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Intermediate Cruising Standard 

At the completion of the Intermediate Cruising Standard you should be able to cruise safely in familiar waters as both skipper and crew of a sailing boat of 8 - 12 meters in moderate wind and sea conditions by day. Emphasizes on-the-water skills at a level acceptable for bare boat chartering.


  1. Basic Cruising Standard 
  2. It is recommended that you have a recognized first aid certificate, a VHF radio operator’s certificate and have completed the Sail Canada Coastal Navigation Standard. 
  3. To maximize the likelihood of successfully completing the Intermediate Cruising Standard, a candidate should have: 
    1. experience as skipper of at least ten day sails (or equivalent); and 
    2. applied the knowledge and practiced the skills in the Basic Cruising Standard.

ASHORE KNOWLEDGE - Intermediate Cruising

Section I: Planning

You must be able to:

  1. State the fuel capacity and range of your boat and list what factors could affect the range of the boat under power;
  2. State the water capacity of the selected boat and the minimum daily water requirements of a person;
  3. Describe water distribution systems with multiple tanks and various styles of pumps;
  4. State the causes, prevention and cures for seasickness as well as the impact seasickness has on the effectiveness of the crew;
  5. List the appropriate clothing for cruising and describe how its choice is related to safety and comfort;
  6. Discuss menu planning and relate it to suitability for the day’s activities;
  7. List the minimum contents of a first aid kit for a one week cruise in familiar waters as recommended by the Sail Canada;
  8. Know the spare engine parts one might deem prudent for a one week cruise in familiar waters;
  9. Know the minimum set of tools required for a one week cruise in local waters;
  10. Identify the documents required and the procedures to be followed when;
    1. Proceeding to the USA; and 
    2. Returning to Canada from the USA.

Section II: Living Afloat & Cruising Boat Systems

You must be able to:

  1. Discuss galley procedures in order to minimize the danger of fire, scalding or other galley accidents;
  2. Describe the common cooking systems (stoves and fuels) with respect to safety, convenience, speed of cooking and costs;
  3. Discuss the common types of cabin heaters with respect to safety, convenience and cost;

Section III: Weather

You must be able to:

  1. Describe the effect of local heating and cooling of land and water as related to wind and cloud formation;
  2. Identify conditions likely to lead to fog.

Section IV: Seamanship

You must be able to:

  1. Describe the proper installation of a radar reflector;
  2. Describe the complete actions to be taken for the following:

    1. Springing a leak;
    2. Steering fails;
    3. Grounding;
    4. Fouling a propeller;
    5. Collision with another boat; and
    6. Fire 
  3. Describe how the boat should be handled and what remedial action should be taken when the following emergencies occur while under power: 
    1. The engine cooling water fails to flow;
    2. The engine fails in an anchorage too crowded to permit safe sailing;
    3. The engine fails in a busy channel; 
  4. Describe in detail two methods of getting a crew overboard back aboard;
  5. Describe the information required and the procedures to be followed when tying a boat to a fixed dock in local tidal conditions;
  6. State two factors to be considered before allowing anyone to go swimming while the boat is at anchor;
  7. Describe how to secure the boat the boat with an anchor on the bow or stern and the other end made fast to dock or shore;
  8. Describe the procedures and dangers when using a breast anchor to hold a boat away from a dock or wharf;
  9. Describe the methods of rafting at anchor and dangers involved;
  10. Describe three methods of recovering fouled anchors;
  11. Describe three methods to prevent the dinghy from bumping the boat’s hull when snugging down for the night;
  12. Describe the proper operating procedures for the head and list the precautions necessary to prevent malfunction;
  13. Describe the proper operating procedures for the head and holding tank, list the precautions necessary to prevent malfunction and identify issues relating to holding tank capacity;
  14. Describe the skipper’s responsibilities and actions for the following common courtesies and customs of the yachting community:

    1. Permission to board;
    2. Permission and entitlement to come alongside;
    3. Courtesy in crossing adjacent boats when rafted;
    4. Rights of first boat at an anchorage;
    5. Keeping clear of boats racing (even though cruising boats may be the stand on boat);
    6. Flag etiquette:

      1. National Flag;
      2. Courtesy flag;
      3. Burgee / house flag;
    7. Offering assistance to other yachts in trouble 
  15. Describe the characteristics, limitations and uses of the following rope:

    1. Polypropylene;
    2. Dacron;
    3. Nylon;

Section V: Navigation

You must be able to:

  1. Convert direction from true to magnetic to compass;
  2. Convert direction from compass to magnetic to true;
  3. Determine speed, time and distance when two are known;
  4. Determine estimated time of arrival (ETA) and revised ETA. 


AFLOAT SKILLS - Intermediate Cruising continues on Page 2
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