Sea Scout Manual

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The Sea PromiSe
As a Sea Scout I promise to do my best:
To guard against water accidents
To know the location and proper use of the
lifesaving devices on every boat I board
To be prepared to render aid to those in need
To seek to preserve the motto of the sea:
Women and Children First
BSa miSSion STaTemenT
The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young
people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes
by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
BSa ViSion STaTemenT
The Boy Scouts of America will prepare every
eligible youth in America to become a responsible,
participating citizen and leader who is guided by
the Scout Oath and Law.
11th Edition
ISBN 978-0-8395-3239-2
© 2002 Boy Scouts of America
2012 Printing
A Word About Youth Protection
Child abuse is a serious problem in our society, and unfortunately, it can occur anywhere,
even in Scouting. Youth safety is of paramount importance to Scouting. For that reason,
the BSA continues to create barriers to abuse beyond what have previously existed
in Scouting.
The Boy Scouts of America places the greatest importance on providing the most secure
environment possible for our youth members. To maintain such an environment, the BSA
has developed numerous procedural and leadership selection policies, and provides
parents and leaders with numerous online and print resources for the Cub Scout,
Boy Scout, and Venturing programs.
The BSA requires Youth Protection training for all registered leaders.
New leaders are required to complete Youth Protection training. To take the training
online, go to and establish an account using the member number
you receive when you register for BSA membership. If you take the training online before
you obtain a member number, be sure to return to MyScouting and enter your number
for training record credit. Your BSA local council also provides training on a regular basis
if you cannot take it online. For more information, refer to the back of the BSA adult
membership application, No. 524-501.
Youth Protection training must be taken every two years—regardless of position. If a
volunteer does not meet the BSA’s Youth Protection training requirement at the time of
recharter, the volunteer will not be reregistered.
We encourage all adults, including all parents, to take the BSA’s Youth Protection training.
To find out more about the Youth Protection policies of the Boy Scouts of America
and how to help Scouting keep your family safe, see the Parent’s Guide in any of the
Cub Scouting or Boy Scouting handbooks, or go to
Revised October 2011
Dedication 3
In 1910, Lord Baden-Powell, founder of Boy Scouts, created Sea Scouts to serve as
an extension of Scout training. Young men would develop personal character—pluck,
patriotism, and intelligent discipline—through a sense of duty. By teaching boat
management and seamanship, young men would also gain individual knowledge to help
them become self-supporting. Sea Scouts performing coast guard duties, lifesaving and
salvage at wrecks would also perform invaluable community service.
Baden-Powell’s belief that Sea Scouts would combine the best attributes of seaman-
ship with training in character was shared by the Boy Scouts of America. Two years
after the Boy Scouts of America was born, Sea Scouts was organized in the United
States with the aid of the Secretary of the Navy in 1912.
Welcome Aboard 5
Welcome aboard—to the fun and adventure of Sea Scouts, a program combining the
traditions of the past with the technology of the future. Whether you look to the sea for
a career or lifelong hobby, Sea Scouts is for you.
e element of water makes Sea Scouts unique. Sea Scout units use a variety of
boats, from outboard motorboats to large sailing yachts. Sea Scouts belong to a world
that is distinct from anything on shore, and they have their own language and customs.
e water is not a place for the unwary, and the Scout motto, Be Prepared, is
imperative. e challenge is taking a vessel from point A to point B while being ready
for whatever may be encountered along the way. Crewing a vessel involves sharing the
duties of helmsman, navigator, lookout, cook, sail handler, or engineer. Outings on a
boat offer new destinations in the morning and the changing scenery of a new harbor by
evening. Every event is an adventure.
Sea Scout programs are run by the youth members. Elected officers plan and conduct
the program. Being part of the vessel’s crew teaches teamwork. As experience is gained,
more opportunities arise to contribute to the leadership of the unit. At quarterdeck
meetings, ships officers work together to plan and evaluate the ships program.
Leadership skills learned in Sea Scouts last a lifetime.
Sea Scouts give service to others. Sea Scouts have been of service to hundreds of
communities across the nation. Service can be expressed in individual good turns to
others or in organized projects involving the crew or the whole ship. In rescues at sea, or
facing emergencies on shore, Sea Scouts have saved lives and property. Sea Scout service
puts citizenship into action.
Sea Scout advancement rewards individual pursuits of excellence. Each level of
advancement marks growth as a seaman and a leader. e highest rank a Sea Scout can
earn is the prestigious Quartermaster rank.
Seafaring has traditions that go back hundreds of years. Sea Scouts have adapted
these traditions to the Sea Scout program and have created traditions of their own.
A youth must be 13 years of age and graduated from the eighth grade or be 14 to join
Sea Scouts. You can stay in Sea Scouts until you are 21 years of age. Sea Scout ships can
be located by contacting the Boy Scouts of America in your area. If there is not a ship
nearby, encourage parents, school, church, or community organizations to organize one.
Contents 7
Dedication .......................................................... 3
Welcome Aboard .................................................... 5
Section One—Ship Organization and Uniforms ......................11
The Organization of a Ship ....................................11
Officers’ Responsibilities ......................................13
Adult Leader Responsibilities. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Quarterdeck Training .........................................15
Ship Management ............................................15
The Ship Code and Bylaws ....................................15
The Right Vessel .............................................17
Uniforms ....................................................17
Insignia .....................................................26
Section Two—Ship Operations ......................................27
The Ship Meeting ............................................27
Two-Part Program ...........................................30
The Quarterdeck Meeting .....................................32
A Balanced Program ..........................................34
Cruise and Superactivity Plans ................................35
Written Communications .....................................38
Recruiting New Members .....................................38
Fund-Raising ................................................39
Customs and Courtesies ......................................39
Section Three—Advancement and Recognition .....................47
Advancement. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
Sea Scout Advancement ......................................49
Other Recognition ...........................................62
Section Four—Safety and Seamanship ..............................69
Safety ......................................................69
Accident Prevention: Elements of Safe Swim
Defense and Safety Afloat ............................69
Safety Equipment .......................................77
Emergencies Underway ..................................82
Sample Crisis-at-Sea Emergency Drills ....................86
Communication ........................................ 90
Communications Signaling ...............................93
First Aid ................................................96
General Safety ........................................ 100
8 Contents
Marlinspike Seamanship .....................................103
Rope ..................................................103
Helpful Knot Terminology ...............................107
Knots .................................................108
Hitches ................................................111
Bends .................................................113
Whipping ..............................................114
Splicing ................................................115
Canvas Work and Sail Repair ............................120
Blocks and Tackles ......................................122
Boat Handling ..............................................125
Parts of a Boat .........................................125
Types of Sailing Craft ...................................128
Sailing a Small Boat .....................................131
Smaller Powerboats ....................................137
Underway in a Powerboat ...............................138
Wharfs, Piers, Docks, and Slips ...........................139
Heaving a Line .........................................143
Water-Skiing ...........................................143
Trailering Your Boat ....................................144
Rowing ................................................145
Ground Tackle ..............................................147
Anchor Parts ...........................................147
Types of Anchors .......................................148
Anchor Selection .......................................149
Stowage of Ground Tackle ...............................150
Anchor Cable for Larger Vessels ..........................151
Anchoring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
Navigation Rules ............................................157
Rules of the Road .......................................157
Steering and Sailing Rules ...............................158
Lights and Shapes ......................................161
Aids to Navigation ..........................................165
Light List ..............................................165
Lighthouses ............................................166
Daybeacons ............................................166
Buoys .................................................167
Port-Side Odd-Numbered Aids ...........................167
Starboard-Side Even-Numbered Aids .....................167
Safe Water Marks ......................................168
Isolated Danger Marks ..................................168
Dayboards .............................................168
Contents 9
Special Marks ..........................................168
Characteristics of Lighted Buoys .........................169
Sound Buoys ...........................................169
Dependence on Buoys ...................................169
The Rule of Lettering ....................................169
Intracoastal Waterway ..................................170
Western River (Mississippi River) System .................170
Piloting and Navigation ......................................172
Charts .................................................172
Compass ...............................................175
Variation ..............................................176
Deviation ..............................................176
Measuring Speed .......................................177
Time ..................................................179
Distance ...............................................180
Speed, Time, and Distance ...............................181
Dead Reckoning ........................................181
Deck Log ...............................................181
Chart Plotting ..........................................183
Fixes ..................................................185
Weather ...................................................193
Before Leaving the Dock ................................193
Weather Underway .....................................198
Practical Deck Seamanship ................................. 203
Watches .............................................. 203
The Lookout .......................................... 204
Helmsmanship ........................................ 205
Cruise Log ............................................ 206
Vessel Maintenance .................................... 206
Environment .............................................. 213
Water Pollution ........................................ 213
Aquatic Nuisance Species .............................. 215
Appendix ..........................................................217
Navigation Aids .............................................217
International Flags and Pennants ............................ 220
Lights Conforming to Rules 23–31 of Navigation Rules,
International and Inland ................................221
Resources ..................................................223
Glossary ...................................................227
Credits .....................................................233
Ship Organization and Uniforms 11
You and other high school–age young adults have joined Sea Scouts to go places and
do things, and when people get together for this, they must plan and organize.
Organization is the key to success in Sea Scouts. You organize in such a way that you
can carry out a program of activities that will provide you and your friends with the fun
and adventure you are seeking.
is chapter explains in detail the organization of a Sea Scout ship and describes
how the various responsibilities are divided. At times you may want to run a “tight” ship
with formality and ceremonies. At other times you will want to operate informally. In
Sea Scouts, there is a time and place for both kinds of operation.
All the adult leaders—the Skipper, mates, and committee members—have one objective.
ey want to facilitate a program of activities that will accomplish the purposes of the
Scout movement—character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness. At
the same time, they know that the program must be youth-driven, reflecting the desire for
fun and adventure promised to Sea Scouts.
The Organization of a Ship
rough the National Council, a council issues charters to organizations that
organize Sea Scout ships, Venturing crews, Boy Scout troops, and Cub Scout packs. By
accepting the charter, an organization agrees to provide a ship with a good Sea Scout
program under the best available leadership.
e ship committee is appointed by the chartered organization. Although a ship
may register with a minimum of three committee members, it should have at least
five or six active adults. e committee is responsible for the selection of the Skipper,
mates, and general program support of the ship.
Sea Scouts have a vast reservoir of experts at their disposal for program support. ose
who provide specialized help are called consultants. ey may come from inside the
ship or from the community. Consultants have special skills or knowledge, equipment or
facilities, or contacts that can help your ship.
Officers such as boatswain, yeoman, purser, etc. are elected by the youth.
Program activities of a Sea Scout ship are carried out through activity committees,
and specialists may be appointed by adult leaders to carry out assignments such as
photographer, engineer, or other specific skills.
12 Ship Organization and Uniforms
SEA SCOUTS ADULT ADVISORS ADULT COMMITTEE Page 4 Thursday, December 12, 2002 10:47 AM
Ship Organization and Uniforms 13
Officers’ Responsibilities
All Officers
• Supporttheboatswainandocersintheirleadershipfunctions.
• WorkcloselywiththeSkipperandadultleaders.
• Leadandinspirebyexample.
• Stimulateparticipationandencourageteamwork.
• Recruitnewmembersfortheship.
• Carryoutotherdutiesasassignedbytheboatswain.
• Planandconductregularquarterdeckmeetings.
• Giveleadershiptoallshipmeetingsandactivities.
• Shareresponsibilitiesofleadingtheshipwiththeotherocers.
• Knowtheneedsandinterestsofshipmembers.
• Watchforindividualshipmemberswhomayhaveproblems,
questions, or concerns.
• Directthedevelopmentofyourshipsoperationalplan.
• Appointshipmemberstoserveasactivitycommitteechairs.
Boatswain’s Mate for Administration
• Takeoverfortheshipsboatswainwhennecessary.
• Giveleadershiptorecruitingnewmembersintotheshipby
Coordinating plans for an annual open house to invite new
members to join
Encouraging all ship members to bring new prospects to
ship meetings and activities
Admitting new members into the ship. Be sure they are
introduced and feel welcome.
• Followupwithshipmemberswhoseemtobelosinginterest
in the ship.
• Recognizetheachievementsofshipmembers.
• Conductopeningandclosingceremoniesforyourship.
Boatswain’s Mate for Program
• Collectactivityandmeetingideasfromshipmembersby
Asking ship members what they would like their ship to do
Surveying ship members on their interests
Evaluating ship meetings and activities after they take place
• Maintainanactivitiesleofprograms,activities,projects,
and trips.
• Helpshipsactivitychairsplanandconductsuccessfulactivities.
• Keepminutesofquarterdeckandshipmeetings.
• Remindocersofassignedtasks.
• Keepmembershiprecordsfortheship.
• Superviseshipscorrespondence.
• Keepallshipmembersinformedaboutcomingmeetings,
activities, and projects.
• Handleallpublicity.
14 Ship Organization and Uniforms
• Trackincomeandexpendituresoftheshipwithguidance
from the adult committee treasurer.
• WiththehelpofyourshipsSkipperandocers,setupa
yearly budget.
• Makeregulartreasuryreportsatshipsmeetings.
• ObtainapprovalfromshipocersandSkipper
for expenditures.
• Procureandarrangeequipmentmaintenance.
• Trackthecomingandgoingofshipequipment.
• Keepaninventoryofequipment.
Crew Leader
• Maintainthemoraleandconductofthecrew.
• Helptraincrewmembers.
• Delegateresponsibilitiestocrewmembers.
Assistant Crew Leader (Elected by Crew)
Take over for crew leader when necessary.
Activity Chair (Appointed by the Boatswain)
• ConsultwiththeboatswainandSkipperregardingthe
assigned activity.
• Plan,promote,runandevaluateanevent.
• Recruitandchairacommitteeifnecessary.
Adult Leader Responsibilities
Ship Committee
• Selectandrecruittheadultleadersandprovidesfacilitiesforthe
ship meeting place.
• Superviseshipfundsandpropertyandhelpsobtainsupplies
and equipment.
• Seethattheshipoperatesinaccordancewiththepoliciesand
standards of the chartered organization, the Boy Scouts of
America, and the ships code and by-laws.
• Isresponsibleforcompletingtheannualrecharter.
Ship Organization and Uniforms 15
• ServeasthekeyadultleaderofaSeaScoutship.
• Givedirectiontotheshipprogramwhilecarryingoutthe
most important duty—advising and coaching the officers as
they plan, organize, and conduct the meetings and activities
of the ship.
• Bealiaisonbetweentheadultleaders,thechartered
organization, and the youth.
Assist the Skipper as directed, and assume the Skippers duties
if absent.
Quarterdeck Training
Elected officers should participate in quarterdeck training soon after elections. is is
an orientation and planning meeting conducted by the Skipper and boatswain working
as a leadership team. is training enables the Skipper to focus the officers on program
possibilities, set goals, and establish a calendar.
Ship Management
e ships officers are the elected Sea Scout youth leaders. ey work with the
Skipper and mates to give leadership to your ship. Elected officers generally serve terms
of six months or a year. ey are trained by the Skipper to carry out their assignments.
Ship activities are selected by the officers based on the desires of the membership.
Foreachactivity,anactivity committee chair is appointed. Activity chairmen may be
invited to quarterdeck meetings by the boatswain to present detailed plans of coming
events and activities.
Monthlyquarterdeck meetings are held by the officers of the ship. e Skipper and
other adult officers attend this meeting. e boatswain determines an agenda with the
Skipper’s approval, and conducts quarterdeck meetings.
The Ship Code and Bylaws
A ships code is a statement of ideals and conduct developed and approved by the
ships members. Each ships code is different and meets the needs of the ship. In addition
to supplementing the Sea Promise, the ships code should express:
• Astatementofpurpose
• Standardsofconduct
• Goals
e entire ship should develop the ships code since everyone is expected to subscribe
to the results. e ship code should be reviewed annually and modified if necessary.
New members should be required to sign the ships code when they join the ship.
Bylaws define the operations of the ship.
16 Ship Organization and Uniforms
Ship Code and Bylaws
e objectives of Ship 2502 are:
A. To learn
B. To share responsibilities
C. To have fun
living in the surrounding area who are 14 years
of age or 13 years of age and have completed
the eighth grade and under 21 years of age.
No prospective member shall be disqualified
because of race, color, creed, or sex. All members
must be registered as Sea Scouts and agree to
and sign the ship code and bylaws.
A. e elected officers shall be boatswain,
two boatswains mates, yeoman,
and purser.
B. e normal term of office shall be for one
be held in January.
C. No member shall serve more than two
successive terms in the same office.
D. eboatswainshallappointanominat-
ing committee that shall consist of three
members. e committee shall present
a complete slate of candidates who have
agreed, if elected, to serve to the best of
their abilities.
E. On the night of the elections, nominations
may be presented from the floor by any
member. If the nomination is seconded
and the candidate agrees to serve, he or she
must be included on the ballot.
F. Allcontestedballotsshallbesecret.
G. Nomineesmustbewillingandableto
serve in the position elected for the full
term of the office.
Ship business will be conducted under the
principles outlined in Roberts Rules of Order.
Voting on all issues will be by simple majority,
with the exception of changes or amendments
to the bylaws, which will require a two-thirds
vote of the total active membership. A quorum
shall consist of one more than the majority of
members for votes on routine business.
month, during the third week. Special meet-
ings may be called by the boatswain as needed.
Officers meetings will be held at least once a
month, during the third week. Special meet-
ings may be called by the boatswain as needed.
e ship will publish a newsletter the first
week of every other month. Included in this
mailing, too, will be all other supplemental
information of interest to the membership.
e newsletter will serve as the historical
record of the ship.
first meeting of every month. College reserve
months of delinquent dues make the member
ineligible to participate in activities.
activities involving the participation of all
not be entitled to the benefits of the money
derived from the activities. All money-earning
projects must be approved by the skipper and
meet the requirements listed on the BSA Unit
It shall be the intention of the ships leadership
to provide outside activities.
Ship Organization and Uniforms 17
The Right Vessel
Each Sea Scout ship is different and must select the correct vessel for its program. If
than a Sunfish will be necessary. e ship should also assess the sailing, boating, engine
maintenance, and vessel maintenance skills available within the unit before choosing
craft for the ship.
No matter which type boat the ship chooses, it must be seaworthy. While painting,
cleaning, and routine maintenance are well within the capabilities of most ships, major
structural repairs or engine rebuilds are not. A good rule of thumb is to never accept a
boat that has been offered to you just because it is free. Select the type of boat you want
for the ship and then find that boat.
Uniforming is an important part of developing program recognition and self-identity.
When Sea Scouts was first organized in the United States, a U.S. Navy uniform was
chosen to be most representative of our maritime heritage. By wearing the Sea Scout
uniform, youth make a statement to observers about courtesy, thoughtfulness, honesty, and
other core values that convey character.
Working on a vessel reinforces the fact that with privilege comes responsibility.
e same is true with the privilege of wearing the Sea Scout uniform. Anything done
while wearing the uniform reflects upon the reputation of all Sea Scouts in our nation.
Because of this, it becomes each Sea Scout’s responsibility to always do the right thing,
and it becomes each Sea Scout’s responsibility to keep the Sea Scout uniform correctly
creased, cleaned, and maintained.
