Mallorca by Land, Air and Sea

USA. Offshore Sailing School announces family-friendly package for Fast Track to Cruising program

Thursday, 16 November 2006

As more and more families request special programs to learn as a family unit, Offshore Sailing School announced today a family-friendly package for its popular Fast Track to Cruising® program.

“Since 9/11 we have had more and more requests from parents who want to bring all their children to share in the learning process,” reports Doris Colgate, co-owner of the 43-year-old sailing vacation school. “Sailing is widely recognized as a safe and enjoyable way for families to enjoy precious free time together. The idea of everyone learning equally together is very appealing to those who treasure family adventure opportunities.”

Marc Levinson of Caldwell, New Jersey took the Bareboat Cruising Preparation course with his son Jonathan. “Sailing is so much fun and allows you to get away from the normal stresses of life. The peacefulness of it all puts you in touch with your inner self. What a great experience to sail with my 13 year old son,” he wrote. Son Jonathan added, “What a great experience to sail with my dad!”

To satisfy the many requests coming in, Offshore Sailing School has lowered its entry level age to 9 (from 12) for family units who “buy the whole boat,” with a special discount of 18% off the total package cost. “Buying the whole boat,” says Colgate, “means families of up to six sail and learn privately together with one of our certified sailing instructors.”

The Fast Track to Cruising® package starts with three to five days in the school’s signature Learn to Sail course aboard a Colgate 26; then immediately segues into the five-day Bareboat Cruising Preparation course aboard a 36’ or 44’ cruising yacht. The total learning experience, when taken back to back can be done in just eight days. US SAILING Certification is available for those who want to take the tests on the last day of each course. “But the most important aspect of this valuable learning experience,” Colgate reports, “is that Mom and Dad fulfill their dream to be able to cruise on future vacations with kids who are truly engaged in the sport with them.”

The Ervings of Matthews, North Carolina took Fast Track to Cruising® at Hawk’s Cay. “It was a great experience for our family,” said Kristen. “My daughters now have the gift of sailing knowledge and hopefully will continue sailing for a lifetime of adventure. I was able to fulfill a 25 year old dream that started as a guest on my uncle’s sailboat as a teenager.”

For families who can’t get away for eight days, the two Fast Track components can be taken separately within an 18 month period, retaining both the $200 per person built-in Fast Track discount and the 18% family package if both courses are reserved at the same time. “The savings is well worth the commitment,” says Colgate, “not just in dollars but in the bonding experience that lies ahead.” Heather Briggs, who took the Learn to Sail course with her 14-year-old daughter Cynthia, agrees. “It’s a whole new frontier. The instructor was kind and very patient with my child.”

The “Buy the Boat” discount is available at two of Offshore Sailing School’s family Florida locations January through April 2007 on a space available basis. Hawk’s Cay Resort, located halfway down the Florida Keys, and South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, are perfect destination resorts for families who learn while staying ashore in hotel units or villas. Both have extensive kids programs and facilities, which make it easy for parents and older children to learn together while youngsters go off on structured adventures at the same time.

The Learn to Sail course can be taken in three full days or five half days, a popular option allowing participation in the many other vacation activities available at both locations. The five-day cruising course, called Bareboat Cruising Preparation because it truly prepares the family for chartering boats in terrific spots worldwide, is taught in comprehensive half-day sessions allowing free time to walk shell strewn beaches, fish, kayak, play tennis or golf, visit wildlife sanctuaries and much more. At South Seas Island Resort, Offshore also provides a Junior Captain’s course on small dinghies for 7-11 year olds.

“Our programs are rewarding learning adventures,” describes Colgate. “We expect everyone to read the textbooks sent ahead and come prepared to absorb more than they ever thought possible.” The Learn to Sail course is the most comprehensive around, started by Steve Colgate in 1964 on the proven premise that people learn in three ways – "auditory" (classroom), "visual" (textbooks and classroom) and "kinesthetic" (actual sailing practice). “We’ve lowered the entry level age,” he said, “because youngsters these days are exposed to sophisticated learning tools at younger ages.” Each course starts with at least 1-1/2 hours of classroom training each day, followed by on-water training with drills and maneuvers that bring to life each day’s classroom experience.

Jean Duval of New York City recently completed the Fast Track program. “As a professional educator I really appreciated the methodology used for classroom work, which makes Offshore a superior school over all the others that I have had.”

To take advantage of the winter vacation “Buy the Boat” Discount, parents must enroll the family for the dates and location of their choice by the end of January 2007. Certain blackout periods apply. The discount is on the entire package, which includes course tuition, textbooks, certification, accommodations and applicable sales tax on accommodations.

Although Fast Track to Cruising® combines both courses, the “Buy the Boat” Discount is also available for just the Learn to Sail or Bareboat Cruising Preparation course. The material learned in the Learn to Sail course is a pre-requisite for the cruising course.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 16 November 2006 )