ASA Training at AYC

ASA Sail Training

AYC offers courses taught by American Sailing Association (ASA) certified instructors.  These are complete sailing courses using ASA materials with an 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 many locations.

ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing         

Costs: $469 Public  – $399 AYC Members – plus $75 for book and materials. 

Sign UP for one of our ASA 101 Class Dates

Upcoming Course Dates

Prerequisites: None 

Description: ASA101 is a 20-hour class, usually over two consecutive Saturdays, that gets you started with the basic skills for a fun and safe sailing.  You will learn to skipper a sloop rigged keelboat of 20′ to 30′ in length by day in winds under 14 MPH without supervision. You will learn basic sailing terminology, boat parts and their functions, helm commands, basic sail trim, points of sail, buoyage system, seamanship, safety, rules of the road, tacking, gybing, heaving-to, getting out of “ irons,” Crew Overboard Recovery, and key essential sailing knots.

You should arrive at class having read the 125-page text in advance. Therefore, we ask that you schedule your class two weeks in advance to allow time to review the materials.

Auxiliary power operation is not part of the ASA101 course but outboard operation is covered in the AYC ASA101 class.

Note: For an additional $10 fee, one can receive the Texas Boater Safety Certification which may allow discounts on boat insurance.    

ASA 101 Standard:

Instructional Video:

View the ASA Website Getting Started Video

Classes are held monthly.   Please allow at least two weeks to read the pre-course materials which can be picked up at AYC after you have registered.

Challenging the ASA 101 Standard:

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 on the water and one written.  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.  ASA 101 Challenges are only open to AYC members and costs $250 with most of the challenge fee going to the AYC Fund. 

To set up a challenge ASA 101, you will need to pay AYC the $250 challenge fee and arrange for one of our ASA Instructors to proctor you on the water and written exams.

·      ASA101 Basic Keelboat Sailing Standard

·      Text: Sailing Made Easy $27.95



ASA103 Basic Coastal Cruising

Cost: $569 for Non-Members, $499 for AYC Members plus $40 for materials.

Prerequisites: ASA101 Basic Keelboat Sailing Certificate

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

Description: ASA103 is a weekend class usually 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.

ASA 103 Standard:

Classes run from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and are limited to no more than two students per boat.  After paying your $175 deposit, your instructor will contact you to set up class date that meets your schedule.

Click Here to Sign up for ASA 103 and pay your $175 deposit:   


ASA104/114 Combo Bareboat Chartering and Cruising Catamaran

Annually Taught in the British Virgin Islands usually in June.

British Virgin Islands are considered one of the top charter destinations in the world for the best all-around cruising.  The trade winds will carry you to whatever you’re looking for. You will spend 7 nights and 6 days earning your ASA104 and Asa114 Certifications in this sailor’s paradise.  Your guide and instructor is a USCG 100 Ton Captain with years of British Virgin Island cruising experience. 

Costs: $3,600 for a private berth.  Fee includes all on board food (6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, & 2 dinners), boat rental, hull damage insurance, charts, cruising fee, fuel surcharge, water, ice, cold drinks, nightly mooring fees, and docking at the Bitter End Yacht Club.

ASA course cost an additional $300 each.

 Prerequisites: ASA101 and ASA103

Experienced candidates who obtain instructor’s approval can challenge the ASA101 and 103 levels for an additional fee level.

For more information on the next “Skippers in Training” class contact Captain Harry Polly at

ASA105/106 Advanced Combo Basic Coastal Navigation and Coast Cruising

Cost: $699                                         

Offered 8/11 to 8/13

(3days and 2 nights in the Gulf of Mexico)

Prerequisites: ASA101, ASA103, ASA104

ASA105 certified sailor will learn to demonstrate the navigational theory required to safely navigate a sailing vessel in coastal or inland waters. There is no Sailing Skills part to this course.This course is a self-study course with unlimited ASA instructor email and phone support.  Students should plan on spending one to two hours a week for about twelve weeks in self studying.   It has been found that setting aside a two-hour session each Saturday morning works best.  The ASA105 written exam takes from three to four hours to complete.  Your written exam will be schedule at your convenience and be proctored by an ASA certified ASA105 instructor.

ASA105 Standard:

ASA106 certified sailors are able to safely act as skipper and crew of a sailing vessel about 30 to 50 feet in length during day and nighttime in inland coastal waters in any weather.  Subjects include advanced sail theory and trim, weather systems and forecasting, sail inventory, heavy weather preparation and skills, various anchoring techniques, emergency measures, boat systems and engineering, and more. Students will demonstrate various sailing and seamanship skills

ASA 106 Standard:

 To get on the wait list contact, Captain Harry Polly at 24-598-5071


International Proficiency Certificate

Most European charter companies 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 ask ASA to handle the paperwork and pay a small administration fee.    

ASA 118 – Docking Endorsement

Cost: $379

Getting that big boat into a little slip can be a daunting challenge, even for experienced sailors. But it’s an important skill, like learning to take-off and to land an airplane if you’re a pilot. To dock competently and without injury or property damage requires an understanding of the forces that act on a boat, how you can control them, and lots of practice. Though docking and mooring is taught and practiced in all ASA’s on-the-water courses, the vast majority of students feel that they can benefit from additional, focused practice in this crucial area of their sailing skills. Even students who can competently dock a particular sailboat in their local waters appreciate the chance to learn skills that will come in handy in different locations and circumstances, such as those that would be experienced when strong currents and tricky crosswinds are present, or when Mediterranean mooring or tight, close-quarters maneuvering is required.

This hands-on course allows students to learn theory and practice repetitive docking and casting-off maneuvers to reinforce understanding of theory, methods and skills. Both novice and experienced sailors will benefit from this course as the techniques apply to small outboard powered boats in the 15- to 20-foot range on up to 50-foot inboard single-screw cruising yachts.


ASA 119 Marine Weather Endorsement -self study

Cost: $295

ASA’s Weather Endorsement course teaches mariners how to take weather into account in the planning and navigation of voyages, both local and global. Anyone who ventures onto the water can benefit from this course. Dinghy sailors, sailing in local lakes and rivers, cruising and racing sailors on inshore or coastal waters, and ocean-going sailors, racing or cruising, will all find merit in this class. Weather is a big subject with many facets, but when it comes to marine weather it boils down to the wind. Wind drives the boat and wind makes the waves the boat must drive through. But it is not just strong winds and how to avoid them that matters. The course also teaches how to find more wind when there is little to be had – a skill that will be used to much benefit by sailors far more often than avoiding too much wind.

Besides the nature of wind and how it interacts with water and land, by the end of the course, the student will have learned the role of marine weather in their overall navigation program. This will include how to plan the time and route of a voyage – be it across an ocean or around a nearby island – and once underway how to monitor changes in the weather that might affect previous decisions. For this they will learn use of the latest wireless communications and new weather resources now available, along with time-honored traditional shipboard observations of barometer, wind, clouds, and sea state to judge the validity and progress of the forecasts they have received.

To prepare for unexpected or unavoidable circumstances, the course also covers the properties and behaviors of squalls, fronts, storms and hurricanes. And to bind these elements of practical goals, students will learn about atmospheric pressure, clouds, fog, global wind patterns that lead to what we see in specific cases, and an in-depth understanding of the relation between wind and sea state, including how to predict wave heights. An inevitable byproduct of the study will be a thorough knowledge of weather maps and how to use them.

With weather being the most pressing factor in a journey by sail, this course is a must-do for those looking to make their trip a memorable experience for all the right reasons.