ASA 101 students at Bluewater Sailing, Marina Del Rey
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ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Certification at Bluewater Sailing
1. All Outdoors
Classes begin with wind awareness and learning to think on a boat. You’ll begin to build the critical mindset needed for safe and enjoyable boating.
2. All On Sailboats
Instructors lead you to the dock, provide clear demonstrations, then you’ll start sailing! The basics are covered in fun, well designed, and easy to learn sessions.
3. All Hands On
All learning requires practice. The time you invest makes the entire process more valuable and enjoyable. You’ll build skills through a process of discovery.
4. Then Practice!
Your instructor is your mentor. Santa Monica Bay is your classroom. Head out of the marina and enjoy the super fun experience of learning to sail!
Bluewater Waypoints: For the Beginning Sailor
Waypoint 1 - Begin with the ASA 101 Course
Ready for the breeze in your hair and the sun sparkling off the sea as your sailboat glides across the water? Thought so! Bluewater gives you more time on the water, maintains higher standards of training, and provides you with a dedicated educational fleet. No other sailing school can match it.
Waypoint 2 - Reinforce your 101 skills with your free practice charter
Once you’ve completed Bluewater’s ASA 101 certification, we provide you with a free 4 hour charter on one of our 22’s, the same boats you sailed in your 101 class. The charter is an extension of the 101 course and enables you to reinforce the skills you learned in 101. Invite some of your fellow 101 students for a fun day out of the water!
Waypoint 3 - Practice, Discover, Repeat! Take a FAST Class!
Your ASA 101 course got you started – now you can build on those skills! All learning requires practice. The time you invest makes your entire experience out on the water more valuable and enjoyable. It’s a process of discovery. In addition to chartering your own boat, another option is to join our FAST classes (Fun Awesome Sailing Time!) FAST classes are held on 22’s and are a great opportunity to continue building skills with an instructor aboard. And if it’s been a while since you’ve been out on the water you can reboot skills that may have faded by attending a Bluewater Reactivate! Session. Your ASA instructor will refresh the skills you learned in 101, so you can get back out on the water.
Waypoint 4 - Crew up for the Intro to Sail Racing Course
We recommend the Intro to Sail Racing course as the next waypoint in your journey. Racing sharpens your seamanship and teamwork skills and is a powerful skill for any sailor. Whether a racing enthusiast, or a cruiser at heart, the skills you hone while racing will make you a better and safer sailor.
Waypoint 5 - Keep sailing! Expand your horizon with ASA 103
After building confidence on our fleet of 22’s, you may be interested in joining our crew list, trying out larger boats, or exploring new horizons. The ASA 103 Basic Coastal Cruising Course prepares you to do just that. The 103 course, as well as the electives for this next level, will cover the skills you need for traveling further from shore in a wider variety of conditions.
Why You'll Be a Better Sailor with Bluewater Sailing
Captain Elliot shares Bluewater Sailing’s approach on learning to sail in times when being in a rush may not be the fastest way to get you where you want to go.
90% of your training at Bluewater is on-the-water. You'll build confidence there, step by step.
Welcome to Bluewater Sailing! If you love being outdoors, exploring new places, hiking or bike rides, encountering wild life, or just love relaxing with friends, sailing is for you. For over 40 years we’ve helped students discover the magic of sailing, and witnessed lives transformed in the process. We’re thrilled you’re here!
The American Sailing Association’s (ASA) core curriculum includes three classes: Basic Keelboat (101), Basic Coastal Cruising (103), and Bareboat Cruising (104). The core curriculum is designed to take a student with no prior experience to a level where they can safely charter a boat for a sailing holiday.
When you start out learning to sail it may be a challenge to define how long it should take to progress from the beginning to being comfortable sailing a big boat. And it can be even more difficult to discern when different schools offer different timelines – some extremely accelerated. (Like comparing “Apples to Oranges.”)
Our view at Bluewater is straightforward, by applying rigorous teaching methodologies honed over decades, and incorporating extensive practice into the curriculum, you’ll have unique opportunities to learn good habits, you’ll develop a more rewarding relationship with the sport, and you’ll be prepared to rent a boat anywhere in the world, or own a boat, or race, or just relax with friends. Our program is designed to help you accomplish much more with what you learn – to get you where you want to go.
Extensive on-the-water instruction is at the heart of everything we do.
While the ASA core curriculum is complete when presented carefully, the key recommendation is to sail approximately 20 hours immediately after and in between each of the three core classes. We at Bluewater Sailing are proud to meet and exceed these ASA recommendations.
You may find other schools bundling multiple levels of classes into one resort-type combination course, but you won’t find that here at Bluewater. It is our experience that rushing through certifications doesn’t automatically make you a good sailor.
You'll receive a bigger reward for your time, effort, and investment with Bluewater Sailing.
There are many items in the core curriculum that are subtle and take time to integrate into your own practice. For example, strong “skippering” skills, much like good organizational skills, or leadership skills, are more subjective and take time to develop. Our approach supports taking that time.
In the process, far from emerging with just beginning boat handling skills, you’ll be prepared to be a good skipper by providing better communication skills and a keen sense of the boat in an ever changing ocean. Our goal is not to just certify you as a boater, but to instill a life-long love of sailing.
Bluewater's decades of experience on the water and rigorous teaching methodologies enables you to go further with what you learn.
Once you’ve experienced the beauty of the open ocean, and you can be yourself on the water, you’ll know that you’re ready for the next level of courses. We’ll teach you in increments that allow you to learn at your own pace. Each session will be more valuable than the last because as you progress you’ll see through new eyes, you’ll be more prepared. You’ll be more in love with sailing. “Sailing changed my life,” is what we hear from our students.
Based on this approach, our students receive a bigger reward for their time, effort, and investment. Essentially, it is during the practice after each class where you learn to sail and achieve your goals. You’ll be sailing more often, you’ll be a better sailor, you’ll be more confident on the water, and you’ll have more fun. The course is just the beginning.
Done right, you’ll have life long memories from your time on the water and you’ll find something new about yourself being a sailor. See you out there.