Sailing Education Technology


Ask anyone these days, and most people will tell you that in any industry, they want, expect, and demand modernization. Approximately 89% of people want to work with modern, up-to-date, advanced technology companies; this is simply what they are accustomed to in the 21st century. Companies that are betting their company and livelihood on the Blockbuster, Nokia, and Kodak thinking brands of this world are placing themselves in a very risky situation; the “stick with what you know” business acumen is no longer sound business thinking. Today, the smart business person looks for trends in customer thinking and moves cleverly to accommodate. This article is written for sailing schools who are looking to secure their future by keeping up with the demands of customers seeking modern sailing education.

NauticEd is an international sailing education company that has been around now for 10 years. From day 1, we set out to modernize the sailing education industry with technology. By uniquely using software, NauticEd has combined theory education and on-the water training and assessment with a report of on-the-water experience. The combination is a formula to create and report on true competence for the student.


competence sailing


We share the same overall philosophy as most in the sailing industry: sailing competence is achieved by theory education, on-the-water experience, and on-the-water training and assessment. Below, you will find out how we use technology to support this philosophy as it relates to:

  • Instructor Training and Assessment
  • On-the-water Experience
  • Theory Learning
  • Sailing Resume
  • Vertically integrated software
  • Credibility


Computer Screen Logbook

Instructor Training & Assessment


A student should receive hands-on experience and training particular to that student’s past experience and goals. Students should receive formalized feedback as to performance and recommendations for further progress towards the achievement of goals. Instructors should be qualified sailors as well as informed on how to teach and have the proper tools to apply the training and assessments. Training should be separate and distinct from assessment.


With NauticEd’s online interactive, engaging, and multimedia theory courses, the student shows up for training with the theory completed. This allows on-the-water training to focus on practical application of theory. Because student information is digitally maintained in the NauticEd database, the instructor is able to have insight about the student including previous experience and knowledge so that training can be tailored to the individual student’s goals. Student progress and achievements are digitally logged so that they, and the instructor, can always see the next steps towards the goals.

NauticEd is the only sailing education body that considers instruction separate and apart from assessment. NauticEd has implemented a well-established educational assessment standard called rubrics. The rubrics are a standardized set of sailing micro-tasks.  Following training, the student is assessed and graded for competence on each rubric. The assessor observes the performance of the rubrics and gains an objective view as to the competence of the student for each rubric.   Ultimately, using the grades on all the rubrics, the assessor then makes an overall assessment determination. This concept allows the assessor to make a true decision—without student pressure—as to the level of competence demonstrated. This empowers assessors to issue a true competency grade—whether crew, skipper, or bareboat—regardless of the student’s desired or expected outcome. With the rubrics, the student can see specifically any areas of their own weakness and together with the assessor can develop a remediation plan including additional training.

On-the-Water Experience


There is no substitute for on-the-water experience. This philosophy is echoed by yacht charter companies who require a resume demonstrating sufficient experience prior to chartering. Certifications should be based on competence which incorporates on-the-water experience.


NauticEd offers every student a free electronic logbook. This logbook keeps track, in the cloud, of a student’s on-the-water experience. Electronically logging on-the-water experience is the best way for a student to track their growth and demonstrate sea-worthiness to oneself and others. Authentication of logbook entries provides credibility and can be achieved via NauticEd’s CrewMates feature, NauticEd’s TrackLink app, or from NauticEd’s charter vacation services.

NauticEd is the only sailing education body that makes sailing experience a requirement for qualification, level recognition, and certification. Our behind-the-scenes software combines a student’s rank (educational achievements) with level (on-the-water experience entered into one’s logbook). Once the appropriate rank and level has been achieved, only then will the NauticEd software issue a certificate. This certificate is truly a verification of competency.

With NauticEd, there are no shiny stickers or paper logbooks, hardly ever filled out, lost in the bottom of an office drawer.

Theory Education–eLearning Technology


Sailing theory should be required. It should be available immediately in a manner that is easily accessible for the modern-day sailing student. Theory learning should be in a multimedia format to accommodate all types of learners. It should be tracked and be available as a resource. Theory should be completed prior to practical training.


NauticEd’s online theory courses are simply unbeatable. Access is easy and immediate allowing a student to learn at their own pace, in their own time, wherever they might be, on a mobile device, or laptop. Online real-time grading of tests and other tools allows a student to evaluate their learning progress. Our multimedia format with interactive videos and animations aids retention and makes learning fun and interactive. Our elearning allows explanation and learning of techniques that cannot always be recreated out on the water. This means that when they actually get out on the water, they fully understand the concepts!

Each course is divided into modules with testing throughout. Students can jump around in the course for flexibility and the testing can be done at home whenever they feel you’re ready. Students can review the modules and take the test as many times as they like without additional cost. Best of all, the course completion and testing results are stored in the student’s online account for tracking and reference.

NauticEd invites all students to take two free online sailing courses from NauticEd. Our Basic Sail Trim courses teaches, through animations, how to trim the sails. The Navigation Rules course teaches the rules of the road with 3D type scenes.



For those students who feel the need to hold a book for learning, NauticEd offers books available via amazon prime. These books combine traditional theory with QR codes that link, via mobile device, to a video or animation to further emphasize and explain the sailing concept. These books are a true break through into learning via paper in the 21st century.



A resume should feature all aspects of a sailor’s history and level of achievements: educational courses, on the water experience, instructor assessments, charter experience, licenses obtained, and any special endorsements. For this reason, every yacht charter company in the world demands a resume prior to chartering. Resumes provide a comprehensive view into a sailing student’s overall competence and sea-worthiness.

Computer Screen Resume


One of the most unique features of NauticEd’s technology is its ability to create a student’s resume by combing all its technology into a single package—the resume. The NauticEd sailing resume combines a student’s theory coursework, a meaningful summary of logbook entries of on-the-water experience, instructor evaluations, as well as specialized endorsements and particular licenses obtained. All of this information is stored in the cloud, easily accessible and viewed, and downloadable by the student and/or yacht charter companies with a click of a button. As a sailor progresses with theory, experience, and assessments, the NauticEd resume grows too; it’s a real-time reflection of the student’s achievements.

This is why no canned software will ever work for any company who tries to duplicate NauticEd’s impressive technology.

Take a look at the sailing resume of our example student, Joseph Sailor. Go to and enter Joseph’s credentials “” and “mycode” as the logbook code.   Joe’s sailing accomplishments are professionally displayed in a real-time and ready-to-send format to any charter company worldwide.



All the data in our system flows from school to instructor to student and from student to instructor to school. Schools can instantaneously sign up students and provide them with NauticEd’s two free sailing courses in 10 seconds with just an email address. Software keeps track of prospective students. With vertical integration, schools get to properly manage and view their instructors and students; instructors get to manage and view their students; and students get to manage their instructors and their school with feedback. The system is easy to use which means no paperwork and less administration for everyone involved. It is the perfect system (for now); and as times and technology changes, we will rapidly change and lead the way.


NauticEd is the only sailing body in the United States recognized by the United States Coast Guard and NASBLA (the organization of state boating law) as adhering to the United States Coast Guard created American National Standards for Sailing Training and Assessment.

For all the reasons above, ALL yacht charter companies accept the NauticEd sailing resume and the sailing certifications and licenses it produces for the student as valid proof of competency. Additionally, ALL Mediterranean companies accept the NauticEd SLC as a valid license for chartering in Mediterranean and Seychelles waters.


Why hang around sticking to old thinking? Your students are not!

We invite you to check out NauticEd. Come aboard, it’s free for schools and free for instructors (and two free courses for students).


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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 12th, 2022