Virgin Islands Sailing Academy
Virgin Islands Location, Classes, and Prices
Beginning students should sign up for Plan 1 or Plan 2. Students who have already taken ASA101 or could successfully challenge ASA101 should sign up for Plan 3.
Plan 1- New students go from beginner to competent sailor in our 9 days, all on the water, live aboard, combination ASA101/ASA103/ASA104 class. This is our most popular class. Students learn all the major sailing concepts listed in the individual descriptions below for ASA101, ASA103, and ASA104. Students learn from a patient and competent captain while sailing to beautiful destinations in St. Thomas and St. John. Pricing includes everything described in the ASA101, ASA103, and ASA104 descriptions. Class size: 3-4 typically with maximum of five allowed. Prerequisites: None. Single price- $2,999. Price includes 20% off for taking all three classes in combination. Couples can get an additional 10% off and pay only $5,398. Students sleep on board all night of the classes and the evening before the class begins. On board breakfasts and lunched included.
Plan 2- ASA101/ASA103 is the best combination class if a new student only has six days. Our combination ASA101/ASA103 class is a 6 day, all on the water, live aboard program. Students learn all the major sailing concepts listed in the individual descriptions below for ASA101 and ASA103. Students learn from a patient and competent captain while sailing to beautiful destinations in St. Thomas and St. John. Pricing includes everything described in the ASA101 and ASA103 descriptions. Class size: 3-4 typically with maximum of five allowed. Prerequisites: None. Single price- $2,250. Price includes 10% off for taking two classes in combination. Couples get an additional 10% off and pay only $4,050. Students sleep on board all night of the classes and the evening before the class begins. On board breakfasts and lunched included.
Plan 3- Students who have completed ASA101, or students with experience who feel they can challenge ASA101 successfully, can jump start their sailing education by taking our combination ASA103/ASA104 class. See ASA101 Challenge information on left side of page. Our ASA103/A104 combination class is a 6 day, all on the water, live aboard program. Students complete the basic sailing concepts listed below in the ASA103 and ASA104 class descriptions. Students learn from a patient and competent captain while sailing to destinations in St. Thomas and St. John. Pricing includes everything described in the ASA101 and ASA103 descriptions. Class size: 3-4 typically with maximum of five allowed. Prerequisites: ASA101. $2,250 for singles. Price includes 10% off for taking two classes in combination. Couples get an additional 10% off and pay only $4,050. Challenging ASA101 is $199 for students who do not already have ASA101 certification and want to challenge ASA101. Students sleep on board all night of the classes and the evening before the class begins. On board breakfasts and lunched included.
ASA 101/103 Combo Class
Combination Class Descriptions and Prices:
ASA 106 Adv. Coastal Cruising
ASA106 Advanced Coastal Cruising: Our 106 class is a six-day class which takes students to a higher level of knowledge and seamanship. Students sail from Red Hook to Culebra and Vieques, Puerto Rico on day 1 and 2. Then students sail overnight to Christiansted followed by a sail to Frederiksted in St. Croix on days 3-5. Then students sail back to Red Hook on Day 6. Students learn advanced navigation skills and weather analysis and much time is given to understanding failure analysis and what to do when things go wrong.
Price includes sleeping on board all nights and the night prior to the class start date, the ASA textbook 'Advanced Cruising & Seamanship' by Bill Gladstone, ASA Test, and ASA Certification. Price includes all on board food and beverages. Dinners taken off the boat are the responsibility of the student. Class size: 3-4 typically with maximum of five allowed. Prerequisites: ASA101, ASA103, ASA104, ASA105. Single price: $2250. Couples get an additional 10% off and pay only $4,050. Students sleep on board all night of the classes and the evening before the class begins. On board breakfasts and lunched included.
We operate out of Red Hook in Saint Thomas, US Virgin Islands
American Yacht Harbor, Red Hook, USVI
Red Hook is on the east side of St. Thomas.
ASA 103/104 Combo Class
Individual Class Descriptions
Virgin Islands Sailing Academy sailing classes combine learning to sail with vacation. Learn to sail during the day and then immerse yourself in island life in the late afternoons and evenings while you enjoy the golden sunshine and crystal-clear turquoise water in the US Virgin Islands. Enjoy relaxing or go swimming and snorkeling near tropical reefs or visit an exotic restaurant as you explore one or more of the destinations we will visit. Destinations for classes include exotic locations in beautiful St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. Please scroll down the page to see Class Descriptions and Prices below and visit our Schedule and How-to Sign-Up page to complete the process of signing up for classes.
ASA 108 Ocean Passage
ASA108 Ocean Passage Making Class: Basically, all our lower-level classes lead up to learning how to sail across an ocean. In ASA108 students learn the skills required to safely sail offshore for an extended period. 12-day, live aboard classes, which provides students with an understanding of yacht preparation for ocean sailing, course planning, working a watch schedule, use of celestial navigation, weather analysis, storm avoidance, heavy weather sailing techniques including use of drogue and storm jib, use of radar, techniques for crossing the Gulf Stream, and other elements involved in ocean passage making. Our ASA108 classes are conducted while we are on real passages, so students experience the real deal. All classes taught by an ASA certified and USCG ocean master licensed captain and highly experienced ocean sailor. Destinations and times change each year. Our current passages are as follows:
Norfolk, VA to St. Thomas, USVI November 1-12, 2022. Distance 1450 nautical miles. This passage goes direct nonstop from Norfolk, VA to St. Thomas, USVI. Instructor- Captain Mike Brown. Price $3999 for singles and $7198 for couples. ASA 108. SOLD OUT.
