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3 Day Learn to Sail Vacation – ASA 104 and 1142022-07-20T17:39:35+00:00

3 Day Learn to Sail Vacation – ASA 104 and 114 Combo, Bareboat Cruising Certification and Cruising Catamaran

Course Pricing

This is a 3-day/2-night private live-aboard course.  You will depart for Catalina on the morning of the first day and return to Newport Beach the afternoon of the third day. You will not be sharing the accommodations on the yacht with other students who you do not know.

Information about the Course

104 Overview

In this course, you will learn how to sail a sloop-rigged, auxiliary powered 30′-45′ sailboat during a multi-day cruise, in inland/coastal waters, in moderate/heavy wind and sea conditions. Learn about provisioning, boat systems, auxiliary engines, advanced sail trim, coastal navigation, anchoring / mooring, docking, emergency operations, weather, and more.

For a full list of all 55 topics (knowledge and skills), plus knots that will be covered, click below.

Cruise Planning

1. Describe appropriate clothing and personal gear to pack for safety and comfort during a one-week cruise.

2. Describe the required documents and procedures for customs and immigration when cruising to a foreign port of entry.

3. Plan a menu and create a provisioning list for a one-week cruise.

4. Describe the symptoms and first aid treatments for hypothermia and heat exhaustion / heat stroke.

5. Describe the causes, prevention and treatments for seasickness.

6. Describe the tools and spare parts that should be on board for a one-week cruise.

7. Describe variables that affect fuel consumption and cruising range under power, and calculate range based on average fuel consumption.

8. Describe the minimum daily water requirements for all personnel on board as well as methods to conserve fresh water.


9. Describe safe galley procedures to minimize dangers such as fire, scalding, and spillage.

10. Describe proper marine toilet operation, including precautions to prevent malfunction, and describe proper holding tank pump-out procedures.

11. Identify and describe the function of the fundamental systems and components of a marine diesel engine, including fuel, lubrication, cooling, and drive train.

12. Describe safe fresh water tank filling procedures, including identification of correct deck fills.

13. Describe power conservation measures and procedures to prevent running batteries down when anchored/moored overnight.


14. Name four acceptable distress signals, per the USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook, which are appropriate for a recreational vessel.

15. Describe actions to be taken in the following situations:

  • Collision with another boat
  • Running aground
  • Dragging Anchor
  • Flooding
  • Fire

16. Describe actions to be taken in the following situations when the vessel is under power:

  • Fouled Propeller
  • Engine cooling water fails to flow
  • Engine fails in a crowded anchorage where using sails is not possible
  • Engine fails in a busy channel


17. Describe the information required and the procedure for tying a boat to a fixed dock in areas with a large tidal range.

18. Describe the following multiple-anchor mooring procedures and their purposes:

  • Fore & Aft Moor
  • Forked Moor
  • Bahamian Moor
  • Mediterranean Moor

19. Describe methods and potential dangers of rafting vessels at anchor.

20. Describe safe methods for towing and securing a dinghy / tender.

21. Describe preparation of the vessel for heavy weather sailing including gear stowage, crew safety and appropriate sail plan.

22. Describe the following courtesies and customs:

  • Permission to board
  • Permission to come alongside
  • Courtesy in crossing adjacent boats when rafted
  • Rights of first boat in an anchorage
  • Keeping clear of regattas
  • Flag etiquette
  • Rendering assistance to vessels in distress

23. Describe, using diagrams as appropriate, the applicable rules (steering & sailing, lights, and sound signals) for a 30’ to 45’ recreational vessel, as found in the USCG Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook.

Navigation & Weather

24. Explain and identify the following coastal navigation terms, using a chart or diagrams as appropriate:

  • Speed
  • Time
  • Distance
  • Tidal Range
  • Tidal Current
  • Track
  • Course
  • Heading
  • Bearing
  • Fix
  • True
  • Magnetic
  • Variation
  • Deviation
  • Line of Position (LOP)

25. Describe the sea breeze and land breeze dynamics and their effect on sailing conditions.

26. Identify conditions that may lead to the formation of radiation and sea / advection fog.

27. Describe actions to be taken in the following weather situations:

  • Fog / reduced visibility
  • Squall / thunderstorm


28. Perform the duties of skipper and crew on a live-aboard coastal cruise of at least 48 hours

29. Locate and check the condition of all federally required equipment.


30. Perform a routine vessel inspection, ensuring that all systems and equipment are in working order, including:

  • Fuel level
  • Fresh water level
  • Battery voltage
  • Electrical system
  • Navigation lights
  • Instruments and electronics
  • Bilge
  • Through-hulls and seacocks
  • Standing rigging
  • Running rigging
  • Deck hardware
  • Ground tackle

31. Visually inspect the auxiliary engine. Check for correct engine oil level and potential problems such as leaking fluids or frayed belts; demonstrate safe engine starting, operating and stopping procedures.

