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 Coast Guard’s list of approved courses, 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.

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:


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.

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.

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.

US Sailing offers certification courses and course apprentice opportunities for certified instructors and coaches to run Instructor and Coach Courses of their own. Courses are usually scheduled once per year and candidates are accepted by application only.


For more information about our Keelboat Certification System, please visit

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

Teach Basic Cruising, Bareboat Cruising, and Coastal Navigation.

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

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For more information about US Powerboating, please visit

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.

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