I’m Basic Keelboat Sailing Certified (ASA 101)


Here in SF Bay you are great crew but still can’t do a bareboat charter yourself. You need to graduate Basic Coastal Cruising to skipper. Some great ways to get some practice?

  • Join a crew list. For some reason there isn’t much popularity to crew lists. We have no idea why. We tried to manage our own crew list years ago but it was too hard to manage as people were using it inappropriately (trying to find dates). Three good sources are:
  • Crew on a race boat.  This is quite possibly the BEST way to hone your skills. It’s much easier than you think. Near our office in the Harbor is South Beach Yacht Club which hosts a very successful Friday Night ‘Beercan” series. SBYC is a friendly group and it’s as simple as standing by Gate 2 on a Friday night with your lifejacket in hand, maybe a 6-pak of beer and note saying “Have Beer - Take Me Sailing”  The average sailboat effectively needs 5-6 (often more) people aboard to go racing. Expect on day one that you’ll be riding the rail as moveable ballast but the more you show up, the more responsibility you’ll have. It’s difficult for boat owners to develop reliable crew so they’re more than willing to provide opportunity to those who show up!  By the third time out on the boat you’ll be trimming sails, rigging and helping get the boat around the racecourse. One season of racing will equal 5 seasons of cruising. The average racing sailors is out on the water 18+ times per year vs the cruiser who sails less than 8 times per year.  Once you fall in love with racing, the world is your oyster. On average there are over 1200 regatta events on SF Bay Annually, some of them part of the “West Coast Majors (Multi-Day Events)”….it really is a racing mecca here!
  • Too shy to just show up?  Let us know you’re interested in racing and we’ll invite you to one of the post race gatherings after one of the Friday Night Regattas. SBYC opens its doors to crews to enjoy some post race beers, burgers etc while waiting for the race results. Just go in, grab a badge saying you’re a host of Drew and meet lots of crews and skippers. Tell them you are certified and looking to join a crew. You’ll walkout with more contacts than you can possibly manage.

I’m Basic Coastal Cruising Certified (ASA 103)


Thank you for taking Basic Coastal Cruising with the Spinnaker Sailing Team! You are now eligible to charter boats up to 27ft including the Andrews 21, Santana 22 and the Santa Cruz 27. Your first 5 charters MUST be SOUTH of the Bay Bridge. After that you can go anywhere east of the Golden Gate. Additionally, every time you take a new boat out you MUST start at 9am.

Here’s the Bareboat Charter Prices.

As you are now becoming a skipper you need the following:


Central Bay Chart

San Pablo Bay Chart

South Bay Chart

- Tide Book (we have them at the office for free
- or -
- Even Better, the Ayetides App

- Navigation Tools (we have these in stock at the office)

Weather Forecasting

-  Specific Wind Forecasting ( a MUST on the Bay)

- Predict Wind (our favorite)

- Sailflow


You may want to think about getting a copy of the book, Cruising San Francisco Bay (we have these in stock at the office). It’s an awesome overview of all the spots to sail to in the Bay.


sc 27

Here’s a great little video to remind you how to start the Suzuki 2.5 Outboard! https://youtu.be/QKsO-Eogk90?t=445

Since reefing is almost a daily activity on the Bay, below you’ll find a comprehensive guide on how to reef properly. Please read it and if you have ANY questions, contact the office.

Steps for Reefing the Main Sail

• Ease out the main until it luffs.

• Ease off the main halyard. If a reefing downhaul is used, lower until reef downhaul cringle comes to about 6 inches above the gooseneck and secure halyard.

• Hook reefing tack on gooseneck or pull in and secure the reefing downhaul to get the tack reef point as close to the boom as possible. On downhaul models this should tighten the luff, if not, raise the halyard a little more and try again.

• On boats with reef hooks tighten main halyard to achieve luff tension.

• Pull in and secure the reefing outhaul to get the clew reef point as close to the boom as possible. (A tight boomvang can prevent you from pulling in outhaul properly.)

• Trim the mainsheet, roll up the left-over sail bunt, and tie it up with the reef ties. Once the reef has been set, the boat will be much easier to control. In addition to being easier to steer, it will heel less and move more efficiently through the water.

• Some main sails may have more than one set of reef points. If this is the case, you may have separate control lines. If there is more than one reef, the bottom one is called the first reef, the next one up is the second, etc.

      • Jib - NEVER partially furl the jib as it will destroy the fuller and cost you lots of $. If it’s too windy to sail with full jib and reefed main, just sail with the mainsail only.


Sailing on San Francisco Bay. Please be very respectful and observant of the elements. The weather can change very quickly here. SF Bay is one of the toughest inland bodies of water to sail safely. The combination of very high winds, extreme currents and commercial ship traffic make this a sailors mecca for those who plan ahead and keep their wits about them and for those who don’t it can quickly turn into your own private hell. Stay sharp, stay Safe!

Here’s the “First Charter Agreement” you’ll be signing on day one.

first bareboat

If you're interested in moving onto the next step in the program, Intermediate Coastal Cruising, (sometimes call Bareboat Charter Class) you need 8 charters with you as captain on record. So give us a call and start scheduling your charters now!

