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Cruising Instructor Course
April 4, 2014 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
A 3-day course for experienced Basic Cruising, Bareboat Cruising and Coastal Navigation Instructors to test and evaluate their teaching, sailing and navigational skills, including their ability to handle challenging conditions and navigational situations during daytime and nighttime, as well as their interpersonal skills in a live-aboard environment. Candidates will live and sail aboard their assigned boats.
Prerequisites for Cruising Instructor Evaluation
· Current US Sailing Keelboat Instructor Certification.
· Cruising sailing skills and knowledge.
· Minimum 5,000 nm of coastal and offshore sailing experience (relevant to Basic Cruising
and Bareboat Cruising) on an inboard auxiliary powered sailboat equipped with stove, head, and
fresh water and electrical systems.
· Ability to perform the procedures necessary to be a Cruising Instructor.
· Current U.S. Coast Guard License
· Current First Aid and CPR. Accepted programs can be found a www.uscg.mil.
· Current US Sailing membership
· Completed application form accompanied by the following fees: $400.00 (course fee) and $45
(provisioning fee brought in cash to the clinic), plus a potential $75-$100 boat fee (if boats have to
· Candidates whose complete applications and course fees are received in the Keelboat Program
Office 4 weeks before the course date receive a $50 discount on the course fee.
Prerequisites for Coastal Navigation Instructor Evaluation
· Be able to perform all commonly required Piloting Skills used in safely piloting a sailing yacht in
all conditions of visibility, by day and by night, to a high degree of precision.
· Be thoroughly informed on the contents and application of the US Sailing Certification Series
student training book Coastal Navigation.
· Be familiar with the teaching methods described in the US Sailing Coastal Navigation Instructor
Evaluation length and capacity
The Cruising Instructor evaluation is 3 full days. The Coastal Navigation written exam will add an additional 1/2 day. The course capacity is a maximum of 4 candidates plus 1 Instructor Trainer per boat.
Validation of Cruising Instructors
1. Demonstrate Cruising Instructor skill level and knowledge in the following areas in 24¹ to 40¹
auxiliary powered sailboats, including wheel steering , inboard, and outboard:
· Boathandling in moderate to heavy conditions.
· Sail selection and trim.
· Operation and inspection of boat systems and equipment: engine, electrical, bilge pumps, head,
fresh water, stoves, emergency and safety equipment, winches, anchors, harnesses and jacklines.
· Docking – departure and arrival under sail and power, and adverse conditions.
· High level of seamanship skills.
· Sailing under shortened sail.
· Anchoring during daytime or night, including 1 and 2 anchors, use of trip line.
· Picking up a mooring.
· Overboard recovery methods: quick-stop, quick-return, lifesling-type.
· Nighttime sailing.
· Limited visibility situations.
· Simulate procedures for engine failure recovery, sinking, fire, dismasting, grounding recovery.
· Use of VHF radio and emergency procedures: Mayday, Pan and Securite.
· Use of dinghy and outboard.
· Setting watches.
· Storm tactics.
· Navigation: use of charts, tide/current tables, light list, coastal pilot, and cruising guides; use of
variation and deviation; taking bearings and fixes; plotting a DR course and position using
time/speed/ distance calculations; application of set and drift; use of accepted plotting and
labeling techniques; use of ship’s log; confirm chart work with GPS.
2. Sailing Skills test – Practical.
3. Marlinspike Seamanship Skills test – Practical.
4. Demonstrative and communicative ability – Practical.
5. Complete working knowledge of the US Sailing Keelboat structure and system – Practical.
6. Professional attitude and conduct – Practical.
7. Instructor Manual ( includes Navigation Rules, International – Inland, 1-38) test – Written.
8. Basic Navigation test – Written and Practical.
9. Instructor Trainers’ evaluation.
The sailing and Marlinspike Seamanship skills test will be given to the Instructor Candidates by the Instructor Trainers at the course.
Practical and written tests each stand on their own. Each test must be passed and each practical skill demonstrated in order to successfully complete this evaluation session. Absence from any part of the course will exclude the Instructor Candidate from evaluation. The Instructor Trainers determine whether the Instructor Candidate successfully completes the course. Validation will be for three years providing First Aid, CPR, U.S. Coast Guard license and US Sailing membership are kept current. Instructor validation is to be renewed every three years.
