All posts by ASA

Crystal Lagoon, Comino, Malta

Malta – Sailing Through Thousands of Years of History

So many people ask “just where is Malta?” and you just might be asking yourself the same thing. Well, get ready to jump in feet first into a country that is spectacularly beautiful and historically fascinating. Malta awaits the adventurous sailor who is willing to make the journey thousands of miles to the dead center of the Mediterranean ocean. The archipelago of Malta lies only a few hundred miles off the coasts of Tunisia and Libya and just 68 nautical miles south of Sicily.

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ASA in China

ASA In China

The recent growth of ASA in China has created the need for us to examine every aspect of how sailing education is conducted in the 21st century. We are learning how to serve a market that has emerging business and personal cultures, different language and symbolism, large time zone shifts, financial bureaucracy, and unpredictable shipping of books and certification materials. In doing this, we are realizing that changes need to be made, and that many of these changes will be for the better for all of ASA: Affiliates, Instructors and Students.

There are signs that ASA is becoming more and more of an international standard. There is awareness that the ASA provides a “Professional Sailing School in a Box”. The US blueprint for establishing and certifying a sailing school, creating and obtaining certified Instructors, and defining Student courses and certifications, yet operating as an independent business with a unique market plan and vision is very adaptable to the international market. Although we have been growing in Europe and Latin countries, the recent main international growth spurt has been in China.

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7 Ways to Sail Greener and Protect Your Local Waters!

7 Ways to Sail Greener and Protect Your Local Waters!

Sailing is an amazing sport, powered by wind and so close to the water – it’s impossible not to feel connected to nature – and that’s why we love it! This wonderful feeling comes in sharp contrast to the fact that whether you sail on a lake, river, bay or the open ocean, your waters are not as healthy as they could be. But the good news is you can make a difference and we are here to let you know how.

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San Juan Flotilla 2016 - Sailboat at Anchor, Mt Baker, Sunset

ASA Gulf & San Juan Islands Flotilla

This is the ninth year in a row that ASA has sponsored a flotilla in the Pacific Northwest, and these cruises have become very popular. We had 12 boats and 46 sailors on this flotilla, which was completely booked up 6 months in advance. Fully half our skippers were veterans of previous ASA Pacific Northwest flotillas. The boats are provided by San Juan Sailing who hosted this event. SJS is one of the top-rated charter companies in the world, and has provided us with superb boats and great service over the last nine years. Private boats can also join the flotilla.

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Lights Quiz

Quiz on Lights

We all know we need nav lights for when the sun goes down but it’s important to understand what we are looking at when we see the lights on other boats – they all tell a story. It’s also necessary to know the rules surrounding lights. Here’s a short quiz to test your knowledge. Good luck!

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Sailing Gizmo - MarkSetBot

Cool Gizmos for Sailors : The MarkSetBot

We love collecting and highlighting cool or interesting little innovations that fall into the “gizmo” folder. This remote operated racing mark definitely falls into that category. The racers in the house know the lousy feeling of being in a starting sequence and feeling a decisive wind shift that will totally undermine how the race was meant to be sailed. Moving around marks can be arduous and we’ve all heard the PRO over the radio try to make the best of shifty conditions with the crew on the mark-set boat struggling to accommodate. But alas, technology has brought with it an alternative – MarkSetBot!

It’s essentially an orange racing mark strapped to a dinghy with a radio-controlled electric motor but it’s obviously more than that. This interesting solution to a problem allows the user to control the mark with a mobile app so if it needs to move a few feet in any direction it can be done from the perch of the committee boat or a nearby RIB.

According to the developers, it uses GPS technology to zero in on a specific location and remain there until told to move. A course can be set by pointing the connected phone at the wind or by using add-on wind instruments to research trends and then set the bearing based on that info.

The MarkSetBot is the world’s first robotic race mark, which allows a race committee to set up or change a race mark on a course more quickly and accurately than ever before.

The plan is to use the MarkSetBot for the Great Lakes Boating Festival at Michigan’s Grosse Pointe Yacht Club (GPYC) on May 20 and see if it’s a winner.

Our hats are off to them for going to the trouble – seems like a cool idea. For more information about MarkSetBot, visit or find us on Facebook.


GO SAILING v3.2 Now International

GO SAILING Update 3.2. Goes International

Go Sailing Update 3.2. Goes International

LOS ANGELES – April 5, 2017 – Go Sailing, sailing’s free social-media app that keeps sailors connected and sailing, is very excited to announce an update which will expand and refine its services to be available internationally. Part of the update will include trip list filters for an enhanced browsing experience and the ability to schedule sailing related events worldwide.

