Certification verifies that you have successfully demonstrated the knowledge or practical skills generally required for different levels of sailing certification. Island Sailing courses adhere to NauticEd certification standards, which are recognized as the most comprehensive in US sailing and are licensed internationally.

NauticEd Certification blends the three essentials for any competent sailor: Practical, Knowledge and Experience.

Finally, when a student is tested out by a NauticEd Affiliated Practical Training School, the Practical Verification stamp is added to the sailing certificate. The stamp is automatically added when the student’s instructor logs into NauticEd and clicks on the verification button.1. Practical Training and Assessment: on-water training with an licensed and approved NauticEd instructor, including the instructor assessing a sailor’s skills and verifying a sailor’s competence and safety to national and international standards.

2. Online Knowledge: NauticEd’s online knowledge courses and testing.

3. Experience*: Sailing club, charter and rental companies require a sailor be experienced, and so NauticEd includes the minimal industry experience requirements as part of certification.

*Experience 50/50 Rule of Thumb: all your sailing experience counts, whether as crew or master of the vessel as well as experience before, during and after a course. However, it’s important that experience is relevant to the level of certification as well as skippering (being the “Master” of the vessel) the sailboat.  So the 50/50 rule - in achieving the experience requirements, at least half of your sailing experience must be:
  1. as Master (Skipper) of the sailboat
  2. on the size of sailboats for that level of certification
**What’s Qualifying Experience? Simply, we use the USCG’s “Sea Day” of at least 4 hours underway.


NauticEd Qualified Crew CertificationQualified Crew

Practical: Minimum 2-days on-water Training with Instructor Competency Verification

Online Knowledge: Qualified Crew Course, OR completion of the Skipper course.

Experience: Total 4 sea days crewing (before, during or after class)

Skipper Small Keelboat (<25’ sailboats)

Learn to Sail Skipper Small Keelboat Basic Sailing


  • Minimum 2-days on-water Training
  • Instructor Competency Verification & ANS (American National Standards-Sail) Assessment

Online Knowledge: Skipper Small Keelboat Course

Experience: Total 4 sea days sailing (including before, during or after class and the 50/50 rule)

Skipper Large Keelboat (+25’ sailboats)

Learn to Cruise and sail further and faster with improved sail and boat handling techniques, in heavier weather and with sailboats 25' and larger.


  • Minimum 2-days on-water Skipper training
  • Instructor Competency Verification: includes ANS (American National Standards-Sail) Assessment

Online Knowledge:

  • Skipper Course
  • Maneuvering Under Power

Experience: Total 4 sea days sailing (including before, during or after class and the 50/50 rule)

Bareboat Charter Master (+28’ sailboats)

Bareboat Course and NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master certification

Requirement: Skipper Large Keelboat Certification (or equivalent training or experience), either prior or in parallel with Bareboat instruction.


  • Minimum 3-days on-water Bareboat training
  • Instructor Competency Verification: includes ANS (American National Standards-Sail) Assessment and International Yacht Charter Competency Standard

Online Knowledge:

  • Bareboat Charter Course
  • Coastal Navigation
  • Electronic Navigation
  • Anchoring

Experience: Total 50 sea days sailing (including before, during or after class and the 50/50 rule)

SLC card, front, Record of International Sailing License and CredentialsInternational Sailing License Credentials (SLC)

  • Requirements: Skipper + Bareboat Certifications (including ANS assessments)
  • Knowledge: SLC examination
  • NASBLA approved State Boater’s License
  • Licensing Fee


While a School’s Certification Program assumes the minimum, NauticEd’s certification system rewards prior experience and training. The system is truly progressive and forward-looking in that sailors are not required to repeat courses or take courses that are not needed.

The NauticEd Sailing Resume takes advantage of the power of the Internet. It helps students track their actual time spent on the water, which is where real hands-on learning takes place. The more time spent on the water, the more experienced and capable a sailor will be. This is why for example the United States Coast Guard requires 1 years worth of time spent on boats as well as extensive theory test out before one can attain a USCG professional captain's license.

NauticEd Certification Matrix

Although NauticEd recommends that all students gain practical instruction through an accredited Sailing School, it also recognizes that in many cases sailors feel they are already competent in boat handling skills and choose not to go to a practical school. In this case then, Students still gain the sailing resume rank and level, however the Verified Competency Mark is left off their logbook resume.

Experienced Sailors: NauticEd’s system rewards experienced sailors, allowing for prior experience to qualify a sailor for certification without training.

Prerequisites versus Requirements: NauticEd does NOT require students to take prerequisite courses, and depending on a sailor’s experience or prior training a sailor can drop into the system at any point. However, some levels of certification require (i.e., Requirements) sailors to demonstrate knowledge or practical competency through online testing or practical assessment. Competency is required.

“Challenge” versus Assessment: other certification systems that require prerequisite courses often allow students to “challenge” the prior courses. Instead, NauticEd takes a more progressive approach that honors a students prior training and experience, allowing for online testing and instructor assessments of competency prior to or during a course.