Sea Scout dress uniforms are worn on special occasions such as bridges of honor,
annual banquets, public appearances, and other formal occasions. e dress uniforms
are identical to U.S. Navy uniforms except for distinctive Sea Scout modifications.
black and made of a lightweight wool gabardine. White uniforms are made of cotton or
polyester. A plain white crewneck T-shirt is always worn under the jumper, and white
underwear is a must for the white uniforms.
If dress whites are required for an event, and space is limited, a uniform can be rolled
and stowed.
Rolling the trousers:Brushcleanandturninsideout.Foldonelegovertheotherso
trousers from the top toward the bottom of the legs. Secure the roll with cotton ties.
“In our uniforms we
are not just individuals, but
representatives of the vast
movement, a great cause, a
vital part of a great nation.
—James E. West
18 Ship Organization and Uniforms
Rolling the jumper: Brush clean and turn inside out. Place one sleeve directly over
toward the lower edge. Secure with cotton ties.
Uniforms are always pressed with a military press. To press the jumper, turn it inside
out. Press the front, back, collar, and sleeves. Place one sleeve directly over the other in
folded edge of the collar and the center fold on the jumper. is will result in an inverted
fold running the length of the center front of the jumper.
Proper uniforming is simple. As with Boy Scout and other BSA uniforms, the
national organization establishes the uniform requirements. Obtain the proper uniform
and sew the patches and insignia on it according to the rules in this manual. When in
doubt, consult the ships boatswain or the adult leader responsible for helping your ship
in uniforming. e uniforms described in this manual are required for participation
in national Scouting events.
In the interest of economy, ships should consider choosing only one dress uniform for
their members. A new white dress uniform is less expensive than a new dress blue uniform
and is available in male and female sizes. Some ships may be in areas where the availability
of high-quality, low-cost used dress blue uniforms makes them more desirable. Other units
may elect to wear blue uniforms in the winter and whites in the summer.
All members and leaders of the individual ship must wear whatever national standard
uniform is selected by the ship. Insignia must be properly placed on the uniform, and it
is important that the uniform clearly indicates that the wearer is a Sea Scout in the Boy
Scouts of America. National official Sea Scout uniform insignia must be worn exactly
as specified in the Sea Scout Manual.
Sea Scout Youth Dress Uniform—Whites (Male and Female)
e national official Sea Scout uniform, youth dress white, conforms to the U.S.
Navy enlisted uniform specifications and consists of a white traditional jumper with
flap on the back; white trousers; Navy-style white enlisted cover (hat) (no insignia on
cover and identical cover for male and female); black, rolled tie secured with a square
knot; black, plain-toe, polished dress shoes; black socks; and white web belt with plain
silver buckle. e back of the uniform flap has two Sea Scout oval cloth anchors (bugs)
attached, positioned one inch from the lowest portion of the anchor crown to each
corner of the flap with the crown of the anchor pointed at the corner of the flap, thus
placing the anchor at a diagonal. e first step in preparing a cover is to wash it. While
the cover is wet, put it on the owner’s head, then take if off and roll the upper half-inch
portion of the lip of the cover down tightly. e roll will dry at a 45-degree angle to the
side of the hat. e cover is worn with the bottom band of the cover one inch above the
eyebrow. e cover is never worn cocked back on the head or to one side.
Sea Scout Youth Dress Uniform—Blues (Male)
Ships in colder climates may choose to wear a navy blue (black) uniform. is
uniform consists of a black, Navy-style enlisted jumper; black trousers; a black, rolled
Ship Organization and Uniforms 19
tie secured with a square knot; black, polished, plain-toe shoes; and black socks. e
cover is white (with no insignia) and is the same as the white uniform. Oval cloth Sea
Scout anchors (bugs) are positioned one inch from the corner of the inside piping to the
lowest position of the anchor crown. e crown of the anchor is pointed at the corner
of the piping, placing the anchor insignia at an angle, replacing the stars on the flap of
U.S. Navy uniforms. e cuff and back flap have only two rows of piping. e center
row of piping on the cuff and back flap of U.S. Navy uniforms is removed.
Sea Scout Youth Dress Uniform—Blues (Female)
cations: womans garrison cap (no insignia); womans white, short-sleeve blouse; black
tab tie; womans service blue coat with Sea Scout silver buttons; womans blue trousers;
black medium-heel pumps; and black socks.
If a ship chooses, the entire female ships company may elect to wear a womans
garrison cap (no insignia); womans white, short-sleeve blouse; black tab tie; womans
service blue coat with Sea Scout silver buttons; and womans plain blue, six-gored skirt,
unbelted with a waistband pocket in the upper right front. e welt pocket style may
be worn as long as it is serviceable. e skirt must match the coat in color and fabric.
e kick pleat should not exceed six inches in length. e skirt is worn at the middle
of the knee to one and a half inches below the knee. e zipper is worn on the left side.
e skirt is worn with flesh-colored, no-seam hose with no design. Black medium-heel
pumps are worn.
Sea Scout Youth Work Uniform (Male and Female)
e work uniform refers to uniforms used in day-to-day Sea Scout activities. It is
and the ship should designate the appropriate uniform for each activity. A Sea Scout
ship may, for example, designate a ship T-shirt for member use. All clothing used by
ships should identify members as part of Sea Scouts, Boy Scouts of America. is may
the clothing item.
Youth Uniforms
20 Ship Organization and Uniforms
While program variation requires flexibility with the work uniform, the national
official Sea Scout youth work uniform consists of a light blue short- or long-sleeve
cotton-blend U.S. Navy enlisted shirt, dark blue trousers with navy blue web belt and
silver buckle, and navy blue baseball cap. e cap may have the ship name or insignia
on it. e footgear will usually consist of plain black shoes with black socks, but may
be altered by the nature of the work involved. e badge of office is worn on the left
sleeve as usual. e Sea Scouts BSA strip is worn over the right pocket. Work uniforms
should be lightly starched and pressed with a regular military press. is is a great
uniform for a ship to start out with due to its low cost and practicality.
e work uniform is not designed for actual work such as painting or engine repairs.
Use old clothes for dirty work. e work uniform is used for ship activities. It is practical,
easily cleaned, comfortable, and provides recognition of individuals as members of Sea
Scouts. It is a good uniform to wear on an outdoor activity or while underway. Ships may
substitue navy blue cargo-type shorts as optional wear for warm months of the year.
Adult Dress White Uniform (Male and Female)
Adult leaders should always set the example regarding standardization of the uniform.
e national official Sea Scout dress white uniform for adult leaders conforms to U.S.
Navy officer specifications, with a white, short-sleeve shirt with epaulets; white trousers;
white web belt and silver buckle; and plain-toe, high-polish white shoes with white socks.
e adult leader wears a traditional U.S. Navy-style officer combination white cover
with the Sea Scout headband, silver chin strap, and Sea Scout silver cap buttons. A white
crewneck T-shirt is worn under the shirt. Adult women wear the same uniform as men,
except women do not wear the T-shirt under the blouse, and they wear a womans white
U.S. Navy officer combination cover. is cover must be altered to Sea Scout specifica-
tions. e badge of office (Skipper, mate, etc.) is worn on black epaulet covers that cover
the entire epaulet of the shirt. e badge of office is centered on the black epaulet cover
with the crown of the anchor directed away from the body.
As an alternative, adult females may wear the above uniform with a white A-line skirt
(U.S. Navy specifications) hemmed at the knee to one and a half inches below the knee
with a kick pleat in the center back not to exceed six inches. When wearing the skirt, the
female adult will wear white, medium-heel pumps and flesh-colored seamless hosiery
with no design.
Adult Dress Blue Uniform (Male)
long-sleeved dress shirt; black four-in-hand tie; black trousers, navy blue web belt with
silver buckle; black, highly polished, plain-toe dress shoes with black socks; and white
U.S. Navy officer combination cover with Sea Scout hatband, silver chin strap, and Sea
Scout silver cap buttons. Six Sea Scout silver buttons replace Navy brass buttons on the
jacket. e badge of office insignia is positioned two inches above the edge of the sleeve,
measured from the lowest portion of the insignia to the edge of the sleeve, with the
crown of the anchor pointed toward the hand.
Adult Dress Blue Uniform (Female)
specifications: navy blue, single-breasted, four-button uniform jacket; white blouse;
black tab tie; black wool gabardine A-line skirt, hemmed at the knee one and a half
inches below the knee with a kick pleat not to exceed six inches in the center back; black,
medium-heel pumps; flesh-colored seamless hosiery; and Navy uniform female officer’s
combination cover with a white cover, silver Sea Scout hatband, silver Sea Scout chin
Ship Organization and Uniforms 21
buttons on the jacket. As an alternatvie, adult females may wear black slacks with black,
highly polished, plain-toe shoes with black socks.
Adult Work Uniform (Male and Female)
e national official Sea Scout adult work uniform is a khaki, short-sleeve shirt;
khaki trousers; black, plain-toe, polished shoes; black socks, navy blue baseball cap; and
khaki web belt with brass buckle. e adult leader signifies his or her office by wearing a
silver metal insignia on each collar. A white crewneck T-shirt is worn under the uniform
shirt, and the uniform shirt is worn with the collar open.
Adult Male Uniforms
Adult Female Uniforms
22 Ship Organization and Uniforms
e Quartermaster Award, the highest achievement in Sea Scouts, entitles
(but does not require) the holder to wear an adult leaders uniform (see page 21).
e Quartermaster may elect to wear the Sea Scout youth uniform instead. If the
Quartermaster chooses to wear the youth uniform, the Able rank patch is removed.
Quartermaster youth members who elect to wear an adult leaders uniform wear a
black chin strap in place of the silver strap on the adult leader’s combination cover. No
rank insignia is worn on the left pocket. e medallion or square knot is worn instead.
e Sea Scout anchor device without stars is worn on both sleeve cuffs of white or blue
dress jackets in the same position as an adult badge of office. On white dress officer’s shirts,
the Quartermaster knot is worn. Quartermasters wear boatswains and boatswains mate
badges of office on the sleeve as designated for all youth uniforms, except khaki work
uniforms. Quartermasters wearing khaki uniforms will wear the Sea Scout anchor (lapel
pin) on the collar in the same position as the adult leader’s badge of office.
Where to Find Uniforms
Navy uniforms can be obtained from Navy exchanges, surplus stores, or by mail
stores specializing in work clothing.
e best source of uniforms for most units is the U.S. Navy:
Navy Support Center
 1240GatorBlvd.,Suite200
 BuildingNo.3126,SecondFloor
Norfolk, Virginia 23521-2315
 Fax:800-551-6289
Verification of registration is necessary if a Sea Scout.
e unit leader must send a letter to the Uniform Support Center on ship stationery.
e letter must state that he or she is a Sea Scout leader and is authorized to purchase
Navy uniforms for Sea Scout purposes. e letter must include the full name, Social
Security number, and address of the sender. Ask for a Navy Uniform Catalog and a
Uniform Price List. e letter must be endorsed by the BSA council verifying current
Security number in the Uniform Support Center computer. e unit leader may then
call and order uniforms by telephone by using a credit card. e uniforms will then be
mailed to his or her address.
In 2009, the cost of a white Sea Scout dress uniform through the Uniform Support
retired military have access on the Web to the Navy Exchange.)
shirts are a low-cost option. If a better grade white shirt is desired, the U.S. Coast
Another source of traditional uniforms and information is Ships Stores. Operated
as a nonprofit service by several Sea Scout adult leaders, it offers quality uniforms for
both Sea Scouts and Sea Scout adult leaders. If Ships Stores has the items you need in
stock, then this is the most economical option for white and blue uniforms. Prices do
not include shipping.
Along with dress blue uniforms, white uniforms, and work uniforms, Ships Stores
carries program materials such as advancement scorecards and wallet certificates, and
from time to time introduces detailed how-to-do-it books and pamphlets for Sea
Scouts and their leaders.
Ship Organization and Uniforms 23
Ships Stores is a mail-order house. e catalog and current price list can be found on
the Web, or Skippers and council officers may request a free catalog and current price
list by writing to:
Ship’s Stores
 2100W.Highway12
Lodi, CA 95242
 Phone:209-406-7434
Web site:
e placement of Sea Scout insignia is detailed in the following pages. Placement is
specific and is effective as of the publication date of Sea Scout Manual, No. 33239, in
2010. e BSAs Insignia Guide, No. 33066, will provide any required updates. Insignia
information is also available on the BSA Web site at
Council emblems will be worn on all dress Sea Scout uniforms. In addition, each
ship will wear a custom-designed ship emblem unique to the respective ship. is
custom ship emblem must be round and approximately two and a half inches in diam-
eter. It must contain the name of the ship, the ship number, and the city of registry. In
addition, the emblem may contain a custom design of the ships choosing. It may not
contain U.S. Navy or U.S. or local government seals or insignia. (Units with present
inventory of ship insignia may use that insignia until it is exhausted before ordering new
custom emblems that conform to the 2010 standards.)
Youth Dress Uniform
Quality Unit Award is centered one inch below the ship emblem.
Left sleeve—e council emblem is centered touching the seam. e badge of office
(boatswain, etc.) is centered four inches below the seam. e Long Cruise badge is
four inches below the shoulder seam. Note that stand-alone unit numbers are not
displayed on the uniform.
BSA strip, No. 04125 (blue), or No. 04126 (white), is to be approximately ⅜ of an
inch above where the top of the pocket would be if it were there (use the left pocket
top as your guide). Order of the Arrow insignia are not worn on Sea Scout uniforms.
Nameplates must be black with white block lettering (No. 20100) and are worn
immediately above the Sea Scouts BSA strip. As an alternative to the Sea Scouts BSA
strip, adult or youth uniforms may have the letters SEA SCOUTS BSA embroidered
or sewn in contrasting white or black thread, ⅜ of an inch above the right pocket (or
approximate position if no pocket) measured to the bottom of the letters from the top
of the pocket seam. e letters must be in block-style letters 
₁₆ of an inch in height. All
thread will be black in color except for lettering on navy blue (black) uniforms, where
the thread will be white.
Left pocket—e badge of rank is centered on the left pocket. e SEAL (Sea Scout
Advanced Leadership) twin dolphin insignia is worn ⅜ of an inch above the left pocket.
If suspended medals or knots are worn, the SEAL insignia is worn above the suspended
medals or knots. Suspended medals are worn no more than five at a time, pinned in
below the pocket.
24 Ship Organization and Uniforms
Youth Work Uniform
e Sea Scouts BSA strip is worn or the words SEA SCOUTS BSA are embroi-
dered ⅜ of an inch above the right pocket in black block letters ⁄₁₆ of an inch in height.
e badge of office is worn centered four inches below the left shoulder seam, measured
from the shoulder seam to the top of the embroidered insignia. e ship may elect to
wear the ship emblem on this uniform in the same location as on the dress uniform. e
ship may elect to wear the badge of rank in the same location as on the dress uniform.
e American flag is worn on the right sleeve at the shoulder seam. No other insignia
is worn on this uniform. A nameplate, black plastic with white letters (No. 20100), is
worn immediately above the Sea Scouts BSA strip.
Adult Dress Uniform
ese regulations apply to all the adult dress uniforms, except as noted in the sections
above relating to each individual uniform.
two inches above the coat sleeve cuff, measured from the cuff to the bottom portion of
the insignia on both sleeves. If wearing a dress white uniform shirt, a silver metal badge
of office is worn on black soft epaulet covers centered on each shoulder, or the black
epaulet cover may have the badge of office embroidered directly on it in silver thread.
is insignia shall be centered with the crown of the anchor facing toward the shoulder.
e black epaulet cover shall cover the entire epaulet. Collar insignia is not worn with
this white uniform shirt. e white shirt worn without a jacket is worn open at the neck
with a white crew-neck T-shirt. e U.S. flag is worn at the right shoulder seam on the
white dress shirt. e U.S. flag is not worn on any of the dress jackets.
Left sleeve—e council emblem is worn at the top of the shoulder. e badge of
office is worn centered two inches above the cuff on uniform jackets only. In the case of
dress white shirts, the badge of office is worn as described on the shoulder. No collar
insignia is worn on dress white shirts.
BSA strip, No. 04125 (blue), or No. 04126 (white), is to be approximately ⅜ of an
inch above where the top of the pocket would be if it were there (use the left pocket top
as your guide). Order of the Arrow insignia is not worn on Sea Scout uniforms. e
Seabadge trident insignia is worn centered above the right pocket, over Sea Scouts BSA
and immediately above the nameplate. Nameplates must be black plastic with white
letters with block lettering. Nameplates are worn immediately above the Sea Scouts
BSA strip.
Left pocket—Up to six knots may be worn immediately over the pocket in two rows
of three. e SEAL insignia is worn centered immediately above the square knots. Only
five suspended medals may be worn at a time, pinned in a single row immediately above
the seam of the left pocket. Scouting medals are worn for formal or bridge of honor
occasions only. e order in which medals and knots are worn is at the discretion of
the wearer. It is suggested that the medal or knot deemed most important by the wearer
be worn on his or her own right. Embroidered knots are representative of suspended
medals and are designed for the convenience of the wearer. No youth awards are worn
by adults on any Sea Scout uniforms, with the exception of the Quartermaster, Eagle
ribbons or other awards not awarded by the BSA are not worn on any Sea Scout
deserving Sea Scouts.
Other—No temporary insignia is worn.
Ship Organization and Uniforms 25
Adult Work Uniform
e national official adult work uniform (khaki) has very little insignia. It is highly
recommended that insignia on work uniforms be kept to an absolute minimum.
one inch below the American flag.
Left sleeve—None
edge of the pocket, with the lettering centered ⅜ of an inch above the pocket seam mea-
sured to the bottom of the letters. Temporary insignia and Order of the Arrow pocket
flaps are not worn on any Sea Scout uniform. A nameplate, black plastic with white
block letters (No. 20100), is worn immediately above the Sea Scouts BSA strip. e
Seabadge trident may be worn centered above the right pocket, above the nameplate.
Left pocket—e SEAL pin may be worn ⅜ of an inch above the left pocket and
above any other insignia in that location.
Collar—e insignia denoting responsibility consists of a metal device worn on each
collar on khaki work uniforms only. e insignia is centered ¾ of an inch from the tip
of the collar to the lowest portion of the insignia. e crown of the anchor is pointed
toward the tip of the collar so the insignia is at an oblique angle. Quartermaster youth
wearing the adult uniform will wear the Sea Scout lapel pin, No. 04135, centered on
both sides of the collar in the same location.
No other insignia is authorized for the work uniform.
Sea Scout Pocket Strips
to be worn by Sea Scouts and adult leaders on all uniforms above the right pocket.
e only correct wording for strips is Sea Scouts BSA. Strips with the words Sea
Explorers BSA or Sea Scouting BSA must be replaced with white, No. 04126B; navy,
forms except the navy blue (black) uniforms, which use white thread. e words SEA
SCOUTS BSA are in block letters ⁄₁₆ of an inch in height. Old insignia with colored
thread other than black or white must be replaced.
