American Sailing Association
The American Sailing Association is an association of sailing academies, charter companies and professional instructors. With over half a million people sailors certified, the ASA is the most widely accepted keelboat sailing certifier in the US.
The ASA provides eight main levels of certification, from Basic Keelboat (101) to Offshore Passagemaking (108). The Bareboat Cruising level (104) is typically the level at which charter companies accept a sailor’s competence to charter a boat in protected waters during daytime, for a week.
Sailing Virgins can award up to two ASA levels in one Fast Track week of instruction. The Beginner Courses learn the 101/103 syllabus, and the Intermediate courses learn the 103/104 syllabus. More information on ASA levels can be accessed here.
How the ASA Courses Work
When you book your course, you will be mailed the relevant course material to study. The concepts in the ASA’s text books are clearly presented, allowing you to understand the theoretical fundamentals prior to your course. It is very important to read this material, so you can spend your course concentrating on the practical skills of sailing. If, during your course, your instructor deems you ready to take the exam for a given level, you will take the exam towards the end of your week.
It is important to keep a log of all the days you have sailed. If you ever wish to progress your sailing to 106 or beyond (or the RYA equivalent of Yachtmaster), the days and miles you have spent at the helm, and being able to recount those experiences, become very important to the assessor. You will receive a logbook along with your course material.
Head to our Courses page to find the course relevant to you.