, so we signed up for 103/104 in the
Caribbean through the Maryland School of Sailing and Seamanship.
Our instructor there was Joe Kliment who, like Tom, had a lot of
experience, but matched with a desire to teach us.
We have consistently
been impressed by the professionalism of the school. The office does a great job handling the registration,
payment, course materials, classroom aids and generally making sure that you
show up prepared and know what to expect. The
courses are logically organized and delivered by instructors who combine
substantial ocean experience with the ability to teach.
As we know, in any field not many people can both “do” and
The thing we really
like about Maryland School is that the emphasis is on teaching the material for
understanding and application – all to keeping you safe. This past weekend we
finished 105 Coastal Navigation. As far as I know, the ASA does not mandate a
certain number of hours for a course and some schools even combine it with 106.
In addition to the 32 classroom hours, we spent an equal amount of time in home
study just to meet the high standards set by Tom. But we got the impression that
the tests are secondary to Tom. His
main concern was that we knew the material and how to apply it. Plus I suspect
there are very few people around who could even teach 105 like the guy that
wrote the book!
We are definitely