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sailboats on Boston Harbor

ASA Certification
The American Sailing Association includes a network of over 300 professionally accredited sailing schools and has certified more than 260,000 students since 1983. Its system of certification standards is recognized by charter companies throughout the world.

The BSC offers four levels of ASA certification. After successfully completing the corresponding course students can take the written test. Your instructor will sign the log book and the ASA will send the certification seal by mail.

Basic Keelboat Certification ASA 101
Prerequisites: None

Description: Able to sail a boat of about 20 feet in length in light to moderate winds and sea conditions in familiar waters without supervision. A preparatory Standard with no auxiliary power or navigation skills required.

BSC Course: Learn to Sail

Cost: ASA Membership $39

Basic Coastal Cruising ASA 103
Prerequisites: Basic Keelboat Sailing Certificate

General Description: Able to cruise safely in local and regional waters as both skipper and crew on an auxiliary powered sailboat of about 20 to 30 feet in length, in moderate winds and sea conditions

BSC Course: Advanced

Bareboat Cruising ASA 104
Prerequisites: Basic Keelboat Sailing and Basic Coastal Cruising Certification

General Description: An advanced cruising Standard for individuals with cruising experience. The individual can act as skipper or crew of a 30 - 50 foot boat sailing by day in coastal waters. The Standard includes knowledge of boat systems and maintenance procedures.

BSC Course: Cruising or Caribbean Cruising

Coastal Navigation ASA 105
Prerequisites: None

General Description: Able to demonstrate the navigational theory required to safely navigate a sailing vessel in coastal or inland waters. There is no Sailing Skills part to this Standard.

BSC Course: Coastal Navigation

Experienced sailors can receive ASA certification without taking a course by challenging the standards. Each level of certification requires passing a written exam and an on the water evaluation. The instructor signs the candidate's log book and the ASA issues the certification stickers by mail.

The most common challenge is for Bare Boat Certification (104). The steps and cost are:

ASA Membership $39
Basic Keel Boat Exam 101 $35
Basic Cruising Exam 103 $35
Bare Boat Exam 104 $35
On the Water Evaluation $300
Total $444

A summary of the ASA Standards can be found on their web site. The ASA course text books can be used as study guides and are available from the BSC.

Sailing Made Easy Covers 101 $25
Coastal Cruising Made Easy Covers 103 $28
Cruising Fundamentals Covers 104 $22