Intermediate Coastal Cruising is taught on two different boats to maximize your sailing experience with all different sizes in the bay. On the first day we put you on a Catalina 320, a beautiful cruising boat. On the 2nd you're aboard the J/105, a top of the line racing vessel that will surely invigorate your sailing mojo. ICC is a two day course starting at 9am and ending at 5pm. Much like BCC we have a heavy emphasis on safety. Typically you’ll start the class crawling through the boat and learning all the ins and outs...then straight out onto the water for a long, fun day of sailing!



I’m Bareboat Charter Certified (ASA 104 Intermediate Coastal Cruising)


After passing Intermediate Coastal Cruising You’ll then be eligible to join our fantastic TimeShare Sailing Program which includes two GREAT large yachts, the J/105 ‘Wonder’ and the Beautiful Beneteau 37 ‘Valkyrie.’






You’re now eligible to charter everything in the Spinnaker Sailing fleet, East of the Golden Gate Bridge. You will also find chartering everywhere else on the planet much easier. It’s imperative that you log every single sailing day, even the ones where you’re crewing. You don’t know, perhaps one day you’ll want to get your US Coast Guard Captains license and you’ll need to document 360 8 hour days at sea to get your first rating.

Interested in Buying a Boat?

Many of our students go on to boat ownership. Both Drew and Garett at Spinnaker Sailing have Yacht Sales licenses at Rubicon Yachts.  We can help find the perfect boat for you. A quick conversation and we'll have a few options for you to look at online. Interested in seeing a couple?  We can set it up so you can safely view a few boats which greatly helps define what you'll ultimately buy. We do this as a service to our students at no cost. Even if you're interested in buying a boat off Craigslist, we'll gladly guide you through the process. It's part of us going the extra mile to ensure that your sailing experiences are fun & safe. Call us with any questions you have. We're here for you.




Obtaining the International Proficiency Certification (IPC) 

Chartering your own sailboat in a new destination is a rite of passage for most sailors. The freedom to sail your own plan and set your itinerary is a dream come true for anyone who has ever tossed the lines and held onto the mainsheet.  A bareboat charter is the definition of freedom on the water. 

Are you qualified to Bareboat Charter? That is a question that charter companies will ask when deciding whether or not to put you in charge of your own vessel.  In the Caribbean, charter companies will often use your ASA logbook, certifications, and sailing resume as evidence of your sailing experience.  In Europe, the situation is a bit different and you will most likely need an International Proficiency Certificate (IPC) to charter your own boat. 

We have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the International Proficiency Certificate to help you on your journey.


How do I get the IPC? 

Only sailors who have been certified through ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising can get the International Proficiency Certificate by completing the application on the ASA website. Find it here. The IPC is valid for 5 years from the date of issue.

What do I need to do to get the IPC?

You must be certified through at least ASA 104, Bareboat Cruising, in order to be eligible to apply for an International Proficiency Certificate.  Your certifications should include:

Where do I get the discounted membership?

All sailors applying for an IPC through the ASA website are also eligible for special pricing on a 1-year ASA Membership – Save 20%, pay only $39 and take advantage of all the benefits of being a member of ASA. (Available to members within the United States)

What is the IPC?

The IPC serves as proof of bareboat charter competency for Mediterranean chartering companies, many of whom require the proficiency information displayed in a different format than the ASA Log Book. This certificate is mandatory when chartering in most European / Mediterranean waters. 

An International Proficiency Certificate indicates that you have a certain level of proficiency and competency to safely operate a type/size of vessel. An IPC provides a certification which many Mediterranean charter companies view as equivalent to the ICC. Please note that any certification should also be paired with the appropriate sailing resume and you should check with your intended charter company to verify what they require.

Do I need an IPC to sail in the Med or internationally?

This certificate is mandatory when chartering in most European / Mediterranean waters. ASA strongly recommends you apply for an International Proficiency Certificate if you are chartering in the Mediterranean as well as the inland waterways of Europe and northern Europe.

What’s the difference between the IPC and the ICC?

The International Certificate of Competence (ICC) came about via UN Resolution 40 (UNR40), which was signed at various levels by some governments.  Only agents of countries that have signed UNR40 can issue it. The United States is not a signatory to UNR40, so there is no US-based ICC agent. The ICC is exactly what it is named. It is mostly used around EU countries to certify that the charterer has the minimum skills necessary. Some countries require you to have the ICC before they will charter a yacht to you.

Not every country requires you to have an ICC. However, most charter companies will not charter a boat to you without an ICC, or an equivalent certificate. Since it isn’t easy for a US-based sailor to obtain an ICC, the ASA has an agreement with Mediterranean charter companies to provide a certification similar to the ICC called the International Proficiency Certificate (IPC).

Please note that any certification should also be paired with the appropriate sailing resume and you should check with your intended charter company to verify what they require.

What countries does the IPC work in?

Belarus, Croatia, France, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey.

Do I need an IPC if I’m using my own boat / motorboat?

No. These certifications are typically utilized by charter companies. However, you should inform yourself on the boating rules and regulations of the regions you plan on sailing in.

How long does the IPC last for?

The IPC is valid for 5 years from date of issue.

When applying for an IPC you must:

  • Be an ASA member in good standing. (current)
  • Have the required ASA certifications: ASA 101, ASA 103, ASA 104
  • Provide a photo for the IPC certificate

Questions?  Call or Email us

Pier 40 South Beach Harbor San Francisco, CA 94107

T: 415-543-7333

E: staff@Spinnaker-Sailing.com

W: http://spinnaker-sailing.com

Fair Winds.....the Crew