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ASA 103 Basic Coastal Cruising – What You’ll Learn

You have taken ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing, and you are confident to skipper a sloop-rigged keelboat of approximately 20 to 27 feet in length by day in light to moderate winds (up to 15 knots) and sea conditions.

Now what?

ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising, is your next step in advancing your sailing education. Soon you will be on your way to a bareboat charter vacation where you’ll skipper a vessel on a multi-day cruise upon inland or coastal waters in moderate to heavy winds (up to 30 knots) and sea conditions (ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising). First, you’ll need some more instruction on the cruising basics.

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Coastal Cruisers Vocabulary

As you consider expanding your sailing education, you might think about coastal cruising and taking ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising. With this course, you will be able to skipper a sloop-rigged auxiliary powered (inboard or outboard engine) keelboat of approximately 25 to 35 feet length by day in moderate winds (up to 20 knots) and sea conditions. 

Your knowledge of cruising sailboat terminology, basic boat systems, auxiliary engine operation, docking procedures, intermediate sail trim, navigation rules, basic coastal navigation, anchoring, weather interpretation, safety, and seamanship will be tested. With an ASA 103 certification, you will be well on your way to bareboat cruising and ASA 104.

Here is a taste of what your new vocabulary will be after earning your ASA 103 certification.

ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising

10 New Words That Will Be in Your Vocabulary After Earning Your Basic Coastal Cruising Certification

Turnbuckle – A screw used for tightening wire rigging.

Binnacle – The stand on which the boat’s main compass is mounted.

Stemhead Fitting – A fitting on the bow of a boat to which the forestay and jib tack are attached.

Clevis Pin – A pin with a formed head used to connect rigging.

Ground Tackle – Collective term for a boat’s anchors and their rodes.

Chainplate – Metal fabrication attached to the hull and to which a stay or shroud is connected.

Cardinal Point – Any of the four principal points of the compass, N,E,S or W.

Gunwale – The top edge of the deck where it joins the hull.

Companionway – The entrance from the cockpit or deck to the cabin.

Transom – The more or less flat surface that closes the hull at the stern.

Zephyr – A gentle breeze, perfect for a quiet evening sail.

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Shopping for a Sailing School

Join Lauren as she continues on her journey to learn to sail. Follow her as she gets her feet wet as a beginner, gains experience, and earns her ASA certifications. The ultimate goal is to complete ASA 104 and go bareboat chartering somewhere exotic.

ASA 103, Part 1 – Shopping for a Sailing School

I passed the ASA 101 course in the spring. I went home, bought a copy of Treasure Island and a pair of dock shoes, and suddenly the summer months had passed with only a handful of days on the water. I got so wrapped up in the idea of becoming a sailor I forgot to get back to the marina!
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