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Cruising for the masses – from Sailing Magazine

ccme coverA review of ASA’s Coastal Cruising Made Easy from the July/August 2012 issue of Sailing Magazine.

Many sports, like swimming or soccer, are relatively easy to learn because there are a few basic moves assembled in the right order. Sailing is like that, too. Learn to trim, steer, tack and jibe, and a fair-weather daysail is pure pleasure.

Sailing may be easy to learn, but it is difficult to master because unlike swimming and soccer the playing conditions change, often unexpectedly. Wind and waves increase or decrease, halyards fail, engines quit, but the sailor must keep sailing. There are no rain delays or timeouts on the water.

Mastery of sailing takes experience and that’s just what the American Sailing Association brings to its new training manual, Coastal Cruising Made Easy. ASA has certified more than 7,500 instructors and can draw on the organization’s vast experience, probably totaling over 75,000 years worth of water time, to educate students.

That much information could fill many volumes on cruising, but Coastal Cruising Made Easy’s three editors and five authors concentrate on common cruising scenarios while addressing questions and concerns daysailors ask on the gentle jump up to coastal cruising. The book is designed to fall between the ASA’s basic keelboat course and its bareboat chartering course.
chapter 4 ccme
The textbook progresses as naturally as the tide with chapter subjects laid out in the same sequence a sailor might follow on a cruise. The first chapter is a tour of the cruising boat, the second is motoring fundamentals, the third is safety and the cruising life, then line handling and sail trim, navigation, and so on, to the final chapter, achieving independence. Independence is planning a cruise: organizing provisions, timing around tides, what personal gear to bring. Independence is arriving safely to a new harbor and securing the boat.

Independence is the magic the authors bring to Coastal Cruising Made Easy. Throughout the book they cast those little tips and tricks that turn a successful sail into a superlative sail. For example, as you enter a new harbor look back occasionally, that way the exit looks familiar on the way out. Another example: If possible, sail on the windward side of a channel so the boat is easier to sail off a grounding. Those small but useful tips can be learned two ways, the hard way, or the Coastal Cruising Made Easy way.

Visual learners will thrive with this book. Outstanding color graphics demonstrate groundings, boat repair, sail trim, weather diagrams, charts, cockpit layout and everything else the editors could think of. Photographs by noted SAILING Magazine Contributing Photographer Billy Black cover nearly every page. His images of sailboats entering crowded anchorages or passing commercial vessels are sharp enough to make any sailor stop and read the accompanying text, learning from the master sailors and master instructors of the ASA, the people who know how to make coastal cruising easy. — Rich Evans

Originally published in Sailing Magazine July/August 2012. Reprinted in its entirety with permission.

Get Your Catamaran Sailing Certification

stern catamaranThe catamaran is rapidly becoming one of the world’s most popular types of cruising sailboats. For the uninitiated, a catamaran is a boat balanced on two hulls, as opposed to the traditional monohull, and its sleek design

Why the rise in popularity of catamaran sailing? There are a number of reasons. They can feel more spacious, and they don’t heel over with the wind as a monohull does. There’s usually a nice netted area between the hulls to relax and sunbathe in. And on certain points of sail they are much faster than a monohull. (The proof of this is taken to its logical extreme in the AC45 racing catamarans of the America’s Cup series.)
catamaran tahiti
They make great boats for chartering and vacationing because of the ample deck space and stability. On any trip down to the Florida Keys, British Virgin Islands, and throughout the Caribbean, you’ll encounter sun-seekers catamaran sailing in just about every marina and bay…and you’ll probably feel a strong temptation to join them!

However, sailing a catamaran is different from a monohull, and requires its own set of skills and knowledge. They handle differently under power and sail–so it’s crucial to be prepared with catamaran sailing lessons.

Enter the ASA 114 Cruising Catamaran Certification.

What prerequisites do I need? Before completing your Cruising Catamaran cert, you’ll need Basic Keelboat (101), Basic Coastal Cruising (103), and Bareboat Cruising (104). This isn’t a beginning course–this is for people with cruising experience looking to take on the challenge of catamaran sailing.

What will I learn? Everything you need to act as skipper and crew of a 30-50 foot multihull sailboat by day in coastal waters. What does that mean? Well, you’ll learn all the parts of the boat and how to use them, you’ll learn the skills to handle the boat at sea, in heavy weather, and under power. You’ll practice docking the cat, recovering crew overboard, anchoring, and more.

Where can I get the certification?
All over the place! More than 20 of our accredited sailing schools offer the ASA 114 cert, and they are spread out across the country and even abroad. Click here and scroll down to the bottom of the page for the complete list!

The wide world of catamaran sailing is waiting for you, and with the ASA cat certification, you’ll be cruising with confidence and in style! So give one of our schools a call, and when you’re anchored and relaxing on deck watching a tropical sunset, you’ll be glad you did.