Winter 2018 Updates:

  • US Sailing instructor certification courses are being scheduled now, as described below.
  • Recruiting Tips: Instructor Candidates and Club Employers will find lots of good information about interviewing and hiring in the JSA Sailing Instructor Recruiting Tips sheet.

Instructor Certification Process

  • All instructors at JSA member programs must successfully complete a US Sailing Small Boat Level 1 Instructor Certification Course and maintain valid First Aid and Adult CPR certificates. See A) below
  • Each instructor at a JSA member program who is taking the Level 1 course for the first time must also successfully complete the US Powerboating Safe Powerboat Handling Certification Course. See B) below
  • Equivalent international certifications may be accepted for non-US resident instructors.

Although there are many training courses scheduled in the Long Island Sound region, it is important that junior program leaders direct as many of their new Level 1 hires as possible to the available courses scheduled earlier in the year. If instructor candidates delay their course registration, there may be insufficient slots available on the remaining course dates.

A) US Sailing Instructor Training Course schedule for western Long Island Sound and nearby regions

The list below is a guide to help instructor candidates find the dates and locations for US Sailing Smallboat Sailing Instructor Courses Levels 1, 2 and 3.

To learn more about the courses and to register for them, candidates must use the US Sailing website for instructor training certification:

  • Select “Smallboat” then click on the title of the course you wish to take.
  • Read the detailed course description to learn about the course prerequisites.
  • Go to the “Course Calendar.”Locate the course of your choice. Read the directions carefully. Register for the course.  Note: each course must have a trainer assigned before it appears on the calendar, so look at the calendar a few times each week until the course you want appears.

If you need additional help enrolling or have other questions, call or e-mail the Regional Training Coordinator listed below. We strongly recommend that each Instructor Candidate does the work listed above rather than delegate it to a parent or other person. Candidates doing this work will gain firsthand knowledge of the preparation required before the course begins, as well as an idea of the serious nature of the job for which they are about to be trained.

US Sailing Small Boat Regional Training Coordinators (RTC) in western Long Island Sound are Joan Lawson and Mary von Conta, who are happy to answer questions you may have or refer you to a source that has the answers you need:
– Joan is the RTC for courses on western Long Island and can be reached at or 516-742-2574.
– Mary is the RTC for courses in Westchester and Western Connecticut and can be reached at or at 203-259-9588.

Small Boat Level 1 Courses  (for new instructors: classroom and on-the-water teaching techniques, risk management, safety issues, lesson planning, creative activities, ethical concerns and sports physiology and psychology)
April 2-5   SUNY Maritime College, Bronx NY
May 12-13 & May 19-20   Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, Oyster Bay NY
May 25-28   Pequot Yacht Club, Southport CT
May 25-28   SUNY Maritime College, Bronx NY
May 25-28   Longshore Sailing School, Westport NY
May 25-28   New York Athletic Club, Pelham NY
May 25-28   Centerport Yacht Club, Centerport NY
May 29-June 1   Norwalk Yacht Club, Norwalk CT
June 2-3 & 9-10   Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Port Washington NY
June 4-7   Indian Harbor Yacht Club, Greenwich CT
June 9-10 & 16-17   Pequot Yacht Club, Southport CT
June 12-15   Sound Waters, Stamford CT
June 14-17   SUNY Maritime College, Bronx NY

Small Boat Level 2 Courses  (for instructors with one or more years of experience: developing knowledge and skill in teaching sail theory, sail controls, introductory management skills, spinnaker and trapeze use, and powerboat operation for emergency situations, including capsize recovery and preventing entrapment )
June 4-5   Larchmont Yacht Club, Larchmont NY
June 7-8   Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, Oyster Bay NY

Small Boat Level 3 Head Instructor Course (for instructors who are making the transition to a leadership or management role in their programs. Also available for parents and volunteers wanting to better manage their sailing programs but do not want to receive a certification). 
June 6-7   Beach Point Yacht Club, Mamaroneck CT

[Courses in nearby regions of Eastern Connecticut, Eastern Long Island and New Jersey may be viewed in the US Sailing Course Calendar.]

B) US Powerboating Courses for Long Island Sound and nearby regions

As an example of what may become available in 2018, you may view the prior year 2017 regional course schedule for Powerboat Training. Or get a group of 6-12 people interested in improving their powerboat handling and schedule a class at your own club. Certified instructors can come to your club, or your group can come to the SUNY Maritime Campus on a convenient date. Contact SUNY Maritime Waterfront department at or call 718-409-2447.

The powerboat course types include:
– Accelerated Safe Powerboat Handling 1-day course provides on-the-water training for anyone who already has a state-issued boating safety certificate and wants additional experience to safely operate a small powerboat and improve their boat handling skills. The Safe Powerboat Handling certificate is issued after successful completion of the course.
– Safe Powerboat Handling 2-day course with classroom and on-the-water training provides a) State Boating Education certificate and b) Safe Powerboat Handling certificate
– Safe Powerboat Handling + Launch Same as Safe Powerboat Handling, above, but also includes a written test that prepares a student if they wish to apply for a Launch Driver/Tender license [known as the US Coast Guard Limited OUPV/Master license]
– Safety and Rescue Boat Handling 1-day course for those who use powerboats to perform safety and rescue functions, such as on-the-water sailing instructors and coaches and regatta personnel. Includes methods to quickly right an inverted boat, and towing of boats astern as well as alongside.

[US Powerboating courses in nearby regions of Eastern Connecticut, Eastern Long Island and New Jersey may also be viewed in the powerboat Course Calendar.  The one-day State Boating Safety Courses are held monthly in many locations throughout the year:
– New York courses.
– Connecticut courses.]

Here are some questions that program leaders may use to guide their instructors through the powerboat certification process:
1) Are you taking Level 1 course for first time this year?
Yes: Safe Powerboat Handling certificate is required by JSA, see 2)
No: Safe Powerboat Handling certificate is not required by JSA, see 3)
2) Do you already have a safe boating certificate that is valid in the state you plan to work?
Yes: Take the one-day Accelerated Safe Powerboat Handling course to receive your Safe Powerboat Handling certificate
No: a) take the two-day Safe Powerboat Handling course, or b) take a one-day state boating safety course during the fall or winter and a one-day Accelerated Safe Powerboat Handling course in the spring. Either method will provide both the State Boating Safety and the Safe Powerboat Handling certificates.
3) If you received your Smallboat Instructor Level 1 certification in a prior year, the Safe Powerboat Handling course may still be required by your employer as part of its own safety and risk management policy. And JSA does encourage you to get the SPH certificate regardless of your experience. Consider how capably you drive a powerboat, especially in emergency situations. To upgrade your skill certification you may a) take the one-day Accelerated Safe Powerboat Handling course, b) take the two-day Accelerated Safe Powerboat Handling + Safety and Rescue course, or c) prove your skills through being tested by a certified powerboat instructor (about 3-hours) to get your SPH certificate.