Small Boat Instructor Programs

Level 1 Instructor


The US Sailing Small Boat Level 1 Sailing Instructor Certification 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.


This is a 4-day, 40-hour course. Attendance at all 40 hours is mandatory. Absence from any portion of the course excludes the instructor candidate from certification.


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.


Below are some of the primary prerequisites for the Level 1 Course. A full list is available during the registration process.

  • Sailing experience in small boats, such as prams, dinghies, multihulls or daysailing keelboats.
  • Current US Sailing Individual, College or Family Membership (youth membership is not applicable and only one instructor is allowed per family membership)
  • Experience operating a safety boat. This course is evaluative: Powerboat skills are tested, not taught, during this course.
  • Ability to swim 50 yards both with and without life jacket.
  • National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) Safe Boating certification.  Online courses that are not NASBLA approved will not be accepted. BoatUS is one provider of online courses. Click here to see all available Boat US courses. You can also earn your certification at one of US Sailing’s Safe Powerboat Handling Courses or see a current list of approved providers. Candidates holding a current USCG full or limited Master’s or OUPV license are exempt from this requirement.
  •  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.

    (Have your US Sailing member ID ready before starting)

  2. Enter your US Sailing member number, if you need to find it click here:
  3. Complete all the modules

The course allows you to log in and out so you DO NOT have to complete it all at once

Small Boat Level 1 Instructor Certification also requires a current US First Aid and CPR Certificate from the American Red Cross, American Heart Association or any  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.


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

Course fees are nonrefundable but are transferable to another course/date if the Education Department is given enough notice, in writing, email:
• More than four weeks before the course start date: Fee is transferable to another course.
• Within the four week of course start date: ½ half of course fee is transferable to another course.
• 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.

Fees are not transferable to another candidate.


More courses are being added daily, please check back for more offerings in your area!

Register securely online by selecting a course below.