Starting in January 2023 US Sailing changed the Small Boat level 1 Course Format that includes a 6 hour self guided online course and and a three-day, in-person session.
Please review the current US Sailing Covid Guidelines here.
A number of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are listed below. If you have a specific question that is not addressed, please email email@example.com.
Once the registration is complete, an email will be sent from FirstTack.org with a link and login information to access the course.
If you did not receive an email from FirstTack.org, please visit https://www.firsttack.org/users/sign_in and click forgot password to access your account.
All candidates must complete Teaching and Coaching Fundamentals Online (TCFO) prior to beginning the online section of Level 1.
All course materials are delivered digitally and are available once registration is complete. Click Here to access them. Log in with your US Sailnig member ID and password.
If you would prefer print versions of the materials, a printed version of the Level 1 course materials is available for $50 and can be purchased during registration.
The online section of the Small boat Level 1 course will take about 6 hours to complete. During that time, Instructor Candidates have a number of video modules that they'll need to complete as well as chapter comprehension checks and two multiple choice tests.
The structure of the online section provides Instructor Candidates with flexibility as the modules can be completed by the Instructor Candidate at any time.
The online course MUST be completed prior to attending the 3 day in-person session.
Because the Level 1 course includes evaluation of sailing skills, powerboat handling skills and on-water class management, it cannot be done only in an online environment.
Students who complete the online section will be required to successfully complete a three-day, in-person evaluation section as well. Information on how to complete the in-person section will be provided at the conclusion on the online section.
The deadline to complete the in-person section is 12 months from the completion of the online section. Ex: Online section completed on 7/1/2022 would need to complete the in-person section by 6/30/2023.
If the deadline is not met, the online course will need to be retaken.
No, unfortunately a candidate cannot bypass the the online portion and proceed directly to the in-person course. The course is designed in a way that the content in the online section serves as a building block for the remainder of the course.
This is a list of basic computer system requirements to use Canvas, the platform that US Sailing's online classroom operates on. It is always recommended to use the most up-to-date versions and better internet connections. Canvas will still run with the minimum specifications, but you may experience slower loading times.
Canvas and its hosting infrastructure are designed for maximum compatibility and minimal requirements.
- A minimum of 1024x600. That is the average size of a netbook. You probably won't want to view Canvas on a smaller screen than that.
- Windows XP SP3 and newer
- Mac OSX 10.6 and newer
- Linux - chromeOS
Mobile OS Native App Support
- iOS 5 and newer
- Android 2.3 and newer (coming soon!)
Computer Speed and Processor
- Use a computer 5 years old or newer when possible
- 1GB of RAM
- 2GHz processor
- Along with compatibility and web standards, Canvas has been carefully crafted to accommodate low bandwidth environments.
- Minimum of 512k
- The latest versions of JAWS and VoiceOver
Notice* Canvas recommends a minimum bandwidth of 512K which is basic DSL. Dial-up internet access is longer a viable option for online learners.
Which browsers does Canvas support?
Because it's built using web standards, Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, & Android or any other device with a modern web browser.
If you are interested in minimums here they are:
Internet Explorer 8
Flash 9 (if you want to use the audio/video recording or viewing feature, the Chat feature or upload files)
But rather than focusing on minimums, we highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser you are using as well as the most up to date Flash plug-in.
Flash is required in several places in Canvas: media recording/streaming and viewing, chat, and uploading files to a course or an assignment. Other than these features, Flash is not required to use most areas of Canvas.
The Java plug-in is required for screen sharing in Conferences. Otherwise, there are no other browser plug-ins used by Canvas.
The Canvas UI was optimized for desktop displays, small form factors such as phones may not be as pleasant to use Canvas with. We recommend trying out the Mobile App (instructure.com/mobile) if you are on an iPhone or have an iPad.
There are only 2 hard requirements:
No IE 6 or 7, they're just too old to be able to do do the interactive things Canvas does.
BEFORE attending the in-person section: you'll need to complete a Safe Boating course that's approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).
Candidates who do not have a NASBLA approved Safe Boating Certificate will not be allowed entrance into the Level 1 Instructor course.
Please be aware that there are a number of online Safe Boating courses. However, not all are approved by the states and/or NASBLA. Here are a few of those online providers. Please note that US Sailing has no formal relationship with these providers. Should you have questions, or encounter problems during your course experience, please contact the course provider directly.:
If you do not have experience driving a powerboat, we highly recommend you complete a US Powerboating Safe Powerboat Handling Course. Safe Powerboat Handling is approved in many states and offers hands-on training and experience.
Candidates holding a current USCG full or limited Master’s or OUPV license are exempt from this requirement.
While Instructor Candidates do not need to complete the CPR/First Aid Training in advance of either section of the Level 1 course, they must have a current CPR/FA certificate for their US Sailing Instructor Certification to be considered valid.
US Sailing recognizes CPR and FA training from any organization that is recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard. To determine which courses are approved, click this link to see all approved providers. Because of the size of the list (over 1,050 providers), once you open the link you'll want to press 'Ctrl+F' on your keyboard to search this document. If you type "CPR" it will highlight only those providers who are approved.
Some guidance if you'd prefer not to search through the provider list:
- Emergency University offers a completely online course which is approved by the USCG: https://www.emergencyuniversity.com/training/formats/online.
- Both the American Red Cross (details here) and American Heart Association (details here) are giving 120 extensions on their CPR/FA. The AHA provided this extension automatically while the ARC has an online course people need to take.
Please be aware that US Sailing does not endorse or support any particular providers. Specific links are provided only for the convenience of our members and candidates.
Online communication poses unique safety risks. US Sailing takes the safety of our instructor candidates very seriously and has adopted guidelines for our online courses based on the Virtual Safety Guide that was created by the US Center for SafeSport:
- A parent or guardian must provide permission for each type of electronic communication, including virtual lessons or live stream videos, used by a minor candidate. To address this, US Sailing requires that students upload a signed permission waiver to the online course as part of their initial Canvas Login (Canvas is the platform used for US Sailing's online classroom).
- All communication through Canvas, as well as any virtual lessons or live streams via Zoom, will be recorded by US Sailing.
- US Sailing Instructor Trainers (ITs) should not to communicate one-on-one with individual minor athletes over personal text or social media accounts.
- In any email communication between an Instructor Trainer (IT) and a Candidate, the IT will include another adult (like another coach or parent/guardian) or US Sailing via the email address Smallboat@ussailing.org. That email address is a distribution email which is received by multiple individuals in the US Sailing office.
- Candidates are encouraged to take the following steps when involved involved in virtual lessons or live stream videos:
- Place your webcam in common areas of your home (like a living room or dining room), instead of private areas (like bedrooms and bathrooms).
- Keep doors open and wear appropriate clothing.
- Ensure that all discussions are observable and interruptible by another adult, such as another coach, parent or guardian.
- Provide parents/guardians with login information for all virtual meetings as well as the and time/date information.
- Provide parents/guardians with the name and contact information for your Instructor Trainer.
- Be aware of what and who is visible in the webcam or video shot.
Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact US Sailing directly.
Additionally, more information about SafeSport, including the links to the take online training or report misconduct, can be found here: https://www.ussailing.org/competition/resources/safesport-us-sailing/
Once registration is complete, an email will be sent from FirstTack.org with a link and instructions. If the email is not delivered or lost, go to FirstTack.org.
Log in with the email that was used during registration, click the forgot password link to create or reset the account password.
Instructor Candidates should register for an in-person after completing the online course, as only those that have completed the online course are able to attend the in-person evaluation. For more information on the in-person evaluation session: Click Here