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American Sailing Association (ASA) Certified  Courses

Like to learn from the ground up?

If you are totally new to sailing we suggest starting with BK1; Afterguard's 'Competent Crew' course. This isn't required though. If you have sailed actively with friends and family you may start with ASA 101.

ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing

1 Evening, 2 Full Days

Learning to sail seriously starts with ASA 101.

Learn to skipper a 20' - 27' sloop-rigged keelboat in light to moderate winds and sea conditions. Get familiar with basic sailing terminology, parts and functions, helm commands, sail trim, points of sail, buoyage, seamanship and safety including basic navigation rules to avoid collisions and hazards.

Front cover of Sailing Made Easy textbook

ASA 103 Basic Coastal Cruising-Day Skipper

1 Evening Lecture, 4 Full Days Sailing, 2 practice sail (post class)

The gateway to bay area sailing, successful completion of ASA 103 allows use of Afterguard boats up to the south side of the Bay Bridge. 


Learn to skipper a 25 to 35 ft sloop-rigged keelboat in moderate winds and sea conditions. Gain knowledge of cruising sailboat terminology, basic boat systems, auxiliary engine operation, docking procedures, intermediate sail trim, navigation rules, basic coastal navigation, anchoring, weather interpretation, safety, and seamanship.

Front cover of Coastal Cruising made easy textbook

Looking to charter yachts world-wide for your next dream vacation?

Most Rental firms ask for an ASA International Proficiency Certificate (IPC) to serve as proof of competency.


To obtain this, 101, 103 &104 Bare Boat Chartering are required. ASA 118 Docking and 105 Coastal Navigation are also highly encouraged. Add 114 Cruising Catamaran or take a combo class to access popular charter multi-hull options in the Mediterranean, Caribbean or elsewhere. 

ASA 104 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 navigation 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 learn 5 ways to anchor, 4 tactics for crew overboard recovery, plumbing, diesel system overview and how to dock afloat.


This is the most looked-for certification by vacation charter and insurance companies for boat rental up to 50 ft.

3-day live aboard trip

Front cover of Bareboat Cruising Made Easy textbook

ASA 105 Coastal Navigation

4 Days or Multiple Evenings

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.


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.

Front cover of Coastal Navigation text book

ASA 106 Advanced Costal Cruising

5 Days (recommend additional 'Sea Legs" Day)

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.

Photo of student

ASA 118 Docking Endorsement

2 Days

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.

Photo of a boat being docked

ASA 107 Celestial Navigation

4 Days

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.

Photo of using a sextant

ASA 117 Basic Celestial Endorsement

Simpler than 107, teaches basic celestial navigation theory and practice to determine latitude and longitude at sea using a sextant and Nautical Almanac.

ASA 108 Offshore Passage-making

7 Days

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!

Photo of peole with off shore sailing gear
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