How to Prep for ASA 101

By: American Sailing, Learn To Sail

It is finally happening — you’re going to learn how to sail! You found a sailing school and signed up for an ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing certification course.

Now that you have a sailing school and signed up for ASA 101, what’s next?

If you want to walk into your sailing course ready to go, here are a few suggestions to help you feel prepared for your first sailing course.

Buy a book or two on sailing.

American Sailing’s Sailing Made Easy is the most comprehensive beginner sailing guide on the market, and it’s required for the class by all of our schools. Your course will follow this textbook closely. In addition, the material will help you become acquainted with basic sailing terminology, sailboat parts and functions, sailing maneuvers and points of sail, and navigation rules.

If you plan on doing some small boat sailing, take a look at Let’s Go Sailing, the official book of American Sailing’s Basic Small Boat Sailing course.  This book is ideal for the novice sailor that plans on primarily sailing smaller boats and for younger sailors. 

Take an online learning course.  

You cannot completely learn to sail online, but you can prepare for the ASA Basic Keelboat Sailing course with an online course. American Sailing’s Online Intro to Sailing will walk you through the information you need to be familiar with to feel comfortable before you leave the dock during your sailing course.

Learn the Sailing Language.

With so many new things to consider when taking a sailing course, having a foundation in sailing vocabulary is a good idea. Of course, the books and online courses will help with our sailing jargon but take a look at this list of sailing terms and then take the fun quizzes at the bottom of the page. You’ll be speaking like a sailor before you get to the dock.

Go sailing

You don’t have to wait for your sailing course to go sailing.  Do you have a local sailing club or community sailing center nearby? Walk in, be social, and find an opportunity to go sailing.  You can utilize the GoSailing App to help you find sailors looking for crew. Do you know someone with a sailboat? Call them and ask them to go sailing; you might be surprised how quickly they jump at the chance to share their passion for sailing with you.

Take the Sailing Challenge!

American Sailing has developed an app to help you get a better understanding of sailing fundamentals. The Sailing Challenge App is a cutting-edge game designed to help you study for ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing and to challenge your friends to some sailboat racing.  You’ll learn about Points of Sail, Apparent Wind, Trimming, tacking and jibing, and much more.  

You are ready to set sail. You will learn to sail and join a welcoming community of like-minded people. Sailing is more than a hobby; it is a lifestyle.

Keep in mind that learning to sail is just the beginning.