Small Boat Instructor Programs

Small Boat Level 3 Coach Trainer



The US Sailing Small Boat Level 3 Coach Trainer (CT) Course certifies qualified US Sailing coaches to run Small Boat Level 3 Coach courses and train coach candidates on effectively developing performance boat handling and racing skills, and instilling in athletes the importance of ethical behavior and sportsmanship in the sport of sailing.   Please note that submitting an application does not guarantee acceptance.

The Level 3 Coach Trainer Course is conducted by Master Coach Trainers who are experts in the field of sail training and have substantial experience as coaches.

The goals of the Level 3 Coach Trainer Course are as follows:

  1. To train professionals in the methods and theories of the US Sailing Instructor Training Program;
  2. To provide Coach Trainer candidates with the information, tools, and confidence to conduct a successful Small Boat Level 3 Course Course.

Topics covered during the course include:

  • Team building, management and logistics
  • Strategy and Tactics
  • Drill design and development
  • Tuning
  • Racing rules
  • Race Management
  • Regatta etiquette


This is a 2-day, 16-hour course. Attendance at all course sessions is mandatory. Absence from any portion of the course excludes the instructor candidate from evaluation.


  • Current US Sailing Individual, College or Family Membership.
    Youth membership is not applicable, and only one instructor is allowed per family membership.
  • Current Small Boat Level 3 Coach certification.
  • Current Level 2 Instructor Trainer Certification.
    Current certification includes a valid SafeSport certificate and completion of Teaching and Coaching Fundamentals Online (TCFO), completion of Heads Up concussion training as well as current CPR and First Aid.
  • Suggested minimum age is 24 years old.
    Consideration will be given to younger candidates depending upon experience, training and teaching ability.
  • Coaching experience
    Candidates should have at least three years coaching experience i with a junior sailing program race team, high school team, college sailing team, or similar. 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.
  • Significant experience sailing on dinghies and/or day sailing keelboats.
    A high level of sailing skills is expected. Coach Trainer candidates should be competent in any boat in any situation.
  • Two (2) references
    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 Coach Trainer.


  • Practical evaluation in the following areas: Sailing skills, safety boat handling skills, coaching, and communication skills.
  • Written testing on the following materials/topics: Racing Rules test.
  • A Final Evaluation by the Master Coach Trainers, Director of Education, and/or Education Committee Representative.
  • Co-Teaching a course with a Senior Instructor Trainer.
    Before certification each IT Candidate must co-teach one Small Boat Level 3 Coach Course with a currently certified Senior IT and at an approved facility, which are both selected by the US Sailing Education Department.


Validation of an Coach 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, SafeSport certification and US Sailing membership.


Small Boat Level 3 Coach courses.


The following course materials are included:

  • Small Boat Level 3 Coach Course Workbook
  • Small Boat Level 3 Coach Trainer Manual and supporting documents
  • All Coach Trainer candidates should also download the US Sailing Racing Rules App which contains the Racing Rules of Sailing 2021-2024


The course fee is $350, due upon acceptance into the course.
If accepted, payment must be received by US Sailing no more than three (3) weeks prior to the course. Late payment is subject to a $25 fee.


Level 3 CT applications are accepted on an ongoing basis, regardless if a course is currently listed on the schedule. On average, US Sailing runs one Level 3 Coach Trainer course every few years, 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.

Questions? Please contact Peri Burns at