So You Want to Learn How to Sail?
May 30, 2016
What to Expect – The ASA 103: Coastal Cruising Sailing Classes from Sailing Florida Charters & Sailing School
August 15, 2016
Show all

What to Expect – The ASA 101: Basic Keelboat Sailing Class from Sailing Florida Charters & Sailing School

You’re a little nervous, but you’re also excited. You’ve sailed a few times before and absolutely loved it, but felt like you didn’t understand everything that was going on. You’re a little worried that you haven’t read the entire book, but you know you’re a quick learner. You’re wondering how much experience everyone else has in your 4-person class.

Relax! . . . You’re going to have a great time in your American Sailing Association (ASA) 101 Basic Keelboat certification class from Sailing Florida Charters. Rest assured, after two days, you’ll have the vocabulary, knowledge, and the basic skills to sail a small keelboat with other sailors. And you’re going to meet some wonderful people who all have the same goal as you do – learn how to be safe and have fun while sailing.

Sailing Florida Charters takes pride in their excellent staff and sailing captains who want to teach others how to enjoy sailing. Each ASA 101 class is based upon a strict set of standards of what’s to be taught in the course, yet each instructor is expected to be flexible in their approach, based upon your needs and the needs of the others in the class.

With that said, here’s the outline of a typical ASA 101 – Basic Keelboat Sailing class at Sailing Florida Charters:
SF-2

Your instructor, an ASA-certified instructor and United States Coast Guard-certified captain, will have contacted you prior to the class to discuss the weather forecast, how that could affect the structure of the class, and what you should be sure to bring. Water and sunscreen are the biggies . . . and lunch, a light jacket, and your ASA 101 Sailing Made Easy book are always good ideas. Yes, reading the book before the class will make the class easier and give you more time to relax at the end of the day.

On most days, you’ll park on 5th Avenue in front of the Vinoy Marina; on weekends and holidays, the road may be blocked off for St. Petersburg’s popular events, yet it’s easy to park in the Vinoy Renaissance Hotel’s parking garage for a small fee.

There’s only one entrance to the marina, give the front gate a big tug (it’s a strong magnet!), say hello to the dock master, and have a seat at the picnic tables to the right of the gate.

Around 9:00, once everyone is present, it’s down the dock to set foot on your classroom for the next two days. The ASA 101 class at Sailing Florida is taught on a 31-foot to 35-foot boat, such as our Hunter 31 – Knot Now, Catalina 309 – It’s About Time II or our Catalina 350, Comfortably Numb. After passing your gear safely to one of your teammates, you can stow your lunch in the boat’s refrigerator, finish putting on your sunscreen, and take a seat with your new friends in the cockpit.

The class will usually start with a description of everyone’s past experiences on boats, what they’re expecting to learn in the class, and what their long-term goal is – buying your own boat, chartering in the BVI’s, sailing on a friend’s boat, or any other dream you have on the water. Your Sailing Florida Charter captain will explain your schedule for the next two days and answer any questions.

Generally, the first day comprises of learning basic sailing vocabulary, including parts of the boat and the terms used to communicate with your fellow sailors. If you’re taking the class with a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse, this will be one of the most important parts of the class – having the same language takes the mystery and potential stress out of the sport.

Next, you’ll learn the basic knots necessary to feel safe and comfortable on the water. There are six basic knots that every sailor should know – the figure-eight knot, the square knot, the bowline (pronounced “beau – linn”), the round turn and two half hitches, the clove hitch, and the cleat hitch.

Decide that you’re going to learn the names of the knots and how and why you tie each one, darn it . . . and you’ll be on your way to becoming a good sailor. You’ll be happy if you consistently focus on the basics, and knot-tying is definitely one of the basics.

SF-3

Then again, Captain Patrick always says, “If you don’t know your knots . . . just tie lots!” Ha!

There are many items that you’ll want to inspect on your boat, including the Coast Guard-required equipment . . . and that’s your next task – PFD’s for each sailor, a throwable PFD, fire extinguishers, flares, a sound signaling device, registration, and a check of the navigation lights.

Lunch is next – either with a bag lunch or a quick run to a local eatery, then back to the dock to get ready to set sail.

The afternoon begins with a quick summary of the vocabulary needed to sail the boat, including the different directions that the wind hits the boat (‘points-of-sail’), and the two different ways to turn the boat through the wind – tacking and jibing.

We discuss how to leave the dock using the dock lines, and off we go, your captain navigating you out from the dock and then handing you the helm.

All of the monohull sailboats at Sailing Florida Charters have in-mast furling mains, with the larger main sail rolling inside at the end of the day. We discuss how to properly arrange the boat to the wind and pull them out of the mast. Unwinding the working jib is next and now you’re sailing.

That first afternoon, you’ll sail the boat straight at different angles to the wind, learn the correct language to use with your other crew members, and how to turn the boat, using proper commands. You’ll learn how to roll both sails up and prepare for docking.

