What is the American Sailing Association (ASA)?

ASA is an organization which provides standards and curriculum for sailing instruction. They have been around since 1983 and represent about 85% of sailing schools in the country. They have certified over 7,500 instructors and over 260,000 students in the last 27 years.

What does ASA certifications provide to you as members?

The ASA curriculum focuses on keelboat instruction and provides a set of curricula that is recognized by most chartering organizations and sailing clubs throughout the world. Being ASA certified allows you to take the sailing skills you have learned here at Hoofers and apply them elsewhere to continue your sailing education and/or be able to charter (rent) a boat. ASA certifications are also recognized internationally.

What levels of ASA certification are there?

ASA 101 - Basic Keelboat - able to sail a boat of about 20 feet in length in light to moderate winds and sea conditions in familiar waters without supervision. A preparatory Standard with no auxiliary power or navigation skills required.

ASA 103 - Basic Coastal Cruising - able to cruise safely in local and regional waters as both skipper and crew on an auxiliary powered sailboat of about 20 to 30 feet in length, in moderate winds and sea conditions.

ASA 104 - Bareboat Cruising - the individual can act as skipper or crew of a 30 - 50 foot boat sailing by day in coastal waters. The Standard includes knowledge of boat systems and maintenance procedures.

ASA 106 - Advanced Coastal Cruising - able to safely act as skipper and crew of a sailing vessel about 30 to 50 feet in length. This is a day and nighttime Standard in coastal and inland water, in any weather.

ASA 105 - Coastal Navigation - Able to demonstrate the navigational theory required to safely navigate a sailing vessel in coastal or inland waters. There is no Sailing Skills part to this Standard and practical application of this sailing knowledge is found in the Advanced Coastal Cruising Standard.

What levels can we offer here at Hoofers?

Given our place on an inland lake, we offer ASA 101 and 105 courses in Madison.  We will offer ASA 103, ASA 104, and ASA 106 courses on Green Bay, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior during the summer and in Florida and the Caribbean during the winter.

How much will these classes cost?

ASA 101 costs $315 for members and $415 for non-members.

ASA 101 testout costs $170 for students and $200 for Faculty/Union Members

ASA 103/104 costs $835 for all students

ASA 105 costs $275 for members and $275 for non-members

How can I sign up to get ASA 101?

You can sign up for the ASA 101 20 hour course or if you already have a J=24 or a Keelboat Crew rating, you can register for an ASA 101 test-out (4 hours). Both of these options can be signed up for in the Outdoor programs office.

How do I prepare for ASA 101?

The best way to prepare for the written exam is to read and study the ASA Sailing Made Easy book. We have set up a library of them available for 1 week loan in the Boathouse or you can purchase a copy in the Outdoor Programs Office.

You can also take a "Cruising Skills Classroom" before taking the test.

How do I find out about test-out dates and other ASA course information

Test-outs will be posted on the lessons website, but as mentioned above, you must sign up in the Outdoor Programs Office.

You could also sign up for the "ASA Interest" mailing list. Didn't know we had email lists in the club? Here's how to sign up:

  • Log into the lessons website at http://lessons.hoofersailing.org
  • Click "My Account"
  • Next, click the "Email Preferences" tab
  • Choose the various club email lists you wish to be a member of.

  • They are a great way to communicate with members and you are able to post to all the discussion lists, so in addition to finding out about ASA course information, they provide a great to find sailing buddies, crew or just talk about sailing. Email lists are open to all current and former members who left the club in good standing.

    This all sounds wonderful, but I don't have my J or Keelboat Crew rating yet. What do I do?

    Continue to take J-lessons until you have completed the skills on the checklist. If you are not currently taking J-fleet lessons, be sure to sign up for Intro to Keelboat Sailing, which will teach you the basics necessary to begin taking J-fleet lessons. You can also learn the necessary skills by taking large keelboat lessons and earning your crew rating.

    Who do I contact if I have any other questions?

    Please feel free to contact the club's ASA Coordinator at asa@hoofersailing.org