Adult Sailing

Safety at Sea Courses

Education, both in-person and online, to prepare you for offshore sailing

Why take a US Sailing Safety at Sea Course

  1. Ever wonder what you would do if someone fell overboard from your boat?
  2. Do you have a plan to deal with heavy weather if you can’t reach a safe harbor?
  3. Are you interested in selecting the right emergency communications equipment or storm sails, but you’re not sure what to buy?
    A US Sailing Sanctioned Safety at Sea Course will help you answer these questions and more!

Safety at Sea Course facts:

  • Moderated and taught by experienced, lifelong sailors who include some of the top names in sailing and safety.
  • Designed for sailors of all types and levels — cruisers and racers, novices and experts.
  • Online courses developed with the support of Cruising Club of America, New York Yacht Club, The Sailing Foundation, and Storm Trysail Foundation.
  • Appropriate for a wide range of boats — small, big, monohulls, multihulls (and powerboats, too) — that are sailed anywhere — near shore and offshore.
  • Sanctioned with approved curriculum by US Sailing, with special attention to conditions and challenges of the host organization’s sailing area.
  • More than 2,500 sailors attend safety courses around North America every year and many bring their families and crews.
  • The certifications are good for five years from the date of issue.
  • Coastal and Offshore are offered in either in-person or online format.
  • Online International Safety at Sea parallels the Hands-On Course when seeking an International Offshore Certificate
  • Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, many 2020 and 2021 US Sailing Sanctioned in-person Safety at Sea Courses have been canceled or postponed, including Hands-On courses for the International Offshore Certificate that meets World Sailing guidelines for personal safety and survival.  This may impact sailors whose certificates were due for renewal in 2020 or 2021, as well as for sailors who needed to upgrade to an International Offshore Certificate within the 365 day period following their Offshore Course completion date.   CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS ON WHAT TO DO.
  • PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR RACE ORGANIZERS FOR ANY CHANGES TO NOR SAFETY TRAINING REQUIREMENTS FOR SPECIFIC REGATTAS THAT YOU MAY BE PARTICIPATING IN DURING 2021.

 

Course Offerings

Four types of courses prepare you for all kinds of sea conditions

COASTAL COURSES

Coastal Safety at Sea (in-person)

This Course is for

Inland and Coastal Racers and Cruisers

Topics

Giving Assistance, Personal Safety Gear, Crew Overboard Rescue, Emergency Communication, Search and Rescue

Course Hosts

Yacht clubs, sailing clubs, boat shows, community sailing centers, OAs of coastal races.

Why you should Attend or Host

Essential safety information for coastal sailors presented by experts that you can use immediately.

Duration

4 hours

Approximate Cost for Attendees

$50-$60

Online Coastal Safety at Sea

Who should take this Online Course

Inland and Coastal Racers and Cruisers.

Requirements to receive a US Sailing Coastal Safety at Sea Certificate:

Successfully completing this course with a final Post-Assessment score of 80 or above.

Cost of the Course

US Sailing Members, $45
Non-members, $50

Coastal Online covers Units 1-5 of our Safety at Sea Online Courses.  This five unit online course is designed to provide you with essential safety information that you can use immediately on the water. It is for anyone who sails, boats, cruises or races on both inland and coastal waters. This course satisfies the requirements for Coastal Races being sailed under United States Special Equipment Regulations 4.3.2.

This online course DOES NOT FULFILL the requirements to obtain an International Offshore Safety at Sea certificate. If you are taking a hands-on course to obtain this certificate you need to take the Online Offshore Safety at Sea course (Units 1-10) and the International Online (Units 11-15) plus take an in-person Hands-On Course.

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OFFSHORE COURSES

Offshore Safety at Sea (in-person)

This Course is for

Crew members of offshore races, long distance cruisers, any sailor wanting to improve his/her sailing skills.

Topics

Same as the Coastal Course plus Crew Health, Marine Weather, Cold Exposure, Care and Maintenance of Safety Gear, Signals

Course Hosts

YRAs, OAs of offshore races, maritime academies, large yacht clubs.

Why you should Attend or Host

Give us a day, and we can give you detailed safety skills and information that will improve your confidence and your enjoyment on the water.

Duration

8 hours

Approximate Cost for Attendees

$125-$175

Note:  To obtain an International Offshore Safety at Sea Certificate

You must attend this course in its entirety. The participant is eligible to take in an International Offshore Hands-on training course if taking the course within 365 days of your Offshore Course. The International Offshore certificate will be back-dated to the date on your Offshore certificate.

Due to cancellations or postponements of Safety at Sea courses during the current COVID-19 health crisis, any sailor that took either an Offshore Online or Offshore In-Person course in 2019 or 2020 and will miss the 365-day window to take a Hands-On course for the International Offshore Certificate will have until December 31, 2022, to complete their hands-on course. 

 

Online Offshore Safety at Sea (Units 1-10)

Who should take this Online Course

Crew members of offshore races, long-distance cruisers, any sailor wanting to improve his/her sailing skills.

Requirements to receive a US Sailing Offshore Safety at Sea Certificate:

Successfully completing this course with a final Post-Assessment score of 80 or above.

Cost of the Course

US Sailing Members, $75
Non-members, $85

Coastal Online covers Units 1-5 of our Safety at Sea Online Courses.  This five unit online course is designed to provide you with essential safety information that you can use immediately on the water. It is for anyone who sails, boats, cruises or races on both inland and coastal waters. This course satisfies the requirements for Coastal Races being sailed under United States Special Equipment Regulations 4.3.2.

