International Sailing License

PRESS RELEASE: NauticEd Announces Sailing License and Credentials (SLC™), the International Sailing License.


NauticEd announced its newly approved International Sailing License, the SLC™, at the October 2017 Annapolis boat show.  SLC stands for Sailing License and Credentials. Grant Headifen, Global Director of Education for NauticEd, said that they have put high standards on attaining the SLC. “It is not difficult to get, but you must know your stuff inside and out and be truly competent to sail in unfamiliar waters,” said Headifen adding  “This is not a weekend warrior certificate of attendance”.

The key to the issuance of the SLC for American clients was the recent United States Coast Guard initiative to create sailing education standards. The result is the “American National Standards for Sailing Training and Assessment” which has been approved by the American National Standards Institute (the USA representative of the International Standards Organization (ISO)). The NauticEd SLC follows and exceeds this standard.

For USA holders of the SLC, it serves as a government recognized USA Sailing License (because of the NASBLA and ANSI sailing standard requirement) and thus, they are legally able to sail in every State and Territory of the United States. By virtue of reciprocity, holders are able to charter a sailboat in other countries including Greece and Italy. This works similarly for Canadians whereby the Canadian Government PCOC is a requirement rather than the NASBLA requirement.

To view an example student’s SLC, visit

Gaining the SLC is a 4 part process:

  1. THEORY: pass the NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master bundle of multimedia courses online and a special SLC exam. These courses cover all the theory associated with large sailboat management such as: maneuvering, chart and electronic navigation, tides, rules, anchoring and mooring, docking, and provisioning
  2. PRACTICAL: pass a one-day on-the-water assessment of practical sailing and knowledge skills administered by a specially appointed SLC instructor.
  3. EXPERIENCE: have at least 50 days of sailing experience in your electronic logbook, 25 of which must be on a vessel greater than 28 feet (8.5 m) and 25 of which must be as master of the vessel. In addition, 10 days experience must have been logged in the past two years.
  4. GOVERNMENT: obtain a government approved boating license. For the USA, you must obtain the NASBLA state boating license which is available for free from For Canada, you must obtain the PCOC. For other countries, you must obtain whatever governmental boating license is required by your government or alternatively, you can gain the RYA Day Skipper certificate.

“What is unique about the SLC is that it is built in real-time. If the sailor becomes qualified for a bigger boat or perhaps a catamaran, then the SLC instantly reflects that. The charter company simply enters the SLC number associated to the sailor online at to review the sailor’s full resume and the validity for boat sizes, tonnage, and types. The validity is based on the sailor’s actual real experience and knowledge. It is not just a blanket one size fits all,” says Headifen.

“The SLC cannot be attained without documentation of proper experience and assessment on the sailor’s resume. We’ve seen many students get turned down on the dock at the charter company with made-up proficiency certificates because the requirements of the license don’t even meet the charter company’s minimum sailing resume requirements – that’s not only embarrassing but a statement of the quality of the certificate itself. The SLC inherently meets the requirements of all charter companies”, Headifen added.

As with any license, a person chartering a boat in any country must clear their license with the yacht charter company prior to making the commitment. While licenses such as the SLC, RYA Day Skipper, and ICC are government stamped, getting the license cleared prior to chartering is prudent because of the shifting climate in international acceptance.

To learn more, visit the NauticEd SLC page.

STUDENTS: To start the process of gaining your SLC, sign in to NauticEd for free and click on the International Sailing License macro button.



Click on the ISL macro button when you sign in to NauticEd

Search for a topic.
My vision for NauticEd is to provide the highest quality sailing and boating education available - and deliver competence wherever sailors live and go.
Grant Headifen
Last updated on July 7th, 2022