About the Course
Prerequisite: ASA 105 - Coastal Navigation
ASA 106 Advanced Coastal Cruising is the most advanced ASA sailing course we teach here at First Reef Sailing! The goal of the course is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to safely and confidently plan, navigate and sail a multi-day coastal offshore passage. We cover serious miles in our ASA 106 courses, typically averaging 200 nautical miles. We practice night sailing, watchkeeping, safety at sea, emergency maneuvers, heavy weather sailing and so much more during this 5 day, 4 night live aboard course.
Topics Covered in ASA 106 - Advanced Coastal Cruising
Learn how to plan a long distance passage according to weather forecasts, tidal information, ocean current charts and more. We teach how to parse uncertainty in a long-range forecast and when to use a professional meteorologist/weather router. We also discuss automatic routing vs manually creating a route to follow, including planning safe-harbors and anchorages in case of adverse weather.
How do we change our behavior when sailing at night versus during the day? Learn about common safety tactics when sailing at night, how to use lighted aids to navigation accurately and efficiently, the types of electronic navigation equipment we use and experience what its like to stand a watch under the glow of the milky way when sailing miles offshore at night!
What are the pro's and con's of port and starboard watches versus regular watches? How do we decide between 2 hours on/4 hours off vs 3 hours on/6 hours off vs 4 hours on/8 hours off? We discuss different types of watch systems and when to use them and practice standing double handed and single handed watches.
Heavy Weather Sailing
We discuss the use of drogues and sea anchors, how to efficiently reduce sail in heavy weather and what common safety parameters we set for our passages in terms of wave height, windspeeds, etc.
In ASA 106 we learn about different types of clouds and what they mean for us when sailing. We also go in depth on "synoptic" weather or long term large scale weather patterns as well as the different weather forecasting models, what it means when they agree and what it means when they disagree. We employ electronic weather apps such as Windy, PredictWind, downloadable GRIB files and more to discern a clear weather picture for our passage.
We cover much more than is required for the basic ASA 106 curriculum including emergencies at sea, mechanical problems and repairs and more!
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the ASA 106 held?
The goal of ASA 106 is to sail a passage of 40nm or more as well as a night sail. We typically cover about 100nm through out the course and the route varies depending on weather. Past routes have included circumnavigating Cape Cod or sailing up to Maine and back.
What am I required to bring to the course?
We require students to bring their own Type V PFD with integrated harness, as well as a tether. These are critical safety items since we will be sailing at night. First Reef Sailing does have a few sets to rent for the course, email us to reserve yours.
Where can I find a packing list for the course?
We send all packing lists with your confirmation email upon signing up for the course. If you would like to get an idea of what to pack, read our blog post, "What to Pack for an Offshore Sailing Passage".