Teach Sailing


US Sailing offers certification courses for instructors and coaches on a wide range of boats at varying levels of expertise. Courses range from 2 days to 5 days, and are hosted by boating programs around the country, year-round. If you are considering getting certified as an instructor or coach, please read the course requirements carefully before registering. Most certifications require First Aid and CPR (see the U.S. Coast Guard’s approved list, or we can also accept American Red Cross and American Heart Association courses). If you choose Red Cross online training to be certified in First Aid, CPR, or AED skills, Red Cross standards mandate that you must attend a skill session and perform the skills on a mannequin with a Red Cross authorized instructor. As of 1/1/18 all instructors are required to complete SafeSport training. Certifications are valid for three years and may be renewed at the time of expiration.

Click on any of the training areas below to learn more about the courses we offer:



Sailing Counselor

Who Should take this course: Anyone involved with a Camp Counseling, Sailing, or Scouting program. Prerequisites: Basic Sailing experience. Must turn 14 within the calendar year Course length: 2 days, 20 hours. Materials used: Learn Sailing Right! Beginner Sailing, Sailing Smart Activity Book & Instructor’s Handbook Course Overview: The Sailing Counselor course prepares participants to supervise small boat recreational sailing activities typically conducted on sheltered and protected waters. The emphasis is on safety and hands-on practice to familiarize candidates with proper terminology and boating techniques. Sailing Counselor training will also provide a model for how a counselor might structure actual sailing activities.While this course does not offer a certification, if does offer a detailed training to help Counselors teach sailing.


LSR-Beg/Who should take this course: Anyone interested in teaching beginner level sailors. Prerequisites: Must turn 16 in the calendar year & hold NASBLA Approved Boating Certificate Course length: 4 days, 40 hours
Texts used: Smallboat Instructor Guide (includes Learn Sailing Right-Beginner!), Learn Sailing Right-Intermediate!, Teaching Fundamentals for Sailing Instructors & Basic Powerboat Safety & Rescue

Course overview:Designed to provide sailing instructors with information on how to teach more safely, effectively, and creatively. Topics covered in the course include: classroom and on-the-water teaching techniques, risk management, safety issues, lesson planning, creative activities, ethical concerns, and sports physiology and psychology.


LSRWho should take this course: Second year instructors Prerequisites: Current Level 1 Certification. Must wait 9 months after initial Level 1 certification. Course Length: 2 days, 16 hours Texts used: Smallboat Instructor Guide- Level 2, Learn Sailing Right-Intermediate, Level 2 Workbook, Safety Rescue and Support Boat Handling, Teaching Fundamentals for Sailing Instructors

Course overview: Focuses on developing knowledge and skill in teaching sail theory, sail controls, introductory management skills, spinnaker and trapeze use (and instruction) and powerboat operation for emergency situations. Safety awareness is a major component of this course, with instruction on how to address capsize recovery, or prevent entrapment while operating a powerboat.


LevelWho should take this course: New and Intermediate level coaches Prerequisites: Level 1 & 2 Instructor Certification Course Length: 2 days, 16 hours Texts used: Level 3 Coach Course Workbook, Racing Rules of Sailing, Sailing Drills Made Easy Course overview: The foundation course of US Sailing’s coach training program, the Level 3 course provides coaches with information on how to effectively develop performance boat handling and racing skills and instill in athletes the importance of ethical behavior and sportsmanship in the sport of sailing. Topics include race management procedures, team management and logistics and drills.


LevelWho should take this course: Head Instructors, individuals who have on water management responsibilities, Jr. Committee Chairs. Prerequisite: Level 2 Instructor Certification. This course can also be audited by those seeing education but not certification Course Length: 2 days, 20 hours Texts used: Sailing Program Management for Head Instructors Course overview: This course is designed for sailing instructors that are making the transition to a leadership or management role in their programs but is also available for parents and volunteers that want to better manage their sailing programs but do no want to receive a certification. It focuses on the management side of sailing programming.


US Sailing Instructor and Coach Trainers represent the highest level of experience in the field of Sail training and coaching. Acceptance into a Trainer Level courses is done through a resume and application process only. Courses are usually scheduled once per year and candidates must be a minimum of 24 years old and hold a certification as the Instructor Level for which they’re seeking to be a Trainer.


For more information about our Keelboat Certification System, please visit http://www.sailingcertification.com.

Teach students to sail to sail a basic 18-foot to 27-foot sailboat with a ballasted keel and tiller steering.

Course calendar

Teach Basic Cruising, Bareboat Cruising, and Coastal Navigation.

Course calendar

Teach a course designed for longer coastal passage making circumstances, night-time navigation, fog situations, watch rotations, radar use, and more.

Course calendar


For more information about US Powerboating, please visit http://www.uspowerboating.com.

An intensive 3-day course for advanced powerboat operators, instructor candidates will learn the fundamentals of on-the-water instruction. Candidates must successfully demonstrate superior presentation, teaching and powerboat operation skills in order to complete this course. Upon graduation, instructors will be eligible to Safe Powerboat Handling and Safety & Rescue Boat Handling courses.


The Level 1 Windsurfing Instructor course serves those with intermediate to advanced windsurfing skills, including rigging, de-rigging, general board handling and maneuvering, and leaving and returning to a dock or beach. Intermediate to advanced knowledge of windsurfing related subjects is required, such as theory (how a sail works, steering a sailboard), no-go zone, points of sail, sail trim and tuning, wind, weather, tides, currents, safety, hypothermia, heat emergencies, rescue techniques.


US Sailing’s STEM Educator Course: Middle School I, a one-day eight hour professional development/training opportunity for teachers and sailing instructors to learn how to implement US Sailing’s STEM program and curriculum called REACH. The REACH modules feature inquiry-based learning and engineering by design processes to provide youth with hands-on integrated learning opportunities that inspire interest in fields of study including physics, marine biology, robotics, technology and more. Modules include on the water and classroom based activities, for easy implementation in multiple settings.


The Adaptive Instructor Workshop is a two day course that covers all aspects of setting up, and teaching, an adaptive sailing program. Topics include: Facility requirements, disability types/populations, breaking down barriers to participation, safety requirements, volunteer/staff training and a detailed overview of how to correctly adapt your equipment.


While not a formal training program, the Junior Big Boat Sailing program provides all the materials to teach teens about sailing on a 35′-45′ boat. The Program Package includes  a copy of US Sailing’s Basic Keelboat text, a set of positional cue cards and a certificate of completion. Additional, the Junior Big Boat Program Guide provides a step-by-step tutorial for running the program, eight lesson plans and a copy of a US Coast Guard exemption enabling US Sailing Level 1 Instructors to facilitate the program on a borrowed boat.

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