SMALL-BOAT SAILING


These were the REQUIREMENTS before the REVISIONS made on January 1, 2005.

To see the current requirements Click Here


  1. Show that you know first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while small-boat sailing, including hypothermia, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, dehydration, sunburn, insect stings, tick bites, blisters, and hyperventilation.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person. Explain how such conditions are recognized.
    2. Demonstrate proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.
  3. Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test. Jump feet first into water over your head in depth, swim 75 yards or 75 meters in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards or 25 meters using an easy resting backstroke. The 100 yards or 100 meters must be swum continuously and include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating as motionless as possible.
  4. Describe the boat you will be using for the sailing requirement, naming all of the major parts and the functions of those parts.* Tell the difference between keel, centerboards, dagger board, bilgeboard, and leeboard. Explain the purpose of each.
  5. Before going afloat do the following:
    1. Discuss the nine points of the BSA Safety Afloat plan.
    2. Discuss the rules of the road in general and any specific rules or laws that apply to your area or state.
    3. Discuss with your counselor how the hazards of weather and heavy water conditions can affect both safety and performance in sailing.
    4. Prepare a typical float plan.
  6. With the help of a buddy, show you can sail a boat properly by doing the following:
    1. Prepare the boat for sailing, include a safety inspection.
    2. Get under way from a dock, mooring, or beach.
    3. Properly set sails for a course that will include running, beating, and reaching -- the basic points of sailing.
    4. Change tack by coming about; by jibing.
    5. Anchor properly.
    6. Demonstrate the rescue of a man overboard and capsize procedures.
    7. Demonstrate the procedure to use in the following: helping others, bad weather, running aground.
    8. Upon returning to your dock, mooring, or beach, properly secure all equipment, furl or stow sails, and prepare the craft for unattended docking, mooring, or beaching for overnight or longer.
  7. Have a working knowledge of marlinspike seamanship and do the following:
    1. Show how to tie the square or reef knot, clove hitch, two half-hitches, bowline, figure-eight knot, and mooring hitch. Demonstrate the use of each.
    2. Show how to heave a line, coil a line, fake down a line.
    3. Whip the ends of a line; tell why whippings are used.
    4. Discuss the kinds of lines used on sailboats and the types of fibers used in their manufacture. Tell the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  8. Describe how you would care for and maintain a sailboat and its gear throughout the year.
  9. With the counselor, review sailing terminology; include points of sailing. Discuss various types of sailboats in use today; tell their differences.
  10. Give a short history of sailing in the United States, including its importance in the growth of our nation. Discuss commercial and recreational sailing, including racing and the America's Cup. This requirement may be completed in written or oral form.

* The skill may be demonstrated on any boat available to the Scout. While no specific sail plan is recommended, it is suggested that the craft be under 20 feet. The boat must have the capability of sailing windward.

Capsize procedures should be conducted under the close supervision of the counselor. A rescue boat should be standing by to assist, if necessary, and to tow the capsized craft to shore. Self-bailing boats are acceptable for this requirement. Extreme care should be taken to avoid personal injury and damage to the boat or its equipment.


BSA Advancement ID#: 105
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1997
Requirements last revised in 1999


Page updated on: May 02, 2013



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