Keelboat Instructor Programs

Instructors at US Sailing accredited schools possess outstanding seamanship and communication skills. All are trained in our proprietary teaching method and all are US Sailing certified professionals.

Candidates must be accomplished sailors able to sail anywhere in the United States and its waters. Those who seek US Sailing certification must be able to handle the vast range of situations and models of boats encountered in sailing courses. Practice, study and preparation are required by even the most gifted and experienced professional instructors.  Full information on our keelboat certification system is available at Just as with student-level courses, US Sailing offers a progression with our instructor programs which include several levels:

Basic Keelboat Instructor

The Basic Keelboat Instructor Course is a 3-day evaluation allowing experienced keelboat instructors to test and evaluate their teaching and sailing skills. Candidates should anticipate single-handing a keelboat while demonstrating competency in sailing off a dock, mooring or slip, tacking, jibing, stopping, backing the boat and returning to the dock, mooring or slip. Basic Keelboat Instructor Candidates must also be able to present material in a classroom environment with ease. To become a US Sailing Instructor, a candidate must be a confident and competent sailor able to sail anywhere in the U.S. and handle the vast range of situations and different models of boats encountered in sailing courses. *Please note: Basic Keelboat Certified Instructors can only issue US Sailing student certifications through a Certified US SailingSchool.

Cruising Instructor / Coastal Navigation Instructor

The Cruising and Coastal Navigation Instructor Course is a 3-day evaluation for experienced Basic Cruising, Bareboat Cruising and Coastal Navigation Instructors to test and evaluate their teaching, sailing and navigation skills. This course includes the evaluation of the candidate’s ability to handle challenging conditions and navigational situations during daytime and nighttime, as well as their interpersonal skills in a live aboard environment. Candidates will live and sail aboard their assigned boats. Those candidates wishing to be evaluated as Coastal Navigation Instructors must stay an extra half-day for an additional comprehensive written exam or take the Coastal Navigation test.

Catamaran Instructor Endorsement

The Catamaran Instructor Endorsement course can either run in conjunction with the Cruising Instructor course or as a stand alone course for instructors who already possess a Cruising Instructor Certification.

Coastal Passage Making Instructor

The Coastal Passage Making Instructor Course is a 5-day evaluation for experienced Passage Making Instructors to test and evaluate their teaching, sailing and navigation skills. Candidates should expect to be evaluated on a wide range of criteria including but not limited to: Sail Handling, Docking, Response to Emergencies, Navigation, Boat Systems, Passage Planning, Organizational Ability, Team Building/Group Interactivity.

Celestial Navigation Instructor

Written testing and resume review are required components of the certification process to be a Celestial Navigation Instructor.

Offshore Passage Making Instructor

Please read the informational letter to applicants carefully and submit the application form to begin the process of evaluation as an Offshore Passage Making Instructor.

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