St. Thomas, USVI to Beaufort, NC April 14-25, 2023. Distance 1340 nautical miles. This passage goes direct nonstop from St. Thomas to Beaufort, NC. Instructor- Captain Mike Brown. Price $3999 for singles and $7198 for couples. ASA108.
Price includes all on board food and beverages. Same price with or without ASA certification. Prerequisites for ASA108 are ASA101- ASA107. $299 adder for ASA105 or $349 adder for ASA107 home studies.
Click on button to download a flyer that describes our Ocean Passage Making Classes.
ASA101 ASA103 ASA104
ASA 107 Celestial Navigation
Home Study and
ASA117 Celestial Navigation Endorsement Home Study
ASA 105 Coastal Navigation
ASA105 Coastal Navigation & Piloting: Home Study Program. Learn the navigational skills required to safely navigate a sailing vessel in coastal or inland waters. Includes chart symbols, publications, chart scaling, navigation rules, tide and current tables, List of lights, converting courses between true, magnetic, and compass, hand bearing compass, navigation tools, compass deviation, plotting a dead reckoning course using speed, time, and course to steer, understanding current and leeway and its effect on your estimated position, determining what course to steer taking into account current and leeway, two bearing fix, three bearing fix, estimated position, running fix, danger bearing, characteristics of lighted navigation aids, understanding the buoyage system, and more. Learn at home and then take the open book take home test to complete the requirement for ASA105 certification. Prerequisites: None. Price includes Coastal Navigation and Piloting Textbook by Tom Tursi, Solutions Workbook, Practice chart, Dividers, and Parallel Rules. Price: $299.
ASA107 Celestial Navigation and ASA117 Celestial Navigation Endorsement- Both available as Home Study. We divide ASA107 into two parts to make it easier to afford and easier to learn. Part 1 is ASA117 Celestial Navigation Endorsement which is an introduction to Celestial Navigation and the first half of the ASA107 class. Part 2 is the second half of ASA107 Celestial Navigation.
Part 1 covers Introduction to Celestial Navigation, Celestial Navigation General Concepts, Sextant Parts and Operation, Latitude and Longitude by Local Apparent Noon, Latitude by Polaris, and How to use Universal Plotting Sheets. Price is $175. Price includes "Solving the Puzzle of Celestial Navigation" Volume 1 (150 pages), by Captain Michael Brown, Work Forms for LAN and Polaris, and Universal Plotting Sheets, ASA117 Test, and ASA 117 Certification. Students who complete Part 1 will receive ASA117 Celestial Navigation Endorsement certification.
Part 2 covers use of the Sun, Moon, and Planets, Stars, and Star Finder Work Form, how to perform dead reckoning plots at sea and use DMA925 Plotting sheets, how to use the Rude Star Finder, compass calibration using celestial bodies, Mercator verses Gnomonic charts, determination of morning and evening twilight and sunset and sunrise times, Price is $175. Price includes "Solving the Puzzle of Celestial Navigation" Volume 2 (250 pages), by Captain Michael Brown, Work Forms for the Sun, Moon, and Planets, Stars, and Work Forms for use with the Star Finder, ASA107 Test, and ASA 107 Certification. Students who complete Part 1 will earn ASA107 Celestial Navigation certification.
Students can also sign up initially for ASA107 which includes both Parts 1 and 2 of the ASA107 Celestial Navigation class, which covers everything shown above in Part 1 and Part 2. Price is $350 for ASA107 Home Study.
Students who sign up for ASA107 do not have to take the ASA117 Celestial Endorsement test if they do not want to but why not divide up Celestial Navigation into two parts to make it easier and why not get two certifications instead of one?
Prerequisites: None from ASA but students should already be familiar with coastal navigation techniques and have their own Parallel rules and Dividers.
Our Celestial Navigation materials provide a Workshop approach where each concept is described and then an example problem is worked, showing all steps of the process. Work Forms are included for all Celestial Bodies to make it easy.
During Covid, ASA is allowing us to mail the Celestial Navigation exams to students along with the course materials as a take home open book test instead of using a Proctor or taking the test in a classroom, so whether the student takes the home study or classroom ASA107, the test is included with the course materials and the student returns it to us when completed for grading. Click here to see pictures of what is included.
In ASA101, ASA103, ASA104, and ASA106 classes students eat all or nearly all breakfasts and lunches on board. Dinners are eaten off the boat in local restaurants unless there is no restaurant available. In the event that our boat stays overnight at anchor or on a mooring ball where local shore-based dinner is unavailable, dinner will be planned, provisioned, and provided by the school. Students are responsible for purchase of any meals in local restaurants.