Back at the dock, you’ll discuss plans for the next day. Always a good idea to review and discuss the class, that evening and the next morning, reviewing the new vocabulary, the basic sailing concepts, and the names of the knots. The reviews in the book are an excellent way to acquaint yourself to sailing quickly.

The next day reinforces what you learned the day before and prepares you for the written test, with the schedule varying depending on the weather. You’ll review vocabulary, knots, points-of-sail, tacking, and jibing.

On the water you’ll practice your new sailing skills and perform 27 different sailing skills, including how to pick up a crewmember should they fall overboard, by practicing with the throwable PFD.

After a quick review of key points, at some point throughout the day you’ll take the written multiple choice test – a great way to reinforce your new sailing knowledge.

At the end of the day, your instructor will sign your ASA logbook – it’s official that you’ve passed your ASA 101 Basic Keelboat certification class. You’re now ready to sail and crew with others, and prepared to develop your skills as you learn how to charter and sail your own keelboat.

You’re now ready for your next certification class, ASA 103 – Coastal Cruising.

28 Comments

  1. WendiDesimon says:

    I see your blog needs some unique content. Writing manually is time consuming, but there is tool for
    this task. Just search for; Digitalpoilo’s tools

  2. Felipa says:

    He underwent the surgical procedure underneath native anaesthetic, which I
    assume was a rather surreal experience for him – he described it as like being positioned on the table in an operating
    theatre and a screen put in place so that you just
    couldn’t see what was occurring, then the theatre workers appeared to dismantle and re-mannequin the theatre around you – at least that was
    what it seemed like with all of the sawing and hammering.

  3. Stacia says:

    The silvery colors look elegant set towards an ivory skin tone particularly you
    probably have brown or black hair.

  4. A press release from the Metropolitan Police mentioned heavy cutting equipment
    was then used get into a vault at the premises, where 60 to 70 secure bins
    had been raided.

  5. By this time, a goodly portion of the apprentice
    system had been assumed more by financial entities like well-known jewelry
    firms who grew to become extra interested by producing
    pieces for a greater phase of society now able to afford to
    purchase their items as a result of changing economic
    components.

  6. The improvement was led by jewellery, but watch sales additionally improved, a minimum of
    within the group’s own shops, Richemont stated. Watch gross sales
    at multibrand retailers have been nonetheless down,
    but lower than earlier than.

  7. It seems the household business has continued in some kind.
    I’ve made a number of enquiries through Google however they haven’t responded but.

  8. Go Here says:

    These are found on each of the ring’s side.
    The Creyr is denoted because the creator of life
    for the Celts.

  9. These labor-intensive designs with intricate hand-wired bead embroidery on elaborate filigree elements and then hand-wired collectively to a perforated discovering base in overlapping layers, like a collage, would be cost-prohibitive to produce commercially at
    this time. But in the event you’re extremely patient, you create your personal cagework beaded masterpiece.

  10. China is without doubt one of the few countries on the planet where
    jewelry demand has held comparatively steady this yr, even with gold prices at 28-year highs and
    platinum at report prices.

  11. Click Here says:

    Another trend in gemstone jewellery is cabochons, that are
    lower in uncommon shapes corresponding to tongue, bullet, paws, skulls etc.
    These are best for you if you wish to look different!

  12. Ties, leather items after which, a proper and informal range of males’s clothing adopted; all
    consistently adhering to the core values of the Simon Carter
    model values of the Simon Carter model, hanging a chord with city professionals seeking to inject a contemporary lightness of contact in their very own private style.

  13. Fantastic goods from you, man. I have understand your
    stuff previous to and you’re just extremely wonderful.
    I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like
    what you’re saying and the way in which you say it.
    You make it entertaining and you still care for to keep it wise.
    I cant wait to read far more from you. This is really
    a wonderful web site.

  14. Dinner Ideas says:

    I want to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I certainly enjoyed
    every little bit of it. I’ve got you book-marked to look at new things you post…

  15. Нello, I wish for to subscribe for this website to get ltest
    updates, thus where can i do it please help.

  16. wihh nice info, saya pengunjung setia web anda
    kunjung balik, di web kami banyak penawaran dan tips tentang kesehatan
    Ada artikel menarik tentang obat tradisional yang mampu menyembuhkan penyakit berat, cek yuk
    http://goldengamatemasmitoha.com/pengobatan-tinnitus/

  17. I’ve just added a fresh new list. This is by far the biggest list to date. I hope you all are having a great week. Take care and happy link building.

  18. I hope you all are having a great weekend. I added a new list. This one is smaller, but still useful. I think the next one will be bigger.

  19. I got an interesting blog on your web site while searching for a similar matter, I have read your whole blog there is lots of knowledge available, it looks good. I have bookmarked your blog it in my system.

  20. I got an interesting blog on your web site while searching for a similar matter, I have read your whole blog there is lots of knowledge available, it looks good. I have bookmarked your blog it in my system.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.