ASA Certification

The American Sailing Association includes a network of over 300 professionally accredited sailing schools and has certified more than 537,000 students since 1983. Its system of certification standards is recognized by charter companies throughout the world.

The BSC offers five levels of ASA certification. Students may take the written test for their desired level of certification after successfully completing the corresponding course. Your instructor will sign your logbook and the ASA will send the certification seal by mail. 

For folks who already have sailing experience, but just need the certifications, the BSC offers ASA Challenges. This allows a qualified sailor to prove they have the requisite skills for an ASA certification (up through ASA 104) without taking the courses, and additionally, apply for the ASA’s International Proficiency Certificate. 

ASA Certification Levels

ASA 101 Basic Keelboat



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.


ASA 103 Basic Coastal Cruising



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 to obtain 103 certification:

ASA 104 Bareboat Cruising



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 to obtain 104 certification:

ASA 105 Coastal Navigation



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 Preparatory Course to obtain 105 certification:

ASA 106 Bareboat Cruising



Able to safely act as skipper and crew of a sailing vessel about 30 to 50 feet in length in coastal and inland waters, in any conditions.

BSC Course to obtain 106 certification:

ASA Challenge

Experienced sailors can bypass formal courses to earn their ASA certification by challenging the standards. Each level of certification requires a passing score on the written exam for the highest level of certification desired as well as an on-the-water evaluation. After a successful challenge, the instructor will sign the candidate’s logbook and the ASA will issue the certification stickers by mail.

The most common challenge is for Bareboat Certification (104). You will need to write the ASA 104 exam only and successfully complete a three-hour on-the-water exam on a 30+ foot cruising boat. To schedule, please reach out to the office at 617-227-4198 or ASA Challenges are offered on weekdays only, typically between 9am and 5pm. 

The steps and cost are:

  • ASA Registration Fee $39
  • ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Certification $40
  • ASA 103 Basic Coastal Cruising $40
  • ASA 104 Bareboat Cruising $40
  • On the Water Evaluation $400
  • TOTAL: $559

International Proficiency Certificate

ASA is proud to offer the first International Proficiency Certificate (IPC) for sailors available in the United States. This certificate is mandatory when chartering in most European/Mediterranean waters. It serves as proof of bareboat charter competency for Mediterranean chartering companies, many of whom require the proficiency information displayed in a different format than the ASA Log Book. Only ASA members who have completed through ASA 104 Bareboat Cruising are eligible to order the International Proficiency Certificate. One must be a current member of ASA to be issued the certificate. You can get the International Proficiency Certificate today by completing ASA’s online IPC Application directly through their website. 

ASA Veterans Program

At ASA and Boston Sailing Center, we recognize the sacrifices made by the men and women who have served or are serving in our country’s armed forces. As a token of our appreciation and our way of saying thank you, we invite veterans and active military personnel to share our passion for sailing by offering a discount on our ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing Course. Trade in your ship for ours and join us on the water with the wind in your sails.

Boston Sailing Center offers 10% off the full price of our ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Learn to Sail Course to active military and veterans. To receive your 10% off coupon, complete ASA’s Veterans Program Application. Once approved, contact the Boston Sailing Center at 617-227-4198 to enroll with your course date (do not sign up through BSC’s website).

The Veterans Program discount is offered off the full price of Learn to Sail and cannot be combined with any other discounts.

ASA Standards and Textbooks

A summary of the ASA Standards can be found on their website. The ASA course textbooks can be used as study guides and are available for purchase in the Boston Sailing Center office. 

ASA Certification