Cruising Powerboat Instructor


This is a three-day evaluative course for experienced boat operators.  Most of the time will be spent on the water demonstrating and critiquing boathandling maneuvers and demonstrating and discussing teaching techniques applicable to a variety of cruising powerboats 26’ to 52’ long with single screw and/or twin-screws. To accomplish this, each course will have two cruising powerboats: a single-screw, and a twin-screw.

Cruising Powerboat Instructors are expected to perform all practical skills of the Basic Powerboat Cruising and Inshore Powerboat Cruising certifications, and the Night Operation Endorsement to a higher proficiency level than that required for receiving them; and to be able to explain the appropriate knowledge concepts for these certifications.

Cruising Powerboat Instructors can only issue certifications via an Accredited Cruising Powerboat School.

  • Operation and inspection of boat systems and equipment
  • Leaving and/or returning to a dock or slip with and without a bow thruster
  • Using a spring line when leaving or returning to a dock or slip
  • Backing into a slip
  • Backing along a course always maintaining control
  • Maintaining throttle and speed control at minimum control speed
  • Close-quarters maneuvering and pivot turns
  • Anchoring with a single and/or two anchors
  • Picking up a mooring
  • Simulated person in the water rescues
  • Simulated emergency procedures: engine failure, fire, sinking, grounding
  • Using dinghy management while docking
  • Using a GPS to establish and maintain a course, and to arrive at a determined lat/long position
  • Using radar to take a bearing, measure distance, and determine a boat’s position using circular lines of position (if boat has radar)



This is a 3-day, 30-hour course. Attendance at all course sessions is mandatory. Absence from any portion of the course excludes the instructor candidate from certification.


  • Experience operating cruising type powerboats and/or power catamarans.
  • Current US Sailing Individual, College or Family Membership.
    Only one instructor is allowed per family membership.
  • Current U.S. Coast Guard license.
    Include Auxiliary Sail Endorsement.
  • US Sailing Teaching & Coaching Fundamentals : Developed in conjunction with the US Olympic Committee (USOC), this course gives the building blocks of good instructional practices for becoming an effective educator on and off the water. A guide on how to complete the course can be found here and a few Frequently Asked Questions are answered here.


The following are required for successful completion of this courses:

  1. Attendance at all portions of the course.
  2. Successfully passing all written tests and skill evaluations.
  3. A positive evaluation by the Instructor Trainer.
    Demonstrate professional conduct, an open-minded, positive and enthusiastic attitude, appropriate appearance (clothing, footwear and tidiness), participation in discussions, collaboration skills/team player, confidence and ease of manner.

Cruising Powerboat Instructor Certification is not valid unless accompanied by:

  1. 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.
  2. Valid SafeSport Certificate. This program, developed by the US Olympic and Paralympic 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.


Cruising Powerboat Instructors can sign off on Cruising Powerboat student certifications including Basic Powerboat Cruising and Inshore Power Cruising. Certifications may only be issued through an accredited Cruising Powerboat School.


  • Start Powerboating Right!
  • Cruising Powerboat Instructor Manual
  • Night Operations Instructor Manual

All course materials are delivered digitally - Access is available here:


The course registration fee is: $750*. Registration is on a first pay basis. US Sailing will not reserve spots without full payment.

*Please note that an additional boat fee may be charged in some circumstances. This course is underwritten by candidates’ fees and a major subsidy from US Sailing. There is also a provisioning fee that will be charged at the dock.


Course fees are nonrefundable but are transferable to another course up to one (1) week prior to the course start date. Course Transfers are not available within the week of the course start. Fees are not transferable to another candidate. The fee for all transfers is $25.00.

To transfer into a different session:

    1. Log in to your US Sailing account here: MyUSSailing
    2. Select the My Certs and Courses tab from the options on the left, then click the transfer link.
    3. Submit Payment details
    4. Confirm transfer

US Sailing reserves the right to cancel, postpone, abandon or change the venue, date and time of the course should unforeseen circumstances occur or course minimums are not reached. In the event the course is unable to proceed, a course credit will be made available which is good for one (1) year or you may choose a refund.


To enroll in an Instructor Course, please select "Enroll Now" under the desired offering. Please be aware that the calendar below shows all levels of US Powerboating Instructor courses.

Interested in hosting an Instructor Course? Please fill out the online "Host a Course Form."

Want to know when when an instructor course becomes available in your area? Add your name to Contact List!

Questions? Contact us at 401.342.7900 or