News - ASA Credentials

ASA Certifications

The American Sailing Association provides standards for progressive sailing certification programs, including:

  • Keelboat Sailing
  • Small Boat Sailing
  • Multihull Sailing

In addition, ASA provides standards for a number of endorsements, which are intended to supplement the main certification series.  These include Docking, Weather, Celestial, and Radar.

Listed below are the prerequisites and descriptions for each available course.  The detailed standards for each certification may be found by clicking the title. Standards are also published in the ASA Official International Certification Log Book.

Each certification requires participants to fully satisfy both knowledge and skills standards, which will be verified through a written exam and an on-the-water practical exam.

The standards are intended to be a minimum set of requirements.  ASA affiliate sailing schools and instructors may choose to include additional requirements if they wish to emphasize knowledge or skills appropriate to local waters, conditions or practice vessels.

Obtaining sailing education is an important step toward a lifetime of sailing enjoyment, yet education is just part of the process. ASA highly recommends that each certification level be augmented with a minimum of 24 to 40 hours of practice in between courses.

All participants are encouraged to become proficient in swimming, first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing
ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing
Learn to skipper a 20' - 27' sloop-rigged keelboat by day, in light to moderate winds and sea conditions. Learn basic sailing terminology, parts and functions, helm commands, basic sail trim, points of sail, buoyage, seamanship and safety including basic navigation rules to avoid collisions and hazards.
ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising
ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising
Learn to skipper a sloop-rigged auxiliary powered 25'-35' keelboat by day in moderate winds and sea conditions. Learn cruising sailboat terminology, basic boat systems, auxiliary engine operation, docking procedures, intermediate sail trim, navigation rules, basic coastal navigation, anchoring, weather, safety and seamanship.
ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising
ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising
Learn how to sail a sloop-rigged, auxiliary powered 30'-45' sailboat during a multi-day cruise upon inland/coastal waters in moderate/heavy winds and sea conditions. Learn about provisioning, boat systems, auxiliary engines, advanced sail trim, coastal navigation, anchoring / mooring, docking, emergency operations, weather, and more.
ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising
ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising
Learn 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.
ASA 110, Basic Small Boat Sailing
ASA 110, Basic Small Boat Sailing
Learn to sail a centerboard or multihull sailboat in light to moderate winds and sea conditions. Learn basic sailing terminology, sail trim, points of sail, crew responsibilities, seamanship and safety including capsize avoidance/recovery and navigation rules to avoid collisions.
ASA 113, Trailerable Multihull Standard
ASA 113, Trailerable Multihull Standard
The ASA 113 standard and certification have been retired. Relevant content is now included in the recently refreshed ASA 110 Small Boat Sailing and ASA 114 Cruising Catamaran.
ASA 114, Cruising Catamaran
ASA 114, Cruising Catamaran
Learn to act as skipper and crew of an auxiliary-powered sailing cruising catamaran of approximately 30 to 45 feet in length during a multi-day liveaboard cruise upon inland or coastal waters in moderate to heavy winds and sea conditions.
ASA 117, Basic Celestial Endorsement
ASA 117, Basic Celestial Endorsement
Learn to apply basic celestial navigation theory and practice to determine latitude and longitude at sea using a sextant and Nautical Almanac.
ASA 118, Docking Endorsement
ASA 118, Docking Endorsement
Learn basic docking skills for boats with single inboard or outboard engines. Discover the basic theory and hands-on techniques needed to dock and undock boats in an efficient manner and without damage or injury.
ASA 119, Weather Endorsement
ASA 119, Weather Endorsement
Learn the proper use of weather information in planning and adapting navigation during local and passage-making voyages. Learn to use both the latest technological tools as well as traditional maritime skills to forecast weather conditions.
ASA 120, Radar Endorsement
ASA 120, Radar Endorsement
Learn safe, efficient use of small-craft radar for piloting, chart navigation, and collision avoidance, including radar principles and practical matters of radar operation.