Who We Are
The American Sailing Association was founded in 1983 with a simply stated mission: to teach people to sail safely and confidently. To achieve that goal, the ASA set out to establish standards against which to measure a sailor’s level of knowledge and skill, the first such unified standards in the U.S. to apply to sailors in keelboats.

Today, the ASA is an association of sailing schools, charter companies, professional sailing instructors, and sailors, with over 400 affiliated sailing schools located throughout the U.S., as well as in the Caribbean, Europe, Central America, and Asia. These accredited schools offer ASA certification to individuals who meet the requirements for a given level. To date, ASA schools have certified over half a million sailors!

The ASA system has eight primary levels of student certification from Basic Keelboat all the way to Offshore Passagemaking. Whether your goal is to skipper a bareboat charter in the Caribbean or to crew confidently on a short weekend sail, the ASA’s sailing-education system will guide you as you learn the theory behind sailing, practice the skills needed to handle a sailboat, and build the foundation of knowledge that will enable you to navigate a vessel safely and within the law.

By establishing worldwide standards for sailing education, the ASA has provided a way for more people to take part in the sport safely, with the proper training and respect for their responsibilities as boaters, ensuring that sailing will be safer, smarter, and more fun for everybody.

Learning to sail is just the beginning. Through partnerships with environmental organizations, ASA is becoming a leader in the fight to protect our oceans. Through ASA initiatives, underrepresented communities are being invited to share in the sailing lifestyle. Our members are embarking on sailing adventures around the world while utilizing the knowledge they have gained in ASA classrooms. The American Sailing Association is a model for how a modern-day organization can work to build an inclusive environment for all.

Sailing is for everyone.