32. Inspect the raw water strainer for debris and ensure that the raw water intake seacock is in the proper position for engine operation.

33. Locate the emergency steering tiller and identify where it attaches to the rudder post.

34. Operate the electric and manual bilge pumps to ensure they are functional.

35. Demonstrate proper usage of the VHF radio, including hailing another station on Channel 16 and switching to a working channel.

36. Demonstrate proper operation of the galley stove including fuel supply, lighting, and shutting down; simulate the proper way to extinguish a galley fire.

37. Demonstrate the proper method of disconnecting and reconnecting shore power cables.

Under Power

38. Demonstrate the use of spring lines in the docking/undocking process (e.g., pivoting the vessel away from the dock during departure).

39. Maneuver the vessel in reverse gear, observing and explaining the effect of prop walk on the stern’s direction.

40. Maneuver the boat in a confined space to include performing ‘standing turn’ maneuver, turning the vessel 180 degrees in a confined area using rudder position and gearshift / throttle control.

41. Ensure vessel / crew readiness and use the auxiliary engine to bring the vessel smoothly and under control to a stop next to a parallel dock or into a slip; secure the vessel using appropriate lines and fenders.

42. Describe/demonstrate an appropriate person in water (a.k.a. Man Overboard or MOB) recovery maneuver while under power and describe methods to bring the MOB safely back aboard.

43. Demonstrate one of the following multiple-anchor mooring methods as appropriate to local conditions, using correct procedures such as hand signals, safety in handling ground tackle, proper operation of windlass (if equipped) and use of a snubber or bridle. Raise anchors and get underway smoothly using correct procedures.

  • Fore and Aft Moor
  • Forked Moor
  • Bahamian Moor
  • Mediterranean Moor

Under Sail

44. Sail a steady compass course within +/- 10 degrees with sails trimmed properly.

45. Demonstrate the proper use of all available lines and sail controls (halyards, sheets, traveler, boom vang, outhaul, downhaul/cunningham, jib sheet fairleads, etc.) to obtain maximum performance and comfort.

46. Demonstrate the correct usage of a jibe preventer.

47. Demonstrate proper reefing procedures while under sail or hove-to.

48. Demonstrate two different MOB recovery maneuvers while under sail; starting from both close-hauled and a broad reach and selecting an appropriate maneuver for each initial point of sail.

Navigation & Weather

49. Plan a coastal passage from origin to destination, plotting courses, distances, and waypoints. While en route, keep a written log and plot DR positions on a chart, and calculate estimated times of arrival (ETA) to waypoints.

50. Obtain and interpret marine weather information; describe the impact that the present observations and forecast may have on cruising plans over a 3-day period.

51. Obtain updated weather forecasts during a passage and compare with visual and measured observations.

52. Take visual 2 or 3-bearing fixes using a hand-bearing compass.

53. Determine the predicted depth above or below chart datum at a given time using tide prediction tables.

54. Use a GPS / chartplotter (if available) to obtain information and perform basic navigation functions such as position, course, speed, waypoints, ETA, and tidal information.

55. Pilot a boat into an unfamiliar harbor or anchorage by day using relevant nautical charts, publications and tidal information.


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

  • Figure-8 Knot
  • Square (Reef) Knot
  • Clove Hitch
  • Round Turn & 2 Half Hitches
  • Cleat Hitch
  • Bowline
  • Sheet Bend
  • Rolling Hitch
  • Trucker’s Hitch

114 Overview

In this course, you will learn to skipper an auxiliary-powered sailing cruising catamaran during a multi-day live aboard cruise, in coastal waters, in moderate to heavy winds (up to 30 knots) and sea conditions. Learn catamaran structure, components and features, performance under sail and power, boat systems, seamanship and safety, heavy weather operation, and emergency response.

For a full list of all 57 topics (knowledge and skills), plus knots that will be covered click below.

Catamaran Terminology

1. Identify and describe the functions of the following terms and structural components:

  • Catamaran
  • Hull
  • Nacelle
  • Full Bridgedeck
  • Partial Bridgedeck
  • Deckhouse
  • Crossbeams
  • Fixed keel
  • Daggerboard
  • Escape hatch
  • Trampoline
  • Bridle
  • Twin engine
  • Mainsail Roach
  • Dolphin Striker
  • Seagull Striker

2. Identify and describe the functions of the following rigging terms and components:

  • Fractional rig
  • Tripod rig
  • Diamond stays
  • Spreaders
  • Shrouds
  • Forestay

