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ASA Certification Standards: ASA 114, Cruising Catamaran

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Prerequisites: Basic Keelboat (101) and Basic Coastal Cruising (103). The Bareboat Charter Standard (104) is also a prerequisite and can be attained either by itself prior to BBC Multihull (114) or in conjunction with BBC Multihull (114). In either case, all material in both standards (104 & 114) must be taught and tested before 114 can be awarded.

General Description: 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.

I. Sailing Knowledge

  • Identify and describe the following hardware/terms:
Bridgedeck Cabin Three point rig
Bridle-line Catamaran Crossarms
Float Full wing deck Open wing deck
Partial wing deck Galley down Galley up
Hull(s) Main hull Multihull
Safety nets Seagull striker Dolphin striker
Stability Stability curves Trimaran
Wing deck
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages to operating a multihull sailboat.
  • Describe the weight carrying characteristics of 30 – 50 foot cruising multihulls and how weight distribution affects safety and performance.
  • Describe the differences in performance between multihulls and monohulls of similar size.
  • Describe the accommodations of a typical 30 – 50 foot multihull and how comfort and safety will differ from a monohull.
  • Identify differences in ship’s systems between multihulls and monohulls.
  • Describe shoal draft and its effect on planning ahead and sailing.
  • Describe the danger of capsizing, how to recognize the danger and how to prevent it.
  • Discuss the characteristics of a multihull which determine windage and the effects of windage on course and speed.
  • Discuss how multihull design affects turning radius.
  • Describe a typical center/daggerboard installation on a multihull and how they affect performance.
  • Describe options for gear stowage and proper stowing procedures.
  • Describe how and where a safety harness would attach to a multihull.
  • Discuss the various sail combinations and how they affect balance of a multihull.
  • Discuss the differences of multihull heavy weather sailing practices (advantages and disadvantages) including the following:
Lying a hull Heaving to Speed controls
Sea anchors Running off Standing on
  • Describe and discuss the methods of rafting multihulls and the limitations involved.
  • Discuss the limitations of a multihull galley and methods of working safely in the galley.
  • Discuss auxiliary power options on a multihull.
  • Discuss engine placement on a multihull and its effect on performance and safety.
  • Discuss common mechanical maintenance on a multihull.
  • Discuss common mechanical repairs on a multihull.
  • Describe and discuss what to do if on or both engines fail.
  • Describe options for carrying and towing a dinghy.
  • Describe the method of tying a multihull securely to a dock in areas of varying tidal range.

II. Sailing Skills

Boat Handling Under Power

  • Cast off and safely leave a dock with at least two different wind directions relative to the bow.
  • Stop the bow of the boat within four feet of a marker while maneuvering under power. Perform the exercise upwind, downwind and with the wind across the beam.
  • Maneuver the boat under power in a confined space, noting the effects of wind and current.
  • Maneuver the boat within 2 feet of, and parallel to, a dock. Define and carry out a bail-out plan.
  • Turn the boat in the tightest possible circle to determine its turning radius. Twin screw boats will perform the exercise with screws turning in opposite directions and again with screws turning in the same direction.
  • Repeat the previous item while turning the boat in the opposite direction and compare the differences between both turns.
  • Repeat the previous two items while making sternway.
  • If the boat being used has twin engines, repeat the turning exercises using one engine and then the other.
  • Steer a straight course of at least 10 boat lengths in reverse using moderate speed.
  • Steer a multihull using an emergency steering device.

Person Overboard (Under Power)

  • Demonstrate a skipper’s actions and commands while under power from the time a crew member falls overboard until crew is safely recovered.
  • Describe at least two methods of getting a person out of the water and back on board a multihull.

Boat Handling Under Sail

  • Function as helmsman and crew giving correct commands and proper responses while demonstrating the proper techniques of closehauled sailing, reaching (all three points), running, tacking and jibing, heading up, bearing away and luffing while noting the differences and likenesses of sailing a multihull vs. monohull.
  • Sail and ordered compass course for 5 minutes without varying more than 10 degrees from the heading.
  • Sail a figure 8 course between two buoys noting acceleration/deceleration times and momentum during turns.
  • While sailing at full power, luff sails and observe how long it takes for a multihull to come to rest.
  • Trim luffing sails noting how long it takes to accelerate to full power.

Person Overboard (Under Sail)

Demonstrate a skipper’s actions and commands while under sail from the time a crew member falls overboard until crew is safely recovered, use two different return techniques including the quick-stop method.

Heavy Weather

  • Reduce sail by reefing and shake out a reef while keeping the vessel under control and on course.
  • Heave-to and get underway again, noting the vessels motion at different angles to the wind.
  • Sail with the mainsail only, then headsail only,noting performance characteristics and limitations.


Use proper anchoring techniques to anchor using the following methods:

  • Two anchors off bow and stern (Bahamian moor)
  • Single bow anchor and bridle
  • Single bow anchor and stern to beach (Med style)
  • Bow to a permanent mooring with bridle (if available)
  • Beaching with consideration of daggerboard/centerboard, rudder and hull mounted electronics. (optional)

Making Fast and Snugging Down

  • Secure a boat to various dock configurations so as to provide limited movement and set out fenders correctly.
  • Take extra precautions to secure a vessel for the night at a dock and at a mooring.

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