Learn to Sail

Sail Buffalo is a proud affiliate of the The American Sailing Association (ASA) – the world’s foremost organization dedicated to training, teaching and certifying schools, sailing instructors and sailing enthusiasts.

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Summary of Student Standard – The American Sailing Association has adopted two separate Progressive Sailing Certification Programs: a seven stage Keelboat Sailing Certification Program and a two stage Small Boat Sailing Program. The following are the general descriptions or summaries of these Standards. Candidates must have attained the stated prerequisites before they may “Challenge” or take the required ASA examination.

The complete Standards are contained in the ASA Official International Log Book. They are minimum Standards and nothing may be deleted if a Candidate is to be awarded ASA Certification. On the other hand, schools may add to these Standards if they wish to stress or emphasize local conditions which might be encountered or particular characteristics of the boats used during instruction. It is recommended that sailors planning to follow these standards become proficient in swimming, first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and arresting bleeding.

The ASA “Challenge” – Sailors who consider themselves qualified to ASA Standards may “Challenge” the ASA Standards at any ASA Certification Facility. To challenge the Standards one must progress successfully through the ASA system of Standards. Contact us for more details.

Basic Keelboat – ASA 101

Upon completion of the ASA 101 class, you will be able to 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!

2021 ASA Sailing Courses

The certifications for ASA 105, 106, and 114 require a 2 participant minimum; the dates as per requests and agreement: call (716) 432-6589 or email info@sail-buffalo.com for more information on these classes. Two consecutive overnight stays on the boat is required.

Please note: we may offer courses in various locations, and if so, the cost of chartering the boat will be added. Currently, the Buffalo location does not offer 114 course (catamaran).

  • ASA 101, Basic Keelboat Sailing – Learn to skipper a 20′ – 27′ sloop-rigged keelboat by day, in light to moderate winds and sea conditions. Learn basic sailing terminology, parts and functions, helm commands, basic sail trim, points of sail, buoyage, seamanship and safety including basic navigation rules to avoid collisions and hazards.

  • ASA 103, Basic Coastal Cruising – Learn to skipper a sloop-rigged auxiliary powered 25′-35′ keelboat by day in moderate winds and sea conditions. Learn cruising sailboat terminology, basic boat systems, auxiliary engine operation, docking procedures, intermediate sail trim, navigation rules, basic coastal navigation, anchoring, weather, safety and seamanship.

  • ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising – Learn how to sail a sloop-rigged, auxiliary powered 30′-45′ sailboat during a multi-day cruise upon inland/coastal waters in moderate/heavy winds and sea conditions. Learn about provisioning, boat systems, auxiliary engines, advanced sail trim, coastal navigation, anchoring / mooring, docking, emergency operations, weather, and more.

  • ASA 105, Coastal Navigation – Learn the the navigational theory and practices for safe navigation of a sailing vessel in coastal and inland waters. On-water coastal navigation skills elements are contained in the ASA103, Basic Coastal Cruising, ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising, and ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising, in progressively increasing levels of detail.

  • ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising – Learn to safely act as skipper and crew of a sailing vessel about 30 to 50 feet in length in coastal and inland waters, in any conditions.

Basic Coastal Cruising – ASA 103

Upon completion of the ASA 103 class, you will be able to cruise safely in local and regional waters as both skipper and crew on an auxiliary powered sailboat of about 20 to 30 feet in length, in moderate winds and sea conditions.

Combo Classes – The Prices listed are for the 2021 Season only and are subject to change.

Sail Buffalo offers PRICE DISCOUNTS for a combination of ASA sailing classes

These courses are to be taken together and do require a certain degree of sailing knowledge. They are ideal for the experienced sailor who needs ASA certification prior to charter in different locations where they require it. Each course needs a minimum of 2 participants.

If you are a complete beginner, we recommend you taking 101 first, thereafter obtaining on-the-water practice before taking the 103 course.

  • 101 & 103 Combo

  • 103 & 104 Combo

  • 101,103 & 104 combo

Please call (716) 432-6589 or email info@sail-buffalo.com if you are interested in combo classes!

View the Whole 2022 Summer Classes, Camps, and Friends of Sail Buffalo Options

We have Adopted Two Basic Class Schedule Formats:

1 – Intense weekend – Starting with a dock session on a Friday ending on Sunday late with a written exam with lots of on the water training in between.

2 – Stretched out with twice a week sessions -Conducted on Mon-Wed or Tues-Thurs. We feel its important you get at least 18 h of training, classroom and on the water combined, most of it on the water. Please enroll in your class couple weeks before your scheduled class. The reason we ask you to do that is because we will send you the course material, so you can study in advance and come down prepared with some of the specific language we use in boating.