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ASA 101

Basic Keelboat – BKB (ASA 101):

  • Prerequisites: None
  • General Description: Sailors must sail a boat of about 20 feet in length in light to moderate winds and sea conditions in familiar waters without supervision. A preparatory Standard with no auxiliary power or navigation skills required.


A Certified Sailor has successfully demonstrated his or her ability to:


  1. Identify the following parts of a sailboat:
  2. hull mast mainsail
    keel boom bow
    bow pulpit gooseneck jib
    traveler stern stern pulpit
    deck lifelines cabin
    spreaders shrouds
    headstay forestay backstay
  3.  Describe the functions of the following items on a sailboat:

    mainsheet rudder tiller / wheel
    boomvang boom topping lift jib sheet(s)
    halyard(s) winches fairlead v s. padeye
    downhaul outhaul cunningham
    stays / shrouds shackle telltails
    spring / breast lines fenders cleats


  5. Define the following terms:

    port starboard skipper
    helmsman crew forward
    aft coming about gybing
    running rigging standing rigging heel
    ahead abeam astern
    windward leeward beam


  7. Identify the following sails and parts of a sail:

    mainsail jib storm jib
    spinnaker genoa hanks
    battens batten packets bolt rope
    luff leech foot
    head tack clew


  9. Explain the following terms and points of sail and identify them from diagrams:
  10. in-irons head to wind luffing
    close hauled close reach beam reach
    broad reach running starboard tack
    port tack windward boat leeward boat
    heading up heading down / bearing away sailing by the lee


  11. Apply the Navigation Rules (International and Inland Navigational Rules for prevention of collision) by means of diagrams in the following situations and identify the sailboat or powerboat that is the “stand-on” and “give-way” boat.
    • port tack and starboard tack sailboats
    • windward and leeward sailboats
    • overtaking situation
    • boat on the right (danger zone)
    • boats meeting head-on
  12. Apply Rule 5 (Look-out Rule) contained in the Navigation Rules (International and Inland Navigation Rules for prevention of collision)
  13. Describe the actions to be taken when sailing in the vicinity of commercial shipping (Rule 9. Nav. Rules)
  14. Define hull identification number.
  15. Describe the difference between planing and displacement hulls.
  16. Describe proper means of waste disposal including penalties for improper disposal and means for Notification of authorities in the event of oil spillage.
  17. Describe how and when to file a float plan.
  18. Describe registration numbers and how to display them.
  19. Describe a capacity plate, where to find one and the information which is contained on the plate.
  20. Describe an alternate means of determining a boat’s passenger capacity.
  21. State the federal standards for determining intoxication using Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).
  22. What is the BAC of the state in which you sail?
  23. Give 5 situations which may be considered negligent operation on the part of boater.
  24. Describe when and to whom boating accidents must be reported.
  25. Describe under what circumstances an operator must render assistance to another boater in danger.
  26. Describe the information an operator should acquire before operating his/her boat in an unfamiliar area. Local Knowledge.
  27. Describe where a boater would get the information in the item above.
  28. Be able to identify lateral aids to navigation by color, shape and numbering.
  29. Be able to identify Safe Water, Information and Regulatory Markers by color, shape and numbering.
  30. List required safety equipment for recreational vessels between 23 and 40 feet.
  31. Describe procedures for safety trailering and launching a boat.
  32. Describe sound signals used by recreational vessels and their meanings.
  33. Identify the location and color of running lights used by recreational vessels.
  34. Describe common anchor types and anchoring procedures.


A Certified Sailor has successfully demonstrated his or her ability to:


  • Select and properly use a personal flotation device.
  • Select proper clothing for sailing.


  • Hoist the basic sails, set appropriate luff tensions, and coil and hang halyards and other lines.
  • Without an Instructor or direction, act as helmsman / skipper and crew on a sailboat using proper commands and responses while sailing away and back to a dock and mooring under various wind directions. Sail a windward / leeward course while performing successful come about and gybe.

Sample Commands:

“ease sheets” “easing sheets”
“heading-up, sheet in” “sheeting in”
“ready about” “ready”
“helms-a-lee” “hard-alee”
“ready to gybe” “ready” “gybe-ho”
  • Lower, fold and stow sails properly.


  • Describe and demonstrate the actions to be taken by a helmsman / skipper when sailing from the time a person falls overboard without warning until the crew member is safely recovered.
  • Speed is secondary to safety in performing this procedure.
  • Describe how to get an exhausted person aboard.
  • Steer a sailboat by the lee for 100 yards without gybing.
  • Steer a sailboat moving backwards for 20 yards with sails backed.
  • Secure a sailboat to a dock so as to ensure limited movement and set out fenders properly.


  • Describe the function of and tie the following knots without assistance:
    • bowline (in less than 20 seconds)
    • figure eight (in less than 15 seconds)
    • cleat hitch (in less than 15 seconds)
  • Tie the following knots without assistance in less than 20 seconds:
    • reef / square knot
    • clove hitch
    • round turn and two half hitches