ASA Certification on a Bavaria 41

Most places that you charter a boat, you need to get a certification to show that you are qualified. The two organizations that provide the the most widely recognized certification organizations in the United States are US Sailing and American Sailing Association (ASA). Our plan was to get our certifications so we could fly somewhere else, such as the Caribbean, and charter a boat there.

Just before Covid hit, we were on our way to getting certifications with US Sailing, having completed our Basic Keelboat certification. Covid put a hold on completing the certifications. When we decided to upgrade our own boat, we were initially looking at larger boats, but we chose to go somewhat smaller at 32 feet to leave budget to charter boats elsewhere (and budget for upgrades, as well). As we revisited certifications this year, we found an ASA course that met our needs. We booked a week-long trip through San Juan Sailing that covered ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing, ASA 103 Basic Coastal Cruising, and ASA 104 Bareboat Cruising. This allows us to charter monohull boats up to 45 feet anywhere in the world.

San Juan Sailing has a fleet of about 60 boats mostly sailing out of Bellingham, Washington. We got booked onto a three-cabin, two head, Bavaria 41, Fresh Aire. The cruise had five crew: Sandi and Greg, Mark and Jessica, and the instructor, Bob. Bob has been sailing for 30 years and knows his stuff. Mark and Jessica have been power boaters on lakes and rivers, but are new to sailing.

The Bavaria 41, Fresh Air Mediterranean docked at Stuart Island.
The course ran from Saturday, July 9 to Friday, July 15, 2022. We checked in by 11 a.m. and brought our stuff down to the boat. The first test was finding all of the safety equipment on the boat. We drew straws for cabins, and got the starboard aft cabin. This cabin has the feet at the aft of the boat, which turns out requires more gymnastics than the aft cabin on the Catalina 320 that has the feet pointed at the port side.
San Juan Islands
(by Pfly, CC BY-SA 3.0)

Saturday, July 9: We got lunch ashore, then prepared to leave dock. Our first stop was Sucia Island, on the north side of the San Juan Islands. We left the marina in Bellingham and raised sail, headed north of Lummi Island. At Sucia, we tied up to a linear mooring system in Echo Bay and spent the night.

Sunday, July 10: We sailed to Stuart Island and Mediterranean docked. We hiked to the T-shirt place.

Monday, July 11: In the morning, we did docking training against the line linear docks at Stuart. We sailed to Roche Harbor and docked at the marina.

Tuesday, July 12: We sailed all the way around the south end of San Juan Island, up the east side of Shaw Island, and anchored in Blind Bay. The seas in Harro Strait were four feet. Winds in San Juan Channel were 29 kts sustained, gusting to 32 kts. Sailed very reefed in using the furling mainsail and genoa.

Wednesday, July 13: We sailed to Rosario Resort on Orcas Island and docked at the marina.

Thursday, July 14: We sailed back to Bellingham and docked at the marina. We refueled and pumped out, performing docking training.

Friday, July 15: We did some docking practice in the marina in the morning.

All in all, a successful week. We learned some new techniques and got much better at sail trim. We got a lot of docking practice in. We did lots of man-overboard drills. These drills are not just good for emergencies, but practice in handling the boat.

Sandi at the wheel