Skipper Small Keelboat Rank

Learning to sail small sailboats is easy and fun! No prior experience is required to get started. Learn the essentials to competently and safely skipper sailboats up to 25ft.

and online

The knowledge online + your school's on-the-water training is designed to provide you with the most comprehensive training available. Learn at your own pace and test knowledge online, and when on-the-water you'll be fully immersed in learning skills and gaining experience with qualified and experienced instructors.

What you will learn

The Skipper Small Keelboat Practical Sailing Course covers everything you need to get started: learning to set the sails, steering and maneuvering skills, outboard engines, understanding how to be a true leader on a sailboat, and much more. Become a Skipper and confidently take friends and family day sailing.

Sailing boats under 25ft is fun for beginners and accomplished sailors. When sailing smaller keelboats you gain an excellent tactile "feel" with a tiller, which translates into more nimble and responsive maneuverability. They're easier to "single hand" and manage because the loads (on sails and lines) are less than larger sailboats. The list of advantages goes on, including small keelboats are just fun and easy to sail.

  • Navigation Rules
  • Basic Sail Trim
  • Sailing Theory & Principles
  • Electrical System
  • Anchoring
  • Weather & Sea Conditions
  • Coping with Emergencies
  • Auxiliary Power (outboards)
  • Standing & Running Rigging
  • Docking
  • Maneuvering Under Sail
  • Basic Navigation
NauticEd student Guide

NauticEd Student Guide

Learn all about NauticEd courses, certifications and more.

View our Student Guide


Upon successfully passing the online knowledge testing and practical training assessment, and logging appropriate experience, you'll earn the NauticEd Skipper Small Keelboat Rank certification. Your practical on-the-water training and assessment with our qualified NauticEd schools is officially approved as meeting the on-the-water Recreational Boating Skills Standard - SAIL developed by the United States Coast Guard.

Assessment: Knowledge and theory competence are assessed online, whereas instructors assess skills and on-the-water competency continually during training or separately and according to a rubric to meet standards. View the Skipper Small Keelboat on-the-water assessment rubric.

Certificate Nautical competence
American national standard badge

Training you can trust

NauticEd is recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as conforming to the American National Standard for sailing training and assessment. NauticEd's sailing license exceeds the United Nations (UNE) resolution 40 ICC competence standards for yacht charter and is accepted by port authorities worldwide.

Get started today

NauticEd training begins with theory & knowledge courses online, which you complete at your own pace, and then practical on-the-water training and assessment with an affiliated school or private instructor.

Get started with the knowledge-theory online portion of the course

Purchase the Skipper Small Keelboat course and get started immediately online! If new to NauticEd, you will also receive 2 free bonus courses and an electronic logbook.

Search for schools and private instructors

Find a practical on-the-water training program near you or explore training in more exotic destinations.