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Sailing in the bay towards the Bay Bridge and San Francisco

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ASA 108
Offshore Passage-making

Dreaming of sailing further offshore? If your dreams include sailing away, this is the course for you.

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.​

This course requires all previous courses plus preparation homework.

7 day live aboard trip

Member $2885

Non Member $3225

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 108 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 Crew:

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

  • This is a seven day live aboard course spent mostly on the boat on the water sailing. 

  • All crew will be emailed in advance to arrange provisioning. Similar to 104. 

  • The written exam is taken in an evening at anchor. Must pass the hands-on skills before being allowed to take the written test.

  • The course max is four students per boat with 1 instructor

What Boats are Used:

In this ASA Course, you will be learning on a 35+ ft blue water sailing boat, normally our comfortable 45ft Benateau, O'hana. 

What to wear:

  • Layers! Look up the weather for that weekend or weekday series. Dress in layers according to the weather predictions. Vests are a good under/over layer. Use a base layer per the weather and add to it up to a wind-breaker. If raining - bring a waterproof over layer for top and bottom.

  • Footwear: Soft soled shoes for traction on the deck. Non-marking required or will be scrubbing decks of black marks dark soles leave behind. No bare-feet, open toed or flip-flops. Broken toes are painful and your responsibility. This is a sincere warning.

  • Headware: Recommend a brimmed hat with a keeper that will not blow off your head, for your time on the water. If cold - bring a warm hat or perhaps a warm ear covering headband.

  • Hands: Garden gloves with rubberized palms and without finger tips are a plus. If cold warm gloves as well.

What else to bring:

  • Bring a lunch for both Saturday and Sunday, including water or other liquids to stay hydrated. If you bring a refillable bottle, please make sure you take it with you at the end of your course. Next to sunglasses, they are the most popular item in our Lost&Found pile!

  • Always bring sunscreen, chapstick and sunglasses. Keepers for glasses and hats can save you lots of money.

Additional info:

There are bathrooms at our facility and on the boats. Please make sure to check in with your teacher about how to use the 'head 'on the boat, before leaving the docks!

​When You Complete this Course:

Passing this course allows you to rent/charter the boats from our fleet  for sailing anywhere, but longer trips outside the Golden Gate bridge should be agreed with the Admiral. 

ASA 108 - Course Description

Able to skipper a sailing vessel on extended offshore passages requiring celestial navigation. Knowledge of long-term passage planning, offshore vessel selection, sail repair, offshore first aid, watch-keeping, emergency procedures, abandon ship protocols, safety and seamanship.

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 108?



Passage Planning
1. Plan a passage across the North Atlantic or Pacific and state the advantages, disadvantages, and hazards of various routes, utilizing Ocean Passages for the World, climatic charts, Great Circle plotting charts, plotting instruments, etc.
2. Plot a series of rhumb lines on a Mercator chart to approximate a great circle route.
3. Describe the publications required for prudent navigation on an offshore passage including:
    - Coastal charts and publications
    - Worksheets
    - Ocean Passages for the World
    - Nautical almanac
    - Sight reduction tables
    - Plotting sheets
Voyage Preparation
4. Describe the effect of factors when selecting a vessel for an offshore ocean passage of at least 1000 miles, including hull shape, construction, displacement, rudder, keel, rig, machinery, water capacity, fuel capacity, sails, and interior layout.
5. List essential items for minor repairs to vessel, rigging, and sails.
6. Describe various items required to prevent chafe.
7. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of three self-steering methods/devices.
8. Plan meals for a minimum of four people on a seven-day offshore passage.
9. Describe proper methods for preserving/storing food and the expected storage life of different types of food.
10. Describe factors to be considered when selecting crew members for an offshore passage, including health, attitude, compatibility, experience, and physical capability.
11. Describe suitable clothing for an offshore voyage.
12. State a source of obtaining advanced first aid information while on an offshore passage.
13. Identify and describe the basic treatment of potential medical problems.
14. Describe methods of preventing injury to the cook or nearby persons while cooking at sea.
15. List items carried in an offshore first aid kit.
16. Prepare and file a passage plan.

Shipboard Routines
17. Describe three watch-keeping systems and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
18. Describe alternate watch-keeping arrangements in the event crew members are incapacitated.
19. Describe the duties of the on-watch and off-watch crew.
20. Establish a routine maintenance schedule for checking various items like bilges, sea cocks, rigging, hatches, helm, galley & supplies, fuel and water, machinery, safety equipment, and electronic equipment.
21. Set up a routine vessel cleaning schedule.

Emergency Procedures
22. Describe how to rig a trailing man overboard (MOB) line with an alarm.
23. Describe an alternative method of alerting the crew to MOB situations and state other emergency situations when you should limit the use of this device.
24. Describe what actions should be taken when a MOB is not located on the first pass.
25. Describe how to organize the crew for a routine fire drill.
26. Describe possible methods of jury rigging a vessel in the event of dismasting and what course should then be assumed.
27. Describe proper actions to be taken after a vessel has been struck by lightning.
28. List essential survival items to be kept in a standby kit in the event the vessel must be abandoned offshore.
29. Describe additional useful survival and rescue items.
30. State the dangers that might be encountered in a small life raft at sea.
31. List safety equipment that should be carried in addition to Federally required items.

Navigation Rules
32. Describe the applicable rules for an offshore sailing vessel, as found in the USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook.
33. List the 16 International Distress Signals found in Rule 37 of the USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook.

34. Act as skipper and crew on an offshore passage of no less than 72 hours and 100nm without touching land.
35. Obtain a celestial fix using a sun-run-sun or three (3) celestial bodies.
36. Obtain a celestial heading check.
37. Apply all elements of ASA 107, ASA Celestial Navigation.

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