Learn to sail on San Francisco Bay. Tradewinds stands apart from other sailing schools. Stop by and visit our sailing school and club.
Learn to sail on San Francisco Bay. Tradewinds stands apart from other sailing schools. Stop by and visit our sailing school and club.
Our ASA course offering prepares you for sailing the Bay or anywhere in the world. Sailing schools on San Francisco Bay.
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Sailing School

Advanced Coastal Cruising (ACC - ASA 106) Sailing Lessons San Francisco Bay school instruction bay area classes club Rentals Learn to sail Women sailing


  • Bareboat Chartering - ASA 104
  • Coastal Navigation - ASA 105
  • Completion of the Bareboat Chartering practice exercises
  • Schedule & Crew

    This is a 72-hour course, typically Thursday at 6pm until Sunday at 6pm, with four students and one instructor aboard.


You’ve mastered sailing on San Francisco Bay and perhaps chartered in a few far-away places. What’s next? Sailing outside the Gate!
Sailing the Northern California coastline can be beautiful and rewarding with some very interesting destinations. Our coastline can also be very challenging. Choosing the right time of year and weather window is critical in planning a safe trip.

  • Spring and Fall offer the best opportunities.
  • During Winter months, Gale Force storms are frequent.
  • Fog is a constant concern during the Summer.

Our three-day Advanced Coastal Cruising class actually starts with a homework assignment (one week prior) where you’ll be guided through the Go/No-Go decision making process. The class itself is actually a structured three-day cruise with Half Moon Bay and Drakes Bay as likely destinations. We may also get out to the Farallones. Learning will mostly occur through hands-on activity with brief lectures mixed in. Click on the link to review the ASA Standards for Advanced Coastal Cruising. These standards will identify topics for the required reading assignment.

Preparation is key and we spend ample time preparing our boat and crew for new challenges like:

  • Preventing and dealing with sea sickness
  • Weather monitoring and interpretation
  • Trip planning and filing a Float Plan
  • Preparing for Abandon Ship and other emergency procedures
  • Sailing and helmsmanship in heavy seas, dense fog and at night
  • Application of Coastal Navigation skills and usage of RADAR
  • Commercial traffic in shipping lanes
  • Night-time Man Overboard Drills
  • Engineering and troubleshooting
  • Meal preparation while underway (meals will be assigned prior to class start)

Instructor Tip One: Students are sometimes surprised at the amount of motoring we do in this class. The reality is that it is most often easy to sail south. But, what goes south must eventually go north! Frequently, going north on the California coast means “head to wind” and that means motoring if you need to get anywhere on a time schedule.

Instructor Tip Two: California offshore weather can vary from flat calm to severe winter storm conditions with gale force or greater winds and swells up to 30’ high. Students completing the class are “authorized” to take properly equipped boats outside the gate but are encouraged to partner with other ACC qualified sailors for their first few trips offshore. Get a few challenging experiences under your keel before you take out a boat full of novices!

Required Gear:

  • Layers of clothing for cold conditions including spares
  • Foul weather gear and boots
  • Gloves
  • Safety harness and tether
  • Headlamp with a red lens

Review the complete ASA course description with a knowledge and skills list.

What Boats are Used

In this class, you will sail boats in our Gold Fleet.

When You Complete this Course

After successfully completing and passing the Advanced Coastal Cruising course, you will be authorized to sail west of the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge for day-sails only. (No Overnights!)

Pillar Point Harbor Close Hauled Drakes Bay



Last modified on: Tuesday, 27-Feb-2024 13:44:02 MST