Serious training for cruising sailors, and those who want to be

ASA Course Summaries

The following are summaries of the eight levels of the ASA sailing program that are taught at Blue Water Sailing School. For a detailed explanation of what is included at each course level, click on that course level’s name to read that course’s Outline of Student Standards for Certification.

ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing

Learn the fundamentals of keelboat sailing, including sail theory and practice, terminology, Rules of the Road, safety equipment and procedures, Crew Overboard drills, more sailing practice, knots and much more.

The Basic Keelboat Sailing course is approved by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the United States Coast Guard as a recognized Safe Boating Course. As such, it meets all requirements for mandatory education and licensing for every state in the United States. Follow this link for detailed course standards.

ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising

Learn the fundamentals of daytime coastal cruising in moderate wind and sea conditions. Subjects include the “Federal equipment carriage requirements”, recommended safety equipment, weather forecasts and interpretation, skippers and crews duties, chart reading and interpretation, marlinspike seamanship, sailing skills and practice, boat handling under sail and power and more.

ASA 104, Bareboat Chartering

Additional knowledge and skills for coastal cruising in an auxiliary powered sailboat. Subjects include cruise planning, living aboard, wind and weather, boat systems and troubleshooting, docking, rafting, anchoring, chart reading and interpretation, extensive sailing drills and practice, knots and more.

ASA 105, Coastal Navigation

Navigational theory required to safely navigate a sailing vessel in coastal and inland waters. Subjects include chart reading and interpretation, government and private publications, navigation equipment and use, tide and current tables, plotting position, bearings, running fixes, set and drift, lights, day shapes, buoyage systems, current and leeway and much more.

ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising

Learn advanced techniques and procedures for cruising in auxiliary sailboats in coastal and inland waters, day and night, in any condition. Subjects include advanced sail theory and trim, weather systems and forecasting, sail inventory, heavy weather preparation and skills, various anchoring techniques, emergency measures, boat systems and engineering, and more. Students will demonstrates various sailing and seamanship skills.

ASA 107, Celestial Navigation

Even in these days of satellites and electronic navigation, the complete seaman is adept at the art of celestial navigation. Learn to navigate a boat on open waters by the sun, the moon and the stars. Topics include time and coordinate systems, operation and use of the sextant, sight reduction methods for sun, moon and stars, running fixes, determining compass deviation and more.

ASA 108, Offshore Passagemaking

The ultimate in sailing education and the highest level of ASA certification. Students will participate in an offshore passage of at least 72 hours. Subjects include advanced topics in navigation, passage planning, characteristics of seaworthiness, watchkeeping, emergency procedures, abandon ship procedures and precautions, navigating using celestial navigation, and much more. Students will integrate all previous subject material.

ASA 114, Cruising Catamaran

An advanced cruising standard for individuals with cruising experience. The individual can act as skipper and crew of a 30 – 50 foot multihull sailboat by day in coastal waters. The standard includes those skills unique to a 30 – 50 foot multihull sailboat.

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