2 ASA First 22 sailboats on the water

Want to learn how to sail? We’ve got the tips you need to get started

Winter is finally over, and the weather is perfect to smell the fresh breeze and go sailing with friends and family. Or better yet, learn how to sail and take control of the helm! 

SailTime Annapolis participated in the annual Spring Annapolis Boat Show again this year and saw another 500 students go through their First Sail Workshop in conjunction with the American Sailing Association. 

Sea lovers signed up and enjoyed their first time learning the basics of sailing in a 45-minute classroom session and then 90-minutes on the water with the SailTime and American Sailing Association instructors. If you missed your chance at the show, or don’t live in the area, there are plenty of other ways to get out on the water and try sailing for the first time.Many sailing school and SailTime locations around the country offer a discover sail. This is an opportunity to get out on the water for 2-3 hours with an experienced captain. You can take the helm under their guidance or just sit back and enjoy being out on the water. Looking for something a little more structured? ASA has carefully formulated their sailing courses to make sure you come out of your 2-3 day classes confident and competent to sail a boat on your own. Start with Basic Keelboat Sailing (ASA 101) on a boat around 22-27’. From there, you can move on to ASA 103 (Basic Coastal Cruising) where you take those skills you learned in ASA 101, and apply them to a larger boat (around 30-40’ in length).Ready to stay on board the boat overnight? The ASA 104 course (Bareboat Cruising) gives you the chance to sail during the day and sleep on board at night. Before setting sail, you will work with the captain to provision your boat correctly. This means buying the food and beverages you need for the length of sail you will be taking – and yes, 15 steaks is overkill for a group of 4 going on a 3-day sail!). If three days isn’t enough, you can book a week-long, Novice to Captain ASA 101-104 sailing cruise at a vacation destination of your choosing, or right in your own backyard. Checkout our bases offering online booking for ASA courses and captained charters. We get this question a lot, afterall if you read carefully, you would have noticed we jumped right from ASA 101 to ASA 103. So what is this mysterious ASA 102 certification and how can I get one? Don’t worry, it’s not part of a secret club you are missing out on. In fact, now you can show how knowledgable you are by NOT asking to get your ASA 102 certification, because it doesn’t exist. 


Now that you understand what to ask for (and what not to) when checking out sailing schools, it’s time to grab some friends (you can go solo, but it’s a lot of fun with company too) and schedule your next sailing adventure. Still have questions? Give your local ASA sailing school a call and they will be happy to help.


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