Us Sailing Basic Keel Boat




5 days


About the Course

The Basic Keelboat graduate will have successfully demonstrated the ability to responsibly skipper and crew a simple day sailing keelboat in familiar waters in light to moderate wind and sea conditions.

- There is no prerequisite for Basic Keelboat Certification.


Preparation to Sail:

- Demonstrate the ability to recognize and forecast prevailing local weather conditions.
- Demonstrate how to properly board a boat.
- Perform a presail check for the boat’s flotation integrity, safety and legally required equipment, and crew indoctrination.
- Demonstrate the proper rigging of the sails, halyards, sheets, blocks, and winches.
Check all other equipment specific to your boat not indicated above.

Crew Operations and Skills:

- Demonstrate how to put on a life jacket.
- Demonstrate tying and use of knots: stopper knot, bowline, cleat hitch and a square knot.
- Demonstrate the use of these sail controls: halyards, sheets, Cunningham/downhaul, and outhaul.
- Leaving the Dock or Mooring
- Demonstrate appropriate helmsman and crew coordination and skills for departure suitable to the conditions: raising sails, line handling, casting off and boat handling.

Boat Control in Confined Waters:

- Demonstrate in close quarters under sail: starting, stopping, speed control, tacking, jibing, steering control, sail luffing, the No-Go Zone, getting out of irons, backing the jib, and crew coordination and communication.
- Demonstrate sailing a predetermined closed course and maneuvering around obstacles.

- Point out Aids to Navigation in the harbor and local waters that you are sailing, and respond accordingly.
- Navigation Rules, International-Inland:
- Demonstrate the use of Navigation Rules while sailing.

Boat Control in Open Water:
- Demonstrate proper sail trim with accurate sheet adjustment of the main and headsails. Make use of the sail telltales and identify points of sail.
- Perform a heaving-to maneuver.
- When appropriate, demonstrate sailing “by the lee” and explain the inherent dangers involved.

Heavy Weather Sailing:
- Demonstrate how to reef and/or depower sails.

Overboard Rescue Methods:
- Properly demonstrate one of the overboard rescue methods, which is most appropriate for your sailing ability, boat type, crew experience, wind and sea conditions, and maintaining constant visual contact with the person in water.

Safety and Emergency Procedures:
- Explain the proper procedure for using an approved distress signal.

Returning to the Dock or Mooring:
- Demonstrate appropriate helmsman and crew coordination and skills for arrival under sail and/or power suitable to the conditions: boat handling, deploying fenders, stopping, tying up and lowering sails. Explain at least two different approach plans for other conditions.
- Demonstrate stowing of sails, rigging, and equipment. Thoroughly clean the boat, and install any covers.
- Check both the electrical and bilge systems for dock operation if required.
- Check the locks on companionway, lockers, and hatches. Make a final check of dock lines, spring lines, and fender placement