How To Learn To Sail

By: Learn To Sail

“I have always wanted to learn to sail”

How many times have you said this or heard someone say it?

“How can I get started with sailing? How do I learn to sail?”

At American Sailing, we hear that phrase on a daily basis.  We will let you in on the answer. It’s simple.

You won’t have to buy a boat or learn a new language or buy a new wardrobe to get a taste of sailing. You can dictate how much you want to experience.

Step One: Start Slow

American Sailing’s Intro to Sailing Online Course

Online Intro to Sailing is your first taste of the sailing lifestyle. Take this course and familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of sailing and the introductory vocabulary, safety skills, and how a boat works. When you complete this course, you will be ready to step on a boat and take ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing.

ASA Sailing Challenge App

It may seem like you are playing a game, but this fun interactive game helps illustrate the principles of sailing and is used by some ASA sailing instructors to supplement their ASA 101 classes. This cutting-edge technology helps you learn about points of sail, trimming, tacking and jibing, and much more. Download the App

Read All About Sailing Fundamentals

If you want to get started with some pre-reading before you jump into learning how to sail two ASA textbooks should help get you on your way:

Let’s Go Sailing, Sailing expert and best-selling author, Peter Isler, has combined learning the basics of sailing in both boat types in this revolutionary new book. Want to learn to sail in a small boat? This book will be the foundation of your sailing life forever.

Sailing Made Easy: Sailing Made Easy is the most comprehensive education and boating safety learn-to-sail guide available. It is the official textbook for the ASA Basic Keelboat Standard (ASA 101). Incorporated in the textbook are useful illustrations and exceptional photographs of complex sailing concepts. The text’s most distinguishing feature is its user-friendly “spreads” in which instructional topics are self-contained on opposing pages throughout the book. There are also chapter-end quizzes and a glossary to help those new to sailing navigate their way through the extensive nautical terminology.

Find Someone to Sail With by Using the GoSailing App

Are you ready to experience the wind and the water?  Use the GoSailing App to find other sailors in need of a crew. This app connects sailors in your area with people who want to sail.

Step Two: Find a Sailing School 

In addition to sailing instruction, some ASA sailing schools are associated with sailing clubs that make finding someone to sail with much easier. Other schools have rental and charter operations that make renting a boat much easier with your ASA certification. Also, once you earn your ASA 101 sailing certification, you will gain the knowledge and confidence to consider going out on your own.

What Will You Learn in ASA 101, Basic KeelBoat Sailing?

Take a look at this article on what you can expect from ASA 101:

ASA Textbook 101 Sailing Made Easy

As an ASA 101 certified sailor, you will be able to skipper a sloop-rigged keelboat of approximately 20 to 27 feet in length by day in light to moderate winds (up to 15 knots) and sea conditions. You will have knowledge of 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. Auxiliary power operation is not required.

How Much Does it Cost to Learn to Sail?

So how much does it cost to learn how to sail? Take a look at these six examples of what you get for the price of taking ASA 101. The courses all differ slightly but they all get you to the same certification. 

See some examples here

The American Sailing Association does not set a price for sailing lessons. The price is dictated by the individual school as they are responsible for following a set curriculum and meeting the standards set forth by ASA.

Step Three: Go Sailing!

Learning To Sail Is Just The Beginning

Sailing means different things to different people. At ASA we understand that learning to sail is just the beginning of a relationship with a lifestyle that is infectious. Where will sailing take you? We have a few ideas but how you view sailing is the most important.

5 Spots To Use Your ASA 101 Certification

These are five spots where you will encounter the right amount of wind, the right size boat and the perfect place for you to test out the sailing skills that you gained in ASA 101.

Join a Flotilla

Flotilla sailing charter vacations bring together a fleet of sailboats, each operating independently with its own crew, along with a lead boat and flotilla leader who knows the local area well. By joining a flotilla, you can enjoy the freedom of skippering your own boat but have comfort in knowing that support and advice are on hand to help with navigation and local weather. Every year, numerous ASA schools offer sailing flotillas in exotic and spectacular locations around the world. They take sailors of all skill levels where they not only have a great time, but also gain skill and confidence.

7 Exotic Locations To Learn To Sail

It would seem that a sailor is always seeking the exotic in an adventure. While sailing can be the entire focus of a vacation, often learning to sail or brushing up on your sailing skills is just a fraction of your vacation time and budget. These destinations will give you an opportunity to satisfy your craving for an exotic locale as well as allow you to sail in paradise.

Charter Your Own Boat

Today bareboat chartering is the culmination of your sailing education. When you walk across the deck and get your sailing diploma you step on to the metaphorical boat of your future and you can sail it anywhere you want! That is the goal, to send you off confidently on your own. We know we have done our job when you are in a breathtaking anchorage with your feet up enjoying the sunset.

Our goal is simply to get you sailing, safely and confidently in all conditions.

Find a Sailing School and Get Started