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ASA members unite for a special week in the BVIsASA members unite for a special week in the BVIs Lots of people sail the British Virgin Islands every year, but not many get to do it in quite the same style as the 2014 ASA Member's Event, which took place March 1-8. For...

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Your Photo Could Be On the Cover of Our New Book!Your Photo Could Be On the Cover of Our New Book! In 2014, ASA will release Bareboat Cruising Made Easy, the latest in our line of cutting-edge sailing books. But before the book can be published, we need to find the perfect...

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VIDEO: Trailer for Maidentrip, documentary about Laura DekkerVIDEO: Trailer for Maidentrip, documentary about Laura... For years here on the ASA blog we followed Laura Dekker's amazing round-the-world sailing adventures. The Dutch teenager battled the legal system, contended with public opinion,...

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ASA's 30th Anniversary Caribbean Getaway Sweepstakes!ASA's 30th Anniversary Caribbean Getaway Sweepstakes! Join us to help improve the lives of children in the Caribbean, and you could win a 6-night stay at Conde Nast award-winning Rosalie Bay Resort in beautiful Dominica, complete...

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Alternative Energy in the Sailing WorldAlternative Energy in the Sailing World Guest post from Sailors for the Sea. By:Hilary Wiech, Communications Manager and Annie Brett, Program Director Renewable energy is a hot and sometimes controversial topic...

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Upcoming ASA events at the America's CupUpcoming ASA events at the America's Cup The America's Cup, one of the world's greatest sporting spectacles, and the biggest event in competitive sailing, is underway right now in San Francisco! Check the schedule...

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Spotlight on Sailing in New York

Category : Schools

Tsailing liberty statuehe Bronx is up, and the Battery’s down. But in the great state of New York, there’s sailing in every direction. While perhaps not as strongly associated with sailing culture as some of the nearby Eastern seaboard states, New York is actually a huge sailing destination, offering a ton of variety. Just pick the kind of sailing you’re into (Open ocean? Wide bay? Serene rivers and lakes?) and then find an ASA sailing school nearby!

Back to Basics

Category : Standards

green water and teak railGet these sailing basics under your belt with ASA 101, and you’ll be a qualified small boat skipper!

The most popular sailing course available, ASA 101: Basic Keelboating is an introduction to the essential skills every sailor needs. By the time your course is over, you’ll be able to take command of your own vessel in the 20-27 foot range.

1. Sailing Lingo
Learn what to call the parts of the boat (and what they do), the points of sail, how to give commands to the crew, and all the key terms used to describe the wind and sea conditions. Not only will you understand what your fellow sailors are talking about, you can also impress your friends with your salty ways!

2. Navigation
You’ll get a grip on the “rules of the road”: When to change course, who has the right-of-way when approaching another ship, and what all the markers and buoys on the water mean. You’ll learn to set a course, steer the boat, and get where you’re trying to go by tacking and gybing.

3. Safety
Perhaps the most important sailing basic of all. What safety equipment is on board? How do you use a lifejacket or PFD? What do you do if someone falls overboard? These questions will be answered by your ASA certified instructor, and you’ll get the practice and familiarity needed to feel confident and safe when you’re sailing.
sail and sun ASA
4. Leaving and Returning to the Dock
Maneuvering a boat in close quarters (such as a marina) can seem intimidating. After all, there are no brakes! But a big part of ASA 101 is learning how to depart the dock and return to it. After all, as great as it is to sail, you can’t do it all the time!

5. Knots
Every sailor worth his or her salt knows the basic knots that are commonly used on a boat. Why is it important to know your knots? You don’t have to be a walking knot encyclopedia, but some get used all the time onboard, for everything from securing the boat on the dock to flying your ASA flag! For more info, see our blog on essential knots.

These are just a few of the sailing basics you’ll get when you take ASA 101 from your local sailing school. So check the list for your area, and your sailing life can begin now!