Sailing Books & ASA Course Materials

Recommended Sailing Books

There are hundreds of great books that help you build your knowledge about sailing to prepare you for hands-on experience. If you have a favorite not mentioned, let us know!

Written by America’s foremost instructional authority, this book combines the training programs of the American Sailing Association (ASA) and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary. The official learn-to-sail manual of the ASA, it is also used in the programs of many yacht clubs, colleges, and sailing groups.

Unlike most introductory sailing books, which reflect the biases and idiosyncrasies of their authors, Sailing Fundamentals has been extensively pretested by ASA professional instructors to ensure that it offers the fastest, easiest, most systematic way to learn basic sailing and basic coastal cruising. 

This book covers every aspect of beginning sailing — from hoisting sail to docking and anchoring — and specifically prepares the learner to qualify for sailing certification according to international standards. Widely acclaimed author Gary Jobson has won several major races, including the 1977 America’s Cup victory as tactician aboard Courageous. He was head sailing coach at the U.S. Naval Academy, and has conducted sailing clinics across the country. Illustrated step-by-step in two colors with over 150 line drawings and photographs.

Offers advice on sailing skills, safety equipment, the mechanical operation of the boat, navigation, emergency procedures, troubleshooting, and marine etiquette. Written to complement the ASA’s teaching methods, Cruising Fundamentals addresses small-boat day-sailors who wish to move on to overnight cruising in a larger boat-one more than 27 feet long.

The book leads the reader through five progressively more advanced levels of boat handling, each divided into sections covering knowledge and techniques that can be learned ashore and those best learned underway. 

A chapter called “Sailing the Cruising Yacht, ” for example, presents important information on readying the boat for sail, VHF radio protocol, and right-of-way rules before examining such topics as heaving-to and steering a compass course. This effective and logical progression makes the book a great learning tool not just for those graduating from smaller to larger sailboats or from day-sailing to cruising, but for inactive sailors needing a refresher and for anyone planning bareboat charter. The volume includes material on all aspects of piloting, maneuvering under power, managing the galley, diesel maintenance, passagemaking, and anchoring.

Surveys the latest developments in safety systems, marine electronics, radar, and communications, and includes information on tides, and currents, weather, and navigation. With millions of copies sold, Chapman Piloting has been the leading reference for both power and sail boaters for nearly a century.

This extensive guide features full-color illustrations and charts, exploded views, and cutaways for clear understanding. It is thoroughly updated with all the latest information on US federal laws, regulations, and fees.  Chapman covers the newest technology, most recent laws and up-to-date rules of boat handling, navigation, safety, and etiquette. 

American Sailing Association Courses

Catamaran Guru and their partner catamaran sailing schools with liveaboard seaschool offerings follow internationally accepted standards of the American Sailing Association (ASA). The ASA sailing curriculum is composed of eight levels from Basic Sailing to Celestial Navigation and Offshore Passagemaking. The liveaboard training experiences offered by our partner seaschools combine two or three ASA courses based on your level of expertise while giving you hands-on experience during your week-long liveaboard experience on your catamaran or a similar model. 

Learn to Sail Hands-On in Immersive Liveaboard Experience

Catamaran Guru can help you arrange private training classes with ASA-approved instructors who know how to focus on important topics for new boat owners. While training on your own boat or a similar boat, you get these benefits:

  • Completion of the ASA courses for certification
  • RYA courses & ICC certification
  • Liveaboard training for preparedness and certification for bareboat chartering
  • Lower yacht insurance premiums after boat owner orientation by a certified instructor
  • Training to confidently handle various situations and conditions on board
  • Training on your own boat’s systems
  • Learn how to make basic repairs
  • Learn tips on how to make the sailing lifestyle more fun and the transition to living aboard easier.

Sail With Us to Learn

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Catamaran Guru’s real-life practical methods combined with up-to-date sailing theory in lessons aboard recent model catamarans…or your own boat! 

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