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ASA Certification – Why Take the Exams?


ASA is a nationally recognized sailing certification and accreditation program. 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 Passage making.  

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.

Please note: If you have taken all of the Pacific Yachting courses- Basic Sailing & Seamanship, Basic & Intermediate Coastal Cruising, Bareboat Chartering and choose not to take the ASA written exams ($189. which includes the two textbooks, Sailing & Cruising Fundamentals, a log book, and 3 written exams and the ASA membership), you can still charter our boats as long as you pass the practical check-out which is incorporated into the last day of the Bareboat Course.

We do recommend taking the written exams and getting the ASA stickers because it will turn the doorknob to chartering with other companies worldwide.