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Certification consists of a written exam and hands-on demonstration of a basic core functional level of skills and knowledge. By itself, certification does not imply overall competency, but proficiency at a basic level of standardized skills and knowledge.

Certification requires scoring 80% or higher on the written exam and 100% success during the on-the-water skills demonstration. 

Certification Preparation is entirely up to YOU. Whether it takes just 15 hours or 40 hours prep time is more up the each student based on their ability to commit time for study and mental practice prior to and following each class. Many programs don't permit that flexibility, but at Windsong how you chose to prepare and the length of time you require for your certification is your decision, not ours!  Since certification is limited in scope and nature but the reality of sailing can be more encompassing, students do find significant value auditing previously taken ground school classes to ensure their long term success and most thorough training possible. We feel it is important that we permit that flexibility.

Registration in any of our Ground School Classes includes training materials and the option of "Auditing" the same class as often as you wish in the future.  Each ground class covers physics, theory, procedures and laws applicable to each area of study.

Registration in two hour Skills and Drills Sailing Outings or Clinics offer instruction and evaluation designed to develop safe, competent understanding and practices across a multitude of topics and skill areas. Specific lesson plans are created for every training outing to include drills designed for each individual student's goals, prior instruction and level of proficiencies. As student skills develop, regular outings and clinics are a convenient and fun way to maintain acquired skills while continuing to pursue advanced proficiencies. Frequent outings will be required to reach the depth and breadth of abilities necessary for competency, but this will vary with each student based upon their dedication for review and preparation prior to each outing.

Students who feel ready for certification can schedule their Written Exam at any time during their training.  On-the-water skills evaluation is recorded during each instructional sailing outing and retained in each student's official database records. Once both the written exam and on-the-water skills evaluation have been successfully completed, certification will be submitted to A.S.A.

Coastal certification candidates can perform much of the necessary on-the-water training on Lake Lanier during two hour skills and drills outings.  This unique approach saves valuable vacation days for the actual coastal adventure where skills are transitioned to our coastal venue complete with coastal weather, tides, currents, navigational aids and commercial traffic. Going directly to the coast for initial training can be overwhelming, thus our incremental approach of skills acquisition on Lanier followed by transitioning to the coastal environment at the appropriate time.

All recreation outings, ground classes, sailing outings and certification written exams are individually priced to provide flexibility in budgeting and choice.

If mere certification alone is your only goal, you could be "sailing yourself short!"

Certification is not everyone's goal and we are glad to offer that option for those who wish merely to train as crew or accompany a spouse in training. The fee for the certification testing is $75 for the initial written exam but may be included depending on the training package selected. Retesting is available for a nominal $15 fee. On-the-water testing is included in the cost of the instructional sailing outings. 

The Certification fee includes an A.S.A. Official Log Book, Completion Seal, Certification Identification Card and one year's A.S.A. membership.

Additionally each certified student receives subscriptions to Sailing Magazine and the American Sailing Journal, an online account for use to order sailing gear and sailing reference aids along with valuable discount coupons good for marine goods at local marine stores.

Certification Challenge Sessions may also be scheduled by sailors with significant prior knowledge and skills who choose to "Challenge" certification exams in lieu of participating in the respective ground school class. The Certification Challenge fee is $75.

It is the philosophy at Windsong that students be afforded the opportunity and flexibility to meet and exceed the core requirements for certification as they see appropriate for their prior experience, future goals and current timeframes. For this reason our approach to training is unique, yet specific to the needs and preferences of each student.

Windsong represents the American Sailing Association (ASA) and provides programs designed to prepare students for and exceed the requirements for national certification by ASA.  Windsong is a public training facility providing a large variety of boating education programs through the Parks and Recreation service. 

We recognize that our customers have differing abilities, goals and needs and provide individually sequenced programs to best ensure their success. Although certification and advanced training beyond basic standardized skills is our intent, we recognize the individual needs of our customers. Although testing is required for final certification, we do not mandate testing immediately upon completion of the ground school portion of their training. For the majority of students, patient and attentive practice sessions provide better long term results than rushing through minimal training merely to meet basic core fundamental skills certification.

At Windsong we recognize that certification is merely a benchmark toward an ultimate long term objective of competence. Competence requires judgment and judgment can only occur through experience. Unlike typical programs, Windsong does not preset or limit instructional time. The flexibility of our training options best support the learning styles of most busy and family oriented customers. Windsong customers value the fact that we provide the practice time required for development of the critical judgment to ensure their safety and comfort long after their training is complete.

Sail training is like Driver's Training. Some master the skills quickly, some never at all, but most are somewhere in between. It's not in anyone's best interest to misrepresent achievement. Our customers choose Windsong to gain the confidence and competence they deserve. It was never our goal to be quick, cheap or guaranteed. Things of value require some effort and often challenge our perceptions of the status quo.

Although our extensive collection of training programs exceeds the areas of certifications available from A.S.A., those programs where certifications do exist are designed with certification as the goal. We do realize that not all students wish to study, master nor demonstrate all the knowledge and skills required for certification and it is not our right nor intent to disrespect the wishes of those customers merely seeking skills and drills tune-up.  We also recognize that some students do not learn best under the pressure of "Tests".  We offer the flexibility and freedom to permit each customer to direct their personalized course of study and test when they feel ready. 

The choice is yours at Windsong.  As you will observe while reviewing our approach to training, it is unique and extremely flexible.  Our approach is highly personalized to assist in pursuit of YOUR dreams and goals.

Some students come to escape and merely enjoy the fun of sailing while many others come to pursue certification. At Windsong we offer certification programs as well as skills and drills tune up sessions!  We exist to serve YOUR needs!

  We welcome the opportunity to introduce you to our collection of excellent programs providing ASA sailing instructions, cruises, clinics and fun sails.