It’s one thing to decide you want to learn to sail. But when it comes time to actually do it, what are you getting yourself into? At ASA sailing schools, the answer is fun, adventure, and a new sense of confidence on the water. Read on as we walk you through what it’s like to learn to sail with one of our affiliates.
How To Pick a Sailing School
Picking a sailing school is kind of like choosing the right college. There are lots of great ones, but it’s important to find one that fits you and your goals. ASA has over 300 schools across the country, so there’s sure to be one near you. We also have a number of schools in the Caribbean and overseas. These “destination” schools are great for people who want to combine their sailing lessons with a relaxing tropical vacation.
We highly recommend looking at the schools listed on our website and seeing what they have to offer. Every school is different, with its own flavor and area of expertise. However, what they all have in common is a love of teaching sailing. Contacting them by phone or email is a great way to get started. School owners and instructors love to talk to people about sailing, and they are the experts on their local waters!
Who’s Teaching You?
All ASA courses are taught by certified instructors who have undergone our rigorous approval process. Every ASA instructor must demonstrate experience and aptitude before they can even apply to teach at one of our schools. Once their competence is established, they attend an intensive Instructor Qualifying Clinic, testing their knowledge and skills, as well as preparing them to teach the ASA curriculum. In the end, only the most dedicated sailing professionals become ASA instructors. You can rest assured that you’re getting the best sailing education possible.
How Much Time Is Spent on the Water?
On the water practice is fun, and crucial for learning to sail. That’s why it is the focal point of every ASA course. How much time you spend on the water versus in the classroom varies depending on the course, the school and the instructor. For example, an ASA 104 (Bareboat Cruising) course in the British Virgin Islands could mean as much as a week living aboard a boat in the islands. On the other hand, you could get your ASA 101 (Basic Keelboat) over the course of a few weekends on a local lake or bay. Many options are open to you.
While every course adheres to ASA’s strict standards, we also give instructors leeway to teach in their own style and utilize their skills. That’s another reason why we recommend chatting with the folks at a few different ASA sailing schools to get a feel for how they teach. No matter what approach the school takes, you’ll be learning everything you need to meet the ASA standard.