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San Francisco 'Bay Skipper Series' starts with ASA101

1st Tier- Like to learn from the ground up? If you are new to sailing we suggest starting with BK1. Afterguard's 'Competent Crew' course prior to ASA101, however this is not required. If you have sailed actively with friends and family you may go straight to ASA101.

ASA101 BKS Basic Keelboat Sailing Skipper

Learning to sail seriously starts with ASA-101! Learn sailing terms and put them to use over one evening, and two full days of sailing. Students 'rig' the boat, take the boat in and out of the dock as both skipper and crew, then sail in protected waters over the next 2 days of the Estuary and up to the East side of the Bay Bridge. Learn key safety drills; collision avoidance, heave to, reefing, and 2 ways to turn around and stop so you can return to a lost hat (or person) in the water. Learn the regulations of the US Coast Guard and the State requirements of boaters plus ASA recommended things that are smart to take with you when sailing. After completion, you can rent boats from charter companies that rent in Protected waterways, worldwide, on boats up to 25 feet.


To encourage confidence building, Afterguard gives those enrolled in both ASA101 and 103 a free half-day rental of a boat up to 25' with a few conditions common to renting any boats from Afterguard: 

1. At least two class members from one or both classes to be aboard for the free half-day sail. 

2. Among the new grads must declare who is the designated Skipper and who is the declared First Mate for that sail. 

3. The Skipper must go online to obtain a Boat US membership for Saltwater (AAA on the water for your safety - 1yr membership is about $159).

4. The Skipper must also go online to obtain the CA Boater's license from the CA boating and waterways website. $39 from CA Boating and Waterways. The person getting the Boat US towing membership gets the CA Boater's course from Boat US online for free. The CA Boat license test then costs $10 from CA Boating and Waterways.  

5. Sailing area limits for ASA 103 grads renting from Afterguard are: sail the Estuary and up to the eastern side of the Bay Bridge and over to South Beach SF. 


Note: must have completed ASA 104 to sail under and beyond the Bay Bridge.


All who rent boats as a skipper must have a CA Boater's card, Boat US towing membership card, and identify their qualified First Mate.


Call the office if you have any questions.

Updated 10/11/20 for this policy change of 8/1/20. The front page of our website updated in August but the Academy course description pages were missed. Will update all over the next few week.

ASA103 BBC Basic Costal Cruising - Bay Skipper

In ASA 103 gain the freedom of sailing in the semi-open waters of the challenging San Francisco Bay

with confidence. Learn about tides, currents,

and how to sail expertly through them. The course also includes an introduction to navigation using charts to plot, and sailing a compass course as a 'zero visibility exercise' that everyone loves.  The curriculum includes emergency drills and drills for safety at sea. Once you are able to cruise safely in local and regional waters, as either skipper or crew on an auxiliary powered sailboat up to 30/32 feet in length, in moderate winds and sea conditions you will be  ASA103 Certified. Evening Lecture, 4 days of sailing on SF Bay waters + 2 optional practice days. Usually taken over 2 weekends.

ASA 103 and a CA boater's card plus a Boat US towing membership is needed to rent boats up to the Bay Bridge. ASA 104 is required to sail Central SF Bay.

2nd Tier - Get Charter Ready for world-wide dream vacations in regions brisk or warm. Yacht rental firms are looking for the certificates to be able to rent to you without having to add their skippers to your boat. This series gives you the skills to charter successfully; Docking, Bare Boat Chartering, Coastal Navigation and Cruising Multi-Hull are your passport to dream adventures.
ASA118 DE Docking Endorsement

The pros say you are only as good as your last docking. The most damage is done in, and around marinas - not some adventurous tale of battles with wind and wave. Learn to dock like a PRO in just 2 days. There are a few very important tricks we can show you to be able to handle a variety of boats. If your own boat is a challenge, bring it to class. This course fits well taken before after the ASA 104 Bare-Boat Chartering course.

ASA104 BBC Bare Boat Chartering

We start the course communicating by emails to plan the provisions. Friday, we meet in the morning to prepare the boat and sail the Bay to a

mooring field the first night. The 2nd day use your C.O.N. skills to sail both day and night. Students aid in picking the destination for anchoring out the 2nd night. In Bare Boat Chartering, all students will learn 5 ways to anchor, 4 ways for C.O.B. , a plumbing system and diesel system overview and how to dock afloat. Join a fun 3-day live-a-board trip! This is the most looked-for certification by vacation charter and insurance companies for mid-size to large boats up to 50 ft.

