ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 05-02-2007
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ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing

Think I or someone else may have asked this - there is a 2-day class here in Philly for $329 - is it worth it? Think I remember someone saying "Screw that -- just hang out at the docks and ask to learn and help from sailors with their own boat."

Thoughts on that?
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I took the class many years ago. I found it to be very good. It does depend alot on the instructor and your classmates. For me it was all positive. Meet some really nice people and learned much in the process. Class was in Chelsea Piers N.Y. but still applies. Good luck. PEACE HAPPY SAILING.
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Old 05-02-2007
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I'm not sure, but I think it might be a prerequisite for more advanced certification, such as coastal nav., bareboat charter, etc. Also, you'll be more likely to learn it right the first time. You'll probably have a good time to boot...
sailhog
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If you don't know people that have boats and aren't comfortable with just "hanging around the docks", then take the course. Down here in Miami the sailing center that I volunteer at charges $525 for 5, four hour classes. It's a US Sailing program which is similar to the ASA program. Taking the class is a nice way to get into sailing and you can meet people that are in the same place you are and that certainly does help build friendships.
Good luck.
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Okay then - I'll take it - thanks eveyone!
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Old 05-03-2007
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While just hanging out at the marina and learning to sail by sailing has its place... Classes also have their place. A good ASA 101 course can help you with learning the proper techniques and theory behind a lot of what you have learned how to do... and knowing why it works can help a lot. Also, you will learn the proper terms, which makes communicating with other sailors easier.
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Old 05-03-2007
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I recently took a similar class a few years ago and although I've been sailing casually since I was a kid on small boats and had crewed on larger, I found it useful. There is a lot of stuff you need to know that these classes present in an easy to digest pace. Also, the class I took spent a few hours practicing motoring around the marina and docking a lot, and also a few hours practicing anchoring, etc. Skills you may not 'pick up around the dock'.
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Old 05-04-2007
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I took that class and found it very useful and fun. I agree totally with all the docking work you do in the class and how useful that is. Also, most places offer a combination of ASA 101/103 class at a reduced rate which would be 2 full weekends and it may be worth your while. In theory, these help you be able to charter boats from Sunsail, etc., but who knows. Where I took the classes it was $395 for ASA 101 and 103 separate, but $495 if you signed up for both at the same time - that was a good deal. You may want to check out the combo class. 103 teaches navigation, anchoring, weather, reefing, etc. - well worth it.
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Depends on what you are looking to gain by taking the course.

If the ASA Certification Curriculum is important to you then Yes, you will need this as a pre-req to most of the courses. It is also a good way to meet people in your area that like to sail. Even an experienced sailor will probably pick up a couple of pointers from the course, but the written test is primarially vocabulary questions and matching (Leech/Luff/Foot, Cringle/Head/Clew, Running/Standing rigging, Tiller/Telltale Bow/Transom, Port/Starboard, etc....)

If you have sailing experience, and simply want to charter, it is not needed.
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Old 05-10-2007
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I originally signed up for the ASA Keelboat course in 2005, which at the time was a two-day class. I happened to plan it the weekend of Katrina, so needless to say we only got one day of the class in, on a 37 ft Catalina Capri. On the second day we were all high-tailing it to higher ground.

When the local company that was hosting the classes resumed them last fall, they were using a new 3 hour block system. The one day I already had counted as a 101 and a 102, and I still had had credit left for two more 102 blocks - which I took last October. They had sold the Capri and are now using Beneteau 7.5's (fast!)

Since then I've bought a boat and haven't followed up, I still think I need one more 102 class before I can get take basic keelboat certification.

For somebody with little or no experience, I'd say it's worth it. That all of course depends on the instructor. The instructor that I managed to sail with each time had decades of experience. When we came back in to drop of a student, he had us come all the way into and back out of the slip with sail power only... not a zip-in/zip-out procedure in post-Katrina Municipal Harbor ("careful, watch that mast sticking up there"). I wonder how many people have tacked out of West End in a 26 footer. In other words, you may very well gain experience in situations that you wouldn't even think about otherwise. Plus, you'll meet people of similar interests and experience level.

Last fall, a 3 hour block cost $50. I doubt a lot of $ is being made by the host here, I think the intent is to drum up business, whether it be sales or charters/rentals. To spend less than $20 an hour with a pro was a pretty good deal in my book.
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