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FAQ's: Basic Keelboat Sailing Course (

ASA 101)

How much will the ASA Basic Keelboat Sailing course course cost including exam fees?

Prices range between $400-$700 / £260-£455 / 360-630 EUROS depending on where you decide to take the course and at what time of year you do it.

What will you get out of it?

From no knowledge at all, the Basic Keelboat Sailing course will make you competent enough to take and give commands in sailing a keelboat, and not make a nuisance of yourself on the water with other water users.

What are your limits on passing this course?

You will be recognised as a competent crew aboard a yacht.

Is it theory (classroom based), practical (on the water) or both?

This is both a practical and theory course designed to teach you the very basics of sailing.

The theory topics include;

•    Terminology
•    Knots
•    Basic Navigation
•    Rules of the Road
•    Sail Theory
•    Safety

The practical (on the water) topics include;

•    Rigging
•    Seamanship
•    Upwind
•    Downwind
•    Crew Overboard

Where can you take the ASA Basic Keelboat course?

You can take the course anywhere with ASA accreditation to teach it. This includes many places in the Caribbean, Mediterranean as well as the US mainland and islands.

What are the prerequisites before taking this course?

You are expected to have no prior knowledge of sailing. Though in theory this means you can know nothing at all, you should have a taste for and a passion for sailing in order to do the course, and this means you should have a certain amount of experience in the first place!

What's the duration?

1-2 days (around 15 hours), though the course is generally done in combination with a number of other courses so can take up to a week.

What does the ASA Basic Keelboat 101 course involve?

  • You will learn parts of the vessel and what to do when asked to operate it. This might be the mainsail halyard or jib sheet, or the bow or stern. 
  • You will learn how to sail to a basic standard to include tacking and gybing, as well as reaching, beating and running.
  • You will lean how to dock and undock a vessel.
  • You will cover knots, and when to use what one.
  • You will cover the international Collision Regulations, as well as an element of navigation – what side of the buoys to pass for instance.
  • You will cover the commands required for a crewed vessel to operate, and how to do them when asked.

How do I progress after completing the course?

You can progress through the American Sailing Association sailing syllabus. Consider the ASA 103 Basic Coastal Cruising course as a sensible next step.

Does the course give you international accreditation?

No, but the ASA is widely recognised as having a very good standard of teaching, and you would be welcome as crew on a yacht going for a day sail almost anywhere you go.

Further Resources:

Take a look at the official ASA page here;

You can take a look at the syllabus here.

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