Why Choose The
We know that students are faced with many options for winter Caribbean sail training and below we'll offer some of the reasons why students choose The Maryland School.
Our Instructors: At The Maryland School, we are extremely particular when it comes to instructors. They are excellent, or they don't teach for us. Read up on our instructor cadre, and you'll find it's an impressive group. Our Virgin Islands instructors for the 2013-2014 season are Captains Hoffmann, Tucker, Petterson and Runals. These instructors are hand-picked for their experience, knowledge, communication skills and teaching ability. Most of all, they are individuals that our students enjoy spending more than a week with in the Virgin Islands!
Our Yachts: We use an Island Packet 440 in our Virgin Islands program. This is a top of the line, fully outfitted, ocean-going sailing vessel. This is a valuable experience for students looking to eventually do some advanced cruising, and a luxurious vessel to spend nine days on in the Caribbean.
Our Experience: At the Maryland School, we are experienced ocean sailors, and offer training from basic through serious ocean passagemaking. We don't cut corners on quality and length of our curriculum, and we build the skills needed for advanced cruising into our program right from the beginning. Not all of our students choose to move on to advanced cruising, but the thorough education we offer in our program sets them safely and competently on their way to whatever path they chose. A review of our advanced cruise reports, going back to 1998, shows our depth of experience and knowledge.
Our Home in the Caribbean: While in the Virgin Islands, we call Crown Bay Marina home. This is a first class marina in St Thomas, just a 10 minute taxi ride from the St Thomas International Airport. We're conveniently docked at the marina (not at a mooring) and the marina has excellent amenities including a nice restaurant, marine store, chandlery and, most importantly, a clean bath house with hot showers! We've looked at less expensive options in the Virgin Islands, but decided the amenities and convenience of Crown Bay are worth the price of admission.
Our Pricing: Our prices are competitive on a cost per day basis. When comparing the costs of schools, it's important to add in all the "extras". Are food and provisions included for both students and instructors? Berthing on board the night before? Books and certifications? How many days does the class run? Is the arrival day counted as day one? When all of the costs are included, you will find that we're very competitive with the cost per day of other schools, and for that you get so much more! At the Maryland School, the cost for the eight-day cruise (two levels of certification) is $2400, or $300/day. If one of those levels is ASA 101 there is a $39 ASA member fee. The cost includes books, certifications, on-board food, and berthing on-board the vessel the night before your cruise (no hotel required). In addition to the above tuition, the student is responsible for travel to and from Crown Bay Marina and meals taken ashore (usually 3-4 meals ashore during the eight-days).
Our Reputation: The Maryland School has a reputation for providing quality sailing education and programs that are second to none. We are dedicated to helping people become competent sailors of cruising yachts with the skills to cruise in remote areas away from the immediate support and distractions of modern society. We offer a full range of courses from beginning to ocean passagemaking. To date we've completed over 200 advanced training cruises and are known worldwide for our advanced program. However, like all pursuits, being the best at what you do means being really good at the basics. Our basic level program is as strong as our ocean program, and we take it just as seriously. You won't find a "fast track" here. The result? Our students can back up their credentials with excellent onboard skills and are well prepared to move on to advanced cruising, and many have let us know how very pleased they are with what they learned in our program."The Maryland School of Sailing & Seamanship boasts an impressive staff of offshore-savvy instructors and is notable for its high level of organization and dedication to real ocean sailing." ~ Blue Water Sailing Magazine
We hope to see you in paradise this winter!