Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: Small-Boat Sailing Merit Badge


Small-Boat Sailing




  1. Do the following:
        A. Explain first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while small-boat sailing, including
              hypothermia, dehydration, heat reactions, motion sickness, cuts, scratches, abrasions,
              contusions, puncture wounds, and blisters.
        B. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person, and explain how to
              recognize such conditions. Demonstrate proper technique for performing CPR using a training
              device approved by your counselor.
  2. Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
  3. Describe the boat you will be using for the sailing requirement, naming all of the major parts and the function of those parts.*
  4. Before going afloat, do the following:
        A. Discuss the nine points of the BSA Safety Afloat plan.
        B. Explain the rules of the road in general and any specific rules or laws that apply to your area or
        C. Explain how water conditions, the hazards of weather, and heavy winds can affect both- safety and
              performance in sailing.
        D. Discuss the warning signs of inclement weather and what to do should heavy winds develop or a
              storm approach.
        E. Prepare a typical float plan.
        F. Discuss the proper clothing, footwear, and personal gear required for small-boat sailing in warm
              weather and in cool weather. Explain how choosing the proper clothing, footwear, and personal gear
              will .help keep you comfortable and safe while sailing.
  5. Discuss with your counselor how to identify the wind direction and wind indicators. Explain the importance of this task before setting sail.
  6. Following the BSA Safety Afloat plan, show that you and a buddy can sail a boat properly. Do the following:
        A. Prepare a boat for sailing, including a safety inspection.
        B. Get underway from a dock, mooring, or beach.
        C. Properly set sails for a round-trip course approved by your counselor that will include running,
              beating, and reaching-the basic points of sail. While sailing, demonstrate good helmsmanship
        D. Change direction by tacking; change direction by jibing.
        E. Demonstrate getting out of irons.
        F. Demonstrate the safety position.
        G. Demonstrate capsize procedures and. the rescue of a person overboard §
        H. Demonstrate the procedure to take after running aground.
        I. Upon returning to the dock, mooring, or beach, properly secure all equipment, furl or stow sails, and
              prepare the craft for unattended docking or beaching overnight or longer.
  7. Demonstrate a working knowledge of marlinespike seamanship. Do the following:
        A. Show how to tie a square (reef) knot, clove hitch, two half hitches, bowline, cleat hitch, and figure-
              eight knot. Demonstrate the use of each.
        B. Show how to heave a line, coil a line, and fake down a line.
        C. Discuss the kinds of lines used on sailboats and the types of fibers used in their manufacture.
              Explain the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  8. Describe how you would care for and maintain a sailboat and its gear throughout the year.
  9. With your counselor, review sailing terminology and the points of sail. Discuss various types of sailboats in use today and explain their differences.

*The skill demonstrated on any boat available to the Scout; sailboards are not acceptable. While ho specific sail plan is recommended, it is suggested that the craft be smaller than 20 feet. The boat must be capsizable and have the capability of sailing to windward.

§ Capsize procedures should be conducted under the close supervision of the counselor. A rescue boat should be standing by to assist, if necessary, and to tow the capsized craft to shore. Self-bailing boats are acceptable for this requirement. Extreme care should be taken to avoid personal injury and damage to the boat or equipment.

Small-Boat Sailing Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.