The sailing communities’ remarkable acceptance of the app has demanded that we expand its capabilities and availability to truly connect the entire sailing world. Starting immediately, the Go Sailing App will be available to download on iPhones and Androids in 110 countries and on the Internet ( all around the world!

Enhanced by its support from the American Sailing Association’s network of over 330 affiliated sailing schools worldwide, the Go Sailing App has access to millions of active sailors looking for like-minded people to Go Sailing. “Wherever you’re looking for crew on the Seven Seas, Go Sailing is there,” says Go Sailing Project Manager, Tim Ridderbush. “Anywhere you get cell reception from the Red Sea to the China Sea, from Cape Horn to the Cape of Good Hope, Go Sailing is available to help you find crew.

Simply download now from the App Store or Google Play, or go to and create your profile and join the thousands of active Go Sailing sailors. Don’t delay because sailing events, races, and trips are occurring as you read this.

About Go Sailing
Go Sailing is a free mobile app presented to the worldwide sailing community by the American Sailing Association as a public service. Developed to make the sport accessible to everyone, Go Sailing removes the barrier to entering the magical world of sailing. Since its inception, Go Sailing quickly developed a large community of users in California, and now aims to connect the millions of sailors around the world looking to do more sailing with skippers everywhere looking for crew, as well as to new friends and sailing-related social events.

About the American Sailing Association
Driven by a clear need for uniform teaching standards and increased access to sailing activities, the American Sailing Association (ASA) has been the leader in U.S. sail education for more than three decades. The association has grown to include an international network of approximately 330 professionally accredited sailing schools. Nearly one million certifications have been awarded to almost half a million people who have been introduced to sailing through ASA schools and clubs since 1983. The ASA has strategic partnerships with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and was instrumental in establishing national education standards through its work on the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ Education Committee. The ASA has also consulted with the Department of Transportation and the National Parks Service. For more information, visit

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Media Contact:
Jill Hoffman

Sailing Made Easy - Heaving To

Heaving to – What is it and why you should know how to do it?

ASA created a quiz a while back with one of the questions having to do with heaving to. Surprisingly, many people got the answer wrong, which led us to believe not everyone is out there heaving to! In fact, maybe they’re out there not even knowing what it means to heave to. So let’s go over it..

To heave to is to park the boat while out at sea. It’s mainly a heavy weather defense strategy but some people use the tactic to delay a harbor entrance for morning light, fix something or possibly just to have a little lunch at sea. As an example of how effective heaving to can be to endure through heavy weather, 26 sailors hove to in the infamous Fastnet Race where 18 people died in a horrific storm – none of those boats suffered any serious damage, let alone rolled or capsized.

Heaving to is setting the sails so the jib wants to sail one way while the main wants to sail another so, with some rudder adjustment, the boat stands nearly still.
~ ASA’s Coastal Cruising Made Easy

Steps For Heaving To

It’s not hard but it does take a bit of practice to master. Here’s how it goes – this is more of an overview, to get the good stuff check out the full description in the textbook and watch the video below.

  1. To lie on the tack opposite of the one you’re on, sheet the jib in tight, tack and leave the jibsheet cleated. As the boat passes through head to wind, the jib, held by the windward sheet, will set aback and push the bow downwind. Hold the mainsheet on the winch with its clutch open.
  2. Now steer the boat back toward the wind and make adjustments with the helm and the mainsheet until the boat is lying at a steady attitude to the wind on a close reaching heading. Normally, the wheel would be turned to windward. The mainsail might or might not need to be luffing.
ASA Sailing Made Easy - Heaving To
ASA CertifiedASA TIP: How an individual boat heaves-to is a a function of many factors; design, keel type and relative sizes of the jib and mainsail are just some of them. So it might take a little practice and adjustments to figure it our for your boat.
MOB First Response - ASA Bite Sized Lessons

Bite Size Lessons : MOB First Response

We know that learning to sail can be overwhelming and there is a lot to take in. In an effort to help we’ve created a series of “Bite Sized Lessons” taken straight out or our textbooks – Sailing Made Easy and Coastal Cruising Made Easy.

In this lesson we take a look at what happens when there is a “man overboard” and learn the important Y.T.P.S.C. acronym that reminds us what the first 5 steps should always be.

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