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The River Training Program is the most fundamental program in the Club. River Training classes are the main generator of new members and also the main funding source for the Club. The development of instructors for the River Training Program is both essential for the viability of the program and one of the strongest sail training opportunities that Club members can participate in: the best way to really learn something is to learn to teach it.

Instructor Training progresses through three phases of development:

      • Assistant Instructor,
      • Primary Instructor, and
      • Lead Instructor. 
Each day during the PSC River Training sessions there is 1 Lead Instructor and 4 Primary Instructor. Ideally there are 3 Assistant Instructors but this is flexible between 0 and 5

Lead Instructor:

PSC Members who are certified as ASA 201/203 Instructors are qualified to fill the position of Lead instructor during PSC River Training. They can also server as Primary or Assistant Instructors. There must be a minimum of one Lead / ASA qualified Instructor for each River Training Session.

Primary Instructors:

While it would be ideal to have ASA certified instructors fill all five of the instructor positions during each training session, it is unlikely due to the number of certified instructors within PSC. Outside of ASA certified instructors, Primary Instructors are those members who have completed the Assistant Instructor Program. Additionally there will be the occasion where highly competent sailors with prior instructor experience outside the ASA umbrella express a desire to join the River Training Program. In this case the Training Commodore will arrange a check ride with a Lead instructor to ensure the member is up to speed on PSC and ASA policies and procedures.

Assistant Instructors:

Any member of PSC who has passed both ASA 101 / 103 is eligible to join the River Instructor Training Program as an Assistant Instructor. Generally there are 3 Assistant Instructors for each training session. 

Steps to Follow:

The normal sequence of progression moves from Assistant Instructor to Primary Instructor to Lead Instructor. The program is flexible to allow both experienced and new sailors to progress at a pace they are comfortable with. The program is the responsibility of the Training Commodore and under the day-to-day direction of the River Training Coordinator.  

  • Pass ASA 101 and ASA 103 test and OTW examination.
  • Request to join the River Instructor Training Program via email to the Training Commodore. You will receive a packet of instructor information from the River Training Coordinator.
  • Using the ASA 101/103 list of tasks as a guide, develop and refine your skills as a sailor; ensure you achieve an advanced level of competency in executing all required skills, building more that a cursory knowledge. Read appropriate sections in books such as Chapman Piloting and Seamanship, Annapolis Book of Seamanship. Discuss these tasks with experienced club members and other instructors.
  • Serve as an Assistant Instructor during the River Training sessions, again using the tasks from the ASA 101/103 list; observe how other instructors address each task. When you feel confident that you can instruct a task, demonstrate this ability during an OTW session, the Primary Instructors will verify your competency. The number of sessions or length of time to achieve this level of competency is variable and controlled by both you and the Lead Instructors. Historically it takes between 5 and 10 days as an Assistant Instructor before you will be ready for the Final Check Ride.
  • Take a Final Check Ride. Once you are confident that you can instruct students on all of the tasks, you will serve as an instructor with a Lead Instructor to give you feedback. Once you have passed, you will be moved up to a Primary instructor.
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