ASA Sailing School – Classes at AYC

Austin Yacht Club (AYC ) offers courses taught by American Sailing Association (ASA) certified instructors.  These are complete sailing courses using ASA materials with a written exam and an ASA completion certificate.  If you follow the curriculum (101,103, & 104) and get some time on the water, you will be qualified to skipper your own charter boat in locations like the British Virgin Islands.


Costs: Free to AYC members          $149 for Non-members

Prerequisites: No prior sailing experience required.

Up to 12-hours of training which includes 3.5 hours of classroom, 5-hours of specialized on the water drills, and 3.5 hours of optional Sunday afternoon racing.  This 12-hour class gives a novice sailor a solid foundation in the basics of sailing.  Part I is offered the first Saturday of the month seven times a year in March, April, May, June, September, October, and November from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Sign Up now for one of our upcoming
Beginning Keelboat Sailing ASA 101 Part I Class

Topics Covered:
– Sailing Theory
– Tacking and Points of Sail
– Rules of the Road
– Required and Recommended Equipment
– Basic Knots
– How to Gybe Safely
– Helm Commands
– Sail Trim
– Skipper and Crew Responsibilities

Click Here to Order Your ASA101 Textbook

Classes are held on the first Saturday of the month seven times a year in March, April, May, June, September, October, and November.  Plus, you will be given an opportunity to race in one of AYC Sunday Series Races.

This course also serves as a good refresher for someone who has not sailed in awhile or if you wish to step up to a keelboat from a small sailboat – sailboats under 20-feet in length.

Click Here to Watch the Video “Your First Sail”

To earn your ASA101 certification, you will need to successfully complete both Part I and Part II.


Costs: $395 to AYC members          $495 for Non-member

Prerequisites: ASA Part I

Sign UP now for one of our upcoming
Intermediate Keelboat Sailing  (ASA 101 Part II)

Description: ASA101 Part II gives you an additional  17-hours of on the water training which can lead to one earning the ASA101 Basic Keelboat Sailing Certification.   You will learn to skipper a sloop rigged keelboat of 20′ to 30′ in length by day in moderate winds  (under 14 MPH) without supervision.

Part II is usually offered on the third weekend of the month both Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (March 21-22, April 18-19, May 16-17, June 20-21, September 19-20, October 10-11, and November 21-22.

Topics Covered:
– Mastering Points of Sail and Sail Trim
– Tacking
– Gybing
– Sailing in Tights Quarters
– Reefing Sails
– Heaving-to
– Getting Out of Irons
– Outboard Motor Operations
– Introduction to Navigation
– Introduction to Racing

You will need to have read the textbook “Sailing Made Easy” plus be prepared to take a 100 question written exam.  You will also be given a “Knot Test” over the six ASA101 required knots.

Here is What to Expect:

Day 1, usually the 3rd Saturday of the Month 

10:00 to 3:00 we will spend 5-hours on the water mastering your newly developed sailing skills.  You will sail various points of sail calling the proper sail trim,  balancing your boat, making your boat go fast, and how to correctly execute the “Figure-8” man-overboard recovery method.

Our philosophy is to give a student a chance to sail at least two different kinds of boats learning from at least two different ASA teaching skippers.  This gives you first hand experience sailing different boats and seeing different skippering styles. 

Our goal is to get you more than just certified.

3:00 to 5:00 Knot Review, Knot Test, and Written Exam

Watch the Video Tutorial “ASA101  Knots Made Easy”

Click here to review the ASA101 Standard to see  what you will learn.

Day 2, 3rd Sunday of the Month

9:00 to 12:30 Man Overboard Drills

12:30 to 3:30 Keelboat Racing

Day 3 –  “Water Skills Test”     

You will try your hand at Single Handling a keelboat and the Figure-8 MOB Recovery Method.  You and your shipmates will Circumnavigate Starnes Islands with little or no instructor assistance.  You are now ready to be a certified as an ASA101 sailor.  We want you be a better safer sailor as a result of training with us.

We prefer at least two take the Water Skills Test.  Your instructor will work with you to match you up with a sailing partner or schedule a different time for your Water Skills Test.

Click here to register for your “Water Skills Test”
Please allow 72 hours for us to line up an instructor.

Cancelation and Refund Policies

Cancelation Fees – If you cancel more than 30 days from a class, there is no cancellation fee.  You will be given a full refund.  If you cancel less than 30 days from your class date, a 50% refund will be allowed.

Rescheduling a Course – If you need to reschedule a course 14-days prior to the start of class, no rescheduling fee will be charged.  If you need to reschedule a class less than 14-days from the start of class, a $100 rescheduling fee will be charged,

No Shows – No shows will not be given a refund but can reschedule for $250.

Class Cancelation – If a class has to be cancelled due to not having a minimum number of students, you will be given a choice to reschedule or receive a full refund.

Weather Cancellations – Teaching sailing is dependent on acceptable weather.  In the event a class has to be rescheduled due to weather, students will be allowed to do a makeup at their convenience at no additional charge.  No refunds will be issues for weather cancellations.

