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Essential Skills vs. ASA Certification


Our list of Essential Cruising Skills:
Sailing:
  • Points of sail and sail trim
  • Heaving to
  • Reefing and reducing sail area
  • Use of preventers
  • Discuss anchoring and docking under sail
Systems:
  • Engine checks: oil, coolant, raw water strainer.
  • Engine start procedures
  • Use of heads and holding tanks
  • Battery charging and monitoring
  • Safe use of stove and oven
  • Preventing roller furling jamming
Safety:
  • Daily weather forecasts
  • Use of life jackets and harnesses
  • Person Overboard Recovery: Rescue Sling, Quick Stop, Figure 8
  • VHF radio procedures
Anchoring:
  • Calculating scope ratio and swing diameter with tide allowances
  • Use of an electric windlass
  • Discuss setting and retrieving a second bow anchor, stern anchor, and/or shore line
Maneuvering:
  • Docking practice
  • Picking up a mooring ball
  • Best mooring ball methods
Navigation:
  • Familiarity with charts and symbols
  • Understanding and applying "The Rules of the Road"
  • GPS navigation, Velocity Made Good (VMG)
  • Familiarity with tide and current tables
  • Plotting a course
  • Determining course headings and distances