3 Day Learn to Sail Vacation – ASA 1012023-03-15T22:09:27+00:00

3 Day Learn to Sail Vacation – ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Certification

Course Pricing

This is a 3-day/2-night private live-aboard course.  You will not be sharing the accommodations on the yacht with other students who you do not know.

Information about the Course

101 Overview

In this course, you will learn to skipper a sloop-rigged keelboat by day, in light to moderate wind and sea conditions. Learn basic sailing terminology, parts and functions, helm commands, basic sail trim, points of sail, buoyage, seamanship and safety, including basic navigation rules to avoid collisions and hazards.

For a full list of all 52 topics (knowledge and skills) that will be covered click the “+” below.

Basic Sailing Terminology

1. Describe and identify the following sailboat parts and their functions:

  • Hull
  • Deck
  • Transom
  • Keel
  • Mast
  • Boom
  • Gooseneck
  • Bow
  • Stern
  • Helm / Tiller /Wheel
  • Rudder
  • Cockpit
  • Cabin
  • Standing Rigging
  • Shroud
  • Spreader
  • Chainplate
  • Headstay / Forestay
  • Backstay
  • Stanchion
  • Lifeline
  • Pulpit
  • Winch
  • Cleat
  • Block
  • Fairlead
  • Fender
  • Docklines

2. Identify and describe the functions of the following sails, sail parts and sail controls:

  • Mainsail
  • Jib / Genoa
  • Head
  • Tack
  • Clew
  • Foot
  • Luff
  • Leech
  • Downhaul / Cunningham
  • Batten
  • Batten Pocket
  • Bolt Rope
  • Hank
  • Running Rigging
  • Halyard
  • Mainsheet
  • Jibsheets
  • Boom Topping Lift
  • Boom Vang
  • Telltale
  • Outhaul
  • Traveler
  • Shackle
  • Roller Furler

3. Define the following terms:

  • Port
  • Starboard
  • Forward
  • Aft
  • Beam
  • Ahead
  • Astern
  • Abeam
  • Windward
  • Leeward
  • Draft
  • Freeboard
  • Heel
  • Weather helm
  • Skipper
  • Helmsman
  • Crew

Maneuvers & Points of Sail

4. Explain and identify using diagrams the following maneuvers, points of sail, and other terms:

  • Head-to-Wind
  • No-Sail Zone
  • Closed Hauled
  • Close Reach
  • Beam Reach
  • Broad Reach
  • Run
  • Sailing-by-the-Lee
  • In Irons
  • Luffing
  • Port Tack
  • Starboard Tack
  • Tacking
  • Jibing
  • Stand-on
  • Give-way

5. Explain and utilize correctly the following helm commands and crew responses:

  • “Heading Up”
  • “Bearing Away”
  • “Ready About” —– “Ready” —– “Helms a-Lee” (or “Coming About” or “Tacking”)
  • “Prepare to Jibe” —– “Ready” —– “Jibe-Ho” (or “Jibing”)

Navigation Rules

For items 6 through 12, describe, using diagrams as appropriate, the applicable rules for a 25-foot recreational sailing vessel, as found in the USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook. Identify the “stand-on” and “give-way” vessel in each situation.

6. Look-out, Rule 5.

7. Sailing vessels with the wind on different sides (starboard / port), Rule 12(a)(i)

8. Sailing vessels with the wind on same side (leeward / windward), Rule 12(a)(ii)

9. Sailing vessel on port tack cannot determine windward sailing vessel’s tack, Rule 12(a)(iii)

10. Overtaking (Rule 13)

11. Power-driven vessels approaching each other head-on (Rule 14)

12. Power-driven vessel with another power-driven vessel on starboard side (Rule 15)

13. Describe appropriate actions to be taken when sailing in the vicinity of commercial traffic, including responding to a danger signal.

Aids to Navigation

14. Identify and state the purpose of lateral aids to navigation by color, shape & numbering, including preferred channel markers.

15. Identify safe water, information and regulatory markers.

Safety Gear & Procedures

16. List the federally required equipment for a recreational sailboat of 25-feet in length.

17. Identify the location and color of navigation lights used by a recreational vessel of 25-feet in length.

18. Describe the purpose of a Float Plan, give examples of information contained therein and to whom it should be submitted.

19. Describe when and to whom boating accidents must be reported.

20. State the Federal Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit for vessel operation.

Safety Equipment

21. Demonstrate the proper use of a lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD).


A Certified Sailor has successfully demonstrated his or her ability to:

Rig/hoist/set sails safely and correctly to obtain proper sail trim using the following lines and controls, if available on the practice vessel

22. Halyards and/or furling devices

23. Downhaul or Cunningham

24. Outhaul

25. Boom Vang

26. Mainsheet

27. Jibsheets

28. Winches

29. Traveler

30. Lower/furl/stow sails and coil/flake/stow lines properly

Without coaching or assistance, verbalize appropriate commands and demonstrate competence, safety and good seamanship in the role of Skipper / Helmsman during the maneuvers listed in elements 31 – 42.  Honor all aids to navigation and use properly the basic Navigation Rules.  Ensure sails are trimmed correctly and the vessel is in control at all times.

31. Depart dock or mooring fully ready to get underway safely

32. Select and maintain a given tack and course

33. Demonstrate how to get out of “irons”

34. Head Up

35. Bear Away

36. Sail Close Hauled

37. Sail on a Close Reach

38. Sail on a Beam Reach

39. Sail on a Broad Reach

40. Sail on a Run

41. Tack

42. Jibe

43. As crew, give appropriate verbal responses and perform correct actions during the maneuvers listed above.

Crew Overboard

44. Describe and demonstrate the correct actions to be taken while under sail from the time a person falls overboard until safely recovered.

