US Sailing Basic Keelboat Instructor Course Coming in November

To expand the availability of keelboat instructors in SoCal and the inland southwest area, Tumbleweed Sailing and the National Women’s Sailing Association are hosting a US Sailing Basic Keelboat Instructor Evaluative Course on November 6-8, 2023, at Lake Pleasant. This course immediately follows the weekend WOWazR event.

Evaluator and world champion Betsy Alison.

The evaluation will be led by Betsy Alison, the first woman inducted into the US Sailing National Hall of Fame. Betsy has also won numerous international and world sailing championships.

Tumbleweed Sailing will be providing a Catalina 25, J-29 or a Merit 25 keelboat for registered candidate use. The fee of $425 includes the evaluation, Basic Keelboat Instructor manual and student book, review questions, and handouts as applicable. It does not include US Sailing membership. 

TO REGISTER: Go to the BASIC KEELBOAT OR CRUISING INSTRUCTOR PAGE and scroll down to the course title “Basic Keelboat Instructor Evaluative Course at National Women’s Sailing Assoc” with the dates 11/06/2023 – 11/08/2023. Click enroll (you must be logged in as a member).

The Basic Keelboat Instructor Course is a three-day “extremely intensive” evaluation of a candidate’s ability to teach sailing to the US Sailing Keelboat Certification System Standard – the most rigorous in the country.

Read the detailed Basic Keelboat Instructor course description, prerequisites, and certification requirements on this page, but in a nutshell:

Candidates must complete all prerequisites, including:

  1. Extensive experience sailing and teaching on keelboats.
  2. Current US Sailing membership.
  3. Age 18 or turning 18 during the year of the course.
  4. Current NASBLA Safe Boating Certification.
  5. Ability to swim 50 yards at the course or provide proof of ability per US Sailing.
  6. Valid SafeSport Certificate.
  7. Completion of US Sailing Teaching and Coaching Fundamentals ($10).

Certification Requirements:

  1. Successfully demonstrate Sailing Competency.
  2. Successfully demonstrate Marlingspike Seamanship – Practical test.
  3. Demonstrative and communication ability.
  4. Successful completion of student and instructor exams.
  5. The Instructor Trainer’s positive evaluation.
  6. Current First Aid and CPR.

If you are interested in participating or have any questions after reading the details on the US Sailing website, contact Debbie Huntsman by email at