Advanced Student Information

Welcome to the Advanced course at the Boston Sailing Center! This student information sheet is intended to provide specific information on course formats, scheduling, policies and membership options available to you. 

The Advanced course is designed to develop the skills needed to sail and motor a mid-range cruising boat with auxiliary outboard power. It is taught on J/27s, which have a small cabin and outboard motors.  


Refer to your confirmation email for your start date, format, and sailing session assignment. Format descriptions are below. 

Weekend Format Description
Held over two consecutive weeks with Online Classroom Sessions on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and Sailing Sessions on Saturdays and Sundays.​

The course starts with Online Classroom Sessions on Wednesday and Thursday evening from 6:00-8:00pm. Sailing Sessions will be on Saturday and Sunday. Morning 9:00AM-12:30PM or Afternoon 1:30-5:00PM Sailing Sessions are chosen upon checkout and noted in confirmation email. ​​The schedule then repeats the following week.​

Weekends are always consecutive unless there is a holiday (as noted in the start date at checkout) Holiday skips:
  • August 21, 2024 start date: Skips over the week of August 28 due to Labor day. (Course dates are August 21, 22, 24, 25 and September 4, 5, 7, 8)
Vacation Week Format Description
Course meets for one week, Monday morning through Thursday afternoon. Format contains in-person classroom sessions.

Offered Monday through Thursday. In person classroom sessions are Monday through Thursday from 9:30-11:30am, followed by afternoon sailing sessions from 12:30-4pm.

4-Week Format Description
This format meets twice a week for four weeks, alternating evening Online Classroom Sessions and late afternoon Sailing Sessions.

​Online Classroom Sessions meet Monday evenings from 6:00-8:00pm. Sailing Sessions are on Tuesday or Wednesday from 4:30-8:00pm.​ Tuesday or Wednesday Sailing Sessions are chosen upon checkout and noted in confirmation email.

Due to earlier sunsets, Sailing Sessions for the September 2, 2024 start date are from 4:00-7:30.​​


You will receive a copy of your course textbook, ASA’s Coastal Cruising Made Easy, at the completion of your first water session.  

What to Bring

Online Classroom Sessions

  • Paper and pen for taking notes 
  • You will receive your ASA 103 Coastal Cruising Made Easy book at your first in person classroom or sailing session. You do not need it for your first classroom session. 

Water Sessions

  • Comfortable nonskid shoes or sneakers (sandals are not recommended) 
  • Dress in layers to adjust for changing weather conditions 
  • Lifejackets are required on board the boat during all water sessions. They will be provided but you are more than welcome to bring your own. 
  • A small drybag for anything valuable you do not want to get wet like phones, etc. The J27’s have cabins for stashing a small bag. Gill and Helly Hansen sell inexpensive, quality drybags.  
  • Water bottles are encouraged. You can refill your water bottle in the Riverboat or there is a small grocery store called The Golden Goose on Commercial Street – just a few minutes’ walk from BSC.  
  • Sunblock (even for overcast days) and sunglasses 
  • A change of clothing is always recommended 
  • We do have limited foul weather gear for our students to borrow, but it is recommended that you bring your own. A light waterproof jacket and pants are best. Our office team can recommend some good options for you. 

Weather Conditions

We believe students should experience a wide range of weather conditions. For this reason, classes are rarely cancelled. If a cancellation is necessary due to extreme weather, we will make every effort to contact you. However, it is always wise to call ahead if you have a question regarding a potential cancellation.  

Cancellation of Individual Sessions

If you need to miss a classroom session, please let us know as far in advance as possible and we will inform you of make-up times. If you need to cancel a water session, please give us as much notice as possible – at least 24 hours. Water session cancellations with less than 24 hours’ notice can be made up at the private lesson rate.  

If you need to cancel your entire course, please refer to your course cancellation document.  

How to make up a class

Giving us sufficient notice allows us to open a space to others who may also need to make up a class. It is the student’s responsibility to contact the center to organize a make-up. All sailing make ups are on a space available basis, meaning if there is an extra spot for the session you missed in another course, you are welcome to take it. For online classroom sessions, we can send you a pre-recorded session from a previous course. 

If you need to make up a single water session, please contact the office directly, and with at least 24 hours’ notice. Availability is very limited, and you may need to wait several weeks before a session becomes available. If you would like to make up a session on the sooner side, we may be able to reschedule you individually for an additional fee. Reach out to the office for specifics.   

Opportunities to meet sailing partners

As a student member or as a full-time member of the Sailing Center there are many opportunities to meet and sail with other members. Here’s how to get involved! 

Online Clubhouse

The BSC website is a great resource! Here you can sign up for events (if available) and access the student section of the “Clubhouse.” As a student, you already have an account. Do not create a new one. If you signed up online, you can login by using the same credentials you used to purchase your course. If you signed up through the office, go to the Clubhouse login and click forgot password. Enter the email you provided the office with. You will be able to change this automated password in your member screen.  

Crew Finder

Upon joining as a full-time member or with an active student membership (Macro Students only), you have access to the online crew finder in the Clubhouse. 

American Sailing Association

American Sailing Association is a system of certification standards recognized worldwide. Upon successful completion of our Advanced Course, you are qualified to take the ASA 103 Coastal Cruising written exam. You will have already completed the water portion in class. Please note that if you have not taken the ASA 101 Basic Keelboat written exam, you will have to complete that before taking the 103. Contact the office if you need to organize your 101 as well. Additional fees will apply.  Please see an office manager for details and scheduling. 

Certifications must be completed within one year of graduation (no exceptions) so start studying and contact us as soon as you’re ready to take the test!  

The next steps after graduation

Once your sailing course is completed, we encourage you to join as a member. With a Mid-Range membership, you are entitled to sail J/24s and J/27s as well as our fleet of Solings and Sonars, with unlimited guest privileges.  

If you decide to purchase a membership within seven days of completion of your course, you are entitled to 10% off any Mid-Range membership, or 10% off a Daysailing membership. As a member (or within 7-days of course completion), you are also entitled to a 10% discount on all courses that we offer. The next step would be Night Sailing or the Cruising Course. Please see an office manager for details or refer to our website.   

Please note there is no student membership associated with an Advanced Course, unless you are a Macro student. Check with the office team if you are unsure what your student status is. 

Covid-19 Student Policies

Do not come to the Boston Sailing Center if you have symptoms, someone in your household has Covid-19, or you have been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by your doctor or a health official. We will reschedule your course.  

Arrive ready to sail. If you arrive earlier than the time designated for your sailing session, please wait off premises in the parking lot or on the seawall. Bathrooms are located on the upper deck of the riverboat. See updates to the COVID-19 policies here. 

Advanced Student Information