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Sailing in the bay towards the Bay Bridge and San Francisco

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ASA 118
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 or after the ASA 104 Bare-Boat Chartering course.

2 Full Days

Member: $545

Non Member: $655

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 118 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 two-day Weekend Course, Saturday-Sunday 9:30am to 4:30pm Class spent mostly on the boat on the water sailing. (Weekday schedule can be arranged)

  • The written exam is at the end the 2nd day on the water. Must pass the hands-on skills before being allowed to take the written test.

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

What Boats are Used:

In this ASA Course, you will be learning to dock on a range of boats with different engine configurations. The course will be tailored to suit the participants needs and current skill levels. 

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!

ASA 118 - Course Description

Able to safely and efficiently dock an auxiliary powered (single inboard or outboard engine) sailboat. Knowledge of basic auxiliary power theory, engine and steering controls, proper use of dock lines, crew communication and safety. —

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 118?


1. List four forces that act on a boat during docking maneuvers, how each force affects the speed and orientation of the boat, and which force is dominant.
2. Describe which forces the helmsman can control or use to advantage during docking.
3. Describe engine and rudder control as used during docking.
4. Describe how to properly secure mooring lines in a slip and alongside a dock.
5. Describe the use of spring lines during docking.
6. Describe safety considerations during docking.
7. Describe docking and undocking procedures including crewmember duties.



8. Prepare boat and crewmembers for docking and undocking including:
    - Assessment of boat condition
    - Dock and fairway configuration
    - Routes of exit and entry
    - Water depths
    - Wind and current direction and strength
    - Potential hazards
    - Docking/undocking plan
    - Crewmember assignments and instruction
    - Emergency abort options and procedures
9. Maneuver the boat in a confined space to include performing a ‘standing turn’ maneuver, turning the vessel 360 degrees using rudder position and gearshift/throttle control while remaining in a circle not exceeding two boat lengths in diameter.
10. Undock boat as planned without collision, grounding, damage, or injury.
11. Dock parallel to a dock with wind blowing towards dock; demonstrate proper use of spring lines and attachment of lines to the dock.
12. Undock from parallel to a dock with wind blowing towards dock; demonstrate proper use of spring lines to avoid other boats moored fore and aft.
13. Dock bow into slip with a crosswind; demonstrate proper use of spring lines and attachment of lines in the slip.
14. Dock stern into slip with a crosswind; demonstrate proper use of spring lines and attachment of lines in the slip.
15. Demonstrate the proper method for heaving a line.
16. Construct and demonstrate the use of each of the following:
    - Round turn and 2 half hitches
    - Cleat hitch
    - Bowline

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