Units may elect to embroider SEA SCOUTS BSA directly on the uniform. Superior
results can be achieved by having the words SEA SCOUTS BSA directly embroidered
onto the material above the right pocket or in the approximate position. e letters must
be ⁄₁₆-inch block letters in contrasting black or white. e letters are positioned ⅜ of an
inch above the pocket seam measured to the bottom of the letters.
26 Ship Organization and Uniforms
Recommended Placement
of Sea Scout Insignia
Council Emblem
Badge of Office
Long Cruise
Badge of Rank
Bar Awards
Seabadge Pin
(adult uniform)
Sea Scouts
BSA Strip
Ship Emblem
U.S. Flag
Shoulder Seam
Ship Operations 27
e time and place for things to happen in Sea Scouts is at ship meetings. A Sea
Scout ship whose meetings are full of fun and meaningful activity is a ship that has few
and exciting adventures of Sea Scouts, so, keep your regular meetings full of activities
that are just as interesting as cruises and other seagoing events.
members in the democratic spirit of America. It is the place where members can and
should speak up so that most decisions will be in the best interests of the majority of the
membership. Experience has shown that where the program is based on discussion and
general agreement, the response is usually enthusiastic.
To be successful, meetings must be carefully planned and organized in advance. e
agenda, activity ideas, and meeting techniques in this chapter are designed to give you
the information you need to plan successful meetings.
The Ship Meeting
Ship meetings should be held at a regular time and
place. Some ships build a landship to add atmosphere
and provide a proper setting for ceremonies.
• eshipholdsregularweeklymeetingsatan
established time and place.
• eshipsocersholdaquarterdeckmeeting
once a month to problem-solve and plan.
• eshipschedulesatleastonemonthlyactivity.
• Shipmeetingsareheldonthesamenightofthe
week. Quarterdeck and ship committee meetings
are held on a different night. is makes it easier
for members to remember.
• Shipocerscanplanadditionalmeetings,
activities, work parties, etc., during the month,
as needed.
28 Ship Operations
Call ship to attention.
Advance the colors.
 Recognizevisitors.
Call to order boatswain
 Minutesofthelastmeeting yeoman
Officers reports boatswain
• Communications yeoman
• Membership boatswainsmate
• Financialreport purser
• Equipment storekeeper
• Districtandcouncilactivities boatswain
New activity chair and committees boatswain
Promotion of activities activity chair
Questions for ship decision boatswain
Skippers comments Skipper
At the conclusion of the business session, the boatswain calls upon the Sea
Scout who is the chair of the activity scheduled for that particular meeting.
the activity.
Skipper’s minute
 Dismisstheship.
Ship Operations 29
e standard opening ceremony for a Sea Scout ship should
be carried out with the dignity and the respect due the tradi-
tions of the sea. It can be carried out aboard a landship and
follows this pattern:
Call ship to attention.
Advance the colors.
ADMISSION OF NEW MEMBERS, boatswain’s mate
New members can be brought in and registered at any time,
but in many ships the official admission ceremony for new
members is generally carried out during the second ship
meeting of each month. is should be an impressive, formal
welcome of the new member to the ship and should be
scheduled imme diately after each new member is registered.
e minutes of the last ship meeting—read, corrected, and
approved—may be posted on the bulletin board in advance
so they can be read by members before the meeting. If this is
done, they can be approved by a vote when presented without
being read by the yeoman.
At the first meeting of every month, the boatswain calls
for verbal reports from the officers. ese are brief reports
which should, if necessary, be discussed by the membership.
Questions calling for ship action concerning these reports
should be delayed until the portion of the meeting con cerning
questions for ship decision.
to successful programming, the Skipper discusses activities
with the members. e yeoman makes a list of the most
popular ideas, which will then be discussed at the next
quarterdeck meeting.
Activity chairs responsible for the activities are asked to promote
participation in those activities. is is done through progress
reports on superactivities as well as the regular activities.
Questions may be presented by members for vote at any
time. is permits members to have a direct vote in any ship
represent them, the members should rely upon the officers to
make decisions. Sufficient time should be allowed for questions
that are referred from quarterdeck meetings or come up during
a discussion of the officers reports.
ELECTION OF SHIP OFFICERS, boatswain and Skipper
e election of officers should be followed by setting a time
and place for the training of the new officers by the Skipper.
Late in each meeting, the Skipper should be asked for his or
her comments. is does not mean the Skipper cannot make
comments during the rest of the meeting, for he or she must
be alert to answer direct questions or to make comments
which are necessary to the smooth operation of the ship.
Pertinent parts of letters and bulletins received are discussed.
e ship decides what action to take.
MEMBERSHIP, boatswain’s mate
members in accordance with the ship recruiting plan.
FINANCES, purser
A brief financial report is made by the purser. It should
include last months income, disbursements, balance, and any
unpaid dues or outstanding assessments. e ship budget
should be approved by the ship members annually.
EQUIPMENT, storekeeper
e storekeeper gives a complete report on the inventory and
general condition of all the ship equipment, securing help as
needed from ship members.
e boatswain announces the chair, committee members,
and consultants (if any) for each scheduled activity for the
next month.
At intervals the ship will be represented at national, regional,
or local activities and conferences. ese representatives
should be asked to prepare and make reports to the ship
membership at the first meeting following the conference.
At this time, during each ship meeting, the boatswain turns
the meeting over to the activity chair who, with the help of
his or her committee, conducts the activity. At the close of
the activity, the activity chair turns the meeting back to
the boatswain.
e closing ceremony of a ship is generally an established
ceremony that follows an inspirational and meaningful pat-
tern. Listed below are some things you might consider.
• Changingthewatch
• Skipper’sminute
• PipingtheSkipperovertheside
• Dousingthecolors
• Dismissingthecrews
At times, when an activity is not carried out aboard a landship,
the boatswain, with the Skipper’s approval, may dispense with
the closing ceremony and merely dismiss the ship.
30 Ship Operations
Two-Part Program
Ship meetings consist of two parts, a business session and an activity. Since the activity
is the focus and involves the major portion of the time, the business session should be
handled as efficiently as possible.
Officers report only needs to be made once a month. Usually these reports are
made during the first meeting of the month. Other meetings are reserved for program,
advancement, and those business items that happen occasionally.
The Ship Business Session
e business session of a ship meeting is generally brief but important. Because of its
nature, it is not necessarily the most interesting part of the meeting, but it need not be
dull. e way to make this session effective, and fun, follows.
• Shipbusinessmustbeconductedinconcurrencewiththeshipbylaws.
• eocersneedtounderstandtheoverallorganizationandoperationofaSea
Scout ship. Well-trained officers will find it easy to carry out their responsibilities
during the ship business session.
• eboatswain,whoisinchargeofthebusinesssession,shouldinvolveother
officers and members in the preparation of reports and assignments related to the
business session. e session will be more interesting if more people are involved
and have responsibility for business matters.
• Makethegroupfeelatease.
• Giveeveryoneachancetoparticipate.Freediscussionwillencouragebetterideas.
members. At the same time, slow down the person who talks too much.
• Focusonthesubject.Makethediscussionleadtodecisionsandaplanofaction.
is means that once in a while you will have to stop a discussion that deviates
from the main subject, and get the group back on track.
• Befair.Respecttheopinionsofboththemajorityandtheminority.Todothis,
you must determine the true wishes of both sides. is is done by giving both
parties a fair hearing. Once each has had its say, bring the matter to a vote. When
there is a divided opinion, use a secret ballot.
• Summarizeoccasionally.Reviewthepointsthathavealreadybeenmade.
• eonethingthatwillhelpmostistofollowthepreparedagendafortheship
meeting. If you are knowledgeable about the agenda, you should have effective,
interesting business sessions.
Hints for Ship Members
Business sessions provide a real opportunity for ship members to influence the
conduct and program of their ship. To have an equal opportunity to express themselves,
the ship members should observe these general rules of conduct:
• Taketurnsspeakingduringthegeneraldiscussion.Ifyouhavetroublegettingaword
in, address the boatswain and ask for the floor. If everyone is talking and interrupting
each other, your boatswain should call for order and decide who has the floor.
• Staywiththetopicofdiscussion.Helpthegroupreachadecisionononetopic
before discussing the next one. Ship members can help the boatswain by staying
will save your time as well as everyone elses.
• Beinformal.Eciencyinhandlingshipbusinessshouldnotrequireagreatdeal
of parliamentary procedure. Parliamentary procedure was developed primarily
informal discussion a faster and more effective way to operate.
Ship Operations 31
• Somebusinesscanbehandledformally.Ifthereisalargegrouppresentthatis
discussing a controversial issue, the motion and vote are the most effective method
for reaching a decision.
The Activity Session
Inviting a Guest Speaker
Choose a speaker for his or her knowledge and ability to present accurate informa-
tion in an interesting and captivating manner. Extend an invitation that gives the
speaker plenty of time to prepare. e speaker will need to know how much time will be
available, the size and age range of the audience, the experience and knowledge level of
the group, the meeting location, time for arrival, and contact information.
On behalf of the ship, the moderator should publicly thank the speaker at the end of
the presentation. In addition, it is appropriate to thank the speaker with a letter from
the yeoman expressing the appreciation of the ship.
Giving a Demonstration
Ship meetings are the time for planning and learning. When planning a program that
will teach a skill, the following ideas should be considered:
• Decidewhattrainingisneededandtheskillstheparticipantsshouldmasterbythe
end of the training.
• Createatrainingoutlineandestimatethetimetheinstructionwilltake.
• Selectteachingmethodsmostsuitableforyou,yourtopic,andyourstudents.
• Designorselectteachingaidsandactivities.
• Requirefeedbacktodemonstratethattheinformationgivenhasbeenunderstood.
• Beexible.Sometimespeoplereallygetit,butsometimestheyneedmoretimeto
digest and process information.
• Evaluate.Performancetestsarepreferabletowrittentests.
In summary, you must first decide what you want your students to do. en you tell
them what to do, show them what to do, let them practice doing it and finish by evaluat-
ing their performance.
Coaching a Skill
Coaching—the method of supervised learning by doing—is the perfect follow-up to
the demonstration of a skill.
Suggestions for Coaching
• Beabletoperformtheskillwellyourself.Reviewyourownexperienceinlearning
the skill and work out a series of steps for teaching it.
• Keepthecoachingonapersonalbasisbyworkingwithasmallgroup,perhapsonly
• Evaluatetheabilitiesandpersonalitytraitsofthoseyouarecoaching,asrelatingto
their power to learn a particular skill.
• Ifsomeonehasacquiredlittleornoneoftheskillthroughreading,discussion,or
past experience, go slowly at first. Insist on accuracy or form first, then speed.
• Don’tinterferewithapersonshonestattempts.Dontinterrupteortsunlessheor
she bogs down or goes off on the wrong track.
• Letthepersonmakemistakesifheorshecanlearnfromthem,butdenitely
point out any mistakes.
• Nevermakecorrectionssarcasticallyorfortheentertainmentofonlookers.
• Encouragebyremarkingonprogress,pointingoutthecompletionofeachstep
and the steps done well.
• Urgethepersontopracticeandperhapstocoachsomeoneelse,whenheorshe
has mastered the skill.
32 Ship Operations
The Quarterdeck Meeting
e quarterdeck meeting is a monthly business meeting of all the ships officers. e
meeting provides the officers a regular opportunity to review the ships program. It also
affords an opportunity to plan future activities to satisfy the special interests and needs
of the members. Equally important, this meeting allows officers to practice the demo-
cratic principles of self-government with the counsel of qualified adult leaders.
e skipper, the mates, and the elected officers attend quarterdeck meetings. Crew
leaders, ship committee members, and consultants may attend by invitation.
Prior to every quarterdeck meeting, the boatswain and skipper should agree on the
agenda. ey determine and then discuss each item of business and reach a mutual
understanding of how it is to be handled.
Ship Operations 33
(e boatswain presides. Other officers participate as indicated.)
1. CALL TO ORDER, boatswain
 Minutesareread,corrected,andapproved.
3. REPORTS OF OFFICERS—Called for by boatswain
Communications, yeoman
• Readsorsummarizesallcorrespondence
depending on its importance.
• Takesnotesandplansappropriateaction.
Membership, boatswain’s mate
• Presentsplansforfutureceremonies.
• Reportsprogressinrecruiting,includinga
discussion of prospective members.
Finances, purser
• Reportslastmonth’sincome,disbursements,
and balance.
• Reportsmembersowingduesorfees.
• Obtainsauthorizationforpaymentofbills.
Boats and equipment, storekeeper
• Reportslastmonth’snew,lost,ordamageditems.
• Reportsneededmaintenanceorrepairs.
• Securesapprovalforitemstobepurchased
or repaired.
District and council activities, boatswain
• Reportsdistrictandcouncilactivitiesandleadsa
discussion concerning ships’ participation in them.
• Securessuggestionsforfuturedistrictor
council activities.
Past activities review, boatswain
complimenting those responsible for success and
encouraging positive discussion of any weaknesses.
Ship committee meeting report, Skipper
committee’s plans for its support of ship activities.
e boatswain presents for approval the agenda for
the business part of the two regular meetings to be
held during the month.
• Conductsathoroughcheckonallactivityplans
for the month with definite action to tie up any
loose ends.
• Takesactionconcerninganynecessarychangesin
activities or committees.
e program planning procedure is followed at
this time during each quarterdeck meeting. Under
the supervision of the Skipper, the officers use this
practical and democratic four-step method to make
final decisions concerning the activities they feel will
meet the needs and desires of the ships membership.
STEP 1: Collect activity ideas.
STEP 2: Select the activities you want.
STEP 3: Assign committees to conduct them.
cally promote and enjoy the activities.
7. ADJOURNMENT, boatswain
34 Ship Operations
A Balanced Program
Youth join Sea Scouts to take part in interesting and exciting activities. is puts the
creation and production of activities high on the list of things officers must consider.
e Skipper must guide the unit into a well-balanced set of exciting and interesting
activities. When selecting and promoting activities, officers should consider social,
leadership, outdoor, fitness, service, and citizenship experiences.
Planning activities for your ship program should be a collaborative effort. Begin by
collecting and brainstorming activity ideas. e best sources are ship members. Once
completed, this list can be used by officers in planning programs for the ship.
Sources of Consultants
Listed here are some of the more common sources of consultants:
• Yachtclubmembers
• Boatclubmembersandocers
• LocalPowerSquadronorCoastGuardAuxiliaryotillamembers
• Boatingsupplyandequipmentstorepersonnel
• Ownersandemployeesofmarinas
• Militarypersonnel,especiallyactiveandreservemembersoftheNavyand
• Shipcommitteemembers
• Parentsandfriends
• Teachersinschools,colleges,anduniversities
• Peopleinindustry,businesses,andprofessions
• Peopleingovernmentandotherpublicagencies
• Membersoflocalboatingandwatersafetyorganizations
Activity Committees
To produce a successful Sea Scout activity, two elements must be present. e first is
a good idea, and the second is a good committee to carry it out. A good activity idea can
be a complete washout if the committee does not have the spirit and know-how to plan,
organize, and promote it.
e Skipper consults with the officers on the selection of chairs for each activity
committee. Overloading workhorses needs to be avoided in order to help all Sea
Scouts develop leadership abilities.
e boatswain and chair select the committee. e size of the committee, chosen
by the boatswain and the activity chair, should be tailored to the size of the activity.
Activity chairs schedule meetings and make plans well in advance of the deadline date,
and report on their progress at quarterdeck meetings. is ensures reliable information
concerning the project, and recognizes the importance of each activity chair.
After each activity, publicly give credit to those who helped, then thank them pri-
equipment to its proper place in good condition. Anything lost, damaged, or destroyed
should be repaired or replaced, particularly if it was borrowed. Settle financial matters
for the activity with the purser. is includes any bills paid or unpaid by the committee
and any income collected or to be collected. It is important to make this financial report
improving similar future activities to the boatswain.
Ship Operations 35
Cruise and Superactivity Plans
Although the ship has a simple month-by-month procedure for program planning, it is
sometimes necessary to do some long-range planning. Nearly every teenager, and certainly
every Sea Scout, dreams of taking a cruise. It is, therefore, not merely a good idea, but a
solemn responsibility that the ships officers plan at least one long cruise each year.
Once a long cruise has been set, officers need to schedule things that must be carried
out to ensure the success of the cruise. e cost of food and lodging, essential equip-
such discussion will come a monthly plan of action.
Cruises are just one phase of the many superactivities available to Sea Scouts. ere
are unlimited opportunities, tours and visits, and special at-home features available to
ships. Passport to High Adventure, No. 34245, describes how to plan, prepare for, and
carry out a high-adventure experience. is guidebook includes a directory of councils
with high-adventure programs and a list of councils with high-adventure bases.
A superactivity requires special planning and preparation. e ships officers must be
sure the members really want the activity and that the decision is made far enough in
advance to allow time for thorough preparations.
Plans are usually made months ahead. As the officers meet for each monthly planning
session, some portion of the preparation for the superactivity is included in their planning.
In this way, essential preparations are made for the coming high-adventure experience.
A cruise or other superactivity must be the choice of the majority of the ship members.
Unless they approve strongly of the event, they will not give it their wholehearted support.
erefore, involve as many members as possible from the very beginning to ensure success.
Superactivities need the approval of the ships committee. Once you get their
approval, you have a fine team of adults to help you succeed.
A superactivity calls for a special committee of adults and ship members. e main
ingredient needed to make this committee flourish is enthusiasm. If each member of the
committee is looking forward to the activity with high anticipation, you can be sure it
will happen in a big way.
Check your equipment. Well in advance of any cruise or superactivity, all equipment,
such as boats, camp gear, and trailers, should be carefully checked and put in good
condition. All secondary equipment should be secured and readied for use.
A certain amount of training is necessary before almost every superactivity.
Sometimes it involves the handling of a boat, other times a knowledge of the history
and terrain of the area you are visiting. Long before a cruise or superactivity, decide what
training must be conducted. is kind of preparation makes an activity safer, more
exciting, and meaningful.
early planning permits Sea Scouts to earn and save their share of the expenses.
When plans for a cruise or superactivity involve extensive travel, investigate the pos-
bases make meals and accommodations available at very reasonable rates.
taken to conduct cruises and superactivities safely. Safety must not be secondary. It must
be a prime consideration from the very beginning of the superactivity planning experi-
ence. A ship must go prepared with the right skills and equipment. Leaders, at all times,
must avoid unnecessary risks even though their decisions may make them unpopular.
Each Sea Scout must be mature enough to take care of himself or herself and to realize
he or she is also responsible for the safety of the entire ship.
36 Ship Operations
Cruises and superactivities are usually rugged experiences. Everyone must be in good
to check each person in advance. Emphasize good health habits with those who are fit
to go. Especially important to the health of the ships company is good sanitation as it
relates to cooking, drinking water, sleeping arrangements, and toilet facilities. e ship
should also check with the council to make sure they have the insurance necessary to
cover the group during the activity. If not, consult a local insurance agent on the advis-
ability of carrying health and accident insurance.
tion of its chartered organization and the Boy Scouts of America. Safety is based on the
assumption that each person will obey the leader as directed especially in an emergency.
All cruises, tours, and trips require a tour permit from your local BSA council. At least
two weeks in advance, apply online for a local permit or use paper form No. 34426 for a
tour that is less than 500 miles. Apply online for a national tour permit or use paper form
No. 4419 at least one month before you leave for a tour or cruise over 500 miles.
