Sailing School, Sailing Lessons & InstructionClick Here to See Our Special Discounts
Whether you're new to sailing or are an experienced boat owner seeking to improve your sailing or navigation skills, Pacific Yachting & Sailing will provide you with optimum sailing instruction. Previous sailing experience is not necessary. All you need is the desire to accomplish your sailing goals and we'll do the rest.
Pacific Yachting & Sailing offers sailing courses ranging from Basic Sailing & Seamanship to Offshore Passage Making. We'll teach you everything you need to know to safely skipper a sailing yacht as a bareboat-certified captain or competent crewmember.
Note: We put together individual students for all of our courses. You don't have to have you own group.
Our hands-on approach to instruction cultivates the potential in each student. After you master the fundamentals of sailing you'll open the door to the new and exciting world of the sailing lifestyle!
ASA (American Sailing Association) Certification
Registration and Secure Application
- Basic Sailing & Seamanship
- Basic Coastal Cruising
- Intermediate Coastal Cruising
- Bareboat Chartering
- Advanced Coastal Navigation and Piloting
- Spinnaker Course
- Coastal Excursions
- Six Day Instruction Program
- Eight Day Instruction Program
- Optional Certification Cost:
Includes: Membership to ASA, ASA Log Book, three textbooks-"Sailing Made Easy, Coastal Cruising Made Easy, and Bareboat Cruising", the ASA Basic Keelboat, Basic Coastal Cruising and Bareboat Chartering written exams - $238.00
- Rain or Adverse Weather-100% Refund
7 day Cancellation- No charge
- 3 DAY Cancellation- 50% charge
- 24 HR. Cancellation 100% charge- unless serious medical excuse- then only 50% charge
See what past students have to say about our instruction programs:
Recommendations & Testimonials
Want more info? Try our faq.
Feel free to contact us to find out more about our sailing courses or to sign up directly.
Please see more ASA certification information below
All courses are held onboard the instructional vessel and include both lecture sessions (onboard the vessel) and on-the-water practice. Our class size of 3-4 students assures you of plenty of individualized attention. Our curriculum, refined over the past 20 years, is thorough and efficient. Each class naturally progresses to the next level of instruction.
**Bareboat means that the charter company does not provide the boat with a skipper, thus the boat is bare. By going through proper sailing instruction & training, most people can become a bareboat skipper. Certain charter companies may require a performance and practical check-out before chartering, even if you have ASA or US Sailing certification.
Weather permitting, our classes are offered every weekend throughout the year based on 3-4 students per class. On request, we can close the class at two students for an additional charge (see specific class description). For those students interested, we organize six- or eight-day consecutive courses, combining the Basic Sailing & Seamanship, Basic Coastal Cruising, Intermediate Coastal Cruising and Bareboat Chartering classes from two to four times per month.
If you are single and have a particular date that you want to start a consecutive course, just send us an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll work on recruiting 2 to 3 more students on that particular date to make it happen.
Most students that complete 3 week-ends or 6 consecutive days- which include the Basic Sailing & Seamanship, Basic Coastal Cruising, Intermediate Coastal Cruising, will become practically ASA Basic Coastal Cruising Certified. Please note, Pacific Yachting & Sailing only let's sailors that are Bareboat certified take out our boats. They also must have crew that has intermediate experience, preferably with the Basic Coastal Cruising certification.
We recommend 8 days of instruction to the Bareboat Level for those interested in getting the most complete education.
Students who complete the Eight Day Instruction Program can, in most cases, complete the requirements for the ASA Intermediate Bareboat qualifications during course time. You can challenge all of the testing requirements for ASA certification at any time.
Q: What is the difference between the Six-Day and the Eight-Day Courses?
A: The Six-Day Course is designed so that a student with a dedicated desire can become proficient in sailing a 27-30 foot sailboat. However, completion of the Six-Day Course also prepares students to take the ASA Basic Coastal Cruising or US Sailing Basic Cruising Certification. Pacific Yachting & Sailing requires that a student pass the requirements up to Bareboat Chartering to take a boat out as a Bareboat Captain. This takes 8 days.
The Eight-Day Course provides the student with an additional two days of practice to learn more advanced sailing & boat handling skills. Completion of the Eight-Day Course prepares you to take the ASA Bareboat Chartering or US Sailing Bareboat Cruising Certification. When a student has completed eight consecutive days or 4 week-ends, and they have done exceptionally well, our USCG Licensed Captain can certify them to the ASA Bareboat level without a review/check-out. We incorporate the review-check-out into the 8th day.
American Sailing Association (ASA)
All Pacific Yachting and Sailing courses incorporate the highest standards of nationally recognized sail training-those of the American Sailing Association (ASA) and US Sailing.
ASA and US Sailing are both nationally recognized sailing certification and accreditation programs. These organizations, which include sailing schools, charter companies, sailing instructors and sailors, set competency standards for both sailing knowledge and on-the-water skills for sailors and instructors from basic to offshore sailing levels. Certification simply means a person has demonstrated a standard of proficiency by passing both written and on-the-water skills tests (much like a drivers license). It provides a means for charter companies to assess a sailor's ability. There are tests for various levels of sailing from Basic Keelboat to Offshore Passagemaking.
The Basic Coastal Cruising and Bareboat Chartering standards meet the requirements of many chartering situations*. The Basic Keelboat certification is also a recognized State Safe Boating course. To earn ASA certification the sailor must pass a series of written examinations as well as an on-the-water examination of practical sailing skills. Because Pacific Yachting & Sailing is located in northern California, directly on the Pacific Ocean, we require all sailors that want to charter our boats have the Bareboat level of certification.
Certification at PY&S
At Pacific Yachting and Sailing, ASA is offered as an option, at additional cost. Whether or not you chose the certification option, qualified graduates of our Instructional Program receive Pacific Yachting and Sailing's Charter Certificate at no additional charge. This entitles the sailor to charter PY&S' sailing vessels. We recommend that the sailor maintain documented sailing time at least once every three months to keep current in their skills. To receive PY&S charter certification the student must successfully complete the Bareboat Course and an on-the-water skills test (Practical Checkout).**
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. Students taking the 8 day consecutive liveaboard course usually take the written exams in the evening, after the practical class time. The exams are not open book.
Optional Certification Cost:
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
ASA Advanced Coastal Cruising written exam (includes Coastal Navigation) - $60
For those who choose not to take the ASA or US Sailing Certification exams, we can give qualified Bareboat graduates our Pacific Yachting Coastal/Ocean certificate signed by our US Coast Guard Licensed Skipper. We require that the sailor maintain documented sailing time at least once every three months to keep our certificate valid. If you are Bareboat certified through Pacific Yachting and have taken our practical check-out and passed it, there is no charge for our certificate.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
Weekend students are scheduled for written examinations after they complete their course.