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Sail Monterey Bay

Basic Sailing & Seamanship

This two-day course will teach you the fundamentals of sailing and seamanship. A total of 12 hours of onboard instruction (2 days) will provide you with the skills and confidence you need to safely skipper and crew a 27' to 30' tiller sailboat in light to moderate wind and sea conditions on lakes or other protected bodies of water. All instruction is onboard our 27-30 foot keelboats. You'll be sailing on the Monterey Bay out of Santa Cruz both days. During course time on the water, you are likely to be treated to encounters with dolphins, otters, seals, pelicans, and possibly whales.

This course prepares students for Basic Coastal Cruising course and comprises the first 2 days of the Six or Eight-Day program.

Under way

Topics covered:

•Sailing Theory
•Safety Gear
•Points of Sailing
•Tacking & Jibing
•Crew Responsibilities
•Helmsmanship & Commands
•Getting Underway & Making Sail
•Sail Trimming
•Securing the Boat
•Nautical Terminology
•Finding & Reading the Wind Direction
•Mechanics of Rig & Sail
•Navigation Rules

Format: Two consecutive days, 10 am to 4 pm

Prerequisite: none (Note: We put group courses (3-4 students) together every weekend, thus singles or couples can join in and pay the group rate.

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Cost (per student)
Private (2 students) Two days- 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. $395.00- Non-Member $370.00 Member
Group (3-4 students) Two days- 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. $265.00 Non-Member $245.00 Member

Optional American Sailing Association package: Completion of this class prepares you to take the ASA or US Sailing Basic Keelboat Certification on tiller-steered boats. Demonstrated during class and written test. If you want just the Basic Keelboat certification (101) you will need:
Textbook - Sailing Made Easy - $27.00(includes tax)
Log book $30.00
ASA exam $30.00
Automatic membership to ASA - mandatory - $39.00
Total - $126.00
The practical Basic Keelboat is included in the 2 day course.

Please see detailed information regarding the ASA certification program below.

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Recommendations & Testimonials

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Feel free to contact us to find out more about our sailing courses or to sign up directly.

(831) 423-SAIL
(800) 374-2626

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Textbook: We have the text book "Sailing Made Easy, ASA" in our office. The cost is $27.32 which includes tax. This book is optional, however if you don't have any sailing textbooks, we highly recommend it. This is the first book of two that you would study to obtain the ASA Bareboat certification

Sailing Made Easy

Please see detailed information regarding the ASA certification program below.

Certification at PY&S

At Pacific Yachting and Sailing, ASA (American Sailing Association Certification) is offered as an option, at additional cost. We recommend that the sailor maintain documented sailing time at least once every three months to keep current in their skills.

Note - most students that complete 4 week-ends or 8 consecutive days- Basic Sailing & Seamanship, Basic Coastal Cruising, Intermediate Coastal Cruising, and Bareboat Chartering can satisfy the ASA practical requirements for the Bareboat level of certification. In other words, it's likely you will be able to take out a boat as a bareboat skipper, with experienced crew, after 8 days, in most cases.


Our courses are designed to prepare the student to successfully challenge the certification standards for that particular skill level. Most of our students are able to pass the ASA practical skill requirements during course time. Some students, however, require an additional Review Course or two before they are ready to challenge the Practical Checkout. No two students are alike. We all learn at our own pace. Those with previous boating experience can pick up the fundamentals more quickly than those without previous experience. While there are no guarantees, on average, students at our sailing school are ready to charter on their own after they complete eight days of formal instruction.

*While certification provides a basis for chartering companies to evaluate a customer's competency, even with ASA or US Sailing certification many charter companies may require an on-the-water test of sailing skill (called a "practical checkout") before chartering.
**PY&S Charter Certification is available to others who successfully challenge the Practical Checkout. Students can take the ASA written exams at any time after they have taken the appropriate practical course(s). Most students that are local come back after the 8 days of instruction (up to the Bareboat level) and take the 3 exams at one time. The exams are not open book.

