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 the 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:

Certification through 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 the ASA 101 – Basic Keelboat Sailing certification be obtained before attempting the ASA 103 – Coastal Cruising certification, and that both be successfully attained before attempting the 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 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 in 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. It requires between a half day 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 certification does not require an on-the-water evaluation; 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