top of page

Previous Class < ASA 105>  Next Class

Sailing in the bay towards the Bay Bridge and San Francisco

ASA 105
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.


We 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.

4 Days or Multiple Evenings

Member: $725

Non-member: $865

What's Included

Find a date that works for you

Need a different date? Give us a call (510) 535-1954

Before the Course

Purchase the ASA 105 textbook. Available at our office (hardcopy) or on ASA website (as ebook or hardcopy).

Read the book and complete the quizzes throughout to prepare you for the course and the terminology used. 

What to expect

Schedule and Details:

  • Meet at Afterguard Sailing Academy, 1285 Embarcadero (Oakland CA 94606)

  • This is four day or two weekend Course spent in the classroom. 

  • The written exam is at the end the of the class.

Learn key and valuable skills to go anywhere with a great success rate.

At least one person needs to know how to really navigate before any journey. This course provides hands on training working through a well laid out course. The teacher adds their knowledge and experience to help students really learn the tools and skills of a navigator. Guided in classroom exercises make it more understandable to take on homework exercises.

ASA 105 - Course Description

Able to apply the navigational theory and practices for safe navigation of a sailing vessel in coastal and inland waters. On-water coastal navigation skills elements are contained in the ASA103 Basic Coastal CruisingASA 104, Bareboat Cruising, and ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising, in progressively increasing levels of detail  —

Find a date that works for you

Great course for an introduction into sailing in the bay!

This was the perfect way to become comfortable with sailing. By the end of the course I was confident in all the terminology and functions of the boat and understood how to make adjustments to the sail. I look forward to more time on the water with Afterguard!

Hannah R. (ASA 101 course July 2023) 

What's covered in the ASA 105?


1. Explain the chart symbols and conventions on U.S. nautical charts in accordance with the terminology of Chart #1.
2. Identify a source of official U.S. Coast Guard navigation publications.
3. List the publications required for prudent navigation in the local area including:
    - Large scale charts of the area and Chart #1
    - Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats
    - USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook
    - State small vessel regulations
    - Local rules and regulations, if applicable
    - Local cruising guides
    - Tide and current tables (paper or electronic)
    - List of lights, buoys, and fog signals
4. Describe the instruments required for prudent navigation in the local area including the following minimum requirements:
    - Steering compass and deviation table
    - Handbearing compass and / or pelorus
    - Binoculars
    - Protractor or parallel rule
    - Depth sounder or leadline
    - Pencil, eraser, and notebook
    - Dividers
    - Watch or clock
    - Log / Knotmeter
5. Describe the purpose and example contents of a “Notice to Mariners.”
6. Explain the terms and characteristics used for lighted navigation aids.
7. Explain the significance of shapes, colors, and lights used in the U.S. Aids to Navigation (ATON) system.

8. Use the tide and current tables to find:
    - Times and heights of tides at reference and secondary ports.
    - Direction and rate of current at referenced and secondary stations.
9. Convert courses and bearings between true, magnetic, and compass.
10. Check compass deviation by a transit bearing or other means.
11. Plot a dead reckoning position on a chart using speed, time, and course to steer.
12. Allow for the effect of current and leeway to plot the estimated position.
13. Determine a course to steer which takes into account known current and leeway.
14. Determine current given the course steered and speed and two observed positions.
15. Plot a chart position from terrestrial objects using:
    - Two or more bearings on different objects taken at one time.
    - Bearings at different times (i.e. a running fix).
    - One bearing and transit range.
    - One distance (i.e. a sounding or dipping a light) and one bearing.
16. Chart a course of at least 20 miles and three course changes using the above skills.

bottom of page