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The Basic Keelboat written exam contains 16 questions, some of which have multiple sections. A Safe Boating Exam is incorporated in this test which meets the safe boating requirements of states which require it. The written exam can be completed in 45 minutes. The onboard exam covers the fundamentals of sailing practice and maneuvers and takes an hour on the water using the soling. This exam may be given with the Coastal exam because of the sailing overlap.

Link to ASA web site: Basic Keelboat Sailing Standard (101)

  • PARTS OF THE SAILBOAT: There are numerous questions which ask you to identify the parts of a boat and the sails. You must match certain parts of the boat such as the running and standing rigging, the cunningham, spring/breast lines, padeyes and halyards with their function.
  • TERMINOLOGY: You will be expected to know the principal definitions relating to sides of the boat, windward and leeward, fore and aft, etc., match certain actions or parts of the boat with a related description, such as heel, jibing, tacking, etc. There are a number of sailing diagrams which require you to match what the boat or boats are doing with a list of possible answers, such as luffing, or being the windward or leeward boat.
  • RULES OF THE ROAD: There are 10 questions which require you to interpret the rules of the road with respect to a series of diagrams involving both powerboats and sailboats, including one question about traffic separation zones.
  • SEAMANSHIP: Several questions ask you to match the name of a knot with its purpose, and another question asks you to choose between a number of appropriate and inappropriate actions to take if someone falls overboard. Anchoring technique. PASSING GRADE IS 80%
  • ONBOARD EXAM: You will be tested on using the PFD, making a safety equipment check, hoisting the sails properly, leaving and returning to a mooring under sail, proper winch techniques, sailing the points of sail as skipper and crew, tacking and jibing as skipper and crew, heading up and bearing away, luffing up, stopping, steering, sailing by the lee, and picking up a man overboard. The boat must be put away correctly including lowering and stowing sails, securing the boat and gear. You must be able to tie the bowline, figure 8, clove hitch, reef or square knot and a round turn with two half hitches. PASSING GRADE IS 100%.
  • SAFE BOATING EXAM: There are 30 questions. Some questions match boat types with related descriptions, regulatory questions relate to capacity plates, intoxication levels, accident reporting periods, disposal of plastics, garbage, discharge of oil, registration numbers, safety equipment, crew capacity limits, meaning of sound signals, some lighting questions. A short navigation section asks you about sources of navigation information and how to pass certain buoys. There are 2 questions on anchoring and one on fires. PASSING GRADE IS 90%.

ASA 103 Basic Coastal Cruising BCC

The written exam will take approximately one hour and the onboard exam will take an additional hour on the P26.. The Basic Keelboat exam and associated Safe Boating Exam are prerequisites for cruising certification and may be given together with the cruising exam.

Recommended study text: SAILING FUNDAMENTALS
Link to ASA web site: Basic Coastal Cruising Standard (103)

  • PARTS OF THE BOAT/SAFETY INVENTORY: Match parts of the boat with drawings, define the purpose of certain fixtures on the boat such as the pulpits and lifelines, know how to minimize compass interference. Select from a list which includes federally required safety equipment and ASA recommended equipment and determine which is which.
  • SAFETY PROCEDURES: You should be familiar with the use of safety harnesses, recognize and treat hypothermia, know the origins and handling of various gasses formed or stored onboard boats, prevention of explosions, selection of fire extinguisher for various fires aboard, safe fueling procedure, recognition of common dive flags.
  • RULES AND REGULATIONS: You should be know the Rules governing interactions between sailboats, the conduct of vessels in reduced visibility, requirement for a proper lookout. Identify the arc of visibility and placement of lights on vessels sailing or powering or at anchor at night.
  • SEAMANSHIP: Match the proper sail combinations for given wind speeds, define skipper and crew’s responsibilities aboard, match selected knots with their uses, select a safe anchorage, know anchoring techniques and describe the danger posed by a “lee shore”. Select a locale in the Harbor and describe sailing conditions you are apt to encounter at that site given differing wind speeds, directions and fetch. Describe 3 local weather hazards and their associated warning times.
  • EMERGENCIES: What is the best immediate action to take if your vessel springs a leak, if the rigging or steering fails, your anchor drags, you run aground or your propeller gets fouled.
  • NAVIGATION: There are questions on common chart symbols, nautical measurements and definitions of a nautical mile and you will be asked to select the correct path of a vessel through two sets of buoyed channels to test your recognition of passing safely through a buoyed array. PASSING GRADE IS 80%
  • ONBOARD: Demonstrate use of all equipment aboard, check safety equipment, start and stop the engine correctly, maneuver near a dock and mooring under power, secure vessel to dock properly with springs and fenders, demonstrate the points of sail, tacking and jibing, man overboard procedure (including directing the crew), steer a compass course, tie the bowline, clove hitch, round turn with two half hitches, sheet bend, figure 8 and cleat hitch. Moor and stow the boat and lines properly. PASSING GRADE IS 100%.

