ASA’s brand new textbook, Bareboat Cruising Made Easy, has just been released to national acclaim. The updated manual of ASA’s bareboat cruising standard is designed to help sailors prepare for a bareboat charter or extended cruise. The book is much more than just a textbook for ASA 104 students, however. Bareboat Cruising Made Easy is a one-stop cruising reference for all sailors, whether they have a few months or a few decades of sailing experience. It covers everything a sailor needs to know about skippering a boat in new waters, from what to wear to how to troubleshoot the bilge pump.
Bareboat Cruising Made Easy completes the reinvented core ASA curriculum, including the award-winning Sailing Made Easy and Coastal Cruising Made Easy. The all-in-one reference book includes general planning tips, technical guidance, and sailing advice. The new text is a huge improvement from its predecessor, Cruising Fundamentals. From its 4 color, high-end illustrations and photographs to its modern, easy-to-read design, Bareboat Cruising Made Easy is a beauty. More importantly, it reflects the fact that ASA is an association of sailors, members, and instructors. Rather than representing one excellent sailor’s take on cruising, the book was created by a team of expert sailors, writers, editors, and artists who shaped the content together, making it the most helpful, accurate, and all-inclusive bareboat cruising manual available!
Sailing is more fun with family and friends, so why not get your kids on the water on your next Caribbean vacation? The American Sailing Association is excited to debut the ultimate learn-to-sail experience for kids: A four day course available at three different Beaches Resorts! The class, appropriately named Sailing Fun, is designed to introduce kids ages eight to fourteen to the joy of sailing. The program is available daily to guests of Beaches Turks & Caicos, Beaches Negril, and Beaches Ocho Rios. Don’t miss this opportunity to elevate your ‘Nautical know how’ and learn to navigate the crystal clear waterways of the Caribbean!
Many prospective students ask us why getting certified is so important. Couldn’t they pick up the same valuable sailing skills without passing a course and receiving a certificate? Sure, you can learn plenty from programs that don’t offer certification. For most people, however, learning how to sail isn’t the end game. By getting certified, you maximize the impact your new sailing skills can have on your life. Instead of being limited to sailing at home, you can explore the United States and even the world by sea! An ASA sailing certification is all you need to do what you love when and where you desire.
The kind of boat you choose to sail will define your relationship with the sport as a whole. Like wind and weather conditions, the boat is one part of the entire sailing experience. So what kind of boats are there, and which type is right for you? Many sailors transition from boat to boat depending on where they are and what sailboats they have access to, but many also stick to the same kind of boat for their entire lives! Here’s a quick overview of the two most common types of sailboats: dinghies and yachts.
Vacations are for rejuvenation and exploration, right? So why not one-up all the normal resort-goers and take sailing lessons at your vacation destination this summer! Sailing can be both relaxing and adventurous, so it’s the perfect sport to pick up on your next trip. Besides, who wouldn’t want to learn how to sail in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean? Many popular vacation destinations have nearly ideal sailing conditions, so there’s nothing standing in your way.
Whether you have a six-year-old son or a sixteen-year-old daughter, sailing is a wonderful bonding experience that everyone in the family will enjoy. Next time you suggest board games and the kids roll their eyes, try something new that you’ll delight in as well. The adventure-seeker in your family will be drawn to exploring new coastlines and traveling the world. The risk-taker will love the prospect of heavy-wind sailing through relentless seas. The artist will be inspired by the boat’s beautiful lines and the ocean’s ever-changing shades of blue and green. The athlete will catch sight of a fierce catamaran or laser and yearn to try it out. Even the indoor kid with an affinity for physics will find joy in understanding how everything works. Sailing really is for everyone.
One of the most important parts of beginning your sailing education is finding the right sailing school. Every individual has different strengths, weaknesses, needs, and ideal learning methods. Likewise, every sailing school has different instructors, courses, boats, and teaching methods. Even a school’s location can affect your sailing education. For example, learning to sail in San Francisco Bay’s heavy winds might scare one student and motivate another. Here at ASA, we want to provide every sailor with a sailing education that conforms to their needs and inspires them to continue sailing. We know this for sure: you know yourself, and we know sailing. So it’s up to you to determine where you will be happiest and learn the most.
Aside from perusing each sailing school’s website, the best way you can determine what school is the best fit is by calling them. It might seem a little old fashioned to the younger generation, but by talking to a human being you will be able to get all your questions answered and get a real feel for the school. You are essentially interviewing each school for the opportunity to teach you how to sail. That’s one of the huge benefits of learning to sail with ASA… We have so many schools that you always have a choice!
“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.” –John F. Kennedy
As sailors, we are inextricably linked to the ocean. On the most basic level, we need it to practice the sport we love. Even more importantly, we need a healthy ocean. Not just for the sake of our passion, but for the sake of our planet and the generations to come. Recent reports from Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 Olympic Sailing venue, bring to light the contamination of our seas and its influence on even the most highly regarded regattas.
Rio’s first official test event at Guanabara Bay will take place in less than three months, and it is still dangerously polluted. Most visibly, dead animals, tires, couches, and other large discarded items litter the bay. If left as-is, the debris will be more than an eyesore; it will likely alter the race results as well. If a boat collided with a partially submerged object, it would surely affect the outcome of the race in such a competitive fleet. Likewise, even small plastic bags can slow boats and inhibit steering by wrapping around blades. Appallingly, this isn’t the worst part of sailing in the bay. Almost seventy percent of Rio’s untreated sewage goes directly into the ocean, and Guanbara Bay’s sewage levels are consistently over the legal limit, which is much more lenient in Brazil than in the United States. Contact with this extremely contaminated water can cause Hepatitis A, cholera, dysentery and a multitude of other diseases. Sailors will without a doubt be exposed to the harmful water while competing, causing a worldwide outcry for more water testing and a change of venue. International sailors have referred to the sailing site as an open sewer, and even Brazilian sailors have spoken out in condemnation of Brazil’s inability to make good on promises for clearer and cleaner water for the 2016 games. For more information, check out this Guanabara Bay footage.
The buzz surrounding Guanabara Bay applies to more than just Olympians. It serves as a reminder to us all that we cannot reverse the damage our species has done to the ocean. It would take over a decade to significantly decrease Guanbara Bay’s pollution, and the wildlife and pure quality of water will never return. Imagine sailing through miles of murky water filled with debris. Instead of enjoying the smell of the ocean and the occasional salty spray, you cower away from the diseased water. There is no sea life in sight. A world without clean, healthy seas is a world without sailing the way we know and love it today. We are lucky enough to have the biggest playing field in the world, and it is our job to make sure it remains untainted.
Here are 10 easy ways you can help: Save the Ocean
Sources: USA Today, NY Times, National Geographic