Validation of Coastal Navigation Instructors
· Demonstrate to a markedly higher degree all of the navigational skills mentioned in the Cruising
Instructor Course, plus an increased level of awareness and
demonstrated ability to pilot the vessel using practical “on deck” navigation skills as well as
traditional plotting skills.
· Be able to use the teaching methods and skills described in the US Sailing Coastal Navigation
Instructor Manual in a competent and confident manner.
· Complete the Coastal Navigation Instructor Written Test with an 80% or greater score, while using
the US Sailing recommended plotting conventions described in the
US Sailing Certification Series student training book Coastal Navigation.
· Be recommended by both of the Instructor Trainers conducting the evaluation during the course.
The written tests will be handled in the following manner:
· The actual tests will be closed book. If using a calculator for the Coastal Navigation test, all
programmable memory has to be cleared prior to taking the test.
· A passing grade for each test will require answering 80% of the questions correctly.
* The Coastal Navigation exam is included with this course fee. If you choose not to take the
exam at the time of this course, you can do so at an additional fee.
Practical and written tests each stand on their own. Each test must be passed and each practical skill demonstrated in order to successfully complete this evaluation session. Absence from any part of the course will exclude the Instructor Candidate from evaluation. The Instructor Trainers determine whether the Instructor Candidate successfully completes the course. Validation will be for three years providing First Aid, CPR, U.S Coast Guard license and US Sailing membership are kept current. Instructor validation is to be renewed every three years.
Passing: The Instructor Candidate has successfully completed each of the items above. In order to pass this evaluation, the Instructor Candidate must pass the cruising instructor written exam with an 80%. The Instructor Candidate must also perform all teaching and sailing tests to the Instructor Trainers’ satisfaction.
Plan of Improvement: The Instructor Candidate has not yet successfully completed what is required and has been given a specific Plan of Improvement to complete with approved and assigned Training Program representatives within 90 days from its issue. Arrangements for re-testing and the completion of a Plan of Improvement must be done through the US Sailing training office. The responsibility for arranging completion of a Plan of Improvement rests solely with the Instructor Candidate. Instructor Candidate’s will get only one chance to pass their Plan of Improvement; should they be unsuccessful at this attempt, they will have failed the course. The fee to complete an “on the water” Plan of Improvement is $75.00. Written make-up exams, with the exception of the Coastal Navigation exam are administered at no charge. The Instructor Candidate is responsible for any additional expenses.
Failing: The Instructor Candidate did not meet the standards to become a Cruising Co/Nav Instructor will be failed. The Instructor Candidate who fails an evaluative course and would still like to become certified as a Cruising Co/Nav Instructor may re-apply for a future course, at full cost, one year from the original course date.
Plan of Completion: US Sailing and US Sailing Instructor Trainers assume no responsibility for lack of wind or other acts of nature. If the Instructor Trainer’s were unable to complete the evaluation, Instructor Candidate’s are issued a Plan of Completion. Arrangements to fulfill the Plan of Completion must be done through the training department within 90 days of its issue. There is no fee for completing a Plan of Completion. The Instructor Candidate is responsible for any additional expenses.
Instructor candidates will receive the following:
1. Cruising Instructor Manual
2. Basic Cruising student book
3. Bareboat Cruising student book
4. Review questions
5. Other handouts and information as applicable
Coastal Navigation Instructor candidates will also receive the Coastal Navigation Instructor Manual and student book.
Fees: $400 (course fee), $45 (provisioning fee – brought in cash to the course). Candidates whose completed applications and course payment are received in the Keelboat Program Office 4 weeks before the course date receive a $50 discount off the course fee. Those who sign up one week or less before the course pay an additional $50 to expedite course materials.
*Please note that a boat fee of $75-$100 may be charged in some circumstances. This course is underwritten by candidates’ fees and a major subsidy from US Sailing.
NOTE: Payment must be received at least 4 weeks prior to the beginning of the evaluation for the candidate to be eligible for the Early-bird Discount. Courses are filled on a “first paid, first registered” basis.