Cruising—whether by sail, motor, or pulling boat on a river, lake, or ocean—is the
reason that 99 out of 100 of your shipmates joined. is calls for training and interest-
ing activities based on reliable information.
Ship Operations 37
Sample Plan—Long Cruise
Because cruising is a fundamental activity of Sea Scouts, we use it as an example
here to show how a big production of this type requires advanced preparation and
planning. Although the example used here is a cruise, the general idea applies to any
other superactivity. e techniques that ensure an enjoyable and meaningful experi-
ence are basically the same.
• Select a long cruise to meet the desires
of the majority of the ship members.
• Getshipcommitteeapproval
and support.
• Skipper selects cruise chair and together
they select a committee.
• Determineadultleadershipfor
the cruise.
• Plan cruise in detail.
• Determinemethodofnancing
and, if necessary, select money-
earning projects.
• Select and then secure consultants,
if needed.
• If cruise is to be aboard a vessel not
owned or operated by the ship, make
necessary arrangements.
• Conduct money-earning project.
• Secure or repair cruise equipment.
• Gatherinformationandthendiscuss
historic background, wildlife, maps
and charts, etc. related to the cruise.
• Plan and conduct a meeting of the
parents to ensure their understanding
and wholehearted support of the cruise.
• Conduct special training, if necessary.
• Chart detailed cruise plans and, if
advisable, make special arrangements
regarding campsites, docking,
supplies, etc.
• Apply for a local tour permit or national
tour permit, as required, through your
local council service center.
• Put vessel(s) in shape and conduct a
shakedown cruise.
• Makeanalcheckofplans,equip-
ment, supplies, and reservations.
• Firmupadultleadership.
• Cast off–have a good time–keep an
accurate log–and remember, travel
courtesy pays off.
Help in selecting resource material can be found in other chapters of this manual. Additional
information can be secured from your public library, boating enthusiasts, and Coast Guard
and Navy personnel.
38 Ship Operations
Written Communications
Ship Logbook
of ship and quarterdeck meetings, membership rosters, rosters of the ships officers and
adult leaders, records of attendance, advancement, etc., will provide a historical record
of the ship. e ship logbook is a place to keep photographs, clippings, and program
souvenirs, and notes on outstanding achievements by the members of the ship. When
new members join the ship, they can sign the logbook during the admission ceremony.
Letters of Appreciation
consultants will give time and expertise, hospitality will be extended, and adult leaders
will patiently guide and teach. A thoughtful letter of appreciation is always appropriate.
will provide.
Publicizing Your Ship
Publicity is simple. Plan something, do something, and tell everyone something
happened. Sea Scouts regularly participate in fun, exciting, and unique events. Once
you plan an event, notify the local newspaper, the school newspaper, the local television
station, and neighborhood papers of the details. If reporters and photographers are
not sent, make sure you send a press release to the media describing the event. When
submitting an article, include the following:
• Answerthe5Ws:who,what,when,where,andwhy.
• Explainhowtheeventoccurred.
• Usesensorydetails,dialogue(ifappropriate),andactionverbstoshowexactly
what was observed.
• Presenteventsinaclear,logicalorder.
• Capturethemoodoftheevent.
• Putacontactnameandphonenumberattheendofthearticle.
• Editandproofread.
• Submitapictureshowingtheactionoftheevent.
Recruiting New Members
e continuous addition of new members is essential for growth and running a
successful program. Empowering youth to develop and run a good program is one of
the best ways to recruit.
What works? If kids are having fun, word of mouth will bring in recruits. Youth
sharing experiences with other youth, interacting with Scout troops, Cub Scout cruises,
and volunteering at camporees are all ways to let others know about your ship. Be a
presence in uniform wherever possible—award ceremonies, parades, festivals, outdoor
shows, boat shows, and other civic events. Create a Web site with high-impact images
and a calendar of events. Invite people to an open house and feed them with both food
and ideas. e possibilities for letting others know about the dynamics of your program
are endless. Just remember, the key is to make it fun.
Ship Operations 39
ences require money. Before taking on a fund-raising campaign, check with your council
approval form.
Possibilities are unlimited, but there are tried and true methods of bringing money
into the ships treasury. Selling concessions, yard sales, silent auctions, car washes,
spaghetti suppers, and pancake breakfasts are great fun and serve multiple purposes—
publicity, recruitment, fund-raising, and fun.
Customs and Courtesies
Sea Scouts brings to its members a wealth of customs and courtesies based on the lore
of the sea. ese traditions furnish the background for Sea Scout ceremonies and formali-
ties. ey add atmosphere and connect us to our heritage as sailors and as Sea Scouts.
The Sea Scout Salute
Sea Scouts use the traditional military salute. e salute should be executed from
the position of attention. To execute the hand salute correctly, come to attention. e
right hand is raised smartly until the tip of the forefinger touches the lower part of the
headdress or forehead above and slightly to the right of the right eye. e thumb and
fingers are extended and joined, palm to the left, upper arm horizontal, forearm inclined
at 45 degrees, and the hand and wrist are straight. At the same time turn your head
toward the person saluted. To complete the salute, drop the arm to its normal position
by the side in one motion.
The Sea Scout Handclasp
e handclasp is the traditional handshake. It is delivered with the right hand in a
firm manner that indicates sincerity.
Sea Scout Courtesy
e respect of the young for the old and the junior for the senior is expressed in
aboard a large ship from a small boat, the senior always leads from the small boat,
followed by the juniors; but when disembarking, the senior always gets into the small
boat last.
At the table it is customary for the junior to remain standing until the senior is seated
or orders are given to take seats. e junior never leaves the table after the meal until he
or she has asked for and has received permission from the presiding officer at the table.
Sea Scouts do not barge aboard any vessel. Permission to come aboard is requested,
and must be granted before boarding.
e most outstanding form of courtesy found in Sea Scouts is the use of the word
sir or ma’am. A simple “yes or no is not appropriate. You should respond with, Yes,
sir, or no, sir, or Aye, aye, sir, or ma’am.
Sea Scouts are ladies and gentlemen, and courtesy is the outward expression of
their character.
Apprentice 1c.
Demonstrate acceptable
courtesies used aboard
a Sea Scout vessel.
40 Ship Operations
The Boatswain’s Pipe
e boatswains pipe in the early days was known as
the “whistle of command” and had its origin in the
look and sound a bit like a whistle, it is in reality a
musical instrument on which many kinds of calls
may be played.
e pipe is used only by the boatswain and crew
leaders. e Skipper or
the mate issues orders verbally to the boatswain who, in
turn, either uses a pipe or passes them on verbally to the
crew leaders. e crew leaders wear the boatswains pipe as
an indication of their office and also to transmit orders to
their crew.
e boatswains pipe is worn suspended on a white
lanyard and carried in the pocket on the left-hand side of
the blouse.
Formal Boarding of a Sea Scout Vessel or Landship
e Double Salute
On all formal and official occasions, whenever Sea Scouts come aboard a Sea Scout
ship or landship, they perform two salutes. As they do this, they continue to carry out a
custom of the sea that began centuries ago.
In the early days of Christianity, it was the custom to place a statue of the Blessed
Virgin or a crucifix on the mainmast of the vessel. Every seaman, upon coming aboard
the ship, took o his hat or made the sign of the cross as a form of salute in the direction
of the mainmast.
National flags became prominent in the 14th and 15th centuries. Ships of maritime
nations soon began to fly their national ensign and requested that it be recognized also
by the seamen. So the double salute became a universal rule as each seaman saluted both
the mainmast and his national ensign when coming aboard.
the flagstaff at the stern of the ship and perform the traditional salute to the ensign of
our nation. Note: is is the reverse of the Navy tradition of saluting the ensign first
and then the officer of the deck.
When going ashore or leaving a landship, each person gives the double salute in
reverse, first to the national ensign and then to the mainmast.
Piping the Side
Centuries ago, when ships were under the command of dandies of the court rather
than practical seamen, these worthies considered themselves too good to walk on board
the ship or climb the gangway steps. Accordingly, a boatswain and a detail of side boys
were assigned to hoist them onboard in a chair. e motions of the chair as it carefully
lifted them and deposited them all standing” on the quarterdeck were controlled by the
boatswains pipe with the calls hoist away, lower away, and secure.
Today, the term side boys is gender neutral, and the duties are not so rigorous. When
the ships Skipper, other adult leaders, or dignitaries arrive at the ship for an official visit,
honors are rendered.
with four side boys, regional officials have six, and for national officials, eight side boys
are required.
Apprentice 1d.
Demonstrate the proper
procedure for boarding
a Sea Scout vessel
and landship.
Ship Operations 41
Side boys are mustered by the boatswains mate with the order, “Side boys post.
Starting at the gangway, side boys are stationed on either side of the route taken by the
arriving officers across the quarterdeck. As the official steps on the deck, the boatswains
instance, if the person boarding is the Skipper of the Sea Scout Ship Invincible, the
boatswains mate announces, Invincible arriving. If the officer is the secretary of the
Navy, the boatswains mate announces, Navy arriving.
e announcement is followed by ringing the ships bell. e number of rings cor-
responds to the number of side boys posted, and the rings are sounded in groups of two.
Followingtheringingofthebell,theboatswainsmateplaysthecall Pipe the Side” on
the boatswains pipe. e side boys salute at the first note of the pipe and hold the salute
until the last note is sounded.
e person being piped aboard salutes midship, where the officer of the deck is
posted, and the officer of the deck returns the salute. e person boarding salutes the
ensign, and holds his salute until he reaches the end of the line of side boys.
If a Sea Scout party is boarding a U.S.
person in charge of the party should first
walk up the gangway. At the top of the
gangway, this person must turn and salute
the ensign, which will be aft. is person
then will turn and salute the officer of the
deck and request permission for the party
to come aboard. All persons in the party
will salute the ensign and then the officer
of the deck when they reach the top of the
gangway. e reverse procedure applies
Scouts follow military customs.
Boarding a Sea Scout Ship
Persons boarding a Sea Scout ship must request permission to come aboard. If the
persons are in a group, only the person in charge of the group must request permission
for the entire group.
History of the Flag of the United States of America
“Our flag carries American ideas, American history and American feelings. It is not
American flag; however, there is no evidence to corroborate this story. We do know that
often referred to as the first American flag; however, on
were passed by the Continental Congress. e resolution that
established an official flag for the new nation was probably
meant to define a naval ensign rather than a national flag, but
the first flag act resolved, “at the flag of the United States be
Ordinary 1b.
Give a brief history of
the United States flag.
Ordinary 1c.
Demonstrate how to fly,
hoist, lower, fold, display,
and salute the U.S. flag.
Explain flag etiquette
and protocols for both
land and sea.
42 Ship Operations
made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white
in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.
stripes at seven red and six white and provided the addition of one star for each state. e
e flag of the United States, referred to in general as the American flag, is known
to Sea Scouts as the national ensign. Ever since John Paul Jones sailed the Ranger into
power, the U.S. Navy has referred to our flag as the national ensign. Sea Scouts honor
this tradition.
When to Fly the Flag
e flag of the United States should be flown every day when weather permits,
state holidays.
Ship Operations 43
Hoisting and Lowering the Flag
On Land
Two Sea Scouts are needed to hoist or lower the flag correctly. In raising, one holds
the flag to prevent it from touching the ground, while the other attaches the line and
raises the flag, keeping it close to the staff by holding the line rather taut. When the flag
has left the flag bearer’s arms, he steps back and comes to salute. In lowering, the flag
bearer catches the flag and unfastens it.
the evening, but not later than sunset.
On Board
Sea Scouts refer to the flag of the United States as the ensign or colors. On Sea
Scout ships the ensign is flown at the stern when the ship is alongside or at anchor. It
is flown at the gaff, usually aft and above the bridge, while underway on a power vessel
and three-quarters of the way up the backstay or leach on a sailboat. When the ship is
preparing to get underway, the ensign is shifted from the stern to the underway position
at the moment the first line comes across or at the moment the crew begins to haul the
anchor. Ships flags and officer’s flags are flown from the starboard spar, and signal flags
are flown from the port spar. e ensign is never flown from the masthead.
lowered (retired) at exactly sundown when the ship is at anchor or alongside. When
underway, the ensign is never retired. (In foreign waters it may be a violation of law not
to fly the ensign.)
When raising the ensign, a color guard is posted. Sea Scouts often wear shorts
or T-shirts when underway, but when raising or retiring the colors, more respectful
clothing is required. A work uniform and baseball cap as cover is appropriate. It is also
important that the color guard is trained by the boatswains mate in advance so there is
no fumbling or disrespect shown during this ceremony.
e boatswains mate should assemble the color guard and ships company that
bytheboatswainspipecallAllHands. e boatswain then gives the command, All
boatswains mate should then pipe the boatswains pipe call Pipe the Side. At the first
note of the boatswains pipe call, the colors are briskly raised. e call should be sounded
until the colors reach the top of the spar, and then the call is ended with a sharp up
note. At the last sharp note of this call, the ships company on deck smartly retires their
salute. All hands should stand at attention until the halyard is secured. When the ensign
is secured, the boatswains mate will pipe “Carry On. e boatswains mate then gives
normal duties.
member of the ships company will come to attention and salute if in uniform. If not in
uniform, it is proper to stand at attention and place the right hand over the heart. e
ships flag and officer’s flag are raised slightly after the ensign starts its assent. ese flags
are retired slightly after the ensign starts its decent. e rule is that the ensign is first up
and last down.
Some ships may elect to use a bugle to play To the Colors” when raising the colors.
If this option is taken, the same procedure is used, except the boatswains mate will not
pipe the side. e bugle takes the place of the pipe for that portion of the ceremony.
44 Ship Operations
Sunset’s exact time should be acquired for retiring the colors. (Note: Never use the
term “Strike the colors. is term refers to cutting down of the colors when a ship is
taken by a foreign warship.) e color guard should muster on deck and prepare to
salute. e boatswains mate should then play the boatswains pipe call Pipe the Side”
and continue this call until the colors have reached an area one foot above the deck.
e boatswains mate should end the call with a sharp up note, and simultaneously, all
hands should smartly retire their salute. All hands stand at attention until the ensign is
properly folded and presented to the officer on deck. At that time, the boatswains mate
Carry on.
Note: e person doing the piping should salute, even if the salute must be rendered
with the left hand.
lower it to half-staff. When you are ready to take it down, raise it to the peak before
lowering it.
Saluting the Flag
Whenever you see the flag hoisted or lowered, or when you pass it or are passed by it,
you should show your respect by saluting if you are in uniform or by holding your right
hand over your heart if you are in civilian clothes.
When the flag passes you, come to attention and face it. Salute just before the flag
reaches the point opposite you and hold the salute until the flag has passed. When you
pass the flag, come to salute six steps before you reach it, and hold the salute until you
are six steps past. You salute at the command of your leader when in formation.
When the flag is carried, there should be a color guard on each side of it. When
carried with other flags, the flag should be in front of the others or to the right if the
flags are arranged in a line. When indoors and in uniform but not covered, do not
salute. Stand at attention and place your hand over your heart. e color guard is always
covered and must salute.
Care of the Flag
field, another makes a triangular fold in the opposite end and continues to fold it in
triangles until the flag resembles a cocked hat with only the blue field showing.
Fold lengthwise in quarters with the field showing, then
in triangles.
e flag should be cleaned when soiled, and mended when torn. When worn beyond
repair, destroy it privately by burning.
Ship Operations 45
Displaying the Flag
ere is a right way and a wrong way to display the flag whether on the wall or from
a staff. e flag is never used as drapery (use red, white, and blue bunting instead), noth-
ing is ever placed on it, and it never touches the ground, the floor, or water beneath it.
Placement with another flag
From a staff
that projects
Placement for
hanging on a wall
Flags Underway
Small craft should fly flags of the proper size. e standard rule is: Ensigns should
be one inch on the hoist for each foot of waterline. Club, private, and ship flags should
be half an inch on the hoist for each foot of waterline length. U.S. government vessels,
merchant ships, and yachtsmen have carefully prescribed codes.
When underway, colors must be displayed day and night. In the event the vessel is in
foreign waters and of U.S. registry, display of the U.S. ensign is required. e ensign is
always raised (smartly) before other flags and lowered (slowly) last.
e U.S. yacht ensign is never displayed on Sea Scout vessels. Our national ensign
is never dipped as a salute except by government vessels in reply to a dip, however,
your ships flag may be dipped. As soon as flags are lowered, the appropriate lights are
e only flag ever flown above the national ensign on the same hoist is the church
pennant, flown only when divine services are in progress on board ship.
At morning or evening colors, boats passing reasonably near a flag ceremony should
stop engines or lay on oars or, if under sail, let fly the sheets. If the size of the boat and
other conditions are favorable, available members of the ship should stand, face the
colors, and salute.
On special occasions when a ship parades a guard or otherwise salutes an adult leader
in a boat that is passing, the same procedure as above is followed.
Salutes Between Boats
When distinctive flags are not flown and under ordinary circumstances, the salute
generally consists of a friendly acknowledgment rendered while the boats pass.
One boat, however, may salute another, but this pertains mostly to special occasions.
person in charge may salute the boat carrying another adult leader.
e adult leader in every case returns the hand salute while continuing underway.
Standing salutes are given only when consistent with the size and stability of the boat.
Advancement and Recognition 47
Advancement can be a source of personal pride and a measure of your success in
Scouting. Advancement in rank is a measure of your nautical knowledge and your
performance as a leader. is unit of measure is called rank. is system is also used by
the United States military to award an individual with special privileges.
as an E-3 if you have earned the Quartermaster rank. If you apply to a U.S. military
academy, you will be given special consideration if you are a Sea Scout Quartermaster or
Eagle Scout.
Scholarship opportunities are available for Sea Scouts who have earned Able or
Quartermaster rank.
ere are many opportunities for advancement in Sea Scouts. Included are the trails
to Eagle and Quartermaster. Each of these trails is a highlight experience, but each
requires the Sea Scout to set his (or her, in the case of the Quartermaster Award) own
goals and follow through to achievement. Sea Scouts can also pursue Venturing awards.
e requirements for advancement were designed by Sea Scout youth to establish
standards of performance for all Sea Scouts. It’s up to you to measure up.
Reviewing Procedure
Skipper’s conference with you during which he or she will assess whether you are ready
to advance in rank. If you and your Skipper agree that you are ready to advance, your
application will be forwarded to your ships bridge of review. is group includes members
from both the ships quarterdeck and the ship committee. If the bridge approves, the ships
advancement chair notifies the council service center and secures the necessary badge.
Eagle Scout or Quartermaster Award applications must also be approved by the ship
Quartermaster application is forwarded to the National Council.
If your application is not approved, the Skipper will return it to you and explain what is
48 Advancement and Recognition
Bridge of Honor
As soon as possible after an application has been reviewed and approved, it should be
forwarded through the proper channels. e badge is secured and then presented at an
impressive ceremony soon after it has been earned.
A bridge of honor is the ideal occasion for presenting awards. Traditionally, a bridge
of honor is held in connection with a social affair. Although this is a good idea, it does
not always have to be done this way.
It is important that each Sea Scout get his or her award as soon as possible.
