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Tips for Choosing Between Virgin Islands Sailing Schools

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There are tons of sailing schools in the Virgin Islands to choose from! So how do you pick the best one for your sailing trip? These tips will help you to find the best Virgin Island sailing schools and ensure your learning experience is smooth sailing from start to finish:

1. Search for accredited sailing schools in the Virgin Islands

The first step in finding a Virgin Islands sailing school is ensuring you are comparing schools that are accredited with a reputable sailing association. In the U.S., the two main sailing certification organizations are the American Sailing Association (ASA) and U.S. Sailing. However, you may also be able to find sailing schools offering certifications through the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and International Yacht Training (IYT). All of these certification programs will give you a solid foundation of sailing skills and are even worthwhile for sailors with years of experience.  Most Virgin Islands sailing schools will prominently display which certification organization they are accredited with on their website.

2. Decide which sailing courses you are interested in taking

The courses offered by sailing schools in the Virgin Islands is dependent on who they are accredited through. As a general rule of thumb, ASA courses are best suited for sailors looking to bareboat charter in the future. ASA offers beginner courses, like ASA 103 (Basic Coastal Cruising) as well as more advanced classes, such as ASA 106 (Advanced Coastal Cruising). You can find a full listing of the ASA course offerings here. US Sailing courses are slightly more focused on those with sailboat racing ambitions.  IYT is a newer, smaller certification track but also offers commercial boating courses.

3. Gain an understanding of what you can expect during your Virgin Islands sailing course

Once you’ve determined which sailing courses you are interested in taking, it’s time to start narrowing down which specific Virgin Island sailing school you’d like to take your sailing lessons with! Start by researching which schools offer the courses you are interested in taking. Then, dig a little bit deeper into their course descriptions to gain a well-rounded understanding of what sailing lessons in the Virgin Islands may be like with this company. Companies like Go Sail Virgin Islands not only provide course descriptions but you can also take a look through their Captain’s Logs and Sailing Stories to read about actual sailing journeys students have recently been on with the company!

4. Read the reviews on sailing schools in the Virgin Islands

Now you’ve got a few solid Virgin Islands sailing schools to choose from, it’s time to make your decision! Reading reviews on sailing schools in the Virgin Islands can often tip you toward choosing one school over another. While Virgin Islands sailing schools may have testimonials on their website, it’s also worth reading through a few on TripAdvisor and Google to get a well rounded perspective of a sailing school.

4. Check Virgin Islands sailing school pricing and availability

Found your perfect Virgin Islands sailing school? Great— let’s get to booking your trip! Go Sail Virgin Islands offers a real-time availability booking system with transparent pricing. Simply click on the trip you are interested in taking, search availability by date, and select the number of cabins you’d like to reserve. You’ll be well on your way to securing your Virgin Islands sailing lessons in no time!