Ace Your 103, Basic Coastal Cruising Written Sailing Exam

Convenient, easy way to accelerate your knowledge, add to your seamanship and safety and improve your 103 exam score
3.9 (10 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a
course's star rating by considering a number of different factors
such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the
likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
70 students enrolled
52% off
Take This Course
  • Lectures 11
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
Wishlisted Wishlist

How taking a course works


Find online courses made by experts from around the world.


Take your courses with you and learn anywhere, anytime.


Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.

About This Course

Published 5/2015 English

Course Description

When you are ready to take your knowledge from 101 Basic Keelboat ground school,to the next level of sailing knowledge: adding reefing, anchoring, basic navigation and good mariner stuff to what you've already learned, then this is the right place for your next step. OR when you are facing the prospect of taking the 103 Basic Coastal Cruising written exam, this is the right summary course to review to help you pass your exam with flying colors. Additionally, you will have the knowledge that will bring you to a whole new level of understanding sailing: intermediate level terminology, systems, concepts and tips to help you make sense of your on-the-water experience.

  • Learn intermediate sailing– and be safe and competent on the water
  • Ace your 103 written knowledge exam – without test anxiety
  • Feel competent in your new role as skipper or crew on a sailboat
  • 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 contains over two hours of content – utilizing over 250 colorful pictures, graphics and narrations by a senior ASA instructor to add to your experience of having “been there done that" before you ever face the situation on the water. The content is divided into seven modules: Terminology (Sailor-speak); Anchoring, Rules of the Road; Charts and Navigation; Knots to Know; and Required/Good to Know. Supplemental content covers some topics in detail… all essential knowledge to advance your confidence and competence while sailing an auxiliary powered sloop rig in light to moderate sea conditions and winds.

What are the requirements?

  • If you have a rudimentary understanding of sailing, points of sail and terminology, etc., then this course is for you.
  • Just show up with curiosity and desire to continuing learning sailing knowledge.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • • Feel confident in your readiness to ace the 103 Basic Coastal Cruisiing sailing knowledge exam
  • • Be familiar and comfortable with sailing concepts, procedures and terms you need to know to be "good crew" on the water
  • • Have an understanding of sailing knowledge, such as anchoring and reefing, at the intermediate level.
  • Enjoy the narrator's tips and learn from his experience (prevent as much trial and error as possible).
  • Delve into Supplemental Content for an optional deeper understanding of any of several topics

What is the target audience?

  • Any student who has taken my 101 Basic Keelboat course and wants to continue learning sailing knowledge.
  • Any student who has passed the ASA 101 course and wants to continue on to ASA 103.

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: A brief introduction to 103 Basic Coastal Cruising

My Ivy League, military, corporate, and consulting backgrounds plus years of flight instruction all contribute to this work. Here is a brief introduction of my sailing background these past 15 years.

Section 2: Our common language "Sailor-speak"

Why do I need to know this language? Sailing is a team sport with defined roles (more than you know at this stage),
We have to be able to communicate efficiently and accurately in order to function as a team. This language comes down to us from the great age of sail and the life of early sailors.

Section 3: Happy Hooking

At first you anchor because it's cheaper than staying at a marina dock. Later you anchor because it's a peaceful way to get away from the maddening crowd in your own private gunkhole.

Section 4: Happy sails and reefing

Be ready to practice the five step process of "shortening sail" in a freshening wind... in order to keep your boat under control, limit the stress on the standing rigging and continue sailing safely.

Section 5: Rules of the Road

If it floats it's a vessel! There are many different types of vessels on the water - from mega-freighters to kayaks - and we must know the pecking order in order to properly maneuver to avoid a collision with each type.


The Rules of the Road do for sailors what road rules do for drivers: increase order, trust and predictability, and prevent collisions. In my opinion they are simpler and easier to learn than driving on the roads.

Section 6: Charts and Navigation

It's time to spread your wings beyond your local area. A chart is to a sailor what a roadmap is to a driver. Whether a weekend or a year-long trip, It's the essential tool of navigation: where you identify your present location, your destination, and plan how to efficiently and safely get there.


You need to be able to read the chart symbology (icons) on the chart and know what it looks like in the real world on the water. Here's a primer.

Section 7: Six knots we regularly use on a sailboat

Increase your "crew value" by knowing these basic knots in common use on a sailboat. These knots have been selected because they each serve a specific purpose. Additionally they hold when you want them to hold and equally important release when you want them to release.

Section 8: Legal and Good to Know

When you leave the dock as skipper you are legally responsible for having required legal and safety gear on board.
Learn your "safety six-pack" and never leave the dock without it.


This is a catch-all for adding to your "good to know" knowledge, and also items on the 103 Basic Coastal Cruising exam that have not been previously covered.

Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed

  • Loading
  • Loading
  • Loading

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.

Ready to start learning?
Take This Course