ASA Certification

Sea Dog Sailing is a certified American Sailing Association training school. We are bound by a national standard of sailing instruction delivered by sailing professionals. Our courses prepare you in a natural progression for skill development. Your ASA certification is your license to sail worldwide with major charter companies. We are also legendary for the fun we have along the way and the family of sailing friends we have developed over the years.

Basic Keelboat (BKB 101)

This is a preparatory course with no previous sailing skills required. You will progress from landlubber to experienced sailor.
Skills learned:

  • Sailboat Familiarization
  • Sailing Terminology
  • Points of Sail
  • Tacking & Gybing
  • Rules of the Road
  • Man Overboard
  • Steering & Stopping
  • Sailor's Knots

Basic Coastal Cruising (BCC 103)

Prerequisites: Basic Keelboat Sailing (BKB101)

A hands-on "liveaboard" sailing course on our 45' sailboats. The Intermediate Sailing course is perfect for the sailor who wants to leave the confines of daylight sailing in light wind conditions. Get hands-on experience on big cruising boats with wheel steering and diesel engines. We sail in coastal waters still in sight of land but with more wind and waves and new challenges such as tides and current. Are you Ready?

We begin the course becoming familiar with big boat equipment like roller furling genoas, self tailing winches, diesel engines, binnacies and most important, how to flush a marine toilet!

You'll gain hands-on experience with wind, tide and current as we learn how to get our nautical charts to give up their secrets to us so we can safely navigate these coastal water to our chosen destination.

While living aboard, you'll also learn: 

  • Proper and effective use of VHF marine radio communications. 
  • How to obtain and interpret marine weather forecasts and what changes are likely to affect your sailing plans. 
  • Learn what sail combinations to carry under various wind and sea conditions to maximize the comfort of you and your crew. 
  • Learn how to identify the elements of that perfect cove and make safe anchorage for a peaceful overnight stop. 
  • Learn how to pick up a mooring on the first pass, every time. (Graciously accept the applause of other boats moored around you.) 
  • Learn how to dock and undock a big boat in coastal conditions of wind, tide and current (more applause). 
  • Learn new ways to recover crew overboard and how to get them back on the boat. 
  • Learn more useful knots. (Yes, more knots!)

Bareboat Chartering & Intermediate Coastal Cruising (BBC104)

Prerequisites: Basic Coastal Cruising (BCC103)

This is the course to take if you dream of chartering and sailing a big boat on your own in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean or the Mediterranean or the South Pacific, or... You will become familiar with big boat systems like roller furling genoas, self tailing winches, diesel engines, wheel steering and other topics to prepare you for a liveaboard 7 day adventure. You will gain hands-on experience with tides and current, meteorology, docking and all other requirements that charter companies demand. Numerous discussions and exercises take place through the week including:

  • Developing special cruising menus and provisions for an extended coastal cruise including cooking and eating meals while under sail. 
  • Discuss manangement of capacity and range of boats' water and fuel systems, and electrical system for the comfort and safety of crew on an extended liveaboard cruise. 
  • Develop a spare parts list and learn a whole series of emergency repairs that may be put to good use with equipment normally found on most cruising sailboats. 
  • Create the contents of a first aid kit appropriate for a week-long liveaboard cruise. 
  • Create a rotating duty roster for routine and daily maintenance procedures on engine, rigging and boat systems. Learn to obtain and interpret detailed weather forecasts appropriate for extended coastal cruising. 
  • Discuss phenomena of sea breeze and land breeze and effects on our weather. Learn how to identify conditions which cause fog. 
  • Practice advanced methods of docking and undocking in strong winds and waves and tidal currents. 
  • Discuss the procedures and documents reuired to enter foreign waters and find out where to obtain this information for any cruising destination. 
  • Advanced navigation exercises are learned and applied throughout the cruise. 
  • In addition to the flow of normal shipboard events, a variety of simulated emergencies including crew overboard, engine and rigging failure and other situations designed to build confidence in a variety of sailing conditions.

What a trip! Thanks for doing what you do so well! See you again soon! Gia Benoit, Vail Colorado