Safe Powerboat Handling Instructor


An intensive 3-day course for advanced powerboat operators who will operate boats 26 feet and under, instructor candidates will learn the fundamentals of on-the-water instruction. Candidates must successfully demonstrate superior presentation, teaching, and powerboat operation skills in order to complete this course.

On-the-Water Skills and Classroom Topics

  • Fundamentals of teaching; teaching theory
  • Classroom, dockside, and on-the-water teaching techniques
  • Powerboat handling skill assessment and error correction
  • NASBLA Standards
  • Risk management and legal requirements
  • Lesson planning
  • Powerboats and propulsion types
  • Systems: engine, fuel, electrical, and troubleshooting
  • Powerboat handling principles
  • Boat control: speed, docking, precision maneuvering
  • Collision prevention; COLREGS review
  • Handling emergencies
  • Overboard rescues
  • Safety and rescue procedures
  • Search and rescue boat operations
  • Concepts of bearings and ranges, position and course plotting
  • Using GPS and hand-bearing compass
  • How to conduct Safe Powerboat Handling Courses




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.


  1. Successful completion of the (student level) US Powerboating Safe Powerboat Handling course
    • ***If the Accelerated Safe Powerboat Handling course is taken candidates must also have a current NASBLA Safe Boating Certification, current USCG full, limited Master’s, or OUPV license.
  2. Meet the minimum age.
    All candidates must have reached their 18th birthday within the calendar year that the course is being held in.
  3. Current US Sailing Individual, College or Family Membership
    Youth membership is not applicable, and only one instructor is allowed per family membership.
  4. Ability to swim 50 yards both with and without life jacket.
  5. Ability to exhibit appropriate personal and interpersonal skills.
  6. Teaching and Coaching Fundamentals Online (TCFO). This approximately 90-minute online course is $10.00 (Registration is independent of the instructor course registrations). A guide on how to complete the course can be found here and a few Frequently Asked Questions are answered here. Candidates who have not completed TCFO will not be allowed to participate in the course.


  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 Safe Powerboat Handling Instructor 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.
    • 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.



Accelerated and Safe Powerboat Handling courses. To issue state-specific certificates may require registering with the specific state as well.


Course materials provided as part of registration include Start Poweboating Right! and the Safe Powerboat Instructor Manual. All course materials are delivered digitally, but are available for purchase in a print format during the registration process.


$425.00 per candidate. Registration is on a first pay basis. US Sailing/US Powerboating will not reserve spots without full payment. Please remember that US Sailing membership is required for all instructor courses.


Course fees are non-refundable but are transferable to another course up to 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. 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