Tag Archives: training

Sailing Schools from Coast to Coast and Around the World

afternoon lake sailOn this blog recently we’ve covered what sailing school is like, why you would want to take sailing lessons, and the history of ASA. Now, the question is, how many sailing schools does ASA have, and WHERE ARE THEY?

The answer is: just about everywhere you can find water. (That includes several landlocked states, by the way!) And the more water…the more ASA sailing schools. Want proof? Coastal Living Magazine just published a list of America’s 15 happiest seaside towns, and what do they all have in common? You can find one of our schools in or near every single one, naturally.

If you had to name two states that are really the sailing “capitals” of the United States, it would be hard to go wrong with California and Florida. In Northern California alone, which includes the legendary sailing grounds of the San Francisco Bay, host site of the 2013 America’s Cup, you can find 17 ASA schools. Venture down to sunny SoCal and find another 30 ready to get you out on the water!

As for Florida, you’ll find 40 sailing schools in that great state, stretching from Key Largo, to Miami’s Biscayne Bay, and up to Pensacola on the panhandle. You can learn to sail in the Atlantic Gulf Stream, the eastern Gulf of Mexico, or the northernmost Caribbean.

But what about the rest of the country? Where do the rest of us get to learn to sail?  Don’t worry–they aren’t left behind. There are ASA sailing schools in 38 of the 50 states, plus Canada, and we’re expanding all the time. All season long, our sailing students are exploring the Chesapeake Bay, cruising past Ellis Island, sailing the Great Lakes, navigating rivers, and honing their skills in hundreds of other destinations. From the confines of the local lake to the widest oceans, our schools are there.

And we aren’t limited to the United States, either! ASA is international:

  • More than 20 schools in the Caribbean, including the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and more.
  • Asia! 2 schools in China, two in Hong Kong, 3 in Japan, and more in Thailand and Taiwan.
  • Europe! Israel and Greece, with additional American-based schools teaching courses in the Mediterranean.
  • Central America, with sailing schools in Mexico, Panama, and Belize.

coastal nav
Wherever you want to go, and however you want to sail, you’ll find an ASA sailing school close at hand and ready to help. So you can shout gybe-ho in Ohio, or learn to trim the “Maine” sheet. Maybe Georgia’s on your mind, or your old Kentucky home. You can go big in Texas, or anchor down in Anchorage. (That’s probably enough cheesy puns to get the message across.) We can’t wait to sail with you!

Do I Really Need Sailing Lessons?

plotting courseThey say there is more than one way to skin a cat, and though they’re not referring to catamarans, the phrase still applies to sailing. There is more than one way to learn to do anything–so why do you need to take ASA sailing lessons? The answer is: You’ve got to learn somehow, so you may as well learn from the best.

Some people are lucky enough to be raised on the water, and for them sailing comes as naturally as breathing. (Many of those people grow up to become ASA instructors, by the way.) For the rest of us, who weren’t so fortunate, a helping hand is needed and professional sailing lessons make the difference.

We don’t believe that sailing has to be hard–that’s why our books are called Sailing Made Easy and Coastal Cruising Made Easy. But it is an artform, and to be a good sailor you need good training, just as writers, painters, and athletes require instruction and practice to reach their potential.
trimming sail
ASA sailing lessons are designed to establish confidence through a strong understanding of the fundamentals of sailing, starting with the basics: Understanding how the parts of the boat work, how to use the wind, how to steer, tie knots, and deal comfortably with problems that arise. From that strong platform of skills, you can go anywhere: For example, bareboat chartering in the tropics (ASA 104), or sailing out of sight of land with Offshore Passagemaking (ASA 108).

There are other ways to learn these skills. You could happen to have a friend who is a great sailor, and has the spare time to teach you the ropes. You could teach yourself through trial and error (we strongly do not recommend this method), and some local clubs give lessons, although these certifications are unlikely to be recognized by charter companies or boat rentals.

We simply feel that none of these options offers what ASA does: expert instruction, a feeling of confidence, and membership in an association that supports you in the sailing lifestyle through benefits, events, flotillas, camaraderie, and more.

To see ASA lessons in action, watch this video of Bareboat Charter students sailing on our recent St. Martin flotilla. You’ll notice the instructor calmly coaching his students through the maneuvers–that comes from years of experience teaching the ASA curriculum. No panic, drama, or stress! Instead, the learning environment, even on the windy Caribbean Sea, is conducive to skillbuilding and retention.
(If you can’t see the video, click this link.)

If you want to know more about what sailing lessons are like at our over 300 sailing schools around the world, click here.

Come Visit Us at Upcoming Boat Shows!

asa burgee flying high
ASA regularly makes the rounds of the nation’s premier boat shows. Recently you may have encountered us in Annapolis or St. Petersburg, where we’ve had booths staffed with folks from ASA headquarters, volunteer instructors enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge of the sailing lifestyle, and a wealth of materials available about our schools and sailing opportunities.

Boat shows are places where sailors gather to geek out over the latest boat designs and cool gadgets, yes, but also a good spot for prospective boat owners or those just learning to sail to go for more information. So if you’ve been pondering taking the plunge into the world of sailing, which can be overwhelming for a newcomer, a boat show is a great place to catch up with us. ASA’s mission is to make this lifestyle available and accessible to everyone and to make sure sailors trained by an ASA school have confidence and knowledge out on the water.

With that in mind, here are some upcoming shows where you can find us:

STRICTLY SAIL CHICAGO
http://www.strictlysailchicago.com/
Click here to get discounted tickets with promo code: ASA
January 27-30, 2011, Navy Pier, Chicago, IL

  • ASA will be in booth #403 and will also be running the activities at the Discover Sailing booth!
  • For discounted tickets, CLICK HERE and enter promo code: ASA
  • A number of ASA sailing schools will be exhibiting – stop by our both and we can point you in the right direction!

MIAMI INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW
http://www.miamiboatshow.com/
February 17-21, 2011, Miamarine at Bayside, Miami, FL

  • ASA will be in booth #827 – Bayside.  We’ll also be running the Discover Sailing booth again, with some amazing new activities you won’t want to miss!
  • A great place to escape winter weather!

Hope to see you at one of these shows, and we’ll keep you posted on the Spring schedule!