ASA courses

Jan 21, 2009
Catalina 30 Lake Perry, KS
I am thinking of chartering a monohull next winter. The last time I chartered was in the 70's. I have never taken an ASA course but have over 45 years of sailing experience. If I was to take an ASA course, at what level could I start at without being bored. Do all charter operations require ASA courses or can I use a resume. I don't mind course work, but given my observation of some sailors who have passed these courses, I am confident that my knowledge base is as good, if not better, than many of those with basic ASA certifications. Any insight, advice would be appreciated. Thanks


Feb 11, 2017
J/Boat J/160 Annapolis
On what type of boats have you sailed for 45 years?
Where have you sailed (overnight, passages, etc.)
Did you dock the boats?
Who else would be on the "charter" with you and what is their experience?
Where are you thinking about chartering the boat next Winter.

Those are the sorts of questions that would allow more measured responses.
Jul 19, 2015
Beneteau 343 BVI
Where are you planning on chartering at? The company's in the BVI's will let you charter with resume
Jan 4, 2010
Farr 30 San Francisco
I would say you need to talk to the particular charter organization you are interested in and figure it out that way. They have the boats you want, their rules apply.


Jun 4, 2009
Pearson 530 Admiralty Bay, Bequia SVG
Many Caribbean charter companies do not require anything at all, except your credit card. They will take the boat off the dock at the start of the charter and bring it back to the dock afterwards. Then all the charterer has to do is get within 10 feet or so of a mooring and pay the boat boys to get the mooring line through the buoy and back to the boat. Easy peasy! Don't waste your money on the classes, save it for boat drinks on the charter.
Not to say you'll need any of that, only to show how our daily entertainment gets from the rental dock to wherever we are anchored.
May 12, 2004
Hunter Cherubini 30 New Port Richey
Been in the business for years. What Capta says. Credit card and a made up resume. Easy peasy.
Jun 21, 2004
Beneteau 343 Slidell, LA
Ideally, having ASA certification thru ASA level 104 (Bare BoatChartering) would give you a ticket to charter a boat within 5-10 ft of the size boat that you trained on. For example, if you trained on a 30 ' boat, you will probably be approved to charter up to 40' depending on your resume. Many schools combine ASA 103 (coastal cruising) and 104 into a one week live aboard class. If you feel a bit rusty & want to get a refresher in environments similar to where you will charter, that would be a good way to go. As Capta & Roland mentioned, you will likely be approved without formal certification, especially considering the length of time that you have sailed & that you own a Catalina 30. That being said, the charter company may restrict the sailing territory (no Anagada in the BVIs)
And if you want to charter in Europe, forget it, you'll need more than an ASA ticket. If you are just looking for a sailing vacation for yourself the ASA 103/104 combined live aboard course is fun. There are a bunch of schools in Florida that do these, even in winter. Finally, as John mentioned, best to call the charter company to get the facts as to what experience they require. If you feel a bit unsure, they can also put a captain aboard for a day to get you up & running.
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Nov 26, 2012
Catalina 250 Bodega Bay CA
Good info above. I have never had any formal sailing instructions. I checked with a well known charter co. for the Caribbean a few years back and with many years sailing on 26' boats they sent me a certificate stating I could charter up to 33'. Chief
Oct 3, 2011
Anam Cara Catalina 310 Hull #155 155 Lake Erie/Catawba Island
I echo what BIGEASY said, we have chartered in the BVI and Annapolis without ASA courses. But we took ASA courses after that and actually learned and made us better sailors. I believe it comes down to what you want better sailor and spend money or Charter. If you are only going once to the BVI and you and partner have been sailing a while I would just go, If its better your skills and be a better sailor, spend the money.
Both my wife and I learned things that we still use today on our boat, we had sailed two different boats, about 20 years before we took the ASA courses, and my wife bettered me on one of the tests! :doh:.
Apr 19, 2012
O'Day Daysailor 17 Nevis MN
Thank you for bringing this question up. Although I've been sailing on and off for several years it has been over 40 years since I took a sailing class in high-school and I've been tossing around the idea of an ASA class. After reading these responses I'm a bit more inclined to go ahead and take it.
Nov 8, 2010
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
You can also get certified by US Sailing, which has at least if not more weight worldwide. US Sailing also lets you challenge any level, which ASA is loathe to do because ASA exists ONLY as a for-profit training orgianzation..
May 12, 2004
Hunter Cherubini 30 New Port Richey
Been in the business for years. What Capta says. Credit card and a made up resume. Easy peasy.
Actually, I should've gone a little further in my reply. When you charter a boat, the person doing the checkout is usually also checking out the charterer. It doesn't take long to realize whether the charterer has the skills or not to handle said boat. If not, a recommendation would be made to put a captain on board for a day to make sure the boat is in capable hands. Doesn't always happen but should.
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