Small Boat Instructor Programs

Become a Smallboat Instructor Trainer

The US Sailing Smallboat Sailing Level 1 Instructor Trainer Course certifies qualified US Sailing instructors to train Smallboat Level 1 sailing instructor candidates to teach beginning sailing.

***Now accepting Applications for the next tentative course in the Fall of 2022!***

The Level 1 Instructor Trainer Course is conducted by Master Instructor Trainers who are experts in the field of sail training. The ideal instructor trainer candidate must have current Small Boat Level 1 Instructor certification and will be a sailing career professional with experience running multiple programs. A background in education is a plus, as are additional US Sailing certifications.  Please note that submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance.

Topics covered during the course include:

  • Practical sailing skills demonstrations
  • Communicative and interpersonal skills
  • Team building techniques
  • Sports psychology/physiology
  • Development of training aids
  • Evaluation techniques
  • Video feedback on teaching styles
  • Lesson/program planning
  • Record keeping
  • Problem solving skills
  • Marketing for the Small Boat Sailing Instructor Course and legal concerns.


The goals of the Level 1 Instructor Trainer Course are as follows:

  1. To train professionals in the methods and theories of the US Sailing Instructor Training Program;
  2. To provide Instructor Trainer candidates with the information, tools, and confidence to conduct a successful Small Boat Sailing Instructor Course.


This is a four day, 44-hour course. Attendance at all course sessions is mandatory. Absence from any portion of the course excludes the instructor candidate from evaluation.


  • Current Small Boat Sailing Level 1 Instructor certification is required. Current Level 1 certification requires an appropriate US Sailing membership and current CPR/First Aid certification.
  • Suggested minimum age is 24 years old. Consideration will be given to younger candidates depending upon experience, training and teaching ability.
  • Instructor Trainer candidates should have at least three years teaching experience in an approved sail training program. Exceptions to this requirement may be granted if the candidate has taught three years outside the sailing environment and possesses adequate sailing experience to transfer these teaching skills to sailing.
  • A high level of sailing skills is expected. Instructor Trainer candidates should be competent in any boat in any situation.
  • Submission of the names of two references who are familiar with the candidate’s recreational activities covering sailing, teaching and general employment pertinent to becoming an Instructor Trainer.
  • As a condition of maintaining your status as an Instructor Trainer, US Sailing requires that you register for a background check first upon acceptance into the course and every 2 years thereafter.
  •  SAFESPORT:   This program, developed by the US Olympic Committee, is required training for all Instructors. This free online training course must be completed every 2 years. Instructor certification is not active unless SafeSport training has been completed.
  • Availability to run multiple courses each year


These materials will be delivered prior to the course:

  • Small Boat Level 1 Instructor Course materials
  • Instructor Trainer Manual


Practical evaluation in the following areas: Sailing skills, safety boat handling skills and teaching and communication skills
Written testing on the following materials/topics: Small Boat Sailing Instructor Guides, sailing theory test, Boating Basics
A Final Evaluation by the Master Instructor Trainers, Training Director and/or Training Committee Representative.

Co-teaching requirement

Before certification each IT Candidate must co-teach one Small Boat Level 1 Instructor Course with a currently certified Senior IT and at an approved facility, which are both selected by the Training Office.


Validation of an Instructor Trainer will be for one year and continues at the recommendation of US Sailing. The Instructor Trainer is expected to maintain the highest level of professionalism and teaching quality and to support the US Sailing Training Program. The Instructor Trainer is hired by US Sailing as a temporary consultant and receives compensation only for instructor courses conducted, including associated responsibilities. To remain active, an Instructor Trainer must teach a minimum of one course every two years and maintain current First Aid, CPR and US Sailing membership.


The fee for the four-day course is $350. If accepted,  payment must be made by credit card or check payable to US Sailing and must be received at least three (3) weeks prior to the course. Late payment is subject to a $25 fee.


Level 1 IT Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, regardless if a course is currently listed on the schedule. On average, US Sailing runs one Level 1 Instructor Trainer course per year either on the east coast, or west coast. Please note that submission of an application does not constitute acceptance to the course. Applications are reviewed by the IT Candidate Selection Committee and those candidates who are selected will be invited to attend. Candidates not selected will be notified in writing. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until four (4) months before the start of the course date. Candidates will be notified no later than three (3) months before the start of the course.

The Instructor Trainer Course Application can be found here.