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American National Standards for on-water instruction in recreational boat operation identify WHAT skills to include in an entry-level course and HOW best to instruct those skills. 

Actions to take

Review the American National Standards to understand WHAT skills students should be able to demonstrate as a result of participating in on-water instruction for entry-level recreational power, human-propelled boat operation. The three national standards are below and available for free download.



Powerboating Skills
ABYC EDU-1 American National Standard

Human-propelled Skills
ABYC EDU-2 American National Standard

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Sailing Skills
ABYC EDU-3 American National Standard

Review ABYC EDU-4 American National Standard to understand HOW best to prepare and deliver high-quality on-water, skills-based instruction in entry-level recreational boat operation. This one standard accompanies the three skills standards above and is available here for free download.


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Recreational Boating Skills Instruction
ABYC EDU-4 American National Standard

Determine if your an entry-level recreational boating course meets the relevant skills-based American National Standards. For support in making that determination, and updating a course if needed, go to Step 3, or click here.


Powerboat Instruction: Service

National On-Water Standards - NOWS
(American National Standards for On-water Recreational Boating Entry-level Skills Instructions)

Step 1: Review the Standards

Consider aligning your skills-based entry-level course with Recreational Boating Knowledge American National Standards

American National Standards for recreational boating knowledge have been developed by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators’ (NASBLA) Education Standards Panel (ESP). Since these standards serve as primary source documents for teaching recreational boating knowledge, the NOWS Program recommends using this link to learn more about the standards and explore their use to design and deliver instruction that integrates teaching required knowledge within the development of skills for safer and more enjoyable recreational boat operation.


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