Sometimes there is an unavoidable delay between the date of approval and the bridge of
honor. If this is the case, the award may be presented informally at a ship meeting and
then presented again formally at your next bridge of honor.
The Eagle Scout Award
Eagle Scout is primarily a recognition for young men in Boy Scout
Scout troop, a male Sea Scout may continue to work toward the
described in the Boy Scout Handbook. Leadership requirements may
be met in the ship as boatswain, boatswains mate, yeoman, purser, or
storekeeper. Personal conferences, conducted by the Skipper and the
board of review, for each progress award must be reviewed by the
ship committee.
The Quartermaster Award
Quartermaster rank is the highest award in Sea Scouts and is as impor-
tant as the Eagle Scout Award. It results from a young adult’s
determination to reach a goal he or she has set and achieved in spite of
difficulties along the way.
e award is rich in symbolism. e carrick bend represents an
ability to hold fast to our ideals. e blue ribbon stands for loyalty to
country. e compass suggests the importance of a carefully chosen
direction in life. e wheel reminds us that we are the guides of our
own future and that we must persevere with self-discipline. e Scout
badge—the emblem of a purposeful brotherhood—has challenged and strengthened
the lives of more than 40 million people. It represents Sea Scouts as an important
part of the Scouting tradition. e anchor reminds us that a truly worthy life must be
is badge of color, beauty, and symbolism, but most of all, of challenge, awaits every
Sea Scout who has the determination to achieve excellence.
After Achieving Quartermaster
To a Sea Scout who has earned the Quartermaster Award, it may appear that there
are no futher achievements to be attained. True, there is no higher rank, but this does
not mean the quartermaster has no future challenges, no work to be done. omas
sets sails, stands by the wheel, and whether the winds be fair or foul, looks forward to a
happy and successful voyage.
The Quartermaster
Award, which stands for
excellence, goes to the young
adult who attains the highest
rank in Sea Scouts. The
award is a reminder that
as a ship needs a rudder, a
compass, and a moving force
to reach its destination, so an
individual must be physically
strong, mentally awake, and
morally straight to achieve
worthwhile goals in life.
Thomas J. Keane
Advancement and Recognition 49
Sea Scout Advancement
change frequently. ey should be available in your ships library. ey are not reprinted
in this manual.
1. Ideals
a. Qualify as a member of your Sea Scout ship by taking part in the ships
admission ceremony.
b. RepeatfrommemoryanddiscusswithanadultleadertheSeaPromise.Discuss
Law and agree to carry out the provisions of your ships code and bylaws.
c. DemonstrateacceptablecourtesiesusedaboardaSeaScoutvessel.
d. DemonstratetheproperprocedureforboardingaSeaScoutvessel
and landship.
2. Active Membership
a. Provide evidence that you are fulfilling your financial obligations to your ship,
including helping with fund-raisers.
Note: Check with your ships purser.
b. ObtaintheSeaScoutuniform.DescribetheSeaScoutworkanddress
uniforms. Tell how and when the uniforms are worn and explain care of
3. Leadership
a. Describeyourshipsorganization,includingtheyouthandadult
leadership positions.
b. Demonstrateyourabilitytoidentifyocerandadultleaderinsignia.Explain
the chain of command in your ship.
4. Swimming
a. Jumpfeetrstintowateroveryourhead,swim75yards/metersinastrong
manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke,
least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating on your back,
badge instruction if you need to improve your swimming strokes.)
b. DiscusstheBSASafeSwimDefenseplanandexplainhowitisusedto
protect Sea Scouts and other groups during swimming activities.
5. Safety
a. Explain the uses, advantages, and disadvantages of the five types of Coast
jackets used by your ship.
b. Identify visual day and night marine distress signals, and know their location
and the proper use for your ships vessel(s).
c. UsetheDistressCommunicationsFormtodemonstratetheprocedureto
50 Advancement and Recognition
d. Knowthesafetyrulesthatapplytovesselsandequipmentusedbyyourship,
and safety standards in the use of power tools, machinery, lifting heavy objects,
and other safety devices used by your ship.
6. Marlinspike Seamanship
Using both large and small lines, tie and explain the use of the following knots:
overhand, square, figure eight, bowline, two half hitches, clove hitch, sheet bend,
and cleat hitch.
7. Boat Handling
8. Service
Log at least 16 hours of work on ship equipment, projects, or activities other than
regular ship meetings, parties, dances, or fun events.
Note: Arrange for this work through the ships officers.
1. Ideals
a. Explain the symbolism of the Sea Scout emblem.
b. GiveabrieforalhistoryoftheU.S.ag.
c. Demonstratehowtoy,hoist,lower,fold,displayandsalutetheU.S.ag.
Explain flag etiquette and protocols for both land and sea.
2. Active Membership
a. Attendatleast75percentofyourshipsmeetingsandactivitiesforsixmonths.
Note: Check with your ships yeoman.
b. Dooneofthefollowing.Recruitanewmemberforyourshipandfollow
through until the new member is registered and formally admitted with an
admissions ceremony, or assist in planning and carrying out a ship recruiting
activity, such as an open house or joint activity with a youth group or organi-
zation (another Sea Scout ship will not count).
3. Leadership
a. Complete quarterdeck training, either as an officer or as a prospective officer.
b. Serve as an activity chairforamajorshipevent.Responsibilitiesshould
include planning, directing, and evaluating the event.
4. Swimming
Pass all requirements for the BSAs Swimming merit badge.
5. Safety
a. DiscussBSASafetyAoatwithanadultleader.
b. Describethesafetyequipmentrequiredbylawforyourshipsprimaryvessel.
c. Developashipsstationbillforyourshipandreviewitwithanadultleader.
d. Plan and practice the following drills: man overboard, fire, and abandon ship.
e. Describethreetypesofequipmentusedinmarinecommunications.
f. Demonstrateyourknowledgeofcorrectmaritimecommunicationsprocedures
by making at least three calls to another vessel, marinas, bridges, or locks.
g. Galley
i) Before an activity, submit a menu that uses cooked and uncooked dishes,
a list of provisions, and estimated costs for a day’s meal (breakfast, lunch,
and dinner). Once the provision list is approved, help obtain the items on
the list.
Advancement and Recognition 51
ii) Explain the use of charcoal, pressurized alcohol, and propane. Include
safety precautions for each.
iii) Preparebreakfast,lunch,anddinnerwhileontheactivity.Demonstrate
your ability to properly use the galley equipment or personal cooking gear
generally used by your ship.
iv) Demonstrateappropriatesanitationtechniquesforfoodpreparationand
meal cleanup.
6. Marlinspike Seamanship
a. Name the various materials used to manufacture rope, the advantages and
disadvantages of each, and the characteristics of laid and braided rope.
sized and measured.
b. Using both large and small lines, tie and explain the use of the following knots:
rolling hitch, marline hitch, and midshipmans (taut-line) hitch.
c. Demonstrateyourabilitytosecurealinetopilings,bitts,cleats,andrings,and
to coil, flake, and flemish a line.
d. Demonstratehowtocutandheat-sealasyntheticlineandwhiptheendof
plain-laid line using waxed cord or similar material.
7. Boat Handling
a. Name the principal parts of a typical sailboat and a runabout.
b. Name the principal parts of the masts, booms, spars, standing and running
c. Describetheidentifyingcharacteristicsofasloop,ketch,yawl,cutter,andschooner.
d. Demonstrateyourabilitytohandlearowboatbydoingthefollowing:rowin
a straight line for a quarter mile, stop, make a pivot turn, return to the starting
return to the starting point.
8. Anchoring
a. Name the parts of a stock anchor and a stockless anchor.
b. Describevetypesofanchors.Describehoweachtypeholdsthebottom,the
kind of bottom in which it holds best, and the advantages or disadvantages of
each type.
c. Calculate the amount of anchor rode necessary for your ships primary vessel
in the following depths: 10, 20, and 30 feet in normal and storm conditions.
d. Demonstratetheabilitytosetandweighanchor.
9. Navigation Rules
a. Explain the purpose of Navigation Rules, International and Inland.
b. KnowthegeneralRuleofResponsibility.
c. Denestand-onandgive-wayvesselsforthefollowingsituations:meeting,
crossing, and overtaking for both power and sailing vessels.
d. ExplainResponsibilityBetweenVessels(vesselpriority).
e. Explain the navigation lights required for power-driven and sailing vessels
underway. Explain what is required for a vessel under oars.
f. Describethesoundsignalsformaneuvering,warning,andrestrictedvisibility.
10. Piloting and Navigation
a. Demonstrateyourunderstandingoflatitudeandlongitude.UsingaMercator
chart, demonstrate that you can locate your position from given coordinates
and determine the coordinates of at least five aids to navigation.
52 Advancement and Recognition
b. Explain the degree system of compass direction. Explain variation and devia-
tion and how they are used to convert between true headings and bearings to
compass headings and bearings.
c. Describethreekindsofdevicesusedaboardshipformeasuringspeedand/or
distance traveled and, if possible, demonstrate their use.
d. UnderstandUniversalCoordinatedTime(GreenwichMeanTimeorZulu
other for your local area.
e. Explain the 24-hour time system and demonstrate that you can convert
between 12- and 24-hour time.
f. Makeadeadreckoningtableofcompassanddistances(minimumthreelegs)
between two points, plot these on a chart, and determine the final position.
Note: Ideally this requirement should be met while underway. If this is not
possible, it may be simulated using charts.
11. Practical Deck Seamanship
a. Name the seven watches and explain bell time.
b. Explain the duties of a lookout and demonstrate how to report objects in view
and wind directions with respect to the vessel.
c. Name relative bearings expressed in degrees.
d. While underway, serve as a lookout for one watch.
e. DemonstratetheuseofwheelorhelmcommandsfoundintheSea Scout Manual.
f. Supervise and contribute to the cruise log for three days of cruising (one cruise
or a combination of day cruises). Submit the cruise logs to your Skipper.
12. Environment
aboard your ships vessels.
13. Cruising
a. Plan and participate in an overnight cruise in an approved craft under leader-
ship that lasts a minimum of 36 hours.
b. While on the cruise, perform the duties of a helmsman for at least 30 minutes.
14. Boating Safety Course
Successfully complete a boating safety course approved by the National Association
of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) offered by one of the following
agencies: a state boating agency, the United States Power Squadrons, the United
15. Service
As an Apprentice, log at least 16 hours of work on ship equipment, projects, or
activities other than regular ship meetings, parties, dances, or fun events.
Note: Arrange for this work through the ships officers.
16. Electives—Do any three of the following:
a. Drill:Demonstrateyourabilitytoexecutecommandsinclose-orderdrill.
b. Yacht Racing: Describetheproceduresusedinyachtracingandthesignals
used by the race committee to start a race. Serve as a crew member in a race
c. Sailing: In a cat-rigged or similar small vessel, demonstrate your ability to sail
single-handedly a triangular course (leeward, windward, and reaching marks).
should observe this requirement.
Advancement and Recognition 53
d. Ornamental Ropework:Makeathree-strandTurksheadandathree-strand
monkey’s fist. Using either ornamental knot, make up a heaving line.
e. Engines: Perform routine maintenance on your ships propulsion system,
including filter, spark plug, oil changes, proper fueling procedures and other
leaders for correct procedures and guidance.
f. USPS: Join a local Power Squadron as an Apprentice member.
g. Boatswain Call:Demonstrateyourabilitytouseaboatswainspipeby
making the following calls—word to be passed, boat call, veer, all hands, pipe
down, and piping the side.
h. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary:SuccessfullycompleteeithertheCoastGuard
Auxiliary Boating Skills and Seamanship or Sailing Skills and Seamanship
course. All core sessions, as well as at least three elective sessions, must be
completed to fulfill this requirement.
1. Ideals
a. Organize and conduct two impressive opening and closing ceremonies for
your ship.
b. Submit an essay of 500 to 1,000 words on how our nations maritime history
has contributed to our way of life.
2. Active Membership
a. Attendatleast75percentofyourshipsmeetingsandspecialactivitiesforone
year. Note: Check with your ships yeoman.
b. Prepare and present a program on Sea Scouts for a Boy Scout troop,
Venturing crew, Venturing Officers Association meeting, school class, or other
youth group. Your presentation should last a minimum of 15 minutes and
describe the activities of your ship and Sea Scouts.
3. Leadership
Either serve and fulfill the responsibilities of a crew leader or an elected officer of
your ship, or serve as an activity chairfortwomajorshipevents.Responsibilities
should include planning, directing, and evaluating the event. (ese events are in
addition to the Ordinary requirement.)
4. Swimming
Pass all requirements for the BSAs Lifesaving merit badge.
5. Safety
a. Developanduseacustomizedvesselsafetychecklistforaboatusedbyyourship.
b. Demonstrateyourunderstandingofrepreventiononvessels.
c. Knowtheclassesofresandthesubstancesthatwillextinguisheachtypeofre.
d. In a safe place, under adult supervision, demonstrate your ability to success-
fully extinguish a class A and a class B fire with an approved fire extinguisher.
See that the fire extinguisher used is properly recharged or replaced.
e. Conduct a fire safety inspection of the vessel normally used by your ship or of
your ships meeting place. Note any fire hazards and report them to your ships
adult leaders.
f. CompletetheAmericanRedCrossStandardFirstAidcourse.
g. ObtainCPRcerticationfromacertiedagency.
h. DemonstratetheHeimlichmaneuverandtellwhenitisused.
54 Advancement and Recognition
6. Marlinspike Seamanship
a. Complete a back splice, eye splice, short splice, long splice, and a palm-and-
needle whipping.
b. Sew a flat seam, round seam, and grommet eye in canvas or sail material.
c. Describethepartsofablockandexplainhowblocksaresized.Describethe
following types of tackle: luff, gun, double purchase, single whip, and runner.
With the help of another shipmate, reeve a double purchase tackle.
7. Boat Handling
a. Demonstrateyourabilitytoproperlyoperateasmallboatequippedwitha
motor. Included should be fueling, starting, leaving a dock, maneuvering, and
coming alongside.
b. Knowthenamesandfunctionsoflinesusedtosecureavesseltoawharfor
pier. Understand and execute docking commands used in handling lines on
your ships primary vessel.
8. Anchoring
a. Describethevariouskindsofanchorrodeandtheadvantagesanddisadvantages
of each type.
b. Identify the parts of the anchor cable starting with the anchor and ending at
the vessel.
c. Describethemethodsofmarkingchainanddemonstratethatyouknowthe
chain markings on your ships vessel.
d. While on a cruise assist in the construction of an anchor watch schedule and
stand one watch.
e. Identify a capstan or windlass and explain its use in handling line, wire rope,
or chain.
9. Navigation Rules
a. DemonstrateaworkingknowledgeofNavigation Rules, International
and Inland.
b. Explain vessel lights for the following: towing (astern, alongside, pushing
ahead, and cannot deviate), fishing, trawling, restricted maneuverability,
underwater operations, constrained by draft, and aground.
c. Describespeciallightsanddayshapesdeployedonthefollowingvessels:
not under command, restricted by ability to maneuver, constrained by draft,
fishing (trawling), and sailing vessels under power.
d. Understand the system of aids to navigation employed in your area. Include
buoys, lights, and daymarks, and their significance and corresponding
chart symbols.
e. ReadindetailaNationalOceanService(NOS)chart,preferablyforthearea
normally cruised by your ship, identifying all marks on it.
f. Explain the use of tide tables, current tables, light lists, and how to update a
10. Piloting and Navigation
a. Describethedecklogkeptaboardyourshipsprincipalcraft.Keepacomplete
log for three cruises.
b. Lay a course of at least three legs and execute it using dead reckoning.
c. Demonstrateyourabilitytoxyourpositionbythefollowingmethods:taking
bearings from two known objects, running fix, and estimated position.
d. Establish distance from a known object using double the angle on the bow”
and explain how to set a danger angle.
Advancement and Recognition 55
e. DiscusshowGPS(GlobalPositioningSystem)operatesandthepurposeof
three different waypoints.
f. Discussthemethodofestablishingaradarx.
11. Practical Deck Seamanship
a. Demonstrateyourknowledgeofpersonalsafetyequipmentneededwhile
cleaning, maintaining, or repairing your vessel.
b. Knowthenames,uses,sizes,andpropercareofthecommonhandtoolsused
by your ship.
c. Identify and explain the use of the following: thimble, shackle, turnbuckle,
pelican hook, and other ships hardware and fittings commonly used aboard
d. Demonstratepropersurfaceandcoatingpreparation,coatingtechniques,care
of stored coatings, and cleaning of brushes and tools used to maintain surfaces
on your ships vessel.
e. Explain techniques used for the maintenance, protection, and repair of hulls
and decks on your ships vessel.
12. Environment
a. Demonstrateyourknowledgeoflocalenvironmentallawsrelatedtothe
proper storage, disposal, and cleanup of maritime coating materials, fuels, and
other environmentally sensitive materials.
b. Discusswithanadultleaderthedumpingofgarbageinthemarineenviron-
ships vessels.
c. Write a 500-word report on a marine endangered species (mammal, bird, fish,
or reptile). e report should include a description of the species, its habitat,
history, current population numbers, and current steps being employed to help
its recovery.
13. Cruising
Earn the Long Cruise badge.
14. Electives—Do any three of the following.
a. Sailing: While leading a crew of not less than two other persons, demonstrate
your ability to sail a sloop or another suitable vessel correctly and safely over
a triangular course (leeward, windward, reaching marks), demonstrating
beating, reaching, running, and the proper commands.
b. Vessels: Teach and lead a crew under oar using a boat pulling at least four oars
single- or double-banked. Perform the following maneuvers: get underway,
maneuver ahead and back, turn the boat in its own length, dock, and secure.
c. Drill:Demonstrateyourabilitytogiveandexecutecommandsinclose-orderdrill.
d. Engines:
i) Understand the safe and proper procedures for the use of gasoline and
diesel inboard engines, including fueling, pre-start checks, ventilation,
starting, running, periodic checks while running, securing, postoperative
checks, and keeping an engine log.
ii) Using the type of engine aboard the vessel you most frequently use,
demonstrate your understanding of basic troubleshooting and the
preventive maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer.
56 Advancement and Recognition
e. Yacht Racing:
i) Demonstrateyourunderstandingoftheshapes,aghoists,gun,andhorn
signals used in yacht racing as well as a working knowledge of the racing
ii) Serve as helmsman, with one or more additional crew members, of a
sloop-rigged or other suitable boat with a spinnaker in a race sailed under
f. Maritime History:Knowthehighlightsofmaritimehistoryfromthe
earliest times to the present. Include the evolution of vessel construction and
propulsion, important voyages of exploration and development, the origin of
maritime traditions, and the achievements of notable maritime leaders in U.S.
sea history.
g. Ornamental Ropework:Demonstrateyourabilitytofashionthefollowing
items of ornamental ropework: four-strand Turks head, coach whipping,
a useful item such as a boatswains lanyard, rigging knife lanyard, bell rope, etc.,
or decorate a portion of your ships equipment such as a stanchion, rail, lifeline,
tiller, etc.
h. Fiberglass Repair and Maintenance:Demonstrateyourprociencyand
knowledge of fiberglass repair and gel coating while working on your ships
vessel or other similar vessel.
i. Specialty Proficiency: Become a certified scuba diver or become proficient in
j. USPS: As an apprentice member of the United States Power Squadrons
complete the Seamanship and Piloting courses.
k. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary: SuccessfullycompletetheCoastGuard
Auxiliary Weekend Navigator course.
