ASA Certification Standards
The American Sailing
Association has adopted
two separate Progressive
Certification Programs: a
seven stage Keelboat
Program and a two stage
Small Boat Sailing
Program. The following
are the general
descriptions or summaries
of these Standards. A
candidate must have
attained the stated
prerequisites before they
may "Challenge" or take
the required ASA
Basic Keelboat (101)
Demonstrated ability to skipper a sloop-rigged
keelboat of approximately 20 to 27 feet in length by
day in light to moderate winds and sea conditions.
Knowledge of basic sailing terminology, parts and
functions, helm commands, basic sail trim, points of
sail, buoyage, seamanship and safety including basic
navigation rules to avoid collisions and hazards.
Auxiliary power operation is not required.
Note: The United States Coast Guard has granted
approval for ASA101 Basic Keelboat Sailing to
satisfy certain merchant mariner credential
examination requirements and safe boating training
Basic Coastal Cruising
General Description: Demonstrated ability to skipper a
sloop-rigged auxiliary powered (outboard or inboard engine)
keelboat of approximately 25 to 35 feet length by day in
moderate winds and sea conditions. Knowledge of cruising
sailboat terminology, basic boat systems, auxiliary engine
operation, docking procedures, intermediate sail trim,
navigation rules, basic coastal navigation, anchoring, weather
forecast interpretation, safety and seamanship.
Bareboat Cruising (104)
Keelboat Sailing and
Basic Coastal Cruising
Demonstrated ability to skipper a sloop-rigged,
auxiliary powered keelboat (or catamaran, if course
is conducted on such) of approximately 30 to 45 feet
in length during a multi-day cruise upon inland or
coastal waters in moderate to heavy winds (up to 30
knots) and sea conditions. Course is conducted as a
live-aboard cruise of at least 48 hours. Knowledge
of provisioning, galley operations, boat systems,
auxiliary engine operation, routine maintenance
procedures, advanced sail trim, coastal navigation
including basic chart plotting and GPS operation,
multiple-anchor mooring, docking, health & safety,
emergency operations, weather interpretation, and
Coastal Navigation (105)
General Description: Able to demonstrate the navigational theory
required to safely navigate a sailing vessel in coastal or inland
waters. There is no Sailing Skills part to this Standard and
practical application of this sailing knowledge is found in the
Advanced Coastal Cruising Standard.
Advanced Coastal Cruising (106)
Prerequisites: Basic Keelboat Sailing, Basic Coastal Cruising,
Bareboat Cruising and Coastal Navigation Certification
General Description: Able to safely act as skipper and crew of a
sailing vessel about 30 to 50 feet in length. This is a day and
nighttime Standard in coastal and inland water, in any weather.
Celestial Navigation (107)
General Description: Able to demonstrate the Celestial Navigation
theory required to safely navigate a sailboat on an offshore
passage. The practical application is conducted in the Offshore
Offshore Passagemaking (108)
Prerequisites: All previous Keelboat Standards
General Description: The sailor is able to safely act as skipper
or crew of a sailing vessel on offshore passages in any weather.
The Celestial Nav. Standard is performed.
Basic Small Boat Sailing (110)
General Description: Able to sail a centerboard or multihull
sailboat in light to moderate winds and sea conditions in
familiar waters without supervision. A preparatory Standard with
no auxiliary power or navigation skills required.
Trailerable Multihull Standard (113)
Prerequisites: Basic Keelboat (101)
ASA 113 may be taught in conjunction with Basic Coastal Cruising
(103) on a multihull sailboat or as an additional course after
Basic Coastal Cruising (103) has been accomplished on a monohull.
In either case, ALL MATERIAL IN BOTH STANDARDS (103 & 113) MUST
BE TAUGHT AND/OR TESTED BEFORE 113 CAN BE AWARDED.
General Description: Certified sailors are able to cruise safely
in local and regional waters as both skipper and crew on an
auxiliary multihull sailboat of about 20-30 feet in length, in
moderate wind and sea conditions. The standard includes those
skills different and/or unique to a multihull, either catamaran
or trimaran including folding and trailering.
Cruising Catamaran (114)
Prerequisites: Basic Keelboat (101) and Basic Coastal Cruising
(103). The Bareboat Cruising 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.
Basic Celestial Navigation (ASA
Demonstrate the ability to apply basic celestial
navigation theory and practice to determine latitude
and longitude at sea using a sextant and Nautical
Docking Endorsement Standard (ASA
General Description: This 2 day course is
designed to teach basic docking skills for boats
with single inboard or outboard engines. It covers
the basic theory and hands-on techniques needed to
dock and undock boats in an efficient manner and
without damage or injury.
Marine Weather Endorsement (ASA
General Description: Understand and demonstrate
the proper use of weather information in planning
and adapting navigation during local and
passage-making voyages. Demonstrate the
ability to use both the latest technological tools
as well as traditional maritime skills to forecast
Radar Endorsement Standard (120)
Basic knowledge of chart reading, compass use,
piloting, and dead reckoning is required, equivalent
to Coastal Navigation 105 or instructor’s approval.
The ASA radar course teaches safe,
efficient use of small-craft radar for piloting,
chart navigation, and collision avoidance, including
radar principles and practical matters of
radar operation. A realistic PC based radar
simulator is used in the course to illustrate radar
complete Standards are contained in the ASA Official
International Log Book. They are minimum Standards and nothing
may be deleted if a Candidate is to be awarded ASA Certification.
On the other hand, schools may add to these Standards if they
wish to stress or emphasize local conditions which might be
encountered or particular characteristics of the boats used
during instruction. It is recommended that sailors planning to
follow these standards become proficient in swimming, first aid,
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and arresting bleeding.
The ASA "Challenge"
Sailors who consider themselves qualified to ASA Standards may
"Challenge" the ASA Standards at any ASA Certification Facility.
To challenge the Standards one must progress successfully through
the ASA system of Standards.
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