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.

ASA101 Basic Keelboat Certification Certification

Costs: $495 Non-members and  $395 for AYC Members.

2019 Fall Class Dates:
– October 12-13 (Class Sold Out)
– November 9-10 (Class Sold Out)

Sign UP now for one of our upcoming ASA101 Public Classes
Please allow 48-hours for us to arrange for an instructor.

Prerequisites: No prior sailing experience needed.

Description: ASA101 is up to a 20-hour course, mostly conducted over the second weekend of the month.  Most students master their ASA101 skills in two water sessions.  Due to weather, we have to sometimes conduct and additional on the water sessions.  A 2-hour “Water Skills Test” is offered on the fourth weekend of the month.

This class teaches a student the basic skills for a fun and safe sailing.  You will learn to skipper a sloop rigged keelboat of 20′ to 27′ in length by day in moderate winds  (under 14 MPH) without supervision. You will also learn basic sailing terminology, boat parts and their functions, helm commands, basic sail trim, points of sail, buoyage system, seamanship, safety including basic navigation rules to avoid collisions and hazards, tacking, gybing, heaving-to, getting out of “ irons,” Crew Overboard Recovery, and key sailing knots.

Outboard operation (auxiliary power) is not part of the ASA101 course but but we give you the basics of outboard operation for an inland lake.

Prior to your class, you will need to purchase and read your text book and read it before class.

Click Here to Order Your Textbook

Here is What to Expect:
Day 1, 2nd Saturday of the month, 9:00 to 5:30, you should arrive at class having read the 125-page text Sailing Made Easy.  Therefore, we ask that you schedule your class a week in advance to allow time to review the materials.  The classroom session starts at 9:00 p.m. at the Austin Yacht Club’s “Sail Training Cabin” at 5906 Beacon Drive, Austin, TX 78734.

Next we spend 90-minutes learning how to rig a sailboat and going over key boat parts and understanding their functions.  Finally, we go sailing for 4-hours learning basic sailing: rigging, tacking, gybing, getting out of irons, heave-to, and basic sail trim for various points of sail.

Day 2, 2nd Sunday of the month, 10:00 to 4:30, first you will take the ASA101 Written Exam,  a 100-question test requiring 80% to pass.   Then we will spend 4-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.

Day 3, 4th Saturday of the month 12:30 to 3:30, is our “Water Skills Test”.  You will master 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 48 hours for us to line up an instructor.

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 the 3rd Saturday fo the month 12:30 to 4:30.  If you a have a conflict on your regularly scheduled “Water Skills Test,” we will work with you to set up an alternate date.  However, the 2 student minimum would still apply.  We offer “Water Skills Test” year around.

Click Here to register for a Make Up Session
Please allow 48 hours for us to line up an instructor. 
(Minimum of 2 students per session.)

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

Watch the Video “Your First Sail” Before Your  First Class

Watch the ASA Tutorial “Knots Made Easy”

Any Austin Yacht Club ASA101 alumni can sign up to repeat the “Water Skills Test” for free – on a space available basis.
Click here to register as an alumni  join  a “Water Skills Test”
(Please allow 48 hours for us to line up an instructor.)

Experience Sailors Can Challenge the ASA101 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. 

 ASA101 Basic Keelboat Sailing Standard

Register for your ASA101 Certification Challenge the ASA101. 


Click Here to Get Your Online Boater Education Card / License


ASA102, Sailing Refresher / Man-Overboard Workshop
Offered the Fourth Saturday of the Month Year Around 

Cost: $199

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.

Shine Up Now to Register for the ASA102, Man-Overboard-Master Class.
Please give us 48-hours notice so we can arrange for an instructor.


ASA103 Coastal Cruising Certification

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

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

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

Upcoming Classes:
– February 28-29
– May 29-30
– August 28-29
– October 30-31

We can also arrange a class for any Monday through Friday date time – 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.

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, Man Overboard Recovering Under Sail using the Quick Stop Method, how to fight an on board fire, use of jack lines, safety, and seamanship.

ASA103 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 Coast 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 is usually taught on Fridays or weekdays.  Day 1 is not offered on the weekend.  Day 2 is usually offered on a Saturday or during the week.  Day 2 is not offered on Sundays.

Sign up Here for ASA103 Course.
Please give us 48-hours notice to arrange for an instructor.
(Minimum of 2 students per class – weekday sessions can be taught on a private basis.)


ASA104 Bareboat Chartering Certiofication
Cost: $695 for Non-Members, $595 for AYC Members.

Prerequisites: ASA101 and ASA103

This is a three day course taught in the Gulf of Mexico or Florida.  You and your fellow students well travel to the training sight to provision and sail your 50-foot yacht while earning your ASA104 certification.

For more information contact 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.


ASA105 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:


ASA106 Advanced Coastal Cruising Certification

Cost: $795 for Non-Members, $895 for AYC Members.

Prerequisites: ASA101, ASA103, ASA104, and ASA105.

ASA106 can be earned annually while sailing in the harvest Moon race out of Galveston.

For more information contact Captain Harry Polly at



Cancelation and Refund Policy

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 Cancelations – 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 make up at their connivence at no additional charge.  No refunds will be issues for weather cancellations.




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


Become an ASA Sailing Instructor
Join Our Instructor
Development Program

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