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Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review #133152
06/20/2017 08:01 AM
06/20/2017 08:01 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 11
R
Rush Offline OP
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Rush  Offline OP
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R
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 11
First time post here, although I have thoroughly enjoyed reading comments from many of you over the past couple of months and enjoyed meeting many this last trip.

My wife and I have been to the BVIs 5 times, just one time on a chartered/crewed catamaran. So this trip/school was a huge step for us, “investing in our future”. For us, it was the perfect combination of hard work, learning, experience, and an amazing time together. We are complete novices with no experience – just open minds, eagerness, and passion. My wife did experience some little bumps and bruises, but for me it was primarily my ego that took the beating. But we both recovered with confidence by the end of the trip.

First a review of Colgate’s Fast Track to Cruising
• Preparation and materials: Excellent materials (5 books) were sent to me immediately upon signing up – 3 months out. We took it seriously and read all (multiple times) and discussed. Again, I can’t stress how little knowledge and experience we had – I mean none. I would have been lost had I not read the materials prior as strongly encouraged by the Colgate team.
• Course: Broken up into the 2 day Basic Keelboat course on the Colgate 26, then a 5 day live aboard with instructor on the Moorings 3900 Cat. Basically each day, we would spend an hour or two on slides and discussions, then the rest was doing. A great mix of course work with experience.
• Instructors: Really awesome! Can’t say enough about Dutch and Daisy. Both were extremely experienced, knowledgeable, communicated well, and fun to be with. We were very lucky that it was just my wife and I for each course with one instructor. We probably needed the special attention. They were patient, but also did a good job of getting us out of our comfort zone. I would strongly recommend them both!
• Overall Experience and Review: Again, for us, it was ideal. We worked hard and were up early. But that enabled us to finish early and enjoy the later afternoons and evenings. I would highly recommend this course to anyone. Doing it in the BVIs and based out of Scrub made it so enjoyable for us and we were able to learn at the places that we can’t wait to get back to. Couple of issues with our Moorings 3900 – generator broke and wasn’t fixed for a couple of days. But we survived that and I understand that is just what happens on boats.
• Received Certifications for US Sailing Basic Keelboat, Basic Cruising, and Bareboat Cruising.

Quick trip itinerary:
• 3 nights at Scrub Island. Started with Friday night at Trellis for the full moon party. Great time! Thoroughly enjoyed Scrub while not working. Dinners at Scrub and Marina Cay. 2 days out in the keelboat zipping around (in and out of the Marina Cay mooring field) . I hope we did not give anyone a heart attack, but I am sure Dutch had us under control. It was a blast!
• Monday was our first day on the Cat and we motored to the Dogs then sailed to Leverick Bay. Great meal up top.
• Played around the North Sound docking and mooring and then anchored right by Saba Rock for the evening. Just in time to watch the tarpon feeding from our dinghy.
• Next day was a wonderful surprise and we got to sail to Anegada. Perfect day to do that and try and find the grove, averaging 7-8 knots which I thought was pretty good. Hit Anegada Beach Club that afternoon and then to Cow Wreck, and got to see our friends one last time. Great dinner at Wonky Dog that evening.
• Long sail to Jost, practicing some things on the way. I enjoyed motoring into crowded White Bay and anchoring. Good time at Hendo’s then Soggy Dollar. Always a fun and interesting scene. Stayed there for the evening. Daisy made a wonderful meal for us all.
• Headed to Cane for the next day, where our instructor, Daisy, left us. The real test was could we make it back the next day. Drinks at several of the bars and a wonderful dinner with my wife. Drinks, music, dancing, and the sunset on the back of the boat. Perfect!
• Up early and off for a quick stop at Monkey Point on our way back to Scrub. We were the only ones there. Saw a huge barracuda among many other things.
• Made it back to Scrub and docked (my wife did it!), and saw Daisy one last time and got our certifications.

Mike, Gina, Dave and Renee, thank you for all of the insight, hospitality, and encouragement – we enjoyed getting to know you and catching up at Cow Wreck for one last drink.

Steve, thanks for all of the tips and pics at Soggy Dollar. Very cool seeing the girls surf! Mine will love that!

You meet the neatest and nicest people down there. My wife and I are excited about making this a part of our lives and hope to see many of you on future trips. Next one is booked for Thanksgiving bringing our 2 girls (10 and 13) and the rest of my family, but we may try to squeeze in one more last minute trip before then. We now feel that we can safely and considerately bareboat a catamaran in the BVI’s, but also realize we still have so much to learn.

BVI Sponsors
Re: Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review [Re: Rush] #133153
06/20/2017 07:13 PM
06/20/2017 07:13 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 771
JAX
J
jphart Offline
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jphart  Offline
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Posts: 771
JAX
Great story!

Re: Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review [Re: jphart] #133154
06/20/2017 10:37 PM
06/20/2017 10:37 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,159
Somewhere out there
kneafseym Offline
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kneafseym  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,159
Somewhere out there
Well done at taking a class on the boat that you might use. My recommendation for when you charter with your family is to take the skipper for the day. He/she will show you many tricks of the boat you didn't know and reduce your stress level. The stress of your first bareboat is huge and anything to reduce that is huge.


Mike
Re: Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review [Re: kneafseym] #133155
06/21/2017 06:23 AM
06/21/2017 06:23 AM
Joined: Jun 2015
Posts: 49
Toronto, ON
B
Bgs Offline
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Bgs  Offline
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Posts: 49
Toronto, ON
Great review. Thanks for taking the time.

Brian

Re: Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review [Re: kneafseym] #133156
06/21/2017 07:27 AM
06/21/2017 07:27 AM
Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 11
R
Rush Offline OP
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Rush  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2017
Posts: 11
Thanks, Mike! We will definitely heed that advice.

Re: Colgate Fast Track to Cruising Review [Re: Rush] #133157
06/21/2017 05:54 PM
06/21/2017 05:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,571
St. John VI - soon come
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Posts: 1,571
St. John VI - soon come
Excellent. I had a similar experience when I did my classes with Rob Swain. The BVIs are an awesome place for the fast track classes. It's good to do the bareboat class on a charter boat.

Cheers, RickG


Marathon, FL Winter 2018
St. John VI Winter 2019

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