Make Up Session Due to Weather

In the event of bad weather, we may need to schedule a Make Up Session.  These are usually on a Friday afternoon 2:00 to 5:00, Friday evening from 600 to 9:00, on Sundays from 9:00 to 12:00.
We offer “Water Skills Test” year around.

Click Here to register for a Make Up Session
Please allow 72 hours for us to line up an instructor.

Experienced Sailors Can Challenge the ASA 101 Standard
Cost: $250 Challenge Fee – only available to AYC Members

Knowledgeable and experienced AYC sailors who have reviewed the ASA 101 Standard and consider themselves proficient in each area are invited to “challenge” the Standard to earn their ASA 101 certifications.   The challenge consists of two tests; one written and one the water checking out your water skills.  The challenge takes about four hours to complete.  You will be required to successful demonstrate the required on the waters skills and score at least 80% on the written exam.  ASA101 Challenges are only open to AYC members.   A portion of the challenge fee going to the AYC Fund to support AYC’s youth sailing program. 

 ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing Standard

Register for your ASA101 Certification Challenge

Click Here to Get Your Online Boater Education Card / License

Basic Navigation Class
Free to Austin Yacht Club Members

On four consecutive Tuesday, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Week 1 (2/11) “Navigation Rules”
Week 2 (2/18) “Your Navigation Road Map”
Week 3 (2/25) “Bearing and Fixes”
week 4 (3/3) “Electronic Navigation”

Sign up Here for Basic Navigation.

ASA 103 Coastal Cruising Certification

Cost: $595 for Non-Members, $495 for AYC Members.

Prerequisites: 30-hours of keelboat skippering or crewing after completing ASA101 certification or 2-years of keelboat ownership.

Sign up Here for ASA103 Course.
Please give us 72-hours notice to arrange for an instructor.
(Minimum of 2 students per class )

Step up to a larger boat by learning to cruise safely in local and regional waters as both skipper and crew on an auxiliary diesel powered wheel sailboat of about 30 to 40 feet in length, in moderate winds and sea conditions.

Classes Usually Held on a Friday and Saturday from 10:00 to 5:00
Set dates are on months with five Saturdays during the year.  In 2020 these dates are: 2/28-29, 5/29-30, 8/28-29, and 10/30-31.  We can also arrange a class for any day time Monday through Friday  – year around.

To register for a weekday class, sign up and give us your desired weekday dates.  We will work with you to fit the class into your schedule.  ASA103 is not offered over a weekend due to Austin Yacht Club racing schedule.

Description: ASA103 is a two day class taught on Lake Travis that prepares you to cruise coastal waters during daylight hours within sight of land.  You will be using a diesel powered engine with a wheel instead of a tiller.

Topics covered are: being able to demonstrate ability to skipper a sloop-rigged keelboat auxiliary powered inboard diesel engine on a keelboat of approximately 30 to 40 feet length by day in moderate winds and sea conditions, cruising sailboat terminology, basic boat systems, auxiliary outboard engine operation, diesel engine basic, docking procedures, intermediate sail trim, navigation rules, basic coastal navigation, anchoring, weather interpretation, Man Overboard Recovery Under Power using the Anderson Turn,

ASA 103 Standard:

Classes run from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and are limited to one or two students per session.  After paying your your course fee and purchasing your text Coastal Cruising Made Easy, your instructor will contact you to help you prepare..  These sessions are semi-private lessons taught by a top rated wheel boat instructors.  Different teaching days can be arranged by special arrangements with your instructor.  All classes are taught on Lake Travis.

Day 1 focuses on maevering and docking a diesel engine with a wheel.  Day 1 is usually taught on Friday only in winds under 6 MPH.   Topics covered are basic boat systems, auxiliary outboard engine operation, diesel engine basics, docking procedures, navigation rules, basic coastal navigation, anchoring, weather interpretation, Man Overboard Recovery Under Power using the Anderson Turn, and fighting an onboard fire.

Day 2 focuses on sailing in wind sof over 10 MPH in sight of shore.  is usually taught on Saturday.  Topics covered are advanced sail trim, steering with the use of the wheel, Man Overboard Recovering under sail using the Quick Stop Method, use of jack lines, safety, seamanship, and sailing short handed.

Order ASA103 Textbook

ASA 104 Bareboat & ASA 114 Cruising Catamaran Combo Certification

Cost: $495 per certification plus $3,950 for a shareable Queen Berth

Prerequisites: ASA 101 and ASA 103

Spend 6 days and 7 nights sailing 45 to 50 foot cruising catamaran in the beautiful Caribbean.  You can join our spring teaching trip.  You will learn everything you need to safely and confidently bareboat skipper your own charter boat.  If you have ever dreamed of sailing in paradise, this trip is for you.  You will rotate through various training positions such as Helmsman, Navigator, Deck Officer, Deck Hand, and Engineer.

To join our call list once we know the exact details, email Captain Harry Polly at

International Proficiency Certification

Greece, Croatia, and many other European ports of call now require an International Proficiency Certificate.  As an ASA104 certified sailor, you qualify for the issuance of an International Proficiency Certificate.  All you have to do is prove your ASA104 certification and will ASA to handle the paperwork for a $39 administration fee.


