Share your sailing passion and experience with the world. Become a NauticEd sailing instructor under the American National Standards. Make a difference - enjoy life - get out on the water - and, get paid to do it!

Become a sailing instructor

Share your sailing passion and experience with the world. Become a NauticEd sailing instructor under the American National Standards. Make a difference - enjoy life - get out on the water - and, get paid to do it!

Becoming a Sailing Instructor is not a job, it's a passion fullfilling lifestyle. If you're a great sailor, an excellent communicator, a bit of an extrovert, and don't mind making money part time or on your own schedule, then NauticEd has a simple plan for you.

NauticEd provides the instructor training and resources to get you out on the water, the wind in your face, and with eager students wanting to learn from you. We don't charge you a fee. Rather, we work in partnership with you to deliver you students and help with local marketing efforts. Most importantly, NauticEd's national and international credibility can help you become the sailing training expert in your local area.

Many Instructors typically teach on their own boat, the student's boat, the sailing school's boat, or perform sail training on international bareboat charters, vacations, or flotillas. Thinking of buying a boat? In many cases, you can offset income tax against an accelerated depreciation of your boat as a business. Come join us and get paid to enjoy life!

About NauticEd

Since 2008, when Grant Headifen first introduced NauticEd to the world, NauticEd has been all about helping people become more competent sailors: The idea that forging competent sailors on the merits of knowledge, skill, and experience requires embracing sailing's many daunting challenges. The idea that sailing is not always easy, but that experiencing sailing trials and triumphs is one of competency's greatest rewards. The idea that training competence is an earnest commitment to aspiring sailors.

This is what inspires and drives us. Because competence is more than just a word or a shiny sticker – it's discovering the world's wild-blue, learning to ride the wind and waves, friends and family doing awesome stuff together, and the personal fulfillment earned when losing sight of land.

"We have one very powerful principle. It is concentrated in one word: competence"
Private instructor

Who can become a sailing instructor?

Mostly anyone with good sailing experience, a passion for sailing, demonstrated commitment to excellence in previous or current vocations, and experience working closely with customers can go through NauticEd's training program to become a sailing instructor.

Instructors come from a diverse range of backgrounds. While some instruct full time, many instructors teach sailing on the side for the love of it, for extra income, or often to even offset the expense of owning a boat using available tax deductions.

Below are several examples of some
of NauticEd's instructor backgrounds:

  • Corporate retirees
  • Business owner retirees
  • Veterans with leadership experience
  • First responders
  • Seasonal instructors (skiing, diving, etc...)
  • Professionals of all trades
  • Boat owners
  • And more...

What does it take to become
a NauticEd Sailing Instructor?

  • People person You have to like working with people - if you don't, then perhaps best to move on. People skills are one of the most important aspects of being a sailing instructor. These skills include patience, attentive listening, empathy, a desire to learn yourself, and great communication.
  • Leadership skills Leadership skills are a must for training and managing a crew in diverse and sometimes challenging conditions. When instructing, students likewise will look to you for not only for direction but also for ensuring their safety. NauticEd's Transformational Instructor Course trains you to handle a wide range of situations while positively developing a student's sailing competency.
  • Experience NauticEd requires a minimum 100 days of previous logged sailing experience. But we also recognize that being a great sailor is not synonymous with being a good teacher. We go the approach that often "It is a mistake to assume that because you taught someone something, that they now know it". Teaching is not about pontificating and box checking. Instead having the ability and humility to effectively transfer your experience to ensure a student's competence is what we are looking for in our professional instructors.
  • Trust & recognition NauticEd is the only National Training Body recognized by the US Coast Guard as training and assessing to the American National Standards. It is a high standard that we are proud to hold and we expect you to hold up to these standards as well. Additionally, your students put a LOT of trust into you to teach to nationally recognized and accredited recreational standards. We ensure that trust using our student feedback systems that validate the quality of instructors and their adherence to the standards.
USCG NASBLA approval badge

American national standards

In 2017, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) developed the American National Standards - SAIL (EDU-3) for sailing training and assessment to increase the competence of new sailors. To date, NauticEd is the only global sailing education body to be recognized as meeting these high standards by ensuring competence across the board with comprehensive theory-knowledge, on-the-water skills assessment, and an appropriate amount of on-the-water experience prior to certification.

Benefits at a glance

Becoming a NauticEd Sailing Instructor is essentially FREE to approved instructors. Additionally, we don't charge you an annual fee. Rather, we consider you as a partner in education - teaching the world one boater at a time to become competent sailors. Collectively, we all rise with the tide - including the most important person, the student.
  • Affiliation with the leading international sailing certification body.
  • NauticEd's instructor training courses AND online sailing courses are FREE to approved instructors.
  • Recognition of adhering to the USCG's recreational American National Standards – SAIL.
  • Listed on NauticEd's website under your School's page for students seeking training.
  • Your own Instructor profile page on NauticEd, including student ratings. No website development is needed.
  • A dashboard to manage your students as well as a library of teaching resources.
  • For bareboat qualified instructors, assess students for the International Sailing License and Credentials (SLC), accepted by Port Authorities worldwide.
  • Free featured blogs for the sailing stories you have to tell - which promotes your social profile.
  • NauticEd is also a Yacht Charter Broker: discounted charter rates if you run a training vacation overseas.
NauticEd student Guide

NauticEd Student Guide

Learn all about NauticEd courses, certifications and more.

View our Student Guide

Steps to apply & get started

  • 1 Submit application below
  • 2 Upon acceptance, set-up a NauticEd instructor account
  • 3 Review NauticEd instructor onboarding materials
  • 4 Complete NauticEd online onboarding requirements (i.e., FREE courses, training and standards commitment)
  • 5 Become intimate with NauticEd's student assessment process
  • 6 Teaching training through our Transformational Instructor online class
  • 7 That's it, you're ready to start teaching and certifying!