1. Ideals
a. Initiate a discussion on the ideals stated in the Sea Promise.
b. Prepare a written analysis, offering recommendations for improvements
regarding one of the following ships programs: bylaws and code, training pro-
grams, ceremonies, quarterdeck meetings, recruiting programs, or fund-raising.
2. Active Membership
a. Attendatleast75percentofyourshipsmeetingsandspecialactivitiesfor18
months. Note: Check with your ships yeoman.
b. Present a talk or program at least 15 minutes long on Sea Scouts to a service
club, religious organization, PTA, or other adult organization.
3. Leadership
a. Quartermaster Project: While an Able Sea Scout, plan, develop, and dem-
onstrate leadership to others in a service project that is helpful to any religious
institution, school, or your community. e project plan must be approved
by your Skipper and ship committee and approved by the council or district
advancement committee before you start. is service project should involve
your ship and at least one other group.
b. Officer: Either serve as an elected officer for at least six months or serve as an
activity chair for three major events (ese events are in addition to the Able
Advancement and Recognition 57
c. Quartermaster Cruise: Take command of a vessel with a crew of not less
than four Sea Scouts for at least 40 consecutive hours, including two nights.
following: Inspect the vessel for required equipment; supervise all menu prepa-
ration; prepare the boat to get underway with a proper checklist approved
by the adult leaders; anchor, dock, and maintain course by commands to the
helmsman; remain underway for an extended period during darkness; and
discuss appropriate nighttime running procedures. While underway, perform
the following drills: man overboard, damage control, abandon ship, fire, colli-
errors may be committed.
Successfully complete SEAL (Sea Scout Advanced Leadership) training.
4. Swimming
lifesaving course or other certified lifesaving course.
5. Safety
a. Knowtheheavy-weatherprecautionstakenaboardbothpowerandsailing
vessels when dangerous weather approaches, and demonstrate these precau-
tions aboard the vessel used by your ship.
b. Knowthespecialprecautionsthatshouldbetakenwhenlimitedvisibilityis
c. DrawtheInternationalCodeagsandpennantsfrommemoryandgivethe
Show how to use the book International Code of Signals.
6. Marlinspike Seamanship
a. Teach the Apprentice, Ordinary, and Able marlinspike seamanship require-
ments to a crew.
b. Makeaneyespliceindouble-braidedline.
7. Boat Handling
a. Take charge of the craft used by your ship and give all commands to the crew
for picking up a mooring buoy and properly mooring the vessel in several wind
and current situations.
b. Demonstrateandteachtheprinciplesofspringingintoandoutfromadock,
from both bow and stern, using an engine depending on the type of vessel
used by your ship.
c. Teach Ordinary and Able boat handling requirements to a crew.
8. Anchoring
a. Teach the Ordinary and Able anchoring requirements to a crew.
b. Knowthemethodsofbringingavesseltoanchorandamooringwithspecial
emphasis on wind and current with respect to the vessel’s course and speed.
c. Take charge of a vessel used by your ship and give all commands to the crew
for setting and weighing anchor in several wind and current situations.
9. Navigation Rules
Teach the Ordinary navigation rules requirements to a crew.
10. Piloting and Navigation
a. Teach the Ordinary and Able piloting requirements to a crew.
b. Knowthemethodsofxingaboat’spositioninlimitedvisibility.
58 Advancement and Recognition
11. Weather
a. Readandunderstandalocalweatherbulletin.Knowhowtoobtaincurrent
marine and weather reports from the National Weather Service in your area
by telephone, radio, or online.
b. Demonstrateyourabilitytoreadabarometer,thermometer,anemometer,
psychrometer, and weather vane. Be familiar with the Beaufort Wind
c. Demonstrateyourknowledgeoftheweathersignsforyourlocalarea,includ-
the actual weather that occurred.
12. Environment
a. Discussthethreetypesofmarinesanitationdevicesandthelawsgoverning
sewage discharge.
b. Explain what gray water is and how it should be handled in your boating area.
c. Explain what aquatic nuisance species are and how you can help stop their spread.
d. Write a 500-word report on an aquatic environment (freshwater, coastal, estuary,
or sanctuary). Include in the report the location, habitat, history, animals and
plants that inhabit the area, its importance to man, current regulations, and what
boaters can do to help preserve it for future generations.
13. Electives—Do any four of the following.
a. Sailing: Knowtheprinciplesofhandlingaschooner,ketch,yawl,orother
suitable sailing vessel. Under competent direction, take charge of a crew and
demonstrate your ability to handle a suitable sailing vessel in all points of sail.
b. Engines:
i) Explain the principal features of steam turbine, turboelectric, direct reversing
diesel, diesel-electric, gas turbine, nuclear, gasoline, and diesel engines and the
relative advantages of each type.
ii) Explain the operation of spark ignition and compression ignition for
internal combustion engines used aboard small vessels.
iii) Demonstrateyourfamiliaritywiththeengineaboardthevesselusedby
your ship, including its principles of operation, fuel, lubrication, cooling
and electrical systems, and their component parts.
iv) Demonstrateyourabilitytolocateandcorrectminorenginetroubles
according to the engine manufacturers troubleshooting guide.
c. Vessel Maintenance: Take charge of reconditioning or overhauling at least
one of your ships vessels, or take charge of hauling out the principal vessel
used by your ship. In either case, lay out a plan of the work to be done in
advance, including an estimate of the materials, tools, cost, and time involved.
d. Electricity:
i) Knowanddemonstratethecorrectmethodofrescuingapersonin
contact with a live wire.
ii) Understandtheconstructionofsimplebatterycells.Demonstratethe
proper care of storage batteries.
iii) Explain the difference between direct current and alternating current and
the best uses for each.
iv) Demonstratethatyouknowhowtoreplacefuses,resetcircuitbreakers,
and properly splice shipboard electric cable.
v) Submit a diagram of the electrical system aboard the vessel used by
your ship.
Advancement and Recognition 59
vi) Explain wire tables, the current-carrying capacity of circuits, and the
hazards and prevention of electrical overloading.
vii) Explain electrolysis as applied to the deterioration of a boat’s underwater
fittings by galvanic action and its prevention.
e. Navigation:
i) Explain how the sextant works. Show how to use it and demonstrate
measuring horizontal angles and altitudes.
ii) FindlatitudebythealtitudeofPolarisorbythesunsaltitudeatlocal
iii) Demonstratendingerrorintheboat’scompassbythesunsazimuth.
f. Drill:Demonstrateyourabilitytohandletheshipscompanyinclose-order
g. Piloting: Under competent direction, assume the duties of navigator of your
ships vessel. Plot its projected course between two ports at least two hours
apart and cruise that course mooring to mooring handling all piloting duties.
e cruise should be made in daylight hours with good visibility.
h. Yacht Racing Crew: TakechargeofacrewinaraceusingcurrentISAF
racing rules.
i. Rigging: Demonstrateyourabilitytospliceandhandlewirerope,attachwire
rope fittings, and complete a safety and tuning inspection of a ship vessel.
j. USPS: As an apprentice member of the United States Power Squadrons
complete the Advanced Piloting course.
k. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary: JoinalocalCoastGuardAuxiliaryotillaasa
Basic Qualified member and qualify for any Operational Auxiliary Program
60 Advancement and Recognition
Sea Scout __________________________________
of Ship No. ________________________ is in good
standing and is recommended for the rank of
Signed _____________________________________
Crew leader
Signed _____________________________________
Approved by ship’s petty officers at a quarter-
deck meeting for certificate and badge.
Signed _____________________________________
Date _______________________________________
Name _____________________________________
Ship _______________________________________
District ____________________________________
Council ___________________________________
Sea Scout __________________________________
of Ship No. ________________________ is in good
standing and is recommended for the rank of
Signed _____________________________________
Crew leader
Signed _____________________________________
Approved by ship’s petty officers at a quarter-
deck meeting for certificate and badge.
Signed _____________________________________
Date _______________________________________
Name _____________________________________
Ship _______________________________________
District ____________________________________
Council ___________________________________
Sea Scout __________________________________
of Ship No. ________________________ is in good
standing and is recommended for the rank of
Signed _____________________________________
Crew leader
Signed _____________________________________
Approved by ship’s petty officers at a quarter-
deck meeting for certificate and badge.
Signed _____________________________________
Date _______________________________________
Name _____________________________________
Ship _______________________________________
District ____________________________________
Council ___________________________________
Sea Scout __________________________________
of Ship No. ________________________ is in good
standing and is recommended for the rank of
Signed _____________________________________
Crew leader
Signed _____________________________________
Approved by ship’s petty officers at a quarter-
deck meeting for certificate and badge.
Signed _____________________________________
Date _______________________________________
Name _____________________________________
Ship _______________________________________
District ____________________________________
Council ___________________________________
Advancement and Recognition 61
Initial Date
1. Ideals _____ _____
2. ActiveMembership _____ _____
3. Leadership _____ _____
4. Swimming _____ _____
5. Safety _____ _____
6. MarlinspikeSeamanship _____ _____
7. BoatHandling _____ _____
8. Service _____ _____
Initial Date
1. Ideals _____ _____
2. ActiveMembership _____ _____
3. Leadership _____ _____
4. Swimming _____ _____
5. Safety _____ _____
6. MarlinspikeSeamanship _____ _____
7. BoatHandling _____ _____
8. Anchoring _____ _____
9. NavigationRules _____ _____
10. Piloting and Navigation _____ _____
11. PracticalDeckSeamanship _____ _____
12. Environment _____ _____
13. Cruising _____ _____
14. Boating Safety Course _____ _____
15. Service _____ _____
16. Electives: ree are required. (Put initials and date.)
Initial Date
1. Ideals _____ _____
2. ActiveMembership _____ _____
3. Leadership _____ _____
4. Swimming _____ _____
5. Safety _____ _____
6. MarlinspikeSeamanship _____ _____
7. BoatHandling _____ _____
8. Anchoring _____ _____
9. NavigationRules _____ _____
10. Piloting and Navigation _____ _____
11. PracticalDeckSeamanship _____ _____
12. Environment _____ _____
13. Cruising _____ _____
14. Electives: ree are required. (Put initials and date.)
Initial Date
1. Ideals _____ _____
2. ActiveMembership _____ _____
3. Leadership _____ _____
4. Swimming _____ _____
5. Safety _____ _____
6. MarlinspikeSeamanship _____ _____
7. BoatHandling _____ _____
8. Anchoring _____ _____
9. NavigationRules _____ _____
10. Piloting and Navigation _____ _____
11. Weather _____ _____
12. Environment _____ _____
13. Electives:Fourarerequired.(Put initials and date.)
62 Advancement and Recognition
Other Recognition
SEAL Training
Sea Scout Advanced Leadership training, as the name implies, is a training course
designed to develop leadership skills in young adults. Seamanship is the foundation on
which this course is taught. Nautical skills are the means, not the end. is course uses
an at-sea experience where Sea Scouts are taught and immediately apply leadership
dynamic leadership skills into practice. ere is no playacting. All situations and tasks
are real, and bad decisions or team failure can produce real problems.
It is not possible to teach this course if students do not arrive with some nautical
skills; therefore, before taking the course, students must have attained the rank of
Ordinary, must possess a thorough knowledge of the contents of the seamanship and
boating safety section of the Sea Scout Manual,andmustnothavereachedtheir18th
birthday by the date of the course. Upon successful completion of this course, partici-
pants are authorized to wear the double dolphin SEAL insignia.
Several SEAL training courses are held each year in a variety of venues across the
Sea Scout Safe Boating and Advanced Seamanship Training
Scout ships whose members are not interested in following the advancement plan lead-
ing to Quartermaster, or they can serve as a training outline for traditional ships. e
entire membership of a ship can work as a group in the course led by the ship’s adult
manual along with references to other publications listed in the bibliography.
Advancement and Recognition 63
The Small Boat Handler Course
Section One—Aids to Navigation and Rules
of the Road
1. Introduction to aids to navigation
2. Buoyage system
3. Chart symbols and letter designations
4. Primary shapes for buoys
5. Obstruction, mid-channel, and special types of buoys
6. Beacons and daybeacons
7. Ranges,rangemarkers
8. Intracoastalwaterways,lakes,andrivers
9. Classproject—Developbuoyrecognitiongameusingashcards
10. Reasonsforrulesoftheroad
11. e danger zone
12. Windward and leeward clearances
13. Stand-on and give-way vessels
14. Sailboat right of way
15. Sailboat rules
16. Lights required on boats
17. Emergencylights
18. Soundsignals
19. Safety equipment
20. Visual signaling devices
Section Two—Boating Safety
1. Boating safety and first aid
2. Checking the hull
3. Motorsizecomparedwiththeboat
4. Fueling—dangers,precautions,andprocedures
5. Loading a small boat
6. When not to go out
7. Operating
8. Distresssignals
9. Equipment
10. Equipment—anchors, line, signaling, first aid kit
11. Project—Haveclassdevelopachecklist.
12. Seamanship—Reviewseaterms(seeglossary).
13. Knots—Haveclasslearntotieoverhand,square,sheetbend,bowline,clove
hitch, two half hitches, and belaying to a cleat.
14. Classproject—Preparetocruise.Haveclassdemonstrateonanactualboat
the checklist, and procedures covered in items 1–12.
15. Types and uses of anchors
16. Wind and current
17. Conclusion—PresentSmallBoatHandlersBar,No.04052,tothosesuccess-
fully completing the course.
each states National Association of State Boating Law Administrators boating safety
course. State agencies provide group instruction, as well as online instruction and
testing. NASBLA-approved boating safety courses are also taught by the U.S. Power
64 Advancement and Recognition
The Qualified Seamanship Course
Section One—Aids to Navigation
1. Aids to navigation
2. e buoyage system
3. Use of various buoys
4. Storm warnings—publications and charts
5. Other storm warnings
6. Daymarksonvessels
7. Dredges,mooredvessels,andtowing
8. Daymarks,beacons,minorlights,andranges
9. Intracoastal waterway markings, buoys, and aids
10. Lightships and lighthouses
11. Radiobeacons
12. Governmentpublications—tidetables,NoticetoMariners,etc.
Section Two—Rules of the Road
1. Purpose of rules of the road
2. Dangerzone,rightofway
3. Sound signals
4. Lights
5. Orders to the helmsman
Section ree—Seamanship
1. Lookout
2. Bearings, reporting
3. Taking soundings
4. Marlinspikeseamanship
5. Types and use of anchors
Section Four—Safety
1. Necessary equipment
2. Hazards
3. Hullinspection
4. Fireghting
5. Proper fueling
6. Life jackets
7. Charts
8. Weather
9. Manoverboarddrill—classproject
10. Grounding
11. Firstaid
Section Five—Piloting
1. e compass—description and use
2. Compass boxing contest
3. Operating by visual aids
4. Working a course
Section Six—Charts
1. Denitionofcharts
2. Orientation and dividers
3. Chart symbols
4. Speed, distance, and time
Advancement and Recognition 65
Section Seven—Safe Boating
1. Operation
2. Principles of sailing
3. Powerboat operation
Section Eight—Operating a Boat
1. Demonstrateproperoperationofasailboatorapowerboat.
a. Safety checklist
b. Emergency procedure
c. Handlinglines
d. Correct anchoring
e. Use a chart—lay out a course
f. Operate the boat in a proper manner and make a correct landing.
2. Conclusion—Present Qualified Seaman Bar, No. 04053, to those successfully
completing the course.
Long Cruise Badge
e Long Cruise badge may be earned by both youth and
adults registered in Sea Scouts. Once the individual has com-
pleted the requirements that follow, the Skipper submits an
advancement report to the Boy Scout local council service
center where the badges can be secured. It is recommended that
all Sea Scouts and adult leaders qualifying for the Long Cruise
Badge maintain a log of their cruising experiences. is log will
US Sailing certification, and chartering.
A Sea Scout must be Ordinary rank before he or she can start recording cruising
time for the Long Cruise badge. e Sea Scout must cruise for two weeks on any vessel
or boat provided by the local council or the ship, or their own vessel when authorized by
an adult leader in that Sea Scout ship. Each additional long cruise earned is marked by a
red arc above the badge, until five such cruises have been completed. en a single white
arc replaces them above the badge.
In the event that it is not possible to make a two-week cruise, a series of weekend
or overnight cruises on any boat or ship may be made, provided that the total number
equals 14 days. (Note: An overnight cruise lasts two days; a weekend cruise starting on
ere are no requirements regarding distance and number of miles. e Long Cruise
badge is an achievement, not a badge of rank; therefore, an adult leader may qualify for
the badge without qualifying for Ordinary rank.
The Venturing Recognition Program
Venturing Bronze Award
e Bronze Award is the first step toward the Venturing Silver Award.
five Bronze awards contain the common elements of experience,
learning a skill, and sharing your experiences and skills with others.
Award. To earn the Sea Scout Bronze Award, a Sea Scout must earn
the Ordinary rank.
66 Advancement and Recognition
Venturing Gold Award
outstanding performance in a broad spectrum of activities. ese
activities relate to Venturing’s six experience areas of leadership, citizen-
candidates must be active and registered for at least 12 months before
final qualification; serve in a leadership role within the 12 months before
final qualification; participate in a district, council, or national event or
activity; and they must also earn one Venturing Bronze Award.
Candidates must set and accomplish one personal goal related to each of
the six experience areas. ey must plan and lead at least two ship
activities built around the six experience areas. ey must recite the Sea
Promise. ree letters of recommendation from adults outside the ship are required,
their ship committee. e award is a gold medal featuring the Venturing logo inside a
compass dial. e medal is suspended from a white ribbon worn above the left pocket.
Venturing Silver Award
e purpose of the Venturing Silver Award is to provide a pathway for
personal development; encourage learning, growth, and service; and
recognize a high level of achievement. Candidates must be proficient in
completion of all requirements, the Silver candidate will go through a
ship bridge of review. e Venturing Silver Award medal features an
eagle superimposed on a compass dial. It also has a red, white, and blue
background behind the eagle. e medal is worn suspended from a
green and white ribbon, which is suspended from a silver Venturing bar.
Aquatics Awards
BSA Lifeguard
e BSA Lifeguard emblem is especially important in Sea Scouts.
It improves your ability to help others in all types of aquatics
Safety Afloat, first aid, emergency action, lifesaving, rowing, and
canoeing requirements are some of the qualifications for BSA
Lifeguard. e Application for BSA Lifeguard, No. 34435, is
available from your BSA local council service center.
Boardsailing BSA
Boardsailing BSA was developed to introduce Scout- or
Venturing-age youth to basic boardsailing skills, equipment, and
safety precautions; to encourage the development of skills that
promote fitness and safe aquatic recreation; and to lay a founda-
tion of skill and knowledge for those who will participate later in
Boardsailing, BSA Award Application, No. 19-935, from your
local council service center or download it from See also Start
Advancement and Recognition 67
Snorkeling, BSA
Snorkeling, BSA requirements were developed by the
Sea Scout–, and Venturing–age youth to the special skills,
equipment, and safety precautions associated with snorkeling,
to encourage the development of aquatic skills that promote
fitness and recreation, and to lay a solid skill and knowledge
foundation for those who will later participate in more
advanced underwater activity. Secure a Snorkeling, BSA,
Mile Swim BSA
continuous mile under safe conditions in the presence of a
special counselor approved by your council.
