US Sailing Launches Online Training Platform

Published on March 22nd, 2016

Portsmouth, RI (March 22, 2016) – US Sailing has launched Basic Keelboat Online, a web-based supplement to the Basic Keelboat course and the organization’s newest online training platform.

Developed in partnership with Fresh Air Educators, a leading online education provider, the online course is designed to prepare aspiring sailors for on-the-water instruction in the Basic Keelboat course while allowing US Sailing instructors to ensure a consistent level of knowledge for incoming students.

The course is based on US Sailing’s Basic Keelboat textbook, which teaches the essential principles of safe sailing for beginners and is the foundation for US Sailing’s Certification Series – the national standard for excellence in sailing and cruising instruction in the United States.

“With the textbook, we would have some students arriving for their on-water course without having opened the book, while others had read it cover-to-cover,” said Stu Gilfillen, Training Director of US Sailing. “Now our instructors can see the online course data, and know what level of knowledge the student is coming in with. That means focused hands-on instruction and more time on the water. That’s huge.”

US Sailing partnered with Fresh Air Educators because of the company’s track record providing high-quality online safety courses for outdoor recreation as well as its shared vision of making outdoor activities accessible to more people.

“US Sailing was looking for a partner that could help improve the quality of the educational product and also help increase participation in sailing,” continued Gilfillen. “Fresh Air Educators has a proven track record of reducing barriers to participation through its online programs.”

Over the past 15 years, Fresh Air Educators has provided online education and certification to a broad range of activities, from powerboating to ATV operation, to more than 2 million students.

“Online education works for a wide range of reasons. Students want to learn when and where it is most convenient for them, and they want to be engaged by the material. Students want feedback,” said Kerry Moher, Vice President at Fresh Air Educators. “That’s what you get with online training. You can test your knowledge before getting on the water and that translates into confidence.”

Now available at, Basic Keelboat Online can be taken by anyone, whether preparing for an on-water course at a US Sailing school or for those interested in learning more about the sport.

“By making this course available online in an affordable, engaging and convenient way, we know that we’ll not only prepare aspiring sailors, but that we’ll be introducing thousands of people to a lifelong passion they might not otherwise have discovered,” concluded Moher.

For more questions regarding Basic Keelboat Online:

Report by Jake Fish, Communications Manager, US Sailing.

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