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Basic Outboard Standard.

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At the completion of the Basic Outboard Standard you should be able to operate safely in familiar waters as skipper of a boat under 6 metres and powered by an outboard engine under 55 kW (75 hp).


Parts of the Boat and Terminology

You must be able to:

  1. Identify the following:
    Bow Engine well Rudder
    Breastlines Fenders Spring lines
    Chine Freeboard Stern
    Cleats Gunwale Deck
    Hull Keel Transom
    Beam Bow line Stern line
  2. Describe the following with the aid of diagrams:
    Ahead Abeam Astern
    Forward Aft
  3. Define and be able to identify these terms from a diagram:
    Port Windward Underway
    Starboard Leeward No way

The Outboard Engine

You must be able to:

  1. Identify the following parts of an outboard engine:
    Engine cover Gear shift lever Choke
    Starter/pull cord Throttle Clamps
    Mounting brackets Antiventilation plate Skeg
    Propeller Exhaust Fuel line connectors
    Fuel line Fuel level gauge Fuel tank
    Tilt pin
  2. Name and describe the use of the following:
    a) Fuel system: fuel tank, fuel line, fuel filter
    b) Ignition system: spark plugs, ignition wires
    c) Cooling system: water pump, cooling water intake & discharge
  3. Describe how to check and maintain the following:
    Battery Oil and gasoline mixture
    Fuel tank Spark plugs
  4. Describe troubleshooting for the following:
    Engine overheats Engine will not start
    Excessive vibration Runs well, then slows and stops.


You must be able to:

  1. List from memory the Department of Transport (DOT) required items for a boat under 6 metres as stated in the Safe Boating Guide; 
  2. Describe the importance of the Transport Canada information plate; 
  3. Describe the purpose of a safety harness when fishing, or in rough weather conditions; 
  4. Describe the sources of fire and/or explosions on an outboard powered boat and methods for prevention; 
  5. Describe the safe refuelling procedure as stated in the Safe Boating Guide; 
  6. Describe the danger involved in recharging batteries; 
  7. List the main responsibilities of the skipper and state their importance. 


You must be able to:

  1. Describe one use of each of the following:
    Bowline Reef knot Round turn & two half hitches
    Figure eight Clove Hitch Double sheet bend
  2. Describe the use of the following:
    Boat hook Painter Shackles
  3. Describe the action to be taken in the following situations:
    a) Springing a leak e) Capsizing your boat
    b) Steering fails f) Running aground
    c) Dragging anchor g) Fouling the propeller
    d) Collision with another boat h) Engine failure
    i) Fire


You must be able to:

  1. Describe the use of the VHF radio for receiving weather reports and making emergency calls; 
  2. List three sources of marine weather information; 
  3. Describe local weather hazards, the warning time expected, and the identification for both the warning and the hazard. Provide suitable action to be taken to reduce or avoid their effects. 


You must be able to:

  1. Determine the following information from the Canadian Hydrographic chart of the local area:
    a) depth of water d) Buoys and their significance
    b) Types of bottom e) Lights and beacons
    c) Underwater hazards f) Distance scale
  2. State the principles of operating a small boat around large ships. 

Boating Regulations

You must be able to:

  1. Describe the process and guidelines for licensing a boat; 
  2. Describe the types of boating accidents which need to be reported and which authority is responsible; 
  3. Apply Rules 13 to 18 of the Collision Regulations by means of diagrams; 
  4. Describe the actions and precautions to be taken in reduced visibility. 

Water Sport Guidelines

You must be able to:

  1. Identify the diving signal flags; 
  2. Describe the correct techniques for the following:
    a) Water and dock starts for water skiing,
    b) Driving while towing a water skier,
    c) Returning a towline to a fallen skier,
    d) Observing the skier,
    e) Picking up a fallen skier;
  3. Describe the following water ski hand signals: 
    a) Speed up or down d) Turn
    b) Speed OK e) stop
    c) Head back f) "I'm OK" after a fall.

Nautical Etiquette

You must be able to:

  1. List the proper courtesies for operating in restricted passages, in harbours, and for providing assistance to other boats; 
  2. List the methods for minimizing the environmental impact and for preventing outboard engine pollution. 

AFLOAT SKILLS - Basic Outboard continues on Page 2

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Bruce Stott
Bruce Stott
President/Chief Instructor
Nautical Experience

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