Other Awards
Historic Trails Award
ere are numerous historic sites and trails across
facilitate cooperation between historical societies and
the BSA. is cooperation makes many exciting trips
and treks possible for you. Information on the require-
ments for this award is found in the BSAs Tours and
which must be filled out and sent to the local council service center, is available online at
50-Miler Award
Sea Scout ship for satisfactory participation on a cruise
or wilderness trek that meets the award requirements.
Information including the rules, award requirements,
and the application can be found in the BSAs To u r s
and Expeditions.
Religious Emblems
spiritual growth of Sea Scouts in those faiths. e requirements and procedures for
earning any one of the emblems are available at your local council service center.
68 Advancement and Recognition
Awards for Heroism
Boy Scouts of America. Your Skipper and the local council service center must submit
an application on a regular form within six months of the deed of heroism.
life at the risk of life.
not necessarily involving the risk of life.
Hornaday Award
conservation, and is named for the conservationist and first director
Suggestions that will help you qualify for this award are found on
the application, which is available at your local council service center
Safety and Seamanship 69
Sea Scouts vow to guard against water accidents in the first phrase of the Sea
Promise. Skill, knowledge, and judgment are the principal ingredients of safety: skill
in handling the vessel under all conditions, knowledge of equipment and its proper
use, judgment that exercises caution in speed, bad weather, or rough seas. In spite of
preparation, some dangers in and on the water cannot be avoided. Sea Scouts and their
leaders must minimize danger with planning, neutralize danger with good decisions,
and overcome danger with wise actions.
Accident Prevention: Elements of
Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat
e primary emphasis of each plan is prevention. Qualified supervision and disci-
pline guard against unsafe activities and ensure that each point is properly implemented.
A personal health review addresses medical complications. Ability groups, swim-
ming ability, and skill proficiency match activities, areas, and equipment to abilities.
Safe swimming area; equipment, including life jackets; and planning concern safe
physical arrangements.
Each plan covers preparation, including recognition and response, should an accident
occur. e buddy system, lookouts, and response personnel provide eyes and ears
alert for trouble and ensure that someone is available to provide safe and effective
assistance. ey are integral parts of emergency action plans.
Safe Swim Defense
apartment, and public pools; at established waterfront swim areas such as beaches at
state parks and Army Corps of Engineers lakes; and at all temporary swimming areas
such as a lake, river, or ocean.
applies to non-swimming activities whenever participants enter water over knee deep
or when submersion is likely, for example, when fording a stream, seining for bait, or
constructing a bridge as a pioneering project.
Snorkeling in open water requires each participant to have demonstrated knowledge
and skills equivalent to those for Snorkeling, BSA in addition to following Safe Swim
found in the Guide to Safe Scouting.
Apprentice 4b.
Discuss the BSA Safe Swim
Defense plan and explain
how it is used to protect Sea
Scouts and other groups
during swimming activities.
70 Safety and Seamanship
at, at council summer camps, and at other council and district train-
ing events. Confirmation of training is required on local and national tour permits for
trips that involve swimming. Additional information on various swimming venues is
provided in the Aquatics Supervision guide, No. 34346, available from the National
1. Qualified Supervision
All swimming activity must be supervised by a mature and conscientious adult
age 21 or older who understands and knowingly accepts responsibility for
the well-being and safety of those in his or her care, and who is trained in and
It is strongly recommended that all units have at least one adult or older
Lifeguard to assist in the planning and conduct of all swimming activities.
2. Personal Health Review
A complete health history is required of all participants as evidence of fitness
guardian. Participants should be asked to relate any recent incidents of illness or
injury just prior to the activity. Supervision and protection should be adjusted
to anticipate any potential risks associated with individual health conditions.
nation by a physician and consult with the parent, guardian, or caregiver for
appropriate precautions.
3. Safe Area
All swimming areas must be carefully inspected and prepared for safety prior
to each activity. Water depth, quality, temperature, movement, and clarity are
ous markings and discussed with participants.
• Controlled Access: ere must be safe areas for all participating ability
groups to enter and leave the water. Swimming areas of appropriate depth
must be defined for each ability group. e entire area must be within easy
reach of designated rescue personnel. e area must be clear of boat traffic,
surfing, or other non-swimming activities.
• Bottom Conditions and Depth: e bottom must be clear of trees and
debris. Abrupt changes in depth are not allowed in the nonswimmer area.
• Visibility: Underwater swimming and diving are prohibited in turbid water.
Turbid water exists when a swimmer treading water cannot see his feet.
Swimming at night is only allowed in areas with water clarity and lighting
sufficient for good visibility both above and below the surface.
• Diving and elevated entry:Divingispermittedonlyintoclear,unob-
structed water from heights no greater than 40 inches. Water depth must
surfaces require greater water depths and must conform to state regulations.
Persons should not jump into water from heights greater than they are tall,
and only into water chest deep or greater with minimal risk from contact
with the bottom. No elevated entry is permitted where the person must clear
any obstacle, including land.
Safety and Seamanship 71
• Water temperature:Comfortablewatertemperatureforswimmingisnear80
of limited duration and closely monitored for negative effects of chilling.
• Water quality: Bodies of stagnant, foul water; areas with significant algae
or foam; and areas polluted by livestock or waterfowl should be avoided.
Comply with any signs posted by local health authorities. Swimming is not
allowed in swimming pools with green, murky, or cloudy water.
• Moving water: Participants should be able to easily regain and maintain
their footing in currents or waves. Areas with large waves, swiftly flowing
currents, or moderate currents that flow toward the open sea or into areas of
danger should be avoided.
• Weather: Participants should be moved from the water to a position of
safety whenever lightning or thunder threatens. Wait at least 30 minutes
after the last lightning flash or thunder before leaving shelter. Take precau-
tions to prevent sunburn, dehydration, and hypothermia.
• Life jacket use: Swimming in clear water over 12 feet deep, in turbid water
over eight feet deep, or in flowing water may be allowed if all participants
wear properly fitted life jackets and the supervisor determines that swimming
with life jackets is safe under the circumstances.
4. Response Personnel (Lifeguards)
Every swimming activity must be closely and continuously monitored by a
trained rescue team on the alert for and ready to respond during emergencies.
Professionally trained lifeguards satisfy this need when provided by a regulated
facility or tour operator. When lifeguards are not provided by others, the adult
supervisor must assign at least two rescue personnel, with additional numbers
to maintain a ratio to participants of 1-to-10. e supervisor must provide
instruction and rescue equipment and assign areas of responsibility, as outlined
in the publication Aquatics Supervision, No. 34346. e qualified supervisor,
the designated response personnel, and the lookout work together as a safety
team. A simple emergency action plan should be formulated and shared with
participants as appropriate.
5. Lookout
e lookout continuously monitors the conduct of the swim, identifies any
needed, and monitors the weather and environment. e lookout should have a
clear view of the entire area but be close enough for easy verbal communication.
required to perform rescues. e adult supervisor may serve simultaneously as
the lookout but must assign the task to someone else if engaged in activities that
preclude focused observation.
6. Ability Groups
All youth and adult participants are designated as swimmers, beginners, or
nonswimmers based on swimming ability confirmed by standardized BSA
swim classification tests. Each group is assigned a specific swimming area with
depths consistent with those abilities. e classification tests should be renewed
annually, preferably at the beginning of the season.
• Swimmers must pass this test: Jump feetrst into water over the head in
the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim
25 yards using an easy resting backstroke. e 100 yards must be completed
72 Safety and Seamanship
in one swim without stops and must include at least one sharp turn. After
completing the swim, rest by floating.
• Beginners must pass this test: Jump feetfirst into water over the head in
depth, level off, and swim 25 feet on the surface. Stop, turn sharply, and
resume swimming, returning to the starting place.
• Anyonewhohasnotcompletedeitherthebeginnerorswimmertestsis
classified as a nonswimmer.
• enonswimmerareashouldbenomorethanwaist-tochest-deepand
should be enclosed by physical boundaries such as the shore, a pier, or lines.
e enclosed beginner area should contain water of standing depth and may
extend to depths just over the head. e swimmer area may be up to 12 feet
in depth and should be defined by floats or other markers.
7. Buddy System
Every participant is paired with another. Buddies stay together, monitor each
other, and alert the safety team if either needs assistance or is missing.
• Buddiescheckintoandoutoftheareatogether.Buddiesarenormallyinthe
same ability group and remain in their assigned area. If they are not of the
same ability group, then they swim in the area assigned to the buddy with
the lesser ability.
• Abuddycheckremindsparticipantsoftheirobligationtomonitortheirbud-
dies and indicates how closely the buddies are keeping track of one another.
lookout, or other person designated by the supervisor, gives an audible signal,
such as a single whistle blast, and a call for buddies. Buddies are expected
to raise each other’s hand before completion of a slow, audible count to 10.
Buddies who take longer to find one another should be reminded of their
responsibility for the other’s safety.
• Onceeveryonehasabuddy,acountismadebyareaandcomparedwiththe
total number known to be in the water. After the count is confirmed, a signal
is given to resume swimming.
8. Discipline
and respect the rules and procedures for safe swimming provided by Safe Swim
reviewed for all participants at the water’s edge just before the swimming activity
begins. People are more likely to follow directions when they know the reasons for
rules and procedures. Consistent, impartially applied rules supported by skill and
good judgment provide stepping stones to a safe, enjoyable outing.
Safety Afloat
BSA groups shall use Safety Afloat for all boating activities. Adult leaders supervising
activities afloat must have completed Safety Afloat training within the previous two
years. Safety Afloat standards apply to the use of canoes, kayaks, rowboats, rafts, floating
tubes, sailboats, motorboats, including waterskiing, and other small craft, but do not
apply to transportation on large commercial vessels such as ferries and cruise ships.
Parasailing (being towed airborne behind a boat using a parachute), kitesurfing (using
a wakeboard towed by a kite), and recreational use of personal watercraft (small sit-on-
top motorboats propelled by water jets) are not authorized BSA activities.
Safety Afloat training may be obtained from the BSA online learning center through, at council summer camps, and at other council and district training
events. Confirmation of training is required on local and national tour permits for trips
Ordinary 5a.
Discuss BSA Safety Afloat
with an adult leader.
Safety and Seamanship 73
that involve boating. Additional guidance on appropriate skill levels and training resources
is provided in Aquatics Supervision,availablefromtheNationalDistributionCenter.
1. Qualified Supervision
All activity afloat must be supervised by a mature and conscientious adult age
21 or older who understands and knowingly accepts responsibility for the well-
being and safety of those in his or her care and who is trained in and committed
to compliance with the nine points of BSA Safety Afloat. at supervisor must
be skilled in the safe operation of the craft for the specific activity, knowledge-
able in accident prevention, and prepared for emergency situations. If the adult
with Safety Afloat training lacks the necessary boat operating and safety skills,
then he or she may serve as the supervisor only if assisted by other adults, camp
staff personnel, or professional tour guides who have the appropriate skills.
Additional leadership is provided in ratios of one trained adult, staff member, or
guide per 10 participants. At least one leader must be trained in first aid includ-
recommended that all units have at least one adult or older youth member cur-
rently trained in BSA Paddle Craft Safety to assist in the planning and conduct
of all activities afloat.
2. Personal Health Review
A complete health history is required of all participants as evidence of fitness
guardian. Participants should be asked to relate any recent incidents of illness
or injury just prior to the activity. All supervision, discipline, and protection
should be adjusted to anticipate any potential risks associated with individual
require an examination by a physician and consult with parent, guardian, or
caregiver for appropriate precautions.
3. Swimming Ability
Operation of any boat on a float trip is limited to youth and adults who have
completed the BSA swimmer classification test. Swimmers must complete the
following test, which should be administered annually:
a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breast-
stroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy, resting backstroke.
e 100 yards must be completed in one swim without stops and must include
at least one sharp turn. After completing swim, rest by floating.
craft during outings or float trips on calm water with little likelihood of capsiz-
ing or falling overboard. ey may operate a fixed-seat rowboat or pedal boat
accompanied by a buddy who is a swimmer. ey may ride in a canoe or other
paddle craft with an adult swimmer skilled in that craft as a buddy. ey may
ride as part of a group on a motorboat or sailboat operated by a skilled adult.
4. Personal Flotation Equipment
persons engaged in boating activity (rowing, canoeing, sailing, boardsailing,
motorboating, waterskiing, rafting, tubing, and kayaking). Type III life jackets
length, life jackets need not be worn when participants are below deck or on
deck when the qualified supervisor aboard the vessel determines that it is
74 Safety and Seamanship
prudent to abide by less restrictive state and federal regulations concerning
the use and storage of life jackets, for example, when a cruising vessel with
safety rails is at anchor. All participants not classified as swimmers must wear
a life jacket when on deck underway.
guidelines, for example when an inflated raft is used in a pool or when snorkeling
from an anchored craft.
Life vests and flotation devices are designed to save your life, and the United
life jacket for every person aboard. e Guide to Safe Scouting requires that,
for use in Scouting aquatics. Sea Scouts and adult leaders must know which
type is appropriate for every circumstance, make sure it is in good and service-
able condition, and properly fits the intended user. Life jackets, regardless of
type, must be readily accessible and every passenger must be able to put them
on in a reasonable amount of time in an emergency.
Ty p e I offshore life jackets are designed to provide protection and flota-
tion for extended periods in the sea. ey must be carried on all vessels
going offshore. Type Is have flotation collars around the neck and head,
are adjustable to fit various sizes, and can have several kinds of survival
gear attached.
Type II life jackets are the near shore buoyant vests that are sold in most
boating shops. ey are useful on lakes and bays. ey have less flotation
jackets are required to float a person in an upright, slightly backward
position to keep his or her face out of the water if unconscious.
Type III life vests are flotation aids. Some are trimmed down back and
chest, and some are inflatable. e vest type covers your chest, but has no
neck support. Some inflatables inflate automatically when a person goes
into the water, but others must be manually inflated. While inflatables are
much more comfortable to wear, they must be worn to count toward the
number of life jackets on board. Inflatables are expensive to buy and must
be serviced at about half the original cost if they are used.
rowable Type IV floatable devices must be carried on boats over 16 feet
in length. ere are many kinds ranging from the classic life ring or ring
buoy to cockpit cushions designed to do double duty as a life preserver. A
Type IV should be kept at hand when on the water just in case someone
goes overboard.
Ty p e V life jackets are special-use jackets designed for specific water
activities. ey can be used instead of other types of life jackets only if
they are used according to the approved condition listed on the label. is
type of life jacket includes deck suits, work vests, board-sailing vests, and
inflatable vests. Remember,onlyU.S.CoastGuard–approvedequipment
(Types I, II, or III) is acceptable in Scouting aquatics.
5. Buddy System
All participants in an activity afloat are paired as buddies who are always aware
of each others situation and prepared to sound an alarm and lend assistance
immediately when needed. When several craft are used on a float trip, each boat
on the water should have a buddy boat. All buddy pairs must be accounted for
Apprentice 5a.
Explain the uses, advan-
tages, and disadvantages
of the five types of Coast
Guard–approved life jackets.
Demonstrate the proper
use and care of life jackets
used by your ship.
Type I
Type II
Type III
Safety and Seamanship 75
at regular intervals during the activity and checked off the water by the qualified
supervisor at the conclusion of the activity. Buddies either ride in the same boat
or stay near one another in single-person craft.
6. Skill Proficiency
Everyone in an activity afloat must have sufficient knowledge and skill to
participate safely. Passengers should know how their movement affects boat
stability and have a basic understanding of self-rescue. Boat operators must
meet government requirements, be able to maintain control of their craft, know
how changes in the environment influence that control, and only undertake
activities within personal and group capabilities.
• Contentoftrainingexercisesshouldbeappropriatefortheage,size,andexperi-
ence of the participants and should cover basic skills on calm water of limited
extent before proceeding to advanced skills involving current, waves, high
winds, or extended distance. At a minimum, instructors for canoes and kayaks
should be able to demonstrate the handling and rescue skills required for BSA
Paddle Craft Safety. All instructors must have at least one assistant who can
recognize and respond appropriately if the instructor’s safety is compromised.
• Anyoneengagedinrecreationalboatingusinghuman-poweredcrafton
flat-water ponds or controlled lake areas free of other activities should be
instructed in basic safety procedures prior to launch, and allowed to proceed
once they have demonstrated the ability to control the boat adequately to
return to shore at will.
• Forrecreationalsailing,atleastonepersonaboardshouldbeabletodem-
onstrate basic sailing proficiency (tacking, reaching, and running) sufficient
to return the boat to the launch point. Extended cruising on a large sailboat
requires either a professional captain or an adult leader with sufficient experi-
ence to qualify as a bareboat skipper.
• Motorboatsmaybeoperatedbyyouth,subjecttostaterequirements,only
when accompanied in the boat by an experienced leader or camp staff
member who meets state requirements for motorboat operation. Extended
cruising on a large powerboat requires either a professional captain or an
adult leader with similar qualifications.
• Beforeaunitusinghuman-poweredcraftcontrolledbyyouthembarkson
a float trip or excursion that covers an extended distance or lasts longer
than four hours, each participant should receive a minimum of three hours’
training and supervised practice or demonstrate proficiency in maneuvering
the craft effectively over a 100-yard course and recovering from a capsize.
• UnittripsonwhitewateraboveClassIImustbedonewitheitheraprofes-
sional guide in each craft or after all participants have received American
Canoe Association or equivalent training for the class of water and type of
craft involved.
7. Planning
Proper planning is necessary to ensure a safe, enjoyable exercise afloat. All plans
should include a scheduled itinerary, notification of appropriate parties, com-
munication arrangements, contingencies in case of foul weather or equipment
failure, and emergency response options.
• Preparation. Any boating activity requires access to the proper equipment
outfitters will supply equipment, food, and shuttle services. Lists of group
76 Safety and Seamanship
and personal equipment and supplies must be compiled and checked. Even
short trips require selecting a route, checking water levels, and determining
alternative pull-out locations. Changes in water level, especially on moving
water, may pose significant, variable safety concerns. Obtain current charts
and information about the waterway and consult those who have traveled the
route recently.
• Float Plan. Complete the preparation by writing a detailed itinerary, or float
plan, noting put-in and pull-out locations and waypoints, along with the
approximate time the group should arrive at each. Travel time should be
estimated generously.
• Notification. Filetheoatplanwithparents,thelocalcounciloceiftravel-
ing on running water, and local authorities if appropriate. Assign a member
of the unit committee to alert authorities if prearranged check-ins are
• Weather. Check the weather forecast just before setting out, and keep an
alert weather eye. Anticipate changes and bring all craft ashore when rough
weather threatens. Wait at least 30 minutes before resuming activities after
the last incidence of thunder or lightning.
