ASA Classes at AYC

ASA Sailing Classes

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 locations like the British Virgin Islands.

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 15 to 20 hour class, conducted over a weekend with the make up day being the following Saturdays.  The class 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.

On Day 1, Saturday,  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.  After a 3-hour classroom session, you will sail for 5-hours learning basic sailing: rigging, tacking, gybing, getting out of irons, heave-to, and basic sail trim for various points of sail.

On Day 2, Sunday, you 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 it go fast, and how to correctly execute the “Figure-8 Man-Overboard Recovery method.  Finally, you will be given a 100-question “Written Exam” requiring 80% to pass.

Make Up Day, the third Saturday of the month is our optional training day where students can go back out if they need additional on the water training or weather has caused us to cancel one of our scheduled training days.  Our goal is to give a student a chance to sail at least two different kinds of boats learning from at least two different ASA Instructors.

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

Note: As an AYC ASA101 graduate, you will get discounts on future ASA course taught at AYC.  Plus, you can always join any of our Day 2 session when we have space available.  Our focus is to get you more than just certified.  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 on on of our 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.

ASA 101 Standard:

Instructional Video:

View the ASA Website Getting Started Video


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

·      ASA101 Basic Keelboat Sailing Standard

·      Text: Sailing Made Easy $27.95


ASA102 Man Overboard Recovery Master Class

Cost: $199 for Non-Members, $149 for AYC Members.

Prerequisites: None.

Description:  One of the most dreaded sounds at sea is “Man Overboard.”  In this 4-hour master class, you will learn six different ways to recovery a person in the water.  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.

This Master Class is offered on the last Sunday of each month form 12:00 to 4:00.

For more information about an ASA104 class contact Captain Harry Polly at

Sign up link coming soon.


ASA103 Basic Coastal Cruising

Cost: $469 for Non-Members, $399 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 tow 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.

ASA 103 Standard:

Classes run from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and are limited to one or two students.  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 Sailing

 Taught annually (usually in June) in the British virgin Islands.

Prerequisites: ASA101 and ASA103

In June, 2019 (6/7 to 6/15) 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 c an 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 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 su for fun.

For more information about our next “Skippers in Training” set for June 7 to 15, 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, Home Study

Cost: $395 for Non-Members, $349 for AYC Members.

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