Planning a Day Sail

By: Cruising Tips, Learn To Sail

You finish up your ASA 101 Basic Keelboat courses and you are confident to go out sailing on your own. After all of your hard work, studying, and practicing, your next step is your first daysail. This is a big moment in a sailor’s journey as you begin the process of performing all of the duties and responsibilities on a boat as the skipper.  Now, you must plan that first daysail. With proper planning, your first sail will be enjoyable and safe.  Let’s plan your first daysail. Where  Your first daysail should start small. This is your shake-out sail where …

How To: Basic Anchoring and Anchoring Etiquette

By: Cruising Tips, Learn To Sail

Quite a long time ago…decades ago. I sailed over to Catalina Island from my marina near ASA headquarters. I was young. It was my first time embarking across the channel. My crew was a good friend and his cousin who was celebrating his 21st birthday. They drank beers the entire time.  In simple terms, I was a solo sailor.  I was also young and irresponsible.  Why admit to this? Well, we all were young once and we all made dumb decisions. Own it and learn from it. Did I understand anchoring? No. Up to that point, I had only ever …

ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing – What You’ll Learn

By: Learn To Sail

I sat on the deck of a sailboat and I listened to a teenager explain the basics of sailing. I was impressed. The cloak of mystery behind something as simple as sailing is lifted when it is brought down to the simplest and truest form. “You need wind in your sail and the boat will move forward.” The lesson continued with very little discussion about how things worked and more about why things worked.  The teens laughed a lot. They pointed out things on the water. At one point one teenager closed her eyes and let the wind hit her …

How A Boat Sails Upwind

By: Learn To Sail, Sailing Tips

 A sailor’s life revolves around the wind. Its direction and its strength govern where he can sail, with what degree of difficulty or comfort, and how quickly. Naturally, the language of sailing reflects how sailors orient themselves and everything around them with reference to the wind. Upwind and Downwind  The sailor’s world is roughly divided into two hemispheres: upwind and downwind. anywhere or anything in the direction from which the wind is blowing is upwind; anywhere or anything in the direction toward which it’s blowing is downwind.  When sailing, you trim the sails according to the wind direction relative to …

ASA 101, New Sailor Resources

By: Learn To Sail

Congratulations, you have earned your ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing certification! It’s time to go sailing and build upon your sailing education. Remember, ASA has you covered with plenty of new sailor resources.  You are now part of a large sailing community that is eager to welcome you. While the ASA website can answer most of your questions you should also find us on social media and reach out if you have any questions.  We are all sailors and we want to support you as you embrace the lifestyle. Membership Benefits As an ASA Member, you have access to many …

How to Deal With Seasickness While Sailing

By: Cruising Tips, Medical, Safety

Mal de mer is another way to say “seasickness.” It’s a particular kind of motion sickness that afflicts people traveling by water, and it causes dizziness and nausea (a word that actually means “seasickness” in Greek). Mal de mer is brought on by the rocking motion of a boat on the waves — although not everyone is affected by it. In French, mal means “bad” or “sick” and mer means “sea.” – Vocabulary.com I still carry around a plastic bag to catch the remnants of motion sickness. I have a son that would suffer from seasickness on the way to …

Sailing Terms and Multiple Meanings

By: Books, Humor, Learn To Sail

Do you have those moments when you say one thing but those around you think you meant something else? Well, welcome to life on a sailboat. Sailing vocabulary is riddled with plenty of words that you think you know the meaning of but they seem to mean something entirely different once you get out on the water.  In fact, quite a few words or sayings have multiple meanings on a sailboat. Have no fear, your sailing education will give you the knowledge to decipher what the captain and crew are talking about even when the same word is used in …

5 Spots To Use Your ASA 101 Certification

By: daysail, Destinations, Sailing Tips

Not long ago I watched as a pair of newlyweds hired my 12-year-old to teach them how to sail. We were on vacation and my two boys had been zipping across the horizon for over an hour and as they sailed the Hobie Cat back onto the sand the newly married couple negotiated a chartered cruise right on the spot. My son, ever the opportunist, jumped aboard, handed them life vests and explained where the couple would sit. He then had his younger brother give them a gentle push off the shore. Just like that, the couple was on a …