Basic Keelboat Sailing (ASA 101)

School of Seamanship and Navigation

We took our ASA 101 certification test this weekend.  It is well worth the time and money for the classes as they teach the basics of sailing.   Although much of what we learned during the classes I already knew, it did give me valuable information that without the classes I would have to learned the hard way.

Our instructor was Captain Rich Miller, a US Coast Guard Licensed Ships Master.  He is a wealth of knowledge on everything you could ever want to know about boats.  His credentials include: four college degrees, a Doctor of Science, a registered professional engineer, an engineering consultant, certified in first aid and CPR, a qualified open water SCUBA diver and a U.S. Merchant Marine Officer (Master of steam, motor, or auxiliary sail vessels of 50 tons upon near coastal waters).

We trained on a very old Catalina 25.  I have sailed these little boats before and they can be quite fun when skipping about the bays and lakes.  This particular Catalina was a swing keel version.  The Catalina did not have a roller furling jib and so we had to attach the sail to the halyard and hoist it up.

Our training was a two day crash course on basic keelboat sailing.  We did not have much wind either day so it made some parts of the training difficult to do.  For our man overboard training we could not find enough wind to maneuver the boat so we had to start he engine and simulate the wind which is just not the same.  But anytime I can get on a boat, it is a good day for me.

ASA Sail Training Courses

The American Sailing Association provides standards for progressive sailing certification programs.

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