Catamaran Features & Performance

3. Describe the accommodations of a typical catamaran and their effect on comfort and safety.

4. Compare differences in operating and living aboard a monohull and catamaran of similar length.

5. Describe the impact that a catamaran’s deck structures may have on visibility from the helm.

6. Describe stability differences between a ballasted monohull keelboat and a catamaran.

7. Describe load-carrying characteristics of a catamaran and how weight distribution affects safety and performance.

8. Describe shoal draft keels on a catamaran and the impact on cruise planning and sailing.

9. Describe the typical installation of daggerboards and how they affect performance.

10. Describe catamaran engine placement and the effect on performance and balance.

11. Describe maneuverability under power of a twin-engine catamaran.

12. Describe the effects of windage on close-quarters maneuverability under power.

13. Describe the effects of windage on sailing performance.

14. List differences in sailing performance between a monohull and a catamaran of similar size.

15. Describe how to use the jib to counteract the weather-vane effect of a catamaran’s mainsail when tacking.

16. List various sail combinations utilized on a catamaran and how they affect the center of effort.

17. List differences between the mainsails of a monohull keelboat and a catamaran.

18. Describe indicators for and conditions under which a catamaran’s sails should be reefed.

Catamaran Systems

19. List differences in the types of boat systems typically installed on monohulls versus catamarans.

20. Describe freshwater and fuel storage tank placement and precautions on a catamaran.

21. Describe battery-charging options, including alternators, shore power and generator, and how they affect twin-engine catamarans.


22. Describe options for gear stowage and proper stowing procedures.

23. Describe the features of a catamaran galley and methods of working safely in the galley.

24. Compare options for hoisting, carrying and towing a dinghy.

25. Describe methods and limitations of rafting a catamaran with other boats.

26. Describe the use of a bridle with a single bow anchor or fixed mooring.

27. Describe the following multiple-anchor mooring procedures on a catamaran and the circumstances under which they could be used:

  • Fore & Aft Moor
  • Bahamian Moor
  • Mediterranean Moor

Heavy Weather Operation & Emergency Response

28. Describe conditions that may contribute to capsizing a catamaran and practices to avoid capsizing.

29. Describe post-capsize response procedures.

30. Describe where and how to attach jacklines and tethered safety harnesses on a catamaran.

31. Describe how the structure and performance of a catamaran under both sail and power affects the recovery of a person in the water (a.k.a. Man Overboard or MOB).

32. Describe heavy weather sailing practices applied to a catamaran, including:

  • Lying a-hull
  • Heaving-to
  • Downwind speed control

33. Describe actions to be taken if one or both engines fail.

34. Identify the emergency steering tiller and indicate where it attaches to the controlling rudder post.


35. Locate and check the condition of all required and ASA recommended equipment.

36. Perform a routine vessel inspection, ensuring that all systems and equipment are in working order.

Under Power

37. Depart safely from a dock when the approximate wind direction is (a) parallel to the dock and (b) perpendicular to the dock.

38. Demonstrate the proper use of spring lines to pivot the catamaran during dock departure and return.

39. Ensure vessel and crew readiness and use the auxiliary engines to bring the catamaran smoothly to a controlled stop next to a parallel dock or into a slip; then secure the vessel using appropriate lines and fenders.

40. Make way ahead and turn the catamaran in a tight circle, comparing the turning radius between three different engine gear selections:

  • Both engines in forward gear
  • One engine in forward, the other in neutral
  • One engine in forward, the other in reverse

41. Make way astern and turn the catamaran in a tight circle.

42. Steer a straight, controlled course astern for at least five boat lengths.

43. Approach a mark under power upwind, downwind, and with wind abeam, in each case stopping the catamaran within 10 feet of the mark.

44. Approach a mooring buoy (or suitable substitute if no mooring is available), attach to the mooring using a bridle, then cast off from the mooring and get underway.

45. Maneuver the catamaran under power in a confined space, compensating for wind and current effects.

46. Demonstrate the correct actions to be taken while under power to recover a MOB.

47. Demonstrate two of the following anchor/mooring methods as appropriate to local conditions, using correct procedures including hand signals, safety in handling ground tackle, proper operation of windlass and use of a bridle. Raise anchor(s) and get underway using correct procedures.

  • Single bow anchor
  • Fore and aft moor
  • Bahamian Moor
  • Mediterranean Moor

Under Sail

48. Sail a steady compass course, varying the heading no more than +/- 10 degrees, with sails trimmed properly.

49. Demonstrate proper usage of all lines and sail controls (halyards, sheets, traveler, boom vang, outhaul, downhaul, etc.) that are available on the catamaran to obtain maximum performance and comfort.

