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AFLOAT SKILLS - Intermediate Power boat Standard

You must be able to act as skipper and responsible crew, exhibit good seamanship skills, and demonstrate a satisfactory performance in the Afloat Skills PO's on a liveaboard cruise of at least 48 consecutive hours.

Section I: Preliminaries

You must be able to:

  1. File a sailing plan; 
  2. Obtain and interpret the Marine forecast; 
  3. Throw a heaving line to a target a distance of ten meters away, coming within two meters in three times out of five attempts; 
  4. Demonstrate on land the correct method of putting on a personal flotation device in the water; 
  5. Perform a pre-departure check on safety equipment, fuel, bilge contents, power controls, charts, weather and water conditions; 
  6. Perform routine daily and weekly maintenance procedures on engine; 
  7. Check all Sail Canada recommended equipment aboard with regard to proper condition and stowage; 
  8. Demonstrate the correct starting procedure for an inboard engine while observing commonly accepted safety practices; 
  9. Demonstrate the alternate starting system on an inboard engine which is used when the main starting system fails; 
  10. Properly stow lines and fenders. 

Section II: Under Way

You must be able to:

  1. Depart and arrive at a side dock with use of a spring line to simulate limited manoeuvering room; 
  2. Manoeuvre an inboard boat from and to a side dock using correct techniques, under the following wind and current conditions:
    a) The wind and/or current moving parallel to the dock,
    b) The wind and/or current moving toward the dock,
    c) The wind and/or current moving away from the dock;
  3. Manoeuvre an inboard boat from and to a mooring where the boat is anchored from the bow or the stern and the opposite end is made fast to the dock under the following wind and current conditions:
    a) The wind and/or current moving parallel to the dock,
    b) The wind and/or current moving toward the dock,
    c) The wind and/or current moving away from the dock;
  4. Use an anchor to hold the boat away from a dock; 
  5. Bring the boat to a mooring buoy and successfully secure the boat; 
  6. Manoeuvre the boat under power in minimum space; 
  7. Demonstrate rafting alongside another boat at anchor; 
  8. Manoeuvre a boat under varying sea and wind conditions with the wind from the following points:
    Ahead Astern Abeam Quarter;
  9. Anchor the boat in water over 3 metres deep so that the anchor will not drag when the boat is driven in reverse at half throttle for one minute; 
  10. Demonstrate suitable methods and precautions while towing a dinghy; 
  11. Weigh anchor and get the boat underway using commonly accepted practices; 
  12. Demonstrate the correct actions as skipper to return to a crew overboard within three minutes. These actions include the proper manoeuvring of the boat and the correct command of crew members. For this exercise, assume the victim is unable to assist him/herself and is not wearing a PFD; 
  13. Throw a heaving line to a target a distance of ten metres away, coming within two metres in three times out of five attempts; 
  14. Demonstrate the stopping ability of an inboard boat by bringing the boat to a full stop from normal operating speed using reverse to stop within a half boat length of a marker while maintaining a straight course; 
  15. Apply Rules 1 through 24 of the Collision Regulations in practical situations; 
  16. Prepare a meal underway; 
  17. Obtain and interpret a marine forecast for the applicable period; 
  18. Demonstrate basic use of the VHF including Safety, Distress and Urgency calling procedures. 

Section III: Navigation

You must be able to:

  1. Lay off a course and determine compass heading and Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) (assuming no current or leeway); 
  2. Read a chart and identify corresponding landmarks and aids to navigation; 
  3. Demonstrate ability to read a chart, select a suitable anchorage, determine the type of bottom and scope requirements for an overnight stay; 
  4. Determine position by a fix using a hand bearing compass; 
  5. Pilot into an unfamiliar harbour using appropriate charts and publications; 
  6. Identify sources of navigation information and local knowledge; 
  7. Demonstrate how to take soundings using electronic and manual methods. 

Section IV: Making Fast and Snugging Down

You must be able to:

  1. Dock with stern or bow to dock or shore using bow or stern anchor; 
  2. Dock and undock with the use of spring lines; 
  3. Secure the boat to a dock so as to prevent excessive movement and set out fenders correctly; 
  4. Demonstrate how to secure a boat for the night using appropriate dock lines; 
  5. Tie rolling hitches within 30 seconds 


Marlinspike Seamanship

  1. Whip a line; 
  2. Make an eye splice in laid line. 

Docking a twin engine inboard boat. 

Docking a twin inboard is the easiest of all drive systems and most people graduate to twins during their later years in a yacht.

Doug shares his "giant tip" in this e-Lesson, so you’ll dock your yacht like a professional captain.

Plus, you'll save your First Mate from attempting to imitate the bionic woman.

   Dock Your Twin Inboard

Docking twin sterndrives or outboards. 

Docking twins is not twice as easy! Without being shown how, it can be more than twice as difficult with four levers.

Doug shares the "single trick" for mastering some twins, while others are far easier using his "arc method".

This e-lesson will teach you both systems and on which boat each works best. This will simplify docking a Twin Outboard.

   Dock Your Twin Sterndrive or Outboard

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Bruce Stott
Bruce Stott
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