Ace Your 101, Basic Keelboat Written Sailing Exam

Convenient, easy way to accelerate your knowledge, add to your seamanship and safety and improve your 101 exam score
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  • Lectures 18
  • Length 3 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 3/2015 English

Course Description

So you are new to sailing and you don't know what you don't know. What are 'points of sail', or 'stand-on vessel' or 'leeward' (pronounced lew-ard)? This is a good place to start!
Are you facing the prospect of taking the 101 Basic Keelboat Sailing written test? After completing this course you will be able to pass the exam with flying colors.

Additionally, you will have the knowledge that will bring you to a whole new level of understanding sailing: terminology that will become automatic, and concepts that make sense of your on-the-water experience.

  • Learn sailing basics – and be safe on the water
  • Ace your written knowledge exam – without test anxiety
  • Accelerate your learning – fast, easy and more efficient than reading

This course is patterned after the format of the American Sailing Association's learn to sail programs. It does not take the place of an ASA instructor or on-the-water practice and experience. However it contains a body of essential knowledge to advance your skills and seamanship.

This course is over two hours of content – utilizing over 250 colorful pictures, graphics, narrations and tips to add to your experience of having “been there done that" (before you ever face the situation on the water for the first time). The content is divided into six modules: Poiints of Sail; Terminology (SailorSpeak); Rules of the Road; Basic Navigation; Knots to Know; and Required/Good to Know. Supplemental content covers several topics in detail… all essential foundational knowledge to keep you safe  in a sailboat during day in light to moderate sea conditions and winds.

What are the requirements?

  • If you are new to sailing, and if you want foundational sailing knowledge, such as points of sail and terminology, etc., then this course is for you.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Feel confident in your readiness to ace the 101 Basic Keelboat sailing knowledge exam
  • Have the foundation of basic sailing concepts and terms you need to know for on-the-water sailing
  • Be confident and knowledgeable crew
  • Learn on-the-water sailing faster and saill with more familiarity
  • Delve into Supplemental Content for an optional deeper understanding of any of several topics

Who is the target audience?

  • ASA divides sailing instruction into on-the-water instruction and sailing knowledge. This course is the knowledge portion of sailing and complements on-the-water instruction.
  • It does impart basic sailing knowledge and prepare you to get a grade of 100% on the 101 sailing knowledge written exam
  • Take this course as a preview prior to 101 on-the-water instruction
  • Take this course as a review prior to the 101 basic keelboat written exam
  • Take this course if you are learning sailing from a friend, or even teaching yourself
  • Take this course if you desire to be reliable and capable crew
  • Take this course if you are planning to challenge the ASA 101 exam (option to experienced sailors)

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Short Instructor Introduction

"Ace Your Basic Keelboat Sailing Knowledge Exam" is ground school for learning basic sailing knowledge in an accelerated format. It will help you understand sailing concepts and terminology and get a score of 100% on your written exam. It is divided into six modues plus supplemental content totaling two hours of visually rich content narrated by Captain Howard Edson (who also introduces himself to you).

Section 2: Points of Sail

Knowing the points of sail is the very essence of sailing a boat. It introduces to you proper descriptions of the relationships between the sails and the wind that have come down us from hundreds of years of sailing.


Know how sailors describe sloop sails and how we use tell tales to "see" the wind

Section 3: Terminology "sailor-speak"

Learn the common language of sailing terms and boat parts necessary for teamwork and safety, presented in narrated pictures.

A bit more sailorspeak (terminology)
Section 4: Navigation Rules "Rules of the Road"

The pecking order classifies the various types of vessels based upon relative maneuverability -- a building block for understanding the Rules of the Road.


What do you do when faced with another boat coming toward you in close proximity? This module explains the Rules of the Road and examples of practical collision avoidance

Section 5: Buoyage system and navigation aids (ATONS)

Correctly reading navigation lights in the dead of night is essential for understanding your relatiionship to another vessel, and altering course accordingly.


Understand the principals of the IALA B buoyage system in use in the Western hemisphere, and how channel marks guide mariners to keep them in deep water and off shoals.


Learn the various beacons and buoys, and their meanings, that one will encounter while cruising... illustrated for easy recognition in the future on the water.

Section 6: Knots to Know

How to tie six basic sailing knots and hitches; characteristics and purpose of each knot 

Section 7: Required and Good to Know

Don't leave the dock without your "six legal six pack"... or you may get a ticket. And here's a pot pourri of things good to know, both for your learning and because they are on your exam.

Section 8: Supplemental Content

This is a fun and challenging practice in which you identify what tack your sailboat is on and what tack the other sailboat is on -- essential identification in order to comply with the rules of the road and avoid a collision.


Knot practice. Grab a piece of rope to work with, and follow this step by step explanation of the six basic knots most often used on a sailboat.


Understand the US Coast Guard five basic categories of PFD's - and their characteristics.

Visual practice identifying which tack am I on

Heaving-to is a maneuver to "park" a boat without lowering sails -- a go-to maneuver in light, medium or heavy weather and in a variety of siutations. It is under-taught and under-utilized.


Sound signals communicate the intention of one boat to another, thereby producing clarity and reducing confusion and collisions. You need to know them.

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Instructor Biography

Captain Howard Edson Sr., charter and delivery captain; ASA instructor, and old salt

Following undergraduate studies at Princeton University and a military tour of duty in the Pacific Howard's three-part work career included (1) corporate staff positions with Hewlett Packard and Atlantic Richfield.(2) entrepreneur building four companies, and (3) management consultant and trainer in the field of organizational transformation and development. He has trained thousands of Fortune 1000 employees throughout North America and Asia in organizational change, leadership development and teamwork.

His sailing resume includes yacht deliveries, sailing instruction, captaining sailboat charters in the San Juan Islands (Washington) and Desolation Sound (Canada) between May and October and charter captain and instructor in Florida and the Caribbean between November and April. In his spare time he writes about boating and seamanship.

He has sailed U.S. East Coast ports from Halifax Nova Scotia to Key West, Florida; the Florida Gulf Coast; and U.S. West Coast  from Alaska and Canada to Mexico.  He has enjoyed sailing yachts in Florida, the Bahamas, Bermuda, B.V.I's, St. Vincent & The Grenadines, Puget Sound, Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound (Canada), British Columbia, Alaska and the Sea of Cortez and west coast of Mexico. He has held the position of navigator in several long distance sailing races. Additionally he completed a six month solo voyage with his golden retriever.  And is recently returned from one year of cruising Mexico.

Howard holds U.S. Merchant Marine Officer license #1155804, for motor and sail vessels up to 100-gross tons.He is an American Sailing Association instructor, certified in Basic Keelboat (101) through Advanced Coastal Cruising (106).

My passion for the sea and commitment to share skills and knowledge are boundless. Few things give me more pleasure than to travel beside you on your journey to build your sailing confidence and expand your sailing knowledge and take essential steps to living your dream.

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