Keelboat Instructor Programs


US Sailing has implemented a number of COVID-related requirements for anyone attending a course. Please review them carefully before proceeding:


    • More restrictive state guidelines shall supersede any requirements listed below.
    • Candidates located in a low-risk state (a state whose COVID positivity rate has remained lower than 5% for at least 14 days) may attend any seminar in any low-risk state.
    •  Candidates located in a high-risk state (a state whose COVID positivity rate has been greater than 5% at any point during the last 14 days) may attend a course in their state only without testing. Additionally, they must be located within a 200-mile radius of the course location for 14 days prior to coming to the course.
    •  Candidates located in a high-risk state may attend any course, provided that they can produce a negative test result from a COVID-19 test administered no longer than 72 hours before their arrival at the course.
      •  Upon request, test results should be available for review by the US Sailing Instructor Trainer who is teaching the course.
      • Transitory travel: Candidates who are passing through other states on their way to the course are permitted stop in other states, but this exception extends only so long as is reasonably required for the traveler to complete their transit, make any necessary airplane, bus, or train connection, or make use of travel services such as at a highway rest stop.
  • Check the rates here:

All candidates must self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 daily starting fourteen (14) days prior to the course using the COVID-19 Screening tool (click here to download).

    • Each person should take their temperature daily prior to arrival at the course. If their temperature is 100.4 degrees or over, the person should not come to the course and should notify their Instructor Trainer (IT) immediately.
    • Candidates must arrive to the course wearing a face covering. Face coverings should always be worn while on land. They should be worn at the candidate’s discretion on the water.
    • If someone feels sick during the course, they should immediately notify their Instructor Trainer and remove themselves from the course area.
    • If an individual has had a documented case of COVID-19, they will need a note from their doctor indicating they are cleared to participate in the course.
    • Candidates must complete the waiver and adhere to social distancing.
    • Candidates will be required to bring their own supplies and equipment. Sharing will not be allowed. Equipment that candidates should bring includes:
      • Mask (CDC face covering Guidelines here)
      • Life Jacket
      • Sunscreen
      • Sailing Gear
      • Whistle
      • Writing utensils and supplies. This includes paper, pens, pencils, and whiteboard markers. Whiteboard markers will not be provided for the course.
    • Absence from any portion of the course excludes the instructor candidate from certification.


Please review the steps below for signing up. The blue buttons on the right will direct you to the necessary step in the registration process.

1. Submit the Course Waiver & Release. Please note that this is an online-only form. Submit the Course Waiver
2. Download the COVID-19 Screening tool and begin self-evaluating your health 14 days PRIOR to attending the in-person session. Download the Covid 19 Screening tool
3. Download the optional medical form. If you choose to complete this form, please bring it with you to the course. Download the optional 2020 Medical Form

Please note that due to registration processing, course availability is not guaranteed. Candidates will be notified if space is unavailable.

Instructors at US Sailing accredited schools possess outstanding seamanship and communication skills

All Candidates are trained in our proprietary teaching method and all are US Sailing certified professionals. They 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. Just as with student-level courses, US Sailing offers a progression with our instructor programs which include several levels. Not sure what the USCG rules are for carrying passengers for hire, click here.

*Please note: US Sailing Certified Keelboat Instructors can only issue US Sailing student keelboat certifications via an Accredited US Sailing School.

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.

Performance Sailing Instructor

The foundations of this two-day course are applicable to non-racing and racing instructors.  For current Basic Keelboat Instructors who want to further their knowledge and ability to teach more advanced skills.  The candidate will walk away with an in-depth understanding of sail shaping, sail trim, boat handling skills, wind dynamics, and seamanship skills.  Principles and theories will be discussed on land and practiced on the water.  Basic Keelboat Instructors who complete the course will receive an endorsement.

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

Cruise in a catamaran of at least 34 feet with wheel steering and twin engine auxiliary power, while demonstrating your practical skills.

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

Demonstrate your understanding and ability to teach celestial navigation using only sextant and timepiece.

Offshore Passage Making Instructor

For offshore sailors with documentation of an unbroken ocean passage more than 700 nautical miles. Prepare a passage plan for an offshore route assigned by the committee. The passage plan should include, but is not limited to, the following: vessel selection; crew management and health; navigation; safety plan; and heavy weather tactics.

Click here to apply online.

Keelboat Instructor Trainer

US Sailing Basic Keelboat Instructor Trainer (IT) Course certifies qualified US Sailing Basic Keelboat Instructors to train sailing instructors to teach beginning sailing.

Below is a listing of all instructor courses available at this time.

Courses are added to the calendar as they become available. Available spots are not necessarily guaranteed. If you would like to change the course that you are registered for, make a course transfer request, please submit this form: TRANSFER REQUEST