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Advanced Cruising Standard


At the completion of the Advanced Cruising Standard you should be able to act safely as skipper and crew of a sailing boat of 8 - 15 metres, operating by day and night in coastal or inland water in any weather.


Basic Cruising, Intermediate Cruising and Coastal Navigation Standards; Red Cross or St. John Ambulance Emergency First Aid Certificate and a VHF radio certificate (Radio Operator's Restricted Certificate - Maritime Voluntary). Minimum course time for teaching this Standard is six days.

Note:  To maximize the likelihood of successfully completing the Advanced Cruising Standard, a student should have:
a) had experience as a skipper equivalent to at least two seasons or twenty days of cruising, and
b) applied the knowledge and practised the skills in the Intermediate Cruising and Coastal Navigation Standards.

ASHORE KNOWLEDGE - Advanced Cruising Standard

Section I. Sail Theory

You must be able to:

  1. Describe the theory of true and apparent wind;
  2. Describe the theory of sailing with diagrams showing force diagrams of sails, keel and boat and a method of finding centre of effort and centre of lateral resistance;
  3. Describe with the aid of diagrams the causes of lee and weather helm, and the method of correcting them. Included must be:
    a) The reason for preference for slight weather helm.
    b) The effects of adjustments in sail area made by sail change or reefing
    c) The effect of mast position and rake;
  4. Describe the effects on sail shape of adjustments to the following:
    a) halyard tension d) cunningham tension
    b) outhaul tension e) traveller position
    c) boom vang tension f) jib fairlead position

Section II. Weather

You must be able to:

  1. Describe the progress of a low pressure area and its associated warm and cold fronts with regard to their related winds, pressure changes, temperature changes, wind shifts and clouds and be able to use these factors to make elementary weather forecasts;
  2. Give visual description of cirrus, altostratus and cumulus type clouds, and be able to describe the expected weather associated with each.

Section III. Safety

You must be able to:

  1. Apply Rules 1 through 36, 40 and 45 of the Collision Regulations so as to be able to recognize all lights;
  2. Cite from memory the distress signals in Annex IV of the Collision Regulations;
  3. Describe the recommended methods of grounding for lightning:
    a) permanent installation
    b) temporary installation for those boats not so fitted.

Section IV. Use, Maintenance and Repair of Boat and Equipment

You must be able to:

  1. Describe how to winterize candidate's hull and equipment in local area (excluding sails and spars) and to prepare for spring launch. In location where the boat is afloat all year, describe yearly haul-out and overhaul;
  2. Describe seasonal checks of sails, spars, standing rigging, and running rigging;
  3. List the factors that adversely affect electronic aids to navigation aboard the boat being used for instruction such as Loran, Radar, GPS or other electronic aids to navigation aboard the boat being used for instruction.

Section V. Seamanship

You must be able to:

  1. Describe two methods of using a second anchor to reduce swinging;
  2. Describe:
    a) when and how to use a trip line and anchor buoy
    b) three other methods of recovering an anchor which is fouled on the bottom;
  3. Describe how the boat should be handled, and what remedial action should be taken when the following emergencies occur while under sail:
    a) the boat is dismasted
    b) the boat runs aground on a lee shore
  4. Describe towing bridles for both disabled and towing boats and to describe precautions to be taken prior to getting underway, while getting underway, and while underway;
  5. Describe the selection of sails for use on the boat selected, in relation to weather, in all conditions likely to be found in the local area, and give reasons for the selections made. Include the full range of sail combinations available from full canvas to bare poles;
  6. Describe the appropriate heavy weather precautions for the boat selected, and describe how they are carried out. To include sail changes, use of special equipment such as safety harness, sea anchor, doubling up of gear, special checks in areas likely to chafe, storage of equipment above and below decks, checks on condition of bilge, special arrangements for dinghy tender (if used), methods of dealing with and avoiding fatigue, selection of clothing, and schedule of watches;
  7. Describe the actions in the boat selected for heaving to and lying a-hull;
  8. Plan a cruise of 5 days with a non-stop passage of 40 hours, taking into account food, watches, navigation (as per Sail Canada Standards) anchorages and alternative routes and shelters;
  9. Describe (and where practical demonstrate) the appropriate remedial action for the following electro-mechanical problems:
    a) Stoppage in the fuel supply line,
    b) Failure of the engine's raw water pump impeller,
    c) Defective starter motor and/or glow plug solenoids,
    d) Blocked or defective head,
    e) Faulty domestic water system,
    f) Fire;
  10. Describe when and how to carry out an oil change on the engine;
  11. Describe how to change a fuel filter and bleed fuel supply lines for a diesel engine;
  12. Demonstrate the use of safety harness, personal strobe light, and a 406 EPIRB.
  13. Discuss and describe how to dock and leave dock under sail, and how to anchor and weigh anchor under sail.

AFLOAT SKILLS - Advanced Cruising Standard continues on Page 2
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