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Basic Crew Standard

OBJECTIVE Basic Crew Standard

At the completion of the Basic Crew Standard you should be able to act as competent crew while cruising safely in familiar waters aboard a sloop rigged keel boat of 6 - 10 metres in moderate wind and sea conditions by day.



ASHORE KNOWLEDGE - Basic Crew Standard

This section is the same as the Basic Cruising Standard sections I through VII, Performance Objectives 1-30.


(18 hours minimum) Boat should be a 6 - 10 metre, sloop rigged keel boat.

Section VIII: Preliminaries

You must be able to:

  1. Demonstrate on land the correct method of putting on a personal flotation device in the water; 
  2. Demonstrate the correct use of a heaving line; 
  3. Carry out a check of the boat's gear and equipment in accordance with Sail Canada Cruising Boat Checklist and demonstrate use and care of onboard equipment; 
  4. Select, bend on, check and stow sails; 
  5. Coil a line and secure (sea coil); 
  6. Properly stow lines and fenders; 
  7. Demonstrate how to belay a cleat; 
  8. Demonstrate safe winch techniques with particular emphasis on:
    a) possible high strain on sheet/halyard
    b) how to avoid riding turns (and how to clear)
    c) position of hands/fingers
    d) winch handles - fitting and removal.

Section IX: Manoeuvring Under Power

You must be able to:

  1. Start auxiliary engine on boat, observing commonly accepted safety practices; 
  2. Come to a full stop with stern one half boat length away from a buoy using reverse. (The objective of this manoeuvre is to know how much distance is required to bring a boat to a full stop. Vessel is to be kept on a straight course while the manoeuvre is being carried out); 
  3. Manoeuvre a boat under power to a position alongside and parallel to a dock portside to and starboardside to not more than two feet off without the aid of lines, without the stern passing a given mark at any time during the manoeuvre; 
  4. Apply Rules 5 through 18 of the Collision Regulations as applied to a boat under power; 
  5. Handle the ground tackle or assist in the lowering and setting of an anchor under power in water more than 3 meters in depth while at the helm or assisting under the direction of a skipper. The anchor must not drag when tested under engine power at half-throttle astern; 
  6. Raise anchor under the direction of the skipper with boat ready and get under way, at the helm or handling ground tackle, using commonly accepted practices under power. 

Section X: Boat Handling Under Sail

You must be able to:

  1. Hoist the basic sails while under power/at anchor, or mooring (head to wind, main sail first), set appropriate luff tensions, and flake halyards; 
  2. Apply Rules 5 through 18 of the Collision Regulations as applied to a boat under sail; 
  3. Act as crew responding to commands while demonstrating the proper techniques of beating, reaching and running; tacking and gybing; heading up, bearing away, luffing and heaving to; using the following commands and responses:
    Commands Responses Alert
    "Head Up"
    "Bear Away"
    "Ease Sheets"
    "Harden Sheets"
    "Ready About" "Ready" "Helms-Alee"
    "Ready to Gybe" "Ready" "Gybe-Ho"
  4. Demonstrate as crew, trimming of sails either in response to course changes or wind shifts and prepare sails for tacking or gybing with verbal response "Ready"; 
  5. Reduce sail by reefing and shake out a reef while keeping boat under control, either at the helm or controlling the sails, as commanded by the skipper; 
  6. Demonstrate in response to the skipper's actions/commands, while under sail, the Triangle Method Crew Overboard procedure; 
  7. Bring the boat into irons, unassisted, in response to a Crew Overboard situation. Lower sails ensuring on-board control of all lines, start the engine, and manoeuvre the boat under power to a successful Crew Overboard return.
    NOTE: Both Performance Objectives (PO's) 20 and 21 above must be completed in reasonable time without losing sight of the victim or marker in the water;
  8. Lower sail while under power or at anchor or a mooring. 

Section XI: Making Fast and Snugging Down

You must be able to:

  1. Secure a boat to a dock to prevent excessive movement and set out fenders correctly; 
  2. Stop auxiliary engine and secure when departing boat for night, observing commonly accepted safety practices; 
  3. Demonstrate how to secure a boat for the night using appropriate dock lines; 
  4. Tie the following knots, bends and hitches within 30 seconds each: 
    a) Reef knot d) Bowline
    b) Figure eight c) Clove hitch
    c) Double sheet bend f) Round turn and two half hitches.


Bruce Stott
Bruce Stott
President/Chief Instructor
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