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ASA Certification Standards: ASA 108, Offshore Passagemaking

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Prerequisites: All previous keelboat and navigation standards.

General Description: A certified student is able to safely act as skipper or crew of a sailing vessel on offshore passages requiring celestial navigation.

I. Sailing Knowledge

  • Plan a passage across the North Atlantic or Pacific Ocean using publications and instruments required for navigation on an
    offshore passage.
  • State advantages vs. disadvantages of various ocean routes.
  • Plot a series of rhumb lines on a Mercator chart to approximate a great circle route.
  • State the essential factors to be considered when selecting a vessel for an ocean passage of at least 1,000 miles.
  • List all items essential for minor repairs to vessel systems, including rigging and sails.
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of three self steering methods/devices.
  • Plan meals for a minimum of four people on a seven day offshore passage and methods of preserving/storing food without refrigeration.
  • State the factors to be considered when selecting crew members for an offshore passage.
  • State a source of obtaining advanced first aid information while on an offshore passage.
  • Identify and describe the basic treatment of potential medical problems and list the items that should be carried in a first aid kit for an offshore passage.
  • Describe methods of preventing injury to the cook or nearby persons while cooking at sea.
  • Prepare and file a passage plan prior to departure.
  • Describe three watchkeeping systems and alternate arrangements in the event crew members are incapacitated.
  • Describe the duties during and after the watch.
  • Establish a routine schedule to periodically inspect and maintain vessels systems, including cleaning the vessel underway.
  • Describe how to rig a trailing person overboard line with an alarm and alternative methods of alerting the crew to a person overboard situation.
  • Describe what actions should be taken when a person overboard is not located on the first pass.
  • Describe proper actions to be taken after vessel has been struck by lightning.
  • Describe how to organize the crew for a routine fire drill.
  • Describe possible methods of jury rigging the vessel in the event of dismasting and the following course adjustments.
  • List essential survival items to be kept in a standby kit for abandoning ship offshore.
  • Describe additional items and their useful functions for survival and rescue.
  • Describe general abandon ship procedures and procedures for launching, inflating and boarding a life raft in heavy weather.
  • Describe the dangers to be encountered in a life raft at sea and list basic survival techniques.
  • List safety equipment recommended in addition to that required by the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • List eight of ten international distress signals and demonstrate knowledge of their usage.
  • Know and apply the 1972 International Regulation for Preventing Collision at Sea (COLREGS) in order to maintain safe navigation in any waters day and night.

II. Sailing Skills

  • Obtain a celestial fix using a running fix or three celestial bodies.
  • Calibrate compass for current heading using celestial fix, update deviation card.
  • Apply all sailing knowledge stated in the ASA Celestial Navigation standard and in all other ASA standards.
  • Act as skipper and crew on an offshore passage of no less than 72 hours and 100 nm without touching land.

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