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ASA 103

Basic Coastal Crusing – BCC (ASA 103):

Prerequisites: BKB
General Description:

    Able to cruise safely in local and regional waters as both skipper and crew on an auxiliary sailboat of about 20 to 30 feet in length, in moderate winds and sea conditions.


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

Identify and describe the following:

Gudgeon Pintle Turnbuckle
Stem fitting Tangs Chainplates
Binnacle Transom Rudderpost
Through-hull fitting Self-bailing cockpit


    1. List the “Federal equipment carriage requirements” for a 24 foot sailboat with an outboard motor and portable fuel tank.
    2. List the ASA recommended safety equipment for a sailboat heading out on long cruises or into rough weather.
    3. Describe the most important reasons for keeping gear and equipment stowed in assigned places on a boat.
    4. Describe roller and slab reefing with reef grommets and reef points / diamonds.


  1. Describe the purpose of a safety harness, proper attachment and dangers of improper attachment to a boat.
  2. State the purpose of bow and stern pulpits and lifelines.
  3. Describe federally required navigation lights on boats between sunset and sunrise when under sail, under power, and at anchor.
  4. Describe the three stages of hypothermia and treatments for medium hypothermia.
  5. Describe methods to reduce heat loss for a person in the water and a group of people in the water.
  6. Describe how to prevent undue magnetic influences on the compass.
  7. Identify the common sources of fire and /or explosion and understand the methods for preventing such occurrences, as well as actions to be taken when they do.
  8. Describe U.S. Coast Guard recommended refueling precautions.
  9. Describe a “diver’s flag” and alpha flag used to mark persons and vessels engaged in diving.
  10. Describe the danger involved in recharging batteries and setting off flares.
  11. Apply the USCG Navigation Rules 11 through 17 by means of a diagram.
  12. Describe the required and ASA recommended actions and precautions to be taken during times of reduced visibility.


  1. Interpret marine weather forecasts applicable to the area and apply the information to the candidate’s sailing plans for the next six hours.
  2. Interpret what weather changes are forecast for the next six hours and determine what effect these changes will have on the day’s planned activities.


  • Identify the main responsibilities of the skipper and crew as indicated below:

      • Safety of the crew and boat
      • Ensure the crew’s knowledge of operating procedures and location of all lifesaving and other safety equipment prior to getting underway
      • Assign duties and instruction
      • Ensure proper /safe use of domestic equipment (head, stove, etc.)


      • Obey skipper
      • Assist in the safe operation of the boat
      • Keep a lookout and immediately report any dangers on the water and in the boat.


  • Describe the correct sail combinations to carry under various wind and sea conditions.
  • Describe the dangers of a lee shore.
  • Read and interpret the following information from the NOAA nautical chart of the local are.
    • Depth of water
    • Types of bottom (sand, rock, clay, etc.)
    • Underwater / surface hazards (kelp, cable, rock, shoals, cribs, wrecks, currents)
    • Buoys and what they signify
    • Lights
    • Beacons
    • Distance scale
  • Describe:
    • A good anchorage
    • Suitable ground tackle and scope when anchoring for lunch
    • Suitable ground tackle, scope and the appropriate lights when anchoring overnight
  • Describe the immediate action to be taken when:


    A leak develops Steering fails Anchor drags
    Propeller fouls Halyard breaks Rigging fails
    Running aground Grounding at anchor


  • Describe one commonly accepted use for each of the following knots:


    bowline clove hitch figure eight
    sheet bend reef knot Round turn & two half hitches



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


  • Demonstrate on land the correct method of putting on a personal flotation device in the water.
  • Carry out a check of the vessel’s gear and equipment in accordance with legal requirements and ASA recommendations and demonstrate the use and care of domestic equipment.
  • Demonstrate safe winch techniques with particular attention to:
    • High possible strain on sheets and halyards
    • Overriding turns (overrides) and how to clear them
    • Position of hands and fingers
    • Winch handle fitting, removal and storage
    • Halyard breaks / stops
    • Anchor winches / windlass
  • Perform the ASA outboard motor checklist prior to starting an outboard motor.


  • Start an auxiliary engine observing commonly accepted safety practices.
  • Come to a full stop with the bow one half length away from a buoy using reverse. The objective of this exercise is to know how much distance is required to bring a sailboat to a full stop. The sailboat is to be kept o a straight course while this exercise is being carried out.
  • Maneuver a sailboat under power to a position not more than two feet alongside and parallel to a dock (port side and starboard side to) without the aid of lines and without the bow passing a given mark at any time during the maneuver.


  • Demonstrate a skipper’s actions / commands while under power from the time a member of the crew falls overboard without warning until the crew is safely recovered. A float should be used for this exercise. The man overboard is considered as not wearing a lifejacket and is able to assist himself. Included in this Standard are the following minimum requirements: lookout, alertness, life ring/ marking, slow, controlled speed approaching the float, crew control, and engine control.
  • Stop an auxiliary engine (outboard motor) and secure it for the night observing commonly accepted safety practices.
  • Anchor in water more than ten feet in depth securely enough so the anchor does not drag with engine at half-throttle astern.
  • Raise anchor with boat ready and get underway under power using commonly accepted practices.



  • Function as helmsman and crew giving correct commands and proper responses while demonstrating the proper techniques of close hauled sailing, reaching (all three points), running, coming about and gybing, heading up, bearing away, luffing, and reducing heel on all points of sail
  • Describe proper preparatory commands and commands of execution for all sailing skills included in this standard.


  • Reduce sail by reefing and shake out a reef while keeping vessel under control and on course.
  • Heave to and get underway again.


  • Demonstrate a skipper’s actions and commands while under sail from the time a member of the crew falls overboard without warning until the crew is safely recovered. A float may be used for this exercise. The person overboard is considered as not wearing a lifejacket and is able to assist himself.Included in the Standard are the following minimum requirements: alertness, life ring / marking, lookout, slow, controlled speed approaching the man / float, and crew control. The crew can be three or ore but the candidate is to describe the actions to be taken of one member of a two person crew falls overboard with the boat under sail.
  • Describe at least two methods of getting a person out of the water and back on board.


  • Sail an ordered compass course for 5 minutes without varying more than 10 degrees from the ordered heading.



  • Secure a boat to various dock configurations so as to provide limited movement and set out fenders correctly.
  • Take extra precautions and secure a vessel for the night at a dock and at a mooring.


  • Tie the following knots within 15 seconds:
    • Bowline
    • Reef Knot
    • Sheet Bend
    • Clove Hitch
    • Round Turn and Half Hitches
  • Tie the following knots within 7 seconds:
    • Figure Eight
    • Cleat Hitch