ASA 105 Coastal Navigation CON

The ASA navigation exam is a three hour written exam. It is every bit as difficult as the Coast Guard professional exam and successful passage of this exam is a prerequisite to taking the Bareboat Exam and must be passed before you can schedule your Mas 30, 40 or 50 certification. Students should bring their ASA log book, 1210TR chart, plotting instruments and several sharp pencils to the exam.

Link to ASA web site: Coastal Navigation Standard (105)

  • KNOWLEDGE OF MARINE CHARTS AND SYMBOLS: There are 9 questions, each with multiple parts, testing your knowledge of chart symbols, chart scale, sources of navigation information, and knowledge of useful navigation instruments and items other than texts.
  • PLOTTING: You will be asked to plot a variety of courses from given information and include in your plotting the ability to integrate deviation, variation, current set and drift, in determining position, and calculate your speed and courses made good and courses to steer given current effects.
  • TIDAL CALCULATIONS: Determine the time and height of tides at various cities using tables supplied with the exam. Convert Pacific Standard to Pacific Daylight time. Determine the time of afternoon slack tide and direction and maximum flow rate of flood current at various sites. PASSING GRADE IS 80%

ASA 104 Bareboat Charter BBC

Candidates for Bareboat certification may take this exam after completion of the ASA Basic Sailing, Basic Coastal, and Coastal Navigation exams AND completion and documentation of a minimum 48 hour certification cruise which approximates the charter experience. The exam consists of 107 questions including true/false, multiple choice, and navigation problems. Bring your ASA Log Book and cruise records to the exam. The exam takes an hour and a half.

Link to ASA web site: Bareboat Chartering Standard (104)

  • BOAT SYSTEMS: Be thoroughly familiar with the cooling and fuel systems of the diesel engine and the elements of sewage systems on boats with holding tanks. You will be expected to know the difference between the 12 volt shipboard system and AC shore power, and troubleshoot common electrical problems. You should be familiar with automatic bilge pumps, hot water heaters, pressurized alcohol and propane stoves, hydraulic backstay adjusters, and common equipment such as the radio, self tailing winches and lifelines. There are some outboard questions.
  • RULES AND REGULATIONS: Know the principal Rules of the Road, vessel lighting and sound signal requirements under various conditions of visibility, regulations governing the discharge of sewage and plastics overboard, procedures for vessel clearance at foreign ports, including flag display. Know the law requiring aid to others at sea, and the requirement for a proper lookout.
  • SAFETY AND SEAMANSHIP: Confront various emergencies and choose the best solution to keep the vessel safe such as loss of steering, engine and anchor failures in crowded circumstances, freeing a grounded vessel, responding to a leak, freeing a fouled propeller and using distress signals. There are seamanship questions about methods of anchoring, rafting with other boats, proper dock tieup, use of roller furlers and windlasses, dealing with gasses and fuels on a boat, using radar reflectors, backing under power, using an emergency tiller. You should know the daily water needs of a person and be able to determine the range of your vessel under power.
  • WEATHER: You must know the origins of fog, sea and land breezes, and the acquisition of weather broadcasts.
  • NAVIGATION: There are several questions defining navigation terms and using the conventions, navigation publications, and several navigation problems to solve. PASSING GRADE IS 80%
  • ONBOARD: Candidates must complete and document a 48 hour cruise. Masters 30/40/50 students have the documentation done by an instructor; Onwater requirements include checking the engine, tool kit, stove, electronics, hull, rigging and sails, sailing all the points of sail, docking under power, use the VHF, the stove, anchoring with one or two anchors, anchoring stern to, inflating, towing and deflating the dinghy, record electronic depth checks, sail compass courses, conduct man overboard drills, set courses, determine ETA’s, identify landmarks, obtain fixes, obtain depth using chart, tie a rolling hitch, truckers hitch and bowline. PASSING GRADE IS 100% FOR THE ONBOARD PART.
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