50. Demonstrate proper combined usage of the mainsheet and traveler for upwind and downwind sailing.

51. Demonstrate how to get out of “irons.”

52. Perform each of the following maneuvers separately and under control, giving appropriate commands and ensuring proper sail trim:

  • Head Up
  • Bear Away
  • Tack
  • Jibe
  • Heave to

53. Hold a steady course on each of the following points of sail, ensuring proper sail trim:

  • Close Hauled
  • Close Reach
  • Beam Reach
  • Broad Reach

54. Luff sails while sailing on a close reach at maximum safe speed for the conditions, noting the length of time required for the catamaran to come to a stop. Re-trim sails and note the length of time required to accelerate to maximum safe speed.

55. Demonstrate the correct use of a jibe preventer.

56. Demonstrate proper reefing procedures while under sail or hove-to.

57. Demonstrate the proper actions to be taken while under sail to recover a MOB, using two different recovery methods.

Prerequisite – ASA 101 and 103

Boat utilized and description – 2016 Lagoon 400 S2 or 2017 Lagoon 450

This is an attractive 40 or 45 foot sailing catamaran with 3 cabins and 3 bathrooms.  This is a top of the line cruising model with all 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 – The Vue Marina, Newport Beach, CA

The boat will be docked at the Vue Marina on the Balboa Peninsula.  This marina has some of the best facilities and is one of the best destinations in Southern California.  Some of the features that make this a great location are:

  • Free parking
  • Bathrooms
  • Several restaurants within walking distance
  • Coffee shops within walking distance
  • Large grocery store, 3 blocks away – Pavilions
  • John Wayne (SNA) Airport, 7 miles away.
  • Balboa Island ferry within a mile
  • Newport Pier a block away.
  • Art Museums of Laguna Beach within 12 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 104 & 114 textbooks “Bareboat Cruising Made Easy and Cruising Catamarans Made Easy ”
  • Fuel, insurance, and safety gear (including life jackets)
  • Mooring fees in Catalina
  • Dinghy – 10’ with Honda 2.3HP outboard motor
  • 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!

Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Meet at our office inside the Balboa Marina at 9am.  The address is 201 E. Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92660.  There is free parking at our office.  We will then have you follow us to the Vue Marina, where your catamaran is located.  A friendly member of our team will then 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 where you can buy food for your three-day trip to Catalina.  There are also stores and a fun selection of restaurants in Avalon, the main town in Catalina.  At 9:30am, your sailing instructor will arrive at your boat. You’ll spend the next hour or so discussing the cruising plan, doing safety checks, and going over all the features and functionalities of the vessel.  At approximately 10:30am, you’ll depart for Avalon, Catalina. It is about a 4 to 5 hour journey to Avalon, during which you’ll have plenty of time to work through 1/3 of the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section.  You also might get a chance to spot some marine wildlife like sea lions, dolphins, whales or maybe even the elusive sunfish.  Don’t forget to bring your camera.

When you arrive in Catalina, you’ll pick up a mooring and set the outboard motor on the dinghy.  You can cook aboard or go ashore for dinner and a leisurely walk (there are quaint shops and bars to explore in the town.) Spend a peaceful evening on the boat or hit one of the local bars in Avalon.  Don’t forget to listen to Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills & Nash.  “In a noisy bar in Avalon, I tried to call you.”

Day 2: Wake up to the birds chirping and the sun shining on the quaint town of Avalon and its surrounding hillside.  Go for a walk past the famous old Casino where Hollywood’s elite used to party.  Enjoy a leisurely breakfast aboard or eat ashore.  Later that morning you’ll drop your mooring lines and begin your journey North West toward Two Harbors, Catalina.  While you are underway, you’ll work through another 1/3 of the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section.  During this part of the trip, you will sail past many beautiful private coves along the front side of Catalina.  Take this opportunity to practice anchoring in at least one of them.  Perhaps you’ll even be adventuresome enough to swim through Blue Cavern Point.  In the afternoon, you will arrive in Isthmus Cove and pick up a mooring for the evening.  Enjoy a second evening on your yacht.  Maybe sip some wine at sunset.  Make a reservation for dinner at the Harbor Reef restaurant, play a game of pool at the local bar, or BBQ, or cook on board. The choice is yours.  You can also take this last chance to study.

Day 3: If you are ready, this morning might be a good time to take the test. If not, you can always take the test back at our office on a later day.  There are some great hiking trails in Two Harbors.  Bring your camera and good shoes.  This is a great chance to take some scenic pictures of the beautiful coves of Catalina.  Oh, and watch out for bison–they’re big and they have horns!  Be respectful of their space and distance, but enjoy this wonderfully unique experience to see them in nature. After breakfast, prepare your vessel for the 5 to 6 hour journey back to Newport Beach.  Generally you’ll be sailing downwind and maybe you’ll get the opportunity to fly the gennaker or Code 0.  During this passage, you’ll have plenty of time to work on your navigational skills, motor the boat under power, and work through 1/3 of the topics under the Knowledge and Skills section.  You’ll return to the dock about 3 or 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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