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Public Boating Courses

Boating Skills & Seamanship (BS&S) Course DescriptionBACK TO CLASSES

Textbook cover for Boating Skills & Seamanship (BS&S)

The 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 13th edition published in October, 2006, 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.

TOPICS INCLUDE

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 propeller; 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 publications.

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 conside


Boating Skills & Seamanship (BS&S) Class Schedules

There are currently no scheduled classes for this curriculum.