- BOATING SKILLS & SEAMANSHIP (BS&S)
& LET'S GO SAILING (LGS)
U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's Boating Skills and Seamanship (BS&S)
course is a comprehensive course designed for both the experienced and
the novice boater. The course, now in its 12th edition
published in 2002, consists of 6 core required two- to four-hour lessons
2 added optional lessons that are normally included in the core course,
plus five elective lessons, providing up-to-date knowledge for handling
boats in all conditions.
- Which Boat Is For You? - Boater's
language; types of boats; outboard motors and sterndrives; hull design;
uses of boats; other power plants; materials for constructing boats;
your intended use; the Coast Guard Customer Infoline; marine surveyors;
buying a boat.
- Equipment For Your Boat - Requirements
for your boat; your boat's equipment; legal considerations; substance
abuse; boating accident reports; Courtesy Marine Examinations.
- Trailering Your Boat - Legal considerations;
practical considerations; the towing vehicle; balancing the load;
handling your trailer; pre-departure checks; preparing to launch;
launching; retrieving; storing your boat and trailer; theft prevention;
Zebra mussels; float plan.
- Handling Your Boat - Leave with a
full tank; fueling your boat; your boat's propellor; cars and boats;
twin screws; jet drives; loading your boat; getting started; leaving
a pier; "man" overboard; docking; mooring to a permanent
anchor; anchoring; towing a skier; heavy weather; small boat safety.
- Your "Highway" Signs - Protection
of ATONs; buoyage systems; waterway marks; how waterways are marked;
light characteristics; chart symbols; light structures; lights on
bridges; electronic aids to navigation; a word to the wise; navigation
- The Rules You Must Follow - Two sets
of rules; to whom do the rules apply; what is a vessel; the general
responsibility rule; general considerations; conduct in narrow channels;
traffic separation schemes; vessel traffic services; stand-on or give-way;
rules for special vessels; risk of collision; bend signals; restricted
visibility; vessel lights and shapes; vessels at anchor; diving operations;
distress signals; drawbridge signals; penalties.
- Inland Boating - Types of inland waters;
inland navigation; inland seamanship; river currents; maintaining
inland waterways; dams; locks; river charts; commercial traffic; before
you go. (This lesson typically will not be taught in coastal courses)
- The Rest Of Our Story - Small boat
safety; personal watercraft; hypothermia; motorboats and sailboats;
carbon monoxide poisoning; float plan; U.S. Coast Guard District Offices;
instructions for using a course plotter; metric conversion system.
- Introduction To Navigation - Piloting
tools; maps and charts; chart features; your chart's general information
block; other charted information; your magnetic compass; position
on the earth's surface; locating a point on a chart; distance on the
earth's surface; measuring distance; course plotting; sources of compass
error; correcting a compass reading; positioning; speed-time-distance;
dead reckoning; practice your art.
- Powering Your Boat - Types of marine
engines; marine engines; selecting a propeller; induction systems;
ignition systems; flame arresters; cooling systems; gasoline considerations;
batteries; maintenance; winterizing your boat; spring fitting-out;
- Lines & Knots For Your Boat -
Line or rope; rope materials; kinds of rope; measuring rope; selecting
your ropes; care of rope; making up line; knots, bends, and hitches;
splices; securing lines; dipping the eye.
- Weather & Boating - Sources of
weather information; wind and boating; wind and waves; understanding
weather; weather and heat; fog; non-frontal weather.
- Your Boat's Radio - Radios used on
boats; functions of radios; licenses; selecting your VHF-FM radio;
installation; operating your VHF-FM; maintain a radio watch; channels
have special purposes; some "no no's"; copies of the rules;
calling another station; procedure words; phonetic alphabet; routine
radio check; distress, urgency, and safety calls; crew training.
LET'S GO SAILING (LGS)
Go Sailing (LGS) is a fun course for beginning sailors. The course is
designed for the person who wants to begin sailing in a small boat,
learning each step the right way, and in the process build the skills
and confidence that will serve as the foundation for a lifetime of enjoyment.
It uses a short, well illustrated text published by the American Sailing Association to introduce fledgling sailors to the equipment, nomenclature and safe operation of small sailboats. Each of the text's four chapters has review questions and there is an extensive glossary and index. The course has it's own exam and certificate of accomplishment.
By itself, Let's Go Sailing is NOT approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) as a boating safety course. Only when taught in conjunction with NASBLA approved courses such as America's Boating Course or Boating Skills and Seamanship, can a state boating safety certificate be issued.
- Beginning To Sail - The sailboat and the wind, the sailor's language, parts of a boat, sails and control terms, sailing terms, points of sail, how a sail works, tacking vs. jibing, heading up, heading down, in irons, sail care and folding.
- Let's Go Sailing - Rigging, launching, getting going, your first sail, close hauled sailing, coming about/tacking, running-sailing, downwind, steering, jibing, safety considerations.
- Safe Sailing - Capsizing, righting, scoop recovery method, rescuing, heavy air sailing, upwind and close reaching, downwind, man overboard, what to wear, cold and hypothermia, dealing with the sun.
- Advanced Topics - Crewing, centerboards, planning your sail, wind and weather, tides and currents, sailing in a confined area, steering and sailing rules, docking/mooring/beaching, knots and lines.
Many insurance companies will offer discounts on boat insurance to individuals who successfully complete this course.
Individuals who successfully complete the course and exam are awarded certificates and cards.