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.


The ASA. The American Sailing Association introduced certifications to the United States over 35 years ago. Today, with 350+ sailing schools worldwide and 536,000 ASA certified sailors, ASA represents the largest and most trusted network of schools in the United States.  The most important consideration is the quality of the particular school and instructor, not necessarily which system they teach under.  At the Austin Yacht Club, we have certified sailing instructors who are experienced sailing educators and racers.  Many of our instructors have over 25 years of racing and sail training experience.


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

Prerequisites: No prior sailing experience required.

Sign UP now for one of our upcoming
ASA101, Basic Keelboat Classes

Description: ASA101 gives you up to 20-hours of on the training most of which is on the water doing drills.  Successful completion of the course leads to your 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.

Classes  is offered on the second weekend of the month four times a year on  both Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (September 19-20, October 10-11, and November 14-15). 

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.

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
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.

Click Here to Order Your ASA101 Textbook

Here is What to Expect:

Click Here to Watch the Video “Your First Sail”


Classroom Lecture, 2nd Thursday of the Month 

6:30 to 9:30 we will go over the textbook material, practice our basic knots, and learn the rules of the road.  Session can also be done online as a webinar.

Day 1, Saturday 10:00 to 5:00 

10:00 to we learn all the parts of a sailboat, how to rig our sails, identify all required safety equipment, and conduct a crew safety briefing.

Bring a sack lunch to eat while we are underway.  lunch while discussing your sailing goals and what it means to be a part of the Austin Yacht Club.

Then we learn how to sail upwind tacking, getting out of irons, and heaving-to.  Next, we will sail a figure-8 reaching course learning points of sail and sail trim.

Then we learn out to sail down wind by gybing.  You will learn how to do a “chicken gybe” in heavy air.   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. 

4:30 Return to the dock and put the teaching boat up

Our goal is to get you more than just certified.

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

Day 2, Sunday of the Month

10:00 to 11:30 ASA101 Written Exam

11:30 Lunch and Knot Test

Knots Made Easy”

12:00 to 4:00 Water Drills focusing on sailing all points of sail by sailing a circle.  Master the Man-overboard Recovery using the Figure-8 method.

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.

Water Skills Test are giving on Friday afternoons or Friday evenings during the months we are teaching the ASA101 certification course.  You can take the Water Skills Test up to two times.  Then your instructor will work with you to develop a plan to successfully complete your certification.  You have up to six months to pass your Water Skills Test or re-take the ASA101 course again at a reduced price.

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 a the third Saturday of the month from  10:00 to 5:00.

Click Here to register for a Make Up Session
Please allow 48 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.

ASA101, Part II – Available Only to Students Who Completed ASA101, Part I in March, 2020    Click to Register.


10% Discount to Say Thanks to Our Veterans

ASA recognizes the sacrifices made by the men and women who have served or are serving in our country’s armed forces. As a token of our appreciation, and our way of saying thank you, we are inviting veterans, active military personnel, and reservists to share our passion for sailing by offering a discount on our ASA101 Basic Keelboat Sailing Course at participating ASA affiliated sailing schools.

Step 1: Register on the ASA website and print your discount coupon.
            Click to Get Your Veteran Coupon

Step 2: Select Your ASA101 class date.

Step 3: Email, snail-mail, or hand-deliver your ASA Veteran Coupon to the Austin Yacht Club to receive your discount.

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


ASA 103 Coastal Cruising Certification

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

Prerequisites: around 30-hours of keelboat sailing after completing your 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
In 2020, we will be offering ASA103 on these dates are: 5/29-30, 7/24-25, and 10/30-31.  We can also arrange a class for any day time Monday through Friday  – year around.

To register, sign up  and pay the course fee.  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.   All classes are taught on Lake Travis.

Day 1 focuses on manevering 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 winds of over 10 MPH in sight of shore.  is usually taught on Saturday.  Topics covered are advanced sail trim, steering without 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 Certification

ASA104 can be earned on Lake Travis, Gulf of Mexico, or on one of our  Caribbean Flotillas.

Prerequisites: ASA 101 and ASA 103

To join our call list once we know the exact details, email Bobby Brooks.

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 email Bobby Brooks.

Click here to register: SIGN UP FORM

Click To order your Home Study Materials:



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