learn to sail in heavy weather

Capt. Dan’s ASA+ Sailing School of the Channel Islands in Oxnard, CA

Click to Book Sailing Lessons or Check Availability

Sailing lessons in the time of Corona:

We’re teaching ASA 101 & 103. Call or click to reserve your spot. 

If you want to take ASA 104 or 106, you’ll need to show proof that you’ve had your Covid shots.

You can get a head start on lessons:

  1. Buying the book for your level. If you’re a beginner, you need Sailing Made Easy.
  2. Reading the book.
  3. Understanding what you read by calling me with your questions at 805.750.7828 and doing the practice tests in the book.
  4. Watching YouTube videos. There are a ton. Most of them won’t lead you astray. Most of them.
  5. Staying healthy.

Personalized instruction at the ASA+ Sailing School of the Channel Islands:

American Sailing Association ASA Sailing School ASA+

Our sailing school mission is to teach you to sail competently and confidently  in the ocean, specifically the Pacific Coast of Southern California. I only teach one at a time,  just you and your crew, if you have one.

Call for sailing school availability 805.750.7828

Let’s discuss the kind of sailing you’d like to do over the next few years. Then we can create a curriculum

learn to sail with Capt. Dan at the sailing school of the channel islands
Capt. Dan – your instructor and coach

The course of study is designed to give you and your crew the skills to sail the Channel Islands on your own or bareboat charter at foreign bases around the world. It’s an ASA+ curriculum and helps you polish your skills in ways that other schools do not.

I tailor the sailing school schedule to meet your needs; I tailor the curriculum to fit your situation, considering your experience and your sailing goals. I do precious little lecturing. This is a hands-on school, much more about doing and thinking than reading and talking.

Book learning for beginners

ASA beginner text
The ASA’s new book should be titled Sailing Made Safe and Easy #we earn a commission if you use this link

Though we’ll tell you everything you need to know, it’s quite clear that the onboard training is most effective if it is supported by prior study, and we

Sailing book for beginners
Should be called “Sailing for people with a sense of humor”#we earn a commission if you use this link

recommend the Official ASA text “Sailing Made Easy” Click image if you’d like to order.

I also like “Sailing for Dummies,” even though I hate the name. Click image to order through Amazon.com. Or click for Kindle edition.

Sailing school fees

Lessons run 3.5 to four hours. Rates:  $580 Mon-Th and $690 Friday to Sunday.  Add a crew member for $100/session. Up to 2 passengers can join you on ASA 103D, the all-day lesson, at no extra charge.

What’s the + about in your ASA+?

Learn to sail with Capt. Dan Sail Channel Islands

We teach and coach until you feel confident and we judge that you are competent to perform the skills on your own and that you have developed the “forehandedness” to think ahead of the boat. We are not here to simply”sign you off” because you saw certain things or did them once. We work on the skills until you are both competent and confident.

Our advanced courses take longer and cover more of the ocean than most other schools. ASA 104 Bareboat training is a minimum of three days with us, ASA 106 Advanced Coastal Cruising is four or five days.

Beginners get a lesson devoted to docking, each person getting five or six shots at it the first day and two or three on each subsequent lesson.

At no time are you simply an observer, you’ll always have your hand on the wheel, a sheet, the anchor or navigation tools.

Our sailing preferences

Sail School

Frankly, we’re not racers. Our pace is measured and we enjoy the beauty and solitude of cruising the islands of the Santa Barbara Channel more than the thrill of squeezing a tenth of knot out of our crew and beating some yahoos around a buoy.**

Nor are we long-range cruisers. Several of our past students are. We get e-mail and blogs from all sorts of exotic spots. We, on the other hand, are all about a lifestyle that is closer to home. And, when the feeling moves us, we’re up for a 10-day charter trip, but we’ll fly to the palm-fringed island and rent a boat.

Approach to Santa Cruz Island
Approaching Fry’s Anchorage on ASA 104

BTW, we’re not going to squeeze you into some kid-sized boat at our sailing school. All of our lessons are on a Catalina 36. And I teach all the courses.

The outline of our courses is in the menus above, but your curriculum will  be shaped individually, so we need to talk about your previous experience, instruction you’ve had and your near term and long range sailing goals. Give me a call at 805.750.7828, or e-mail me at Learn to Sail

Sailing season

*When is the sailing season? you ask.

End of a rigorous instructional day during ASA 104
End of a rigorous instructional day during ASA 104

This is southern California. We sail ALL year. Summer is a good time to learn to sail, but fall is better and winter can be spectacular. You’ve always got to check the weather and must always  have many layers in your sail bag. But we sail all year. But almost never in the rain.

Our sailing grounds

We sail the Channel Islands: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel and Santa Barbara.

Some folks say that if you can sail here, you can sail anywhere.  That’s true to a point. We can find navigation and weather challenges that you won’t find on a lake, San Francisco Bay, Monterey Bay and certainly not in Santa Monica Bay. And the far western end of the island chain and Point Conception (the Cape Horn of North America) always tests us.

ASA 101 Text

#we earn a commission if you use these links

ASA 103 Text

ASA 106 Text

Sail for just a few hours …. or several days

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