Add a home study ASA105 Coastal Navigation Class oo ASA107 Celestial Navigation Class for just $299 more for ASA105 and $349 more for ASA107.
Families should consider doing a Captained charter with ASA sailing instruction. Please visit our Captained Charter page for more details. Excellent rates are available.
Classes go forward with a minimum of 2 students. Most classes have 2-4 students. with maximum of five allowed. Students should not book flights until the they have confirmed that there are sufficient students for the class to go forward.
Give the Sailor in your life a Sailing Class:
Please consider giving the sailor in your life a course for Christmas, birthdays, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, etc. We will mail out the course materials in a box suitable for wrapping. After your loved one receives their present, they can contact us to schedule their class.
ASA 101 Challenge- Students with significant experience are welcome to challenge ASA101 and sign up for an ASA103/ASA104 Combination class. Challenging ASA101 requires the student to pass the ASA101 written test with an 80% and demonstrate the on-the-water skills required for the ASA101 standard. Although a separate on-the-water test can be arranged, demonstrating the on-the-water skills typically happens while the student takes a ASA103/ASA104 Combination class. Price: $199. Price includes Sailing Made Easy Textbook, ASA three-month Membership, ASA logbook, ASA Test, and ASA 101 Certification.
ASA119 Marine Weather Endorsement is available as home study only and is for those who want to understand the proper use of weather information in planning and adapting navigation during voyages. Course includes a description of basic weather concepts, pressure and wind, global winds and currents, strong wind systems, clouds fog and sea state, wind and terrain, weather maps, sources of marine weather, on board forecasting and tactics, and southern hemisphere weather. Learn at home and then take the open book take home test to complete the requirement for ASA119 certification. Prerequisites: None. Price: $299 for home study.
ASA 119 Marine Weather Home Study
ASA 101/103 Combo Class
ASA 101/103/104 Combo Class
Individual Class Descriptions:
Each of the three classes have their own goals and objectives and itineraries. Please see below a description of each of the three classes.
Please note that we only offer combination classes. We do not offer individual classes.
If a student already has ASA103 and wants to take ASA104 they can take ASA103/104 and audit the ASA103 portion of the class. We will give them $50 off since they do not need a textbook, test, or certification. This gives them more helm time and we do not require that they retake the ASA103 test.
If a student wants to just take ASA101 they should take ASA101/103. We have tried offering individual classes in the islands and too much time is spend just meeting up and dropping off students. Students who have taken individual classes in the past feel it is time to leave almost as soon as they arrive. There is not enough time to fly in and out of the islands and take individual classes.
ASA101 Basic Keelboat Sailing ($1,250 Value): 3 Day all on the water, live aboard, beginner level sailing class. ASA101 provides all you need to get started sailing, including sailing vocabulary, principles of sailing, sail trim, steering, required safety equipment, proper commands for tacks and jibes, crew overboard recovery, and much more. Class takes place all on the water between Red Hook and Cruz Bay in Pillsbury Sound. You will be able to sail on a basic level after completing ASA101.
ASA103 Basic Coastal Cruising ($1,250 value): 3 day all on the water live aboard program. ASA103 provides training in the remaining sailing concepts that are not covered in ASA101 including more on gear and equipment, safety, duties of skipper and crew, seamanship, boat handling, navigation concepts, picking up a mooring ball, docking, anchoring, reefing, heaving to and use of sail controls for proper sail trim. Students complete the basic sailing concepts while sailing to destinations in St. Thomas and St. John. Typical destinations are Magen’s Bay, Christmas Cove, Cruz Bay, Caneel Bay, and Coral Bay and or Francis Cay.
ASA104 Bareboat Cruising Class ($1,250 value): 3 Day all on the water, live aboard program where students master the navigation, maintenance, and seamanship skills required in order to safely handle a 30–50-foot sailboat. Students learn sailing and seamanship skills while sailing to destinations in Saint Thomas and St. John. Destinations include Charlotte Amalie, Turtle Cove off Buck Island, French Town, and Water Island. ASA104 is the certification level that most charter companies look for to prove proficiency to charter and safely handle a similar sized sailboat on your own. Students take over the navigation in our ASA104 classes by making and following a detailed navigation plan each day. Students take turns being captain so they can demonstrate their ability to control crew and the boat properly and safely. Students learn about the engine and mechanical systems so they can identify problems and perform simple maintenance. After completing ASA104 students can charter and handle a similar sized sailboat on their own.
All Combination Classes and ASA106 Advanced Coastal Cruising classes begin and end in Red Hook, St. Thomas.
We give 10% off for couples in group classes. A couple is defined as two people who share the same berth. Two or more singles who sign up together do not qualify for a discount unless they share a double berth.
We offer experienced sailors without prior certification but with demonstrable sailing skills and wanting to take our 6-day ASA103/104 combination course the option of testing out of ASA 101 at a nominal cost. This enables them to go directly to the Intermediate (ASA 103) and, ultimately, to the advanced (ASA 104) certification levels.