ASA105 Coastal Navigation

Are we there yet? If not when? What course do I drive? Answer all these questions with Coastal Navigation! GPS is great, but does not always give the right answers and it can drain batteries quickly. Learn to validate what a plotter or GPS tells you. Learn how to navigate when the batteries to run such devices become too weak. Learn how to set a course quickly when fog rolls in, the rain pounds out visibility, the sun sets, or when you loose site of the horizon. A crew counts on the navigator and/or skipper to answer these questions correctly. This class takes place over 4 days or multiple evenings. We actually recommended taking ASA-105 before ASA-104, as this will give intellectual context for the practical exercises in 104. Costal Navigation is a required course for ASA-106.

ASA114 CMH Cruising Multi-Hull

Multi-Hulls are a very popular choice for sailing vacations! Multi-hulls heel less and can sail a bit faster than the average mono-hull, but must stick to a close reach vs going hard to weather. Learn about the differences in how they handle under sail and engine power. Get used to the wide hulls in docking and how to bridle for anchor. This course occurs over one night-time lecture plus 2 full days sailing the SF Bay. It can also be combined with 104 by request. Learn to sail catamarans on a 35' x 19' Fountaine Pajot named 'Angel'.

ASA117 BCE Basic Celestial Endorsement

This basic celestial navigation class teaches the theory and practice behind determining latitude and longitude at sea using the noon-sun and the star Polaris (the North Star) with just a small eleven-page booklet, a sextant, a watch, and simple arithmetic. Experienced celestial navigators and beginners alike will enjoy this simple alternative to the intercept method-one, that doesn’t depend on sight reduction tables and yields latitude and longitude directly without plotting.  Naval History buffs will be thrilled by the romance and adventure of determining their latitude using the same method as the Vikings and ancient Hawaiians. This course is a great introduction to the joys of navigating celestially without the rigors of ASA 107, in addition the skills learned are a wonderful backup in case you lose your GPS while on a voyage, out of site of land.

3rd Tier - Coasts to cruise or Oceans to cross? Start with 1 or 2 days of 'Sea Legs'. After ACC go for Heavy Weather Strategies and Live Crew Overboard clinics.
ASA106 ACC Advanced Costal Cruising

Sailing in open waters means being prepared to take care of your boat, your crew, and get them both from point A to B safely. Sail down the coast toward Monterey, or for as far as the crew feels good, then sail back up our challenging stretch of the Northern CA Pacific coastal waters over 5 days. This course gives you an amazing opportunity to see some amazing sea life.  This is also an excellent course for those interested in future cruising, sailing in open waters, or those who hold offshore goals or ocean dreams. It usually takes a day or two to get used to the way the ocean waves roll. We suggest 1 or more days of 'Ocean Intro' aka 'Sea Legs' days prior to this course. This course can be combined with two days of intro for a full 7 days at sea.

Note: 105 is a pre-requisite to go to be qualified as a skipper.
One can participate in progressive capacity, and retake the course as; crew, 1st mate, navigator and finally skipper, if you are working up to your dreams to go cruising. There are cost breaks for repeat attendance to build skill confidence in each position!

4th Tier - When you're ready to cross oceans - consider these next steps:
ASA107 CN Celestial Navegation

Master the art that aided all those who followed Columbus across the oceans of the world. Celestial Navigation continues as a back up for serious navigators and for ocean cruisers. The game - how close can you get comparing other forms of navigation including the GPS. The purpose - When a GPS fails, be ready to work out courses to your destinations on your own. ASA - has both a short and long version of the Celestial course.


This robust celestial navigation class teaches the theory and practice to determine latitude and longitude at sea using the stars, planets, moon and sun. You will learn the same methodology utilized by the post WWII U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and Air Force.

ASA108 OP Offshore Passage-making

Dreaming of sailing further offshore? If your dreams include sailing away, there is a course for you. This course requires all previous courses plus preparation homework. Join a course that includes sailing non-stop just over 100 miles from shore where the reflection waves fade, and it is just the rhythm of gentle ocean swells, or clashing weather systems that roll your boat. Plan, prepare a boat, provision for the trip, store all gear then sail out and back over the course of a week.

Note: 105 is a pre-requisite to go to be qualified as a skipper.
One can participate in progressive capacity, and retake the course as; crew, 1st mate, navigator and finally skipper, if you are working up to your dreams to go cruising. There are cost breaks for repeat attendance to build skill confidence in each position!

Email Afterguard or call (510) 535-1954
More about ASA Courses:
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