Return & Secure

45. Return to dock or mooring

46. Secure vessel, using appropriate mooring/dock lines, fenders, etc.


Describe the purpose of, and construct without assistance in a timely manner, each of the following knots and hitches:

47. Figure-8 Knot

48. Square (Reef) Knot

49. Clove Hitch

50. Round Turn & 2 Half Hitches

51. Cleat Hitch

52. Bowline

Prerequisite – none

Boat utilized and description – 2018 Beneteau 35.1

This is an attractive 35 foot sailing yacht with 3 cabins and 1 bathroom.  This is a top of the line cruising model with all of the comforts and features to make learning fun and safe.  Features include: Roller furling sails, dodger and bimini, anchor windlass, autopilot, radar, GPS, and color chartplotter.

Boat location – Balboa Marina, Newport Beach, CA

The boat will be docked at the Balboa Marina, where our office is located.  This marina has some of the best facilities and is one of the best destinations in Southern California.  This is also where the boat will be docked for your overnight stay.    Some of the features that make this a great location are:

  • Ample free parking
  • Bathrooms and showers
  • Two great restaurants with full bars – SOL Mexican Cocina & Tavern House Kitchen and Bar
  • Starbucks across the street
  • Gas station and minimart across the street
  • Subway across the street
  • Kayak and SUP Rentals a block away – Southwind Kayak Center
  • Large grocery store, 3 blocks away – Pavilions
  • John Wayne (SNA) Airport, 6 miles away
  • Several other great restaurants and bars within a mile
  • Balboa Island within a mile
  • Newport Pier and Balboa Pier within a mile and a half
  • Art Museums of Laguna Beach within 10 miles
  • Disneyland, 20 miles away
  • Numerous hotels and resorts within just a few miles
  • The famed Balboa Bay Club, where John Wayne use to hang out, less than a mile from the marina

What’s included –

  • ASA 101 textbook “Sailing Made Easy,” ASA Log Book, and a 1-Year ASA membership.
  • Fuel, insurance, and safety gear (including life jackets)
  • High quality bedding (duvet in Fall, Winter and Spring; cotton blanket in Summer) along with fitted sheets and your choice of pillows (exact selection based on availability)
  • Comfortable, upgraded mattresses. If you are going to “live” on a boat, you should be comfortable!
  • Bath towel, hand towel, beach towel, and dish towels
  • Fully equipped galley with refrigerator, sink, oven, stove, pots, pans, dishes, silverware, cooking utensils, glasses, cups and coffee mugs. BBQ outside in the cockpit
  • Hot water in the sinks and showers. “No cold showers for this sailor, thank you very much!”
  • Stereo with speakers inside the cabin and outside in the cockpit
  • The boat is also stocked with 15 disposable items for your convenience. (Click here for a list)
  • Cleaning and washing after your stay. It wouldn’t be a vacation if you had to clean up!

Day 1: Meet at our office inside the Balboa Marina at 10am.  The address is 201 E. Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92660.  There is free parking at our office.  You’ll meet a friendly member of our team who will assist you in taking your belongings to your sailing yacht.  We will give you an orientation of the boat and the marina, as well as the surrounding area, including locations of stores and restaurants.  You’ll have time to go to the store or walk to get a sandwich or coffee.  At noon, your sailing instructor will arrive at your boat, you will depart the slip, and you’ll spend the next 4 hours working through approximately 1/3 of the course topics (listed under the Knowledge and Skills section).   You’ll return to the slip at 4pm.  Your instructor will make sure you are properly situated to spend the night on the boat on your own and then he/she will leave.  You’ll have the rest of the afternoon and evening to enjoy your new boating lifestyle.  You can enjoy sunset from the deck of your boat and then cook on board, or walk to one of the excellent restaurants in the marina, or drive to one of the many other restaurants nearby.

Day 2: Enjoy a leisurely breakfast aboard, walk to get a coffee or breakfast, or go for a walk or run, or relax.  You’ll have time to study your course materials and if you’re feeling ready, you can walk up to our office and take the written exam.  Your captain will then meet aboard your boat at the time convenient for you.  (The most common timeframe is for the Captain to arrive at noon and sail with you until 4pm because the wind is generally best in the afternoon.) You’ll spend the next 4 hours working through another 1/3 of the topics listed under the Knowledge and Skills section. Upon your return to the marina, the captain will once again ensure that you are situated to spend the evening on your own, and then he/she will leave.  Enjoy a second evening on your yacht.  Maybe sip some wine at sunset.  Make a reservation for dinner, or BBQ, or cook on board. The choice is yours.  You can also take this last chance to study.

Day 3: If you didn’t take the written test on day 2, you will take the 100 question multiple choice test this morning.  A grade of 80% is passing.  If you took the test already, you can take a walk to rent a kayak or SUP, or go for a walk on Balboa Island.  You could also grab a coffee and some breakfast at one of the quaint “local’s places” on the island.  The captain will arrive at your boat at noon.   You’ll continue to work through all of the aspects of the course, while sailing past the beautiful waterfront homes, mega yachts, and sea lion colonies.  You’ll return to the dock at 4pm.  The captain will then help you remove your belongings for disembarkation.  Don’t worry about cleaning the boat!  Our crew will be down early the following morning to clean it after your stay with us.

Cost Matrix to Reschedule a Class

Call us at (949) 209-9931 with any questions or to book by phone.

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