While certifications are not necessary in all situations for sailing, they are typically required when chartering boats. The Annapolis Sailing School offers certifications at various levels through the American Sailing Association. Please remember that certification systems are designed to evaluate your sailing skills and certify your ability through written and practical testing. Therefore, certification cannot be guaranteed.
Annapolis Sailing School currently offers certification at the following levels:
- ASA 101 – Basic Keelboat Sailing
- ASA 103 – Coastal Cruising
- ASA 104 – Bareboat Chartering
- ASA 105 – Coastal Navigation
Certification by the American Sailing Association system requires both a written exam and a practical skills evaluation (except for Coastal Navigation) in which you must demonstrate a wide range of boat and sail handling skills. The process of certification is an evaluative one. The evaluator must witness your performance of the required operations correctly on command, and cannot be teaching at that time. The American Sailing Association requires that ASA 101 – Basic Keelboat Sailing certification be obtained before attempting ASA 103 – Coastal Cruising and that both be successfully attained before attempting ASA 104 – Bareboat Chartering.
There are two ways to attain certification in the ASA system: as part of a course or as a challenge.
The course content covered in these courses and the written tests for each level are fairly simple with adequate study. The level of sailing and boat handling skills required, even at the Basic Keelboat level, is fairly high and in most cases cannot be appropriately mastered on instructional courses shorter than three days. Check the courses page to find the course appropriate for your needs.
A sailor may also challenge the certification tests at any time. A challenge does not involve any instruction, requires from one half to a full day to conduct and involves an on-the-water practical evaluation and a written exam. Challenges must be scheduled in advance to assure the availability of boats and instructors. Note: ASA 105 - Coastal Navigation does not require an on the water evaluation, but it is a comprehensive test of all coastal navigation skills which requires four to six hours to complete.
Fees for Challenges range from $195 to $499. Call us for details at (410) 267-7205