ASA 106; Advanced Coastal Cruising


Prerequisites: 101, 103, 104, & 105

Required reading: 'Annapolis Book of Seamanship'
by John Rousmaniere. Order from our Ship's Store.

General Description: Able to safely act as skipper and crew on a sailing vessel 30-50 feet in coastal waters in any conditions.

All terms below are described in the Glossary.

Sailing Knowledge

Understand and describe true and apparent wind.

Describe the theory of sailing using force diagrams. Graphically finding the center of effort and center of lateral resistance of sails and hull.

Describe, with the aid of diagrams, the causes of lee and weather helm and ways to correct them. Know reasons for preference of slight weather helm. Understand effects of sail selection, mast position, and mast rake.

Describe sail shapes and interactions for different wind strengths and points of sail. Describe the effects on sail shape and resulting helm when adjusting the following:

luff tension
leech line
backstay tension

boom vang
jib sheet leads
jib sheet tension

Know how to use a barometer and thermometer either singly or together to assist in predicting weather.

Describe the following clouds and know the weather associated with each one: (Hint: See the Glossary for each cloud listed)


Describe local weather in terms of thermal winds and prevailing winds.

Describe three sources of weather information available to boaters in U.S. waters.

Know the proper selection of sails on a given boat for all weather conditions and be able to give reasons for such selections.

Describe appropriate heavy weather precautions for the boat selected and describe how they are to be carried out. Include sails, use of special equipment (safety harness, jacklines, drogue, etc.), doubling up of gear, special checks in areas liable to chafe, stowage of gear, addition checks on condition of bilge, special arrangements for towing dinghy, problems of fatigue, selection of clothing, need of at least two on deck at all times.

Describe all measures to be taken by skipper and crew for heaving-to and lying ahull.

Know methods for rafting at anchor and possible dangers with day and night rafting.

Describe how to prevent the dinghy from riding up and bumping the boat's hull while anchored at night.

Describe how to secure a boat overnight with one anchor and stern made fast to the shore or dock.

Describe two methods of using a second anchor to reduce swinging.

Describe four different methods for recovering an anchor that is fouled on the bottom.

Describe when and how to use a trip line with an anchor buoy.

Know when and how to set an anchor watch and their responsibilities.

Describe how to:

prepare a towing bridle
pass a tow to another vessel
get underway with a tow
proper towing speed

avoid fouling of propeller
avoid towline parting under stress
proper lookout arrangements
proper placement of crew

Memorize the distress signals listed in U.S. Coast Guard publications. (Hint: See Glossary).

Describe how to handle the boat and actions to be taken when the following emergencies occur under sail:

Know how to handle the boat and remedial action to be taken when the following emergencies occur while under power:

Know the fuel tank capacity and range of the boat and factors affecting its range.

Know the water tank capacity on the boat and minimum water requirements per person.

Describe the skipper's responsibilities and actions for the following courtesies and customs of boaters:

List documents and procedures for crossing international borders.

Know and describe the appropriate corrective actions for the following common engine problems as they are applicable to your boat:

stoppage in fuel line
defective points
fouled spark plug
unserviceable starter
injector problems

Know when and how to carry out an oil change.

Describe minimum preseason maintenance and checks for the following items:

Describe recommended permanent and temporary installation methods of grounding for lightening.

Describe factors to be considered before allowing swimmers in the water while anchored.

Describe the danger of overhead power lines.

Know the uses, capabilities, and limitations of radar reflectors.


Sailing Skills

Perform as helmsperson and demonstrate the proper techniques of all points of sail in approximately 20 knots of wind.

Work to weather to best advantage while using wind shifts and allowing for tides and local geography.

Sail a compass course within 10 degrees with sails trimmed.

Demonstrate correct way to tow a dinghy.

Be able to carry out nighttime crew overboard procedures.

Anchor, weigh anchor, pick up and cast off moorings while performing as helmsperson and crew.

Know how to take a sounding using two different methods.

Perform a navigation watch during a voyage of about 20 nautical miles by night and 20 nautical miles by day and demonstrate all of the skills required for the Coastal Navigation Standard (ASA 105).

Blue Water Sailing School Logo



If you are ready to find out for yourself what it's like to sail a 35-50' boat, receive meaningful sailing lessons, and get a taste of the sea then check out an excellent resource: Blue Water Sailing School. All sailing lessons lead to ASA certification and are taught by experienced instructors who are licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard (Captain's license).