Small Boat Instructor Programs

Level 1 Instructor

The US Sailing Small Boat Level 1 Instructor Course is designed to provide sailing instructors with information on how to teach more safely, effectively, and creatively.

The goal of the program is to produce highly qualified instructors, thereby reducing risk exposure for sailing programs. Topics covered in the course include: classroom and on-the-water teaching techniques, risk management, safety issues, lesson planning, creative activities, ethical concerns, and sports physiology and psychology.


The Level 1 course is divided into two sections. Absence from any portion of the course excludes the instructor candidate from certification:

  1. An Online, 10-day, guided section. The total time commitment is approximately 10-12 hours. During this section candidates must complete video modules with assessment questions, online testing and attend multiple webinars. Instructor Trainers (ITs) will present material to Instructor Candidates (ICs) during some of the webinars, and ICs will be expected to present to the IT, and the rest of the class, during the other webinar. Here's a brief tutorial of how to gain access to your online course.
  2. An In-person, 2-day, evaluation. The total time commitment is approximately 18-20 hours. Students will be evaluated on their teaching ability, sailing skills, powerboat handling skills and on-water class management, among other topics.

After completing the online portion, students will need to complete a two-day, in-person, section by June 30, 2021.
US Sailing may require a brief refresher training for candidates who have allowed more than 90 days to elapse between their online and in-person courses.



All candidates must have reached their 16th birthday within the calendar year that the course is being held in. Candidates under 18 years of age who complete the course will be designated as a Sailing Assistant until their 18th birthday.


Before signing up for the ONLINE section, you must have/complete the following:
Before signing up for the IN-PERSON section, you must complete the following:
Small Boat Level 1 Instructor Certification is not valid unless accompanied by:
  • First Aid and CPR Certification: from the American Red Cross, American Heart Association or and  U.S. Coast Guard approved provider. Candidates  do not need to complete the CPR/First Aid Training in advance of the Level 1 course, however a certification will NOT be valid unless accompanied by current First Aid and CPR.
  • SafeSport. This program, developed by the US Olympic Committee, is required training for all Instructors. This requirement is also being put in place for other National Governing Bodies. This free online training course must be completed every 2 years. Instructor certification is not active unless SafeSport training has been completed.
    • A few notes on completing Safesport...
      • Enter your US Sailing member number.If you need to find it click here.
      • Complete all the modules.
      • You DO NOT have to complete it all at once. The course allows you to log in and out without losing your progress.



All Course materials are delivered digitally and are made available via US Sailing's online bookstore. Printed versions of the materials are available for purchase during the registration process.


Registration is on a first pay basis. US Sailing will not reserve spots without full payment.

$370 if received more than four (4) weeks prior to course start date
$390 if received within four (4) weeks of course start date
$440 if received within one (1) week of course start date

Cancellation Policy

Online Course Transfers are not available within the week of the course start.

Course fees are nonrefundable but are transferable to another course/date if the Education Department is given enough notice, in writing:

  • More than four weeks before the course start date: Fee is transferable to another course, credit is valid for 1 year.
  • Within the four week of course start date: ½ half of course fee is transferable to another course, credit is valid for 1 year.
  • Less than 24 hours' notice of course start date (or no-show): 100% of the course fee is forfeited.

***All courses are subject to cancellation if course minimums are not met within 2 weeks of the course start date.

US Sailing reserves the right to cancel, postpone, abandon or change the venue, date and time of the course should unforeseen circumstances occur. In the event the course is unable to proceed and US Sailing changes the course format for any reason a full course credit will be made available which is good for 1 year.

Fees are not transferable to another candidate.


 Level 1 registrations are only available for the online section of the course. Once the online session is completed, candidates can select the in-person session. For more information about the in-person sessions, Click Here