ASA Classes at AYC

ASA Sailing Classes

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.

Next ASA101 “Water Skills Test”

Dec. 1  from 12:30 to 4:30 students should meet at the Sail Training Cabin

ASA101 Basic Keelboat Sailing

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

November 11-12 Class (Sold Out)

2019 Spring Class Dates: 3/9-10, 4/12-13, 5/11-12, and 6/15-16

Sign UP Now for one of our upcoming ASA101 Public Classes

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 need at least three on the water sessions to master the ASA101 skills.

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.

You will need to purchase your text book and read it before class.  Click Here to Order—textbook-101.html

Day 1, 2nd Saturday, 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, 11:00 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, “Water Skills Test” (if needed) 12:30 to 4:30, the fourth Saturday of the month can be used to complete your training.   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.

Note:  As an AYC ASA101 graduate, you can always join for free any of our Day 2 or Day 3 Sessions on a space available basis.

We want you be a better safer sailor as a result of training with us.

Plus, 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.

ASA101 Standard: what you will learn.

Please watch the following video before class:

View the ASA Website Getting Started Video

Challenging the ASA101 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.  

Costs: $250 but is only available to AYC Members

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. 

To set up a challenge ASA 101, you will need to Register.

ASA Lead Instructor Harry Polly will contact you to set up a date and time.

·      ASA101 Basic Keelboat Sailing Standard

·      Text: Sailing Made Easy $27.95

To Register: Click Here and fill out the Form. 


ASA102 Man Overboard Master Class – Offerred Year Around 

Cost: $99

Prerequisites: ASA101 or 2-years of keelboat  sailing experience..

Description:  Ideal as a sailing refresher for someone who has not sailed in awhile or as an “Water Skills Test” for ASA101 candidates.

In this four 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 to slow a sailboat down in high winds.

Under the watchful eye of your ASA Instructor, you will learn how to Single Hand a Sailboat in light to moderate winds.

For more information about an ASA102 class contact Captain Harry Polly at

Click to Register for one of our upcoming ASA102 Classes.


ASA103 Coastal Cruising Certification

Cost: $495 for Non-Members, $395 for AYC Members.

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 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.  These sessions are usually private one-on-one lessons taught by a top rated wheel boat instructor using his or her won boat.

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 $175 deposit and purchasing your text Coast Cruising Made Easy, your instructor will contact you to set up class date that meets your schedule.  Classes are taught on  Lake Travis.

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


ASA104 Bareboat Chartering and ASA114 Cruising Catamaran in 2019, we are Sailing to St. Croix

Prerequisites: ASA101 and ASA103

In June, 2019 (5/31 to 6/8) the Austin Yacht Club will coordinate a Caribbean Flotilla of five to seven boats.  The lead boat will be offering ASA104 and ASA114 certification on a brand new catamaran.  We call this learning experience, “Skippers in Training.”

The other flotilla boats will be both catamarans and monohulls.  ASA104, Bareboat Chartering certification will also be available.  The boats can stay together or do what we call “skipper’s choice” where each day boats go their own way and then meet back up for the evening.

The lead boat will be sailing to the remote south side of St. Johns and then on to St. Croix for two days.

Each boat will be skippered by experienced Virgin Island sailors.  You can either sign on as a boat skipper or join a boat as crew.  You can take an ASA course of just sail with us for fun.

For more information about our next “Skippers in Training” set for May 31 to June 8, 2019 contact Captain Harry Polly at


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.


ASA105 Coastal Navigation Certification –  Home Study

Cost: $395

Prerequisites: The desire to learn to navigate coastal and inland waters.

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.

To order your Home Study Materials:

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


ASA106 Advanced Coastal Crusing

Cost: $695

Prerequisites: ASA101, ASA103, ASA104, and ASA105.

ASA106 can be earned as serving as one of our First Mates in our June, 2019 flotilla to St. Croix.

For more information contact Captain Harry Polly at