ASA 105 Coastal Navigation Certification –  Home Study

Cost: $395

Prerequisites: None.

This is an intense home study course in charting and piloting which prepares you to navigate safely and confidently in all conditions of visibility.

Pre-study is vital to the success of your course. The written exam for this course includes questions on navigation publications, charting, and reading tide and current tables. Upon successful completion of this course, you will receive your American Sailing Association Coastal Navigation ASA105 certification.

The study material we suggest for this course is “Coastal Navigation & PowerPoint Presentation CD” by Mike Pyzel. This material is available directly from the American Sailing Association, or your local book store. Be sure to compare prices listed on the ASA website before purchasing from another source.

At Austin Yacht Club, the ASA105 Coastal Navigation course is conducted in 5 Phases.

Phase 1, student orders the Pyzel text and CD from the ASA.

Phase 2, the student prepares by utilizing the home study course materials at their own pace. Practice problems are heavily weighted toward the exam and are designed to both challenge and enforce the student’s knowledge of navigation theory.  It takes about 90-minutes to work through each of the Pyzel book’s nine chapters.

Phase 3, after completing the first four chapters of the Pyzel book, the students meets with the ASA Instructor for a 2-hour classroom session to monitor the progress.  At this time, the ASA105 fee is due.

Phase 4, the student completes the final five chapters of the Pyzel book.  Students are encouraged to either email or call their ASA Instructor with questions or clarifications.

Phase 5, when the student is ready to take the exam he/she then sets a date for the ASA Instructor to proctor the exam. It takes approximately 3 to 4 hours for the ASA105 review and written exam.

For more information about the ASA105 Coastal Navigation, Home Study contact Captain Harry Polly at

Click here to register: SIGN UP FORM

Click To order your Home Study Materials:


ASA 106 Advanced Coastal Cruising Certification

Cost: $795 for Non-Members, $695 for AYC Members.

Prerequisites: ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104, and ASA 105.

ASA 106 can be earned annually while sailing in the Harvest Moon Race out of Galveston.

For more information contact Captain Harry Polly at


You can join us in the spring, summer, and fall Sunday afternoon “Sailing Series Races” starting around noon.  Or,  join us in the spring and summer on Friday evening’s “Beer Can Races”  that start around 7:00 p.m. each Friday.  You can crew for one of our experienced racers and continue improving your sailing skills.  Racing is a great way to grow as a sailor.  AYC’s “No Crew Left Behind” program makes sure everyone who comes out to race gets on a boat.

Check out the AYC Race Calendar

One day classes that specialize in an advanced sailing skills.  Endorsements taught only during a weekday (10:00 to 5:00)
– not over weekend.

Cost: $395 each

ASA 111, Sailing Refresher / Man-Overboard Workshop

Sign Up Now to Register for the ASA111, Man-Overboard-Master Class.
Please give a week’s notice notice so we can arrange for an instructor.

Prerequisites: ASA101 or 2-years keelboat sailing (not for beginners)

Description:  Ideal as a sailing refresher for someone who has not sailed in awhile or for someone who wants to go to the next level after completing the ASA101 course.  We can customize your session to meet your specific needs.  We can even do the session on your personal boat.  Plus, you can try your hand at sailing a diesel powered wheel boat.  Successful completion of the ASA102 at AYC earns one an additional ASA certification sticker for your Log Book.  This is a great way to get ready for the “ASA103 Coastal Cruising Course”.

In this 4-hour class, you will learn the primary methods of person overboard recovery: Figure-8, Broad Reach to Close Reach, Quick Stop, and Heave-to.  One of the most dreaded sounds at sea is “Man Overboard.”  You will learn the advantages and disadvantages of each method.  Since most of us do not practice MOB recovery techniques, they usually do not work.  You will come away with a better appreciation of what works for you and how to quickly react if someone falls off your boat.

You will also gain an in depth understanding of all Points of Sail and their corresponding Sail Trim requirements.  You will be able to make a sailboat go fast and how to slow a sailboat down in high winds.

ASA117 High Noon Celestial Sighting Endorsement

ASA118 Wheel Boat Single Engine Docking Endorsement

ASA119 Weather Endorsement

ASA120 Radar Endorsement

Join Our Instructor Development Program and Become an ASA Sailing Instructor

One of the great joys of sailing is introducing others to the wonderful world of sailings.  At the Austin Yacht Club (AYC) our sailing instructors are experienced racers who focus on safe sailing.  They are a very special group of sailors who feel the need to share their knowledge and love of sailing with others through sailing instruction. In the past, a good sailor became a Sailing Instructor simply by beginning to teach and declaring himself or herself an instructor.

The American Sailing Association (ASA) was organized to establish national standards for sailing instructor certification in the United States. We take experienced instructors and expert sailors and give them the tools they need to become certified sailing instructors.  ASA Sailing Instructor clinics test existing skills and knowledge while teaching a structured curriculum and proven presentation techniques. ASA certified sailing instructors have proven they measure up to a national standard which is used by more than 90% of the commercial sailing schools in the country.

AYC has an instructor development program headed by a 30-year ASA Master Sailing Instructor.  If you would like to know more about becoming an ASA Instructor contact