Note:  To obtain a US Sailing International Offshore Safety at Sea CertificateYou must successfully complete this course (Units 1-10) plus the International Online course (Units 11-15)).  Once all fifteen units are completed online, you are then eligible to participate in a US Sailing International Offshore Hands-On training course. Attendance at this course must happen within 365 days of the completion of this online course.

If you took/take an Offshore Safety at Sea Course in 2019, 2020, or 2021 (either in-person or online) and want to upgrade to an International Offshore certificate, but you will NOT BE ABLE TO MEET THE 365 DAY REQUIREMENT due to Hands On course unavailability due to the COVID crisis, you have until the end of 2022 to take a Hands-On course.

This course must be completed within 90-days of signing on. Additional fees will be incurred if you try to complete the course after the 90-days. When the course is completed within the 90-day time frame, you can access the course as many times as you wish without incurring additional fees.

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International Offshore Safety at Sea with Hands-on Training (in-person)

This Course is for

Crew members of international offshore races or those requiring the International Offshore certificate that complies with World Sailing (ISAF) guidelines for Personal Safety, or long distance cruisers.

Topics

Those covered in Offshore Safety at Sea course plus hands-on training that includes topics such as boarding a life raft, in pool work with inflatable life jackets, pyrotechnics, firefighting, etc.  Some courses may include race-specific information.

Course Hosts

YRAs, OAs of International races, maritime academies, large yacht clubs.

Why you should Attend or Host

Use the gear, practice the skills, and hear from the experts about safe and successful racing and voyaging. Two days of intensive training for sailors who want to be self-sufficient.

Duration

14 hours plus take the International Online course (units 11-15)

Approximate Cost for Attendees

$300-$400

Click here to see the different ways you can obtain this certificate.

If you took an Offshore Safety at Sea Course in 2019 or in 2020 (either in-person or online) and want to upgrade to an International Offshore certificate, but you will NOT BE ABLE TO MEET THE 365 DAY REQUIREMENT due to Hands On course unavailability due to the COVID crisis, you have until the end of 2022 to take a Hands-On course.

PLEASE NOTE: EVERYONE desiring an International Safety at Sea certificate MUST complete the newly released International Online Safety at Sea Course (Units 11-15) in order to be eligible to receive the new certificate as per policy approved in 2020 by the Safety at Sea Sub-Committee and Offshore Committee of US Sailing. This policy went into effect on January 1, 2021.

Click on this link to take the training 

International Online Safety at Sea (Units 11-15)

Who should take this Online Course

Crew members of offshore races, long-distance cruisers, any sailor wanting to improve his/her sailing skills.

Requirements to receive a US Sailing Offshore Safety at Sea Certificate:

Successfully completing this course with a final Post-Assessment score of 80 or above.

Cost of the Course

US Sailing Members, $75
Non-members, $85

This online course is an alternative/equivalent to the In-Person US Sailing Sanctioned Offshore Safety at Sea course, which shares best practices with both aspiring and experienced offshore sailors. We're here to help you learn how to cope with whatever challenge the sea throws your way.

Note:  To obtain a US Sailing International Offshore Safety at Sea CertificateYou must successfully complete this course (Units 1-10) plus the International Online course (Units 11-15)).  Once all fifteen units are completed online, you are then eligible to participate in a US Sailing International Offshore Hands-On training course. Attendance at this course must happen within 365 days of the completion of this online course.

If you took/take an Offshore Safety at Sea Course in 2019, 2020, or 2021 (either in-person or online) and want to upgrade to an International Offshore certificate, but you will NOT BE ABLE TO MEET THE 365 DAY REQUIREMENT due to Hands On course unavailability due to the COVID crisis, you have until the end of 2022 to take a Hands-On course.

This course must be completed within 90-days of signing on. Additional fees will be incurred if you try to complete the course after the 90-days. When the course is completed within the 90-day time frame, you can access the course as many times as you wish without incurring additional fees.

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How to Obtain an International Safety at Sea Certificate

Junior Safety at Sea Course

The junior sailors hear presentations from experienced adult sailors and practice with coaches and instructors aboard cruising and racing boats in the 30 to 50-foot range. This program is run by the Storm Trysail Foundation (STF), and inspired by safety programs for ocean racers, Junior Safety-at-Sea stresses fun, hands-on practice, communication, teamwork and the anticipation of trouble before it happens. Click here to find out more.

Find a Course Near you

Are you looking for a US Sailing Safety at Sea Course in your area?

  • US Sailing Safety at Sea Courses provide sailors who compete in offshore races in your area with the required level of safety training.
  • These courses will improve the safety culture and best practices through proven curriculum and instructed by experienced, life-long sailors.
  • Most offshore race organizing authorities require completion of one of these courses for 30% of the crew taking part in the race.
  • US Sailing archives all participation records for attendees so sailors have an easily accessible means of documenting their course completion.

Course hosts accept the responsibility of organizing and running these courses. A US Sailing Safety at Sea Moderator is present at all courses to ensure the consistency and quality of the information. The moderator recruits will work with other safety experts to present the topics.

Find a Course

Want to host a Course?

Here are a few tips on how to get started:

  1. Review the Safety at Sea Planning Guide.
  2. Form a small committee and consider what dates would work for your area and your facility.
    Note: It is recommended that you dedicate three to six months of preparation to organize a course.
  3. Review the Safety at Sea Course options listed in the Planning Guide and make a determination on what type of course(s) you wish to host.
  4. Set your date and secure a moderator.
  5. To get your course approved and on the calendar, please fill out our online Safety at Sea Host Agreement and you are on your way!
  6. Use our spreadsheet to submit your course roster for certificates.