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 single and twin-screw cruising powerboats.


US Sailing has implemented a number of COVID-related requirements for anyone attending a course. Please review them carefully before proceeding:


Course Goals

  1. To gain an understanding of the practical skills and knowledge required for Basic Powerboat Cruising and
    Inshore Powerboat Cruising certifications, and the Night Operation Endorsement .
  2. To successfully train, evaluate and certify people to meet the standards for these certifications and endorsement
    in a variety of cruising powerboats 26’ to 52’ long with single screw and/or twin-screws.
  3. To acquire additional information on effective teaching techniques and drills for cruising powerboats courses.


Each course will have two cruising powerboats: a single-screw, and a twin-screw.


Prerequisites for Entrance into the Course

  1. Minimum age of 18 years.
  2. Experienced operator of cruising type powerboats and/or power catamarans.
  3. Ability to perform the practical skills and knowledge to be a Cruising Powerboat Instructor.
  4. Current U.S. Coast Guard license.
  5. Current First Aid and CPR certifications recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard or are in the process of obtaining one.
  6. Current US Sailing membership.
  7. Written resume of any relevant powerboating and teaching experience.
  8. Completed application form accompanied by the course fee.
  9. Completed Medical Form brought to the course and given to the Instructor Trainers before the course begins.
  10. 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.
  11.  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.
  12. Download the optional medical form. If you choose to complete this form, please bring it with you to the course. Download the optional Medical Form



Materials will be sent directly to instructor candidates. To allow time to study course materials, US Sailing must receive registration and course fees at least one week prior to the course.

Successful Completion of the Course

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.

  1. In the courses, instructor candidates will demonstrate Cruising Powerboat Instructor skill level,
    knowledge and seamanship, and explain key teaching points in the following areas:
    ·        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)
  2. Demonstrate the use of appropriate knots and line handling.
  3. Perform effective communications, demonstrations, command and control.
  4. Demonstrate a professional attitude and conduct.
  5. Have a working knowledge of the Cruising Powerboat certification system.
  6. Receive a successful evaluation from the Instructor Trainers.

Course Fees

Cancellation and Transfer Policies

Course fees are nonrefundable but are transferable to another course up to 1 week prior to the course start date.

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

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

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.

Fees are not transferable to another candidate.

Course Outcomes

Passing: The instructor candidate has successfully completed the required practical skills and any written tests, and received a successful evaluation from the Instructor Trainers.

Plan of Improvement: The instructor candidate has not yet successfully completed all the requirements and has been given a specific Plan of Improvement to complete within a specific time frame. Arrangements for re-testing and the completion of a Plan of Improvement must be done through US Sailings Powerboat Training Coordinator. The responsibility for completion of a Plan of Improvement rests with the instructor candidate.

Failing: The instructor candidate did not come close enough to meeting the evaluative criteria at the time of the course to be given a Plan of Improvement or did not complete the specifics in the Plan of Improvement that was given.

Plan of Completion: Instructor Trainers were unable to complete the evaluation; therefore the instructor candidate must complete the course at a later date. Arrangements for completion must be done through the office within 90 days of the course date, and will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Validation of Cruising Powerboat Instructors
Validation of a Cruising Powerboat Instructor will be for three years, providing First Aid, CPR and US Sailing membership are kept current. Instructor validation is renewed every three years.

Course Calendar

To enroll in a Powerboat Instructor Course, please select "Enroll Now" under the desired offering. All courses are first come, first served.

Let us know if you would like to be put on a contact list when an instructor course becomes available in your state. Contact List.

If you have questions or concerns regarding a particular course, please do not hesitate to contact us: (401) 342.7900 or