New England Sailing Center (NESC)

New England Sailing Center

Basic Keelboat Certification

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  • Description:

In our two day Basic Keelboat (BK) course you will learn the fundamental principles of sailing. You will experience a mix of classroom and on the water training that will enable you to skipper an 18 to 27 foot keelboat in a safe, confident manner.

The two day certification course combines classroom and three to four hours of on the water training each day. Classroom time focuses on terminology, parts of the boat, knots and theory followed by on the water training. Following the water training session on day two you have the option to take your ASA 101 Basic Keelboat certification written exam as a conclusion to the BK course.

We offer this course weekly with a maximum of four students in each course. You can extend your training to include an optional third day for more time on the water practicing and refining your skills. The BK course is taught on a J22 boat that is one of the most popular keelboats for day sailing in the world. Private lessons are available.

Please visit our course and certification information page for more information on pricing. Contact us to check course availability and to schedule your course.

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  • Prerequisites: None

There are no prerequisite certifications required. The only requisite is your desire to learn sailing.

  • Certification: ASA 101 Basic Keelboat Certification

Students may choose to complete the ASA 101 Basic Keelboat certification exam after completing the second day’s curriculum.

  • Duration: Two days

Training can be extended to include an optional third day for more time on the water practicing and refining your skills.

  • Options:

ASA 101 Basic Keelboat certification

Third day for skills mastery

Incorporation into the Accelerated Bareboating Certification (ABC) program

  • Curriculum:

Curriculum for this course includes parts of boat, terminology, personal floatation devices and safety gear, safety at sea including right of way and commands, knots, points of sail, tacks and jibes, basic sail shape and trim, sail raising and controls, docking, man overboards and proper boat put down.


Able to skipper a sloop-rigged keelboat of approximately 20 to 27 feet in length by day in light to moderate winds (up to 15 knots) and sea conditions. Knowledge of basic sailing terminology, parts and functions, helm commands, basic sail trim, points of sail, buoyage, seamanship and safety including basic navigation rules to avoid collisions and hazards. Auxiliary power operation is not required.


Basic Sailing Terminology

Maneuvers & Points of Sail

Navigation Rules

Aids to Navigation

Safety Gear & Procedures

Safety Equipment


Crew Overboard

Return & Secure