FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is the American Sailing Association (ASA) and why is certification important?
The ASA is the leading authority on sailing instruction and sailing schools in the United States. ASA schools follow a proven curriculum with certification standards for students and instructors. ASA certification provides a standard of skill recognized by many charter companies, national authorities, and insurance companies. While every charter company has its own chartering guidelines, ASA certification shows you have received formal training and meet that standard.
I have little or no sailing experience. Do I need to know how to sail before I can take a course?
Basic Keelboat Sailing (ASA 101) is a comprehensive course for the beginning sailor. No sailing experience is required!
I have been sailing for years without the benefit of formal classes. Why should I take one now?
Self taught sailors, while skilled, may lack fundamental knowledge gained from a formal sailing course. Our professional instruction, quality course materials, and on the water training are invaluable for helping you become more confident and competent in your sailing skills. Certification may also make it easier and less expensive to charter a boat since you will have proof of your sailing experience.
What course or courses should I take?
Deciding what course to take depends on your sailing experience and your long term goals. Whether you just want to learn the basics or become an advanced offshore passage maker is up to you.
Everything starts with Basic Keelboat Sailing which is a prerequisite for all other levels of certification. It can be taken alone or in combination with other courses. If you are an experienced sailor, you can “challenge” it by taking and passing the test. You can then move on to the Basic Coastal Cruising class.
If you don’t care about certification, you can take courses simply to learn to sail or improve your skills.
How many students are in each class?
By design, we keep our classes small. We usually have only 2 to 4 students per class. This guarantees each student enough hands on training to really learn to sail.
Do you operate year round on a set schedule?
We do operate year round in Panama City, but only during the winter months in Key Largo due to the lack of wind and excessive heat. We do not have a set schedule, instead we book classes by request and they may begin any day of the week. Weekends and holidays tend to book first, so please try to plan ahead.
Do we sail if the weather is bad?
Learning to sail in different types of weather, both good and bad, is important to becoming a confident sailor. We teach in all types of weather unless we deem it too dangerous to safely be out on the water. Should a serious storm cause the interruption or cancellation of your class, we will gladly reschedule for no additional cost.
What do I need to bring with me?
Be sure to bring all of your course materials. In addition, bring a rain jacket, hat, suntan lotion, sunglasses, and deck shoes or white soled sneakers. We are usually out on the water during lunchtime, so you may want to bring food, snacks, or drinks.
Should I tip the instructor?
A gratuity for the instructor is customary if you had a good time. If you feel a tip is warranted, 5-to-10% of the class price is generous. All tips are greatly appreciated.