• Contingencies. Planning must identify possible emergencies and other
departments, or ranger stations. Check your primary communication system
and identify backups, such as the nearest residence to a campsite. Cell phones
and radios may lose coverage, run out of power, or suffer water damage.
8. Equipment
All craft must be suitable for the activity, seaworthy, and capable of floating if
capsized. All craft and equipment must meet regulatory standards, be properly
sized, and be in good repair. Spares, repair materials, and emergency gear must
be carried as appropriate. Life jackets and paddles must be sized to the partici-
pants. Properly designed and fitted helmets must be worn when running rapids
rated above Class II. Emergency equipment such as throw bags, signal devices,
flashlights, heat sources, first aid kits, radios, and maps must be ready for use.
Spare equipment, repair materials, extra food and water, and dry clothes should
be appropriate for the activity. All gear should be stowed to prevent loss and
sufficient to carry the party if a boat is disabled, and critical supplies should be
divided among the craft.
9. Discipline
and respect the rules and procedures for safe boating activities provided by Safety
Afloat guidelines. Applicable rules should be discussed prior to the outing, and
reviewed for all participants near the boarding area just before the activity afloat
begins. People are more likely to follow directions when they know the reasons for
rules and procedures. Consistent, impartially applied rules supported by skill and
good judgment provide stepping stones to a safe, enjoyable outing.
Safety and Seamanship 77
Safety Equipment
e law requires that boaters carry specific safety equipment, and bigger boats
oars, paddle, and sail only are:
• OnereadilyaccessibleTypeI,II,orIII,orVwearableoatationdeviceforeach
person on board. (e BSA does not allow Type V.)
• Certicateofnumber(stateregistration)mustbeonboardwhenvesselisinuse.
• Currentstateregistrationnumbersnotlessthanthreeinchesinheightxedon
each side of the forward half of the vessel with the state validation sticker affixed
within six inches of the registration number
• OneB-1reextinguisher(ifthereisanenclosedenginecompartment)
• Ameansofmakinganecient”soundsignal(e.g.,handheldairhorn,athletic
whistle). e human voice is not acceptable.
• Allgasoline-poweredinboard/outboardorinboardsmustbeequippedwithan
approved backre flame control device.
• BoatsbuiltafterAugust1,1980,withgasolineenginesinclosedcompartments
with a closed fuel tank compartment has to display a certificate of compliance. If
the boat was built before either date, it must have natural or power ventilation in
the fuel tank compartment.
• Navigationallightsaretobedisplayedfromsunsettosunriseandinornearareas
of limited visibility
• Ifatoiletisinstalled,itmustbeaCoastGuardapproveddevice.Overboard
discharge outlets must be capable of being sealed.
Boats over 16 feet must add:
• ATypeIVthrowableotationdevice
• (1)Oneorangedistressagandoneelectricdistresslight,or(2)threehandheldor
floating orange smoke signals and one electric distress light, or (3) three combina-
tion red flares (handheld, meteor, or parachute type)
Boats over 26 feet add:
• OneB-2ortwoB-1reextinguishers.AxedsystemequalsoneB-1.
• Asound-signalingappliancecapableofproducinganecientsoundsignal,
audible for one-half mile with a four- to six-second duration
• Oilpollutionplacardatleast5-by-8inchesplacedinthemachineryspaceoratthe
bilge station
• Garbageplacardatleast4-by-9inchesmadeofdurablematerialdisplayedina
conspicuous place reminding all on board of discharge restrictions
Boats 39.4 feet or greater add:
• CopyoftheNavigation Rules (inland only)
• Abellwithaclapper(bellsizenotlessthan7.9inchesindiameteratthemouth)
Along with federal requirements, the BSA requires additional safety equipment.
Sea Scout vessels must also have an annual Vessel Safety Check.
While not required, there are other items that need to be on board when Sea Scouts
are on the water. An anchor and a spare, a boat hook, charts, compass, spare parts, hard-
ware, tools, extra line, dewatering device (pump or bailer), fuel, and alternate propulsion
carry plenty of water, extra food, extra clothing, extra hats, and plenty of sunscreen.
Ordinary 5b.
Describe the safety
equipment required
by law for your ships
primary vessel.
78 Safety and Seamanship
time distress. is tracking transmitter interfaces with the international satellite system
a distress signal that can be uniquely identified. It gives the identification and location of
the registered user. By using the initial position given via the satellite system, search and
rescue aircraft, and ground search parties can quickly target the distress signals from the
beacons and render aid to the boater in need.
Vessel Safety Check
To develop a safety checklist for any boat, the easiest place to start is with the list
vessel safety checks.
An annual Vessel Safety Check is required by the BSA for all Sea Scout vessels.
e VSC is a free bow-to-stern inspection of a boat by a qualified member of the U.S.
ways to learn about potential problems that might violate state or federal laws or create a
danger when out on the water.
VSCs are customized for the variety of watercraft recreational boaters use. e list
includes all the safety equipment required by law. e list also includes recommended
etc. e VSC examiner will check to see that the decks are free of hazards, the bilge
is clean, and the visible hull is generally sound. e electrical system will be examined
to be sure it is in good working order with wiring in good condition and batteries
for accident reporting, offshore operations, survival and first aid tips, fueling, and safe
boating classes.
e VSC examiner usually takes about 20 minutes and concludes the visit by
giving you a copy of the VSC form and a VSC decal if the vessel successfully meets
all the requirements.
Sea Scouts across the nation use an assortment of vessels to ply a variety of waters.
States Power Squadrons (, to develop a vessel safety
checklist for your ship. Add safety items that are unique to your vessel, your state law,
and your waters. Each time the ship prepares to get underway, every item on the ships
customized VSC should be examined.
Visual Marine Distress Signals
and signaling devices to attract attention if there is an emergency. Note:Distresssignals
should never be used in jest. eir use can trigger a series of events that can cost others
time, effort, and even physical risk. By law, distress signals may only be displayed when a
life is in danger.
length without a motor; manually propelled boats; and boats participating in organized
events such as races, regattas, or parades are not required to carry day signals. If they are
operating between sunset and sunrise, however, they must carry night signals.
condition and readily available. Approved devices include red flares (hand-held or
aerial), orange smoke (hand-held or floating), and aerial red meteor or parachute flares.
Able 5a.
Develop and use a
customized vessel safety
checklist for a boat used
by your ship.
Apprentice 5b.
Identify visual day and
night marine distress
signals, and know their
location and the proper use
for your ships vessel(s).
Safety and Seamanship 79
day and the electric distress light that automatically flashes the international SOS signal
(. . . — — — . . .) for night.
All distress signals have advantages and disadvantages. Pyrotechnic devices work well
to get the attention of nearby vessels, but they must be kept dry, they expire, and they
do not last very long. ey also can cause harm to a vessel or the person discharging
them. An orange flag may seem like a lot of trouble, but long after the last flare is used, a
3-by-3 foot orange flag with a black disk and square on it will still be visible when waved
on a paddle or boat hook or flown from the mast.
Other recognized visual distress signals include the code flags N” over “C”; a ball
over or under a square hanging from the halyard; waving the arms; a signal fire; the
flash from a mirror; a continuous horn, bell, or whistle; the national ensign flying upside
down; or a gun fired at one-minute intervals.
It is hoped the distress signals on your boat will never be used, but to be prepared,
store them in a watertight container that is clearly marked and accessible.
Search and Rescue
CALL: Mayday
GIVE: Name and position
156.8 MHz—Channel 16;
2182 kHz; or
use alarm signal
CB: Ch 9
(General Marine Distress
Signaling System)
Emergency position
indicating radio beacon
Parachute rocket
Multistar rocket
Buoyant or
hand-held orange
(SOS) . . . __ __ __ . . .
over or under
Do not use near helicopter
(different meaning)
Foghorn, bell, whistle
One-minute Intervals:
Gun or any explosive
As from burning tar, oil in
barrel, etc.
80 Safety and Seamanship
Fire Prevention
One of the first lessons we learn in school is what to do if there is a fire. We are
trained to evacuate a building quickly and safely, and we get out of the way so trained
firefighters can deal with the fire.
When we are out on the water in a boat, the professionals are not nearby. An
onboard fire is such an extreme hazard that every step to prevent it should be taken,
most fires are preventable.
According to insurance statistics, the galley is where most boat fires start. If your gal-
ley stove is fueled by alcohol, follow the directions for proper use in lighting the stove or
burners. Alcohol flames are difficult to see, so it is possible for a fire to be deadly before
it is detected.
Propane stoves have thermocouples and igniters designed to prevent flare-ups. If a
burner begins to ignite with a pop and a flare, the stove needs to be serviced immediately.
As in any kitchen, a grease fire is always a risk. ere should never be anything near
the stove that is readily flammable—towels, curtains, loose clothing—and the cook
should be able to reach a fire extinguisher from either side of the stove. If a fire of any
kind starts, turn off the burner to stop the flow of fuel, and then extinguish the fire.
Electrical System
e second most common fire on a boat is electrical, and it is a more difficult fire to
immediately detect. Wire should be the correct size to carry the load, should be properly
you see any signs of corrosion, replace them.
All circuits must have fuses or circuit breakers, and switches should be sparkproof.
Batteries need to be secured in battery boxes to prevent shifting, and make sure paper
products, cloth, plastics, fuel, or other flammable materials are not lying against wiring
or connectors.
when gasoline engines were the standard. By law, carburetors must have a backfire
control device installed. is flame arrester prevents an open flame from entering the
vessel’s engine compartment and igniting any accumulated gasoline vapors.
the engine area should be kept clean and well ventilated with leakproof fuel tanks and
tight fuel lines and fittings at fuel injection points.
Before cranking the engine, open the hatches and sniff the bilge for fumes. Leave the
hatches open, run ventilation blowers for a full five minutes, and then start the engine.
• Extinguishallames.
• Engineandallelectronicsmustbeo.
• Sincefuelvaporsareheavierthanairandwillsinktothelowestpartoftheboat,
close hatches, ports, and doors.
• Sendpassengerstoshore.
• Putportabletanksonthedocktoll.
Able 5b.
Demonstrate your
understanding of fire
prevention on vessels.
Safety and Seamanship 81
• Haveabsorbentmaterialonhandincaseofspills.
• Makesureyouareputtingthefuelintheproperllentry.
• Maintaincontactbetweenthenozzleandthellpipetopreventanysparking.
• Goslowlyandlistenforachangeinpitchasthetanknearscapacitytoavoidspills.
• Cleanupanyspillsanddisposeofcleaningmaterialsproperly.
• Openports,hatches,anddoorstoventilate.
• Snitheenginecompartmentandbilgesforfumes.
• Operatetheblowerforveminutesbeforestartingtheengine.
from the interior of the boat and drains overboard but not near any opening that would
allow the gas to enter the interior of the hull. Before using the propane, check the lines
for fracture or wear. Even charcoal can spontaneously combust if it gets damp. If char-
coal is aboard, store it in plastic bags to keep it dry.
In general, lockers should be kept clean and orderly. Never stow oily rags in them, and
if possible, avoid the stowage of paint, varnish, solvents, grease, and oil. A well-ventilated
metal-lined locker is safest if flammables must be carried.
Classes of Fire
If fire does break out, it must be quickly and properly suppressed. ere is a universal
system to describe different types of fires that incorporates the use of letters to help
extinguishers are classified by a letter and number symbol. e letter indicates the type
fire the unit is designed to extinguish. (Type B, for example, is designed to extinguish
flammable liquids.) e number indicates the size of the extinguisher. e higher the
number, the larger the extinguisher.
• Class A fires involve ordinary combustibles such as wood, fabric, paper, rubber,
and other common materials that burn easily.
• Class B fires involve flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, grease, tar, oil-based
paint, lacquer, and flammable gas.
• Class C fires are electrical fires involving wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers,
machinery, and appliances.
• Youarenotlikelytoencounteraclass D fire while on a boat. is type fire
involves combustible metals such as magnesium, aluminum, lithium, and other
metals or metal dust.
Extinguishing a Fire
elements by applying an agent that either cools the burning fuel, or removes or displaces
the surrounding oxygen.
• Water (A). On a boat, water is all around you, and it is the best medium for
putting out a class A fire. Water drowns a fire by cooling it below combustion
temperature; however, it is limited to fighting class A fires. Never use water to
fire to spread. Water conducts electricity, so water added to a class C fire creates a
new deadly hazard for the person fighting the fire.
• Dry chemical extinguishers (B, C).Drychemicalextinguishersarelledwith
either foam or powder, usually sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) or potassium
bicarbonate, and are pressurized with nitrogen. Baking soda is effective because
Able 5c.
Know the classes of fires
and the substances that will
extinguish each type of fire.
82 Safety and Seamanship
the chemical reaction of the fire by coating the fuel with a thin layer of powder or
foam that separates the fuel from the surrounding oxygen. Caution: When used
indoors, these extinguishers produce a thick cloud of dust that can obscure vision
and cause choking.
• Carbon dioxide (CO2) extinguishers (B, C). CO2 extinguishers contain carbon
dioxide, a non-flammable gas, and are highly pressurized. e pressure is so great
that it is not uncommon for bits of dry ice to shoot out of the extinguisher. CO2
is heavier than oxygen so these extinguishers work by displacing or taking oxygen
away from the surrounding area. CO2 is also very cold, so it cools the fuel, as well.
• Halotron (A, B, C).Halotronisavaporizingliquidthatisozonefriendlyand
leaves no residue.
• Foam (A, B).Foamoatsonammableliquidstotameareandpreventreashes.
Using a Hand-Held Fire Extinguisher
A portable fire extinguisher is not designed to fight a large or spreading fire. Even
fighting a small fire, they are only useful if they are large enough for the fire at hand, are
in working order, and are fully charged. e person using the fire extinguisher must
know how it operates. ere is no time to stop and read directions once a fire has begun.
If you can remember the acronym P-A-S-S, then you can remember how to use a
fire extinguisher.
P—Pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher. is will release the handle.
A—Aim at the base of the fire, not at the flames in the middle. In order to
put out the fire, you must neutralize the fuel at the edge of the fire.
S—Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent. To stop the
discharge, let go of the handle.
S—Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire until it is out. Operate the
extinguisher from a safe distance, and move toward the fire once it begins to
diminish. When the fire is out, watch for remaining smoldering hot spots or
possible reflash of flammable liquids.
Emergencies Underway
Safety aboard has been a concern since man first went to sea. Safety drills are
be held frequently in anticipation of any emergency so if a situation develops, it can be
dealt with skillfully and quickly without confusion. On vessels large or small, everyone
should know where he or she should be and what action is expected in an emergency.
Station duties must be clear.
A station bill is a set of assigned duties for each crew member in the event of an
emergency. e vessels officer of the deck is the person in charge of vessel opera-
response. e helmsman always steers the vessel; the lookout warns of other dangers,
reports, and tracks a man overboard; the navigator notes position and generally is the
person who makes the proper emergency call. Each station on the vessel should have a
list of duties posted where it can be easily read and executed. A station bill should be
prepared and posted for your ships vessels for man overboard, fire, abandon ship, and
other emergency situations.
Able 5d.
In a safe place, under adult
supervision, demonstrate
your ability to extinguish
a class A and a class B
fire with an approved
fire extinguisher. See that
the fire extinguisher
used is properly recharged
or replaced.
Ordinary 5c.
Develop a ship’s station
bill for your ship and review
it with an adult leader.
Safety and Seamanship 83
Man Overboard
A man overboard situation requires quick, efficient, and coordinated action by
everyone onboard.
1. e first person that sees or becomes aware of a person overboard should
a direction—port, starboard, etc.
2. e first one to spot the person in the water should stand and extend their
arm to point at the person in the water. e spotter must not take their eyes
off the person or quit pointing regardless of which way the boat turns.
3. When the alarm is raised, start throwing a debris trail of life jackets, flotation
devices, cushions, etc. e person in the water needs the flotation, and the
trail will help the spotter.
4. When the navigator hears the alarm, he or she must immediately mark the posi-
5. ehelmsman,followingtheordersgivenbytheOOD,willstarttherecov-
ery maneuvers. Conditions determine how each situation should be handled,
but even though procedures may vary from boat to boat, all have the same
objective—the safe recovery of the person overboard.
ing platform or boarding ladder can be used. If the victim is unconscious, exhausted, or
injured, lifting gear may need to be improvised. A dinghy provides another option for
recovery. Be prepared to render aid or send an assistance call via radio if necessary.
If you are the person who goes overboard:
• Don’tpanic.
• Swimawayfromtheboattokeepclearofthepropeller.
• Inroughconditions,turnyourbacktothewavestokeepyourmouthandnose
clear of spray.
• Whateveryoursituation,conserveyourbodyheat.egreatestthreattoyour
ing by holding your arms and knees close to your chest.
Ordinary 5d.
Plan and practice the
following drills:
man overboard, fire,
and abandon ship.
Sample Small-Craft Station Bill
Position Man-Overboard Duties Fire Duties Collision Duties
OOD In command In command In command
Helmsman Begin recovery maneuvers
under the direction of
the OOD.
Reduce speed, put fire on the
lee side under the direction of
the OOD.
Follow commands of the OOD.
Navigator Mark position, prepare to
make the appropriate
emergency call.
Mark position, prepare to make
the appropriate emergency call,
have abandon-ship
bag ready.
Mark position, prepare to make
the appropriate emergency call,
have abandon-ship
bag ready.
Lookout Point to person in water, do
not lose sight of them.
Keep watch. Keep watch.
Deckhands Throw flotation into
the water.
Be quick to follow all
instructions regarding
sails, etc.
Prepare to assist in recovery.
Pinpoint location, type, size
of fire.
Shut off fuel supply—engine,
stove valves.
Attack with the appropriate fire
Continually update the OOD.
Check for injuries, report to
the OOD.
Get into life jackets.
Check for damage, report to
the OOD.
If needed, rig collision mats.
84 Safety and Seamanship
A shipboard fire requires prompt, careful action to save the vessel and prevent an
abandon ship situation. Some things will occur almost simultaneously.
1. Sound the alarm and pass the word.
2. Pinpoint the location, the type, and size of the fire.
3. e fires fuel source should be cut off—ignition keys shut off the engine fuel
pump, stoves have shuto valves, etc.
4. e helmsman needs to reduce speed or stop and turn the vessel to put the
fire on the lee side to minimize the wind effect.
5. e navigator needs to mark the position and prepare to make the appropri-
ate emergency call.
6. While these things are occurring, the fire should be attacked with extin-
7. Ifnecessary,thecrewneedstobepreparedtoabandonship.
adult leaders.
Sea Scouts promise to guard against water accidents, but sometimes things do not go
as planned. If a collision occurs, you must check for injuries to the crew and the vessel.
1. e alarm must be sounded, and the word passed.
2. CheckforinjuriesanddamageandreporttotheOOD.
3. e navigator needs to mark the position and be prepared to make the
appropriate emergency calls.
4. Getallhandsondeckandinlifejackets.
5. Rigacollisionmatifneeded,orusecanvasormaterialsathandtostopinow
of water.
6. If you collided with another vessel and you are not in danger of sinking, stand
by to render assistance to the other vessel.
7. Ifyourvesselisindangerofsinking,preparetoabandonher.
Heavy Weather
“e wise sailor avoids the storm he cannot weather,