Safety Information

US Safety Equipment Requirements (SER)


The US Sailing Safety Equipment Requirements were initially compiled, with input from the US sailing community, to provide race Organizing Authorities an option to clearly specify safety equipment requirements and to provide the ability to modify those requirements for their particular event and venue.

The key differences between the Safety Equipment Requirements (SER) and the World Sailing OSRs are as follows:

  1. The SERs are easier for yacht owners and pre-race inspectors to understand.
  2. The SERs are self-contained and do not refer to external documents.
  3. The number of race categories has been reduced from seven to three: Nearshore, Coastal, and Ocean. Race organizers can then add or delete gear requirements based on the nature of their individual races.
  4. The SERs are more compact and can easily be included in their entirety in a Notice of Race or on a yacht club website.

Each year the SER committee, comprising sailors from across the US, considers possible changes to the SERs and proposes appropriate changes for final approval by the Safety at Sea Committee, the Offshore Committee, and the US Sailing Board of Directors.

The SER committee has the objectives of meeting the needs of the US Offshore Community and as far as possible maintaining compatibility with the World Sailing OSRs.  It is a goal that US offshore race boats can compete internationally without modification, and that international boats can compete in US events without modification.

It remains important for the US offshore community to continue to contribute to the World Sailing OSR discussions with the intent of providing the World Sailing OSR committee with the benefit of the experience of the US offshore sailing community and to learn from the OSR subcommittee’s work.

Below are the links to the 2023-2024 SER Documents

Monohull SER

Excel sheet for Monohull SER document (October, 2023), incorporating Instructions, Categories, Appendix and History of Revisions

Multihull SER

Excel sheet for Multihull SER document (October, 2023), incorporating Instructions, Categories, Appendix and History of Revisions

As with any standards document, the US-SER will be modified over time. Please refer to the documents above for the most recent version.

For a calendar of races that note SER's in their NOR and required level of safety training for competitors, click here.

Chuck Hawley, Former US Sailing’s Safety at Sea Committee Chairman:

“One of the functions of the Safety at Sea Committee is to promote equipment requirements that are appropriate for the conditions, easily verified, and not excessive. I believe that the new SERs meet those criteria, and will serve offshore sailors well. We encourage all Organizing Authorities to use them, edited if the local conditions warrant, so that races are sailed under consistent equipment rules.”

Safety at Sea Certificates and the SERs

To determine which Safety at Sea certificate/training is required for a race you are sailing in, please check the NOR (Notice of Race) for that race/regatta. The NOR should indicate the safety requirements for participants under the SERs or OSRs for that race. Please note that requirements may be different for single- or double-handed divisions than fully crewed boats.

SER Categories

Note – Look at the NOR of your event to see if your race changes this.

SER Coastal Races, 4.3.2 SER Ocean Races, 4.3.1
World Sailing OSR Categories

Note – Look at the NOR of your event to see if your race changes this.

World Sailing OSR Category 1, 2 World Sailing OSR Category 0




  • International Offshore Safety at Sea Course with Hands-on Training (this complies with World Sailing Offshore Personal Survival Course guidelines). Find an in-person course here.





The World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations can be found here:

Direct link to the 2022-2023 World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations: WS Offshore Regulations 2022-2023 v3a

Questions should be sent to Andy Newell, US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee and/or Jim Teeters, Head of Offshore Ratings Office


World Sailing Offshore Special Regulation (OSR 6.05) – Medical Training.

US SAILING has submitted to World Sailing the following MNA recognized courses that are accepted in the U.S. as meeting the first aid training requirements for Categories 1 and 2:

  • American Heart Association: Heartsaver FACTS – includes Heartsaver first aid course and AED (Automated External Defibrillator ) training. Certification for 2 years.
  • American Red Cross: First Aid, Standard First Aid (taught with Adult CPR at a workplace), and First Aid Basics (when taught alone as a community course). Certification for 3 years.
  • American Safety and Health Institute: Basic First Aid. Certification for “up to” 3 years.
  • National Safety Council: First Aid or Standard First Aid (when taught with CPR). Certification for 3 years.
  • Backcountry Medical Guides: First Aid, CPR, and AED for mariners-8 hours. Advanced First Aid, CPR, and AED for mariners-18 hours. Both certifications are valid for 2 years.