Basic sailing school

Optionally, the ASA certification package is $238.00 which includes: Membership to ASA, ASA Log Book, three textbooks - "Sailing Made Easy, Coastal Cruising Made Easy, and Bareboat CRuising Made Easy", the ASA Basic Keelboat, Basic Coastal Cruising and Bareboat Chartering written exams - $238.00

What to bring: We'd recommend wearing soft-soled, comfortable shoes, a warm jacket, fleece or sweater, and a windbreaker. Layered clothing is the best way to dress. You can store an extra jacket or sweater in the boat's cabin. To protect yourself from the sun- a billed hat, UV-blocking sunglasses and sunscreen. Gloves provide easier holding of lines and help prevent chafe. They don't have to be "sailing gloves"-bicycling, golf, weight-training, even garden gloves will work. Pacific Yachting and Sailing provides comfortable lifejackets and foul weather gear if needed.

Schedule: Weather permitting, we offer this course every weekend throughout the year and you can join the first two days of an 8 day course on a Monday-Tuesday. Check our calendar for upcoming classes.

Parking: You can purchase a parking permit from the pay station at F dock and park in the spaces that are labeled Visitor Parking. F dock is just before our office which is in front of FF dock.The cost of parking is $1.25 per hr. The neighborhood streets on Atantic Ave. (above the Harbor Parking lot) are free parking. It's about a 5-10 minute walk from our office & boats.


Motion sickness is rarely an issue on sailboats, however, we recommend sea-bands for preventive measures if you feel you may be susceptible. The Sea-Band is a knitted elasticated wrist band, which operates by applying pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure point on each wrist by means of a plastic stud. Because the bands do not use drugs, they do not cause any of the side effects associated with anti-nausea drugs.

It's a good idea to pack a lunch. There are several good eateries within walking distance. However, you may be rushed returning to class by the end of the 1/2-hour lunch break. We'll look forward to having you here. Please don't hesitate to e-mail or call us if you have any questions.


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La Paz under way

Light house

La Paz head in

Note: Our courses are designed so that most students who cover 8 days of instruction can adequately learn the skills needed to sail on the Pacific Ocean with adequate crew.

What Type of Certification is Available
Pacific Yachting & Sailing offers nationally recognized bareboat (you are the Captain) charter certification called the American Sailing Association Certification.

Certification requires that the skipper pass a standardized on-the-water examination of sailing skills, called the Practical Checkout. The ASA Sailing certifications require, in addition, written examinations.

American Sailing Association
Five levels of certification are available at Pacific Yachting & Sailing; Basic Keelboat, Basic & Intermediate Coastal Cruising, Bareboat Chartering, Coastal Navigation and Advanced Coastal Cruising
Must pass Practical Checkout
Must pass written examinations

ASA Basic Keelboat Certification
Does not allow skipper to bareboat Pacific Yachting & Sailing charter boats. You may be able to rent small boats on a protected waterway like a lake or river.
In practice, most students who are interested in ASA Certification wait until they have completed the four primary (two day courses), and then test for Basic Keelboat, Basic Coastal Cruising, and Bareboat Chartering at the same time.
Most students who take the weekend or 6-Day course achieve the ASA Basic Keelboat standard during course time.

ASA Basic Coastal Cruising Certification
Must pass on-the-water examination
Must pass written examination
Does not allow the skipper to bareboat Pacific Yachting & Sailing charter boats, however some other charter companies may honor the certification.
* Because Pacific Yachting & Sailing is located on the Pacific Ocean, we require that all Skippers that want to charter have the ASA or US Sailing Bareboat Certification and have a first mate that has the Basic Coastal Cruising skills (not necessarily the certification)

ASA Bareboat Chartering
Must pass on-the-water examination
Must pass written examination
Most students can pass the Bareboat Chartering standard during course time.

ASA Advanced Coastal Cruising
Must pass on-the-water examination
Must pass written examination
Most students can pass the Advanced Coastal Cruising standard during course time.

ASA Coastal Navigation
Must pass written examination
This is the only ASA certification that is a take home open book exam.

Certification Procedures

On-the-water Examination
Practical Checkout Form is completed for each student and turned in to office.
Six- or Eight-Day students must pass on-the-water examination to be certified. Students from out of the area may challenge the on-the-water examination during course time, typically on the final day of their class. If they do not pass the standard for BCC (6-Day) or BBC (8-Day) they can be certified to a lower level (e.g., BKB or BCC), assuming they meet the standards.

Written Examinations
Written examinations cannot be taken home.
Student is given written examination(s) by office staff.
Six- or Eight-Day students are given exams at beginning of course and allowed to work on them during their stay. They are encouraged to use instructors as resources for questions they have difficulty with. The examinations must be completed and given to office staff before the student returns home.