Small-Boat Sailing Merit Badge
CLASS PREPARATION PAGE
 
GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS
 
Please arrive with ample time prior to the start time of your class for registration.  Remember there will be others checking in as well and depending on the size of the class, and the event the class is being held in conjunction with, that registration may take a little time.

You should bring a blue card filled out properly for this class. - Scoutmaster Bucky Online participants - you will not be allowed to participate if you have not provided your signed blue card prior to the class - you should have forwarded your blue card to Scoutmaster Bucky prior to the class via email or postal mail:
Scoutmaster Bucky - 5724 Aldrich Avenue South  Minneapolis, Minnesota  55419.

If you are not familiar with how to fill out a blue card, you should familiarize yourself with Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card" document. Click here for Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card".  Remember it is a Scout's responsibility to take care of their own blue card from beginning to end.
 
 
 
Your Scout Uniform is required to be worn for attending this Merit Badge session.   If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners; Scoutmaster Bucky via email or on the phone at 612-483-0665.

Reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending and doing preparation work will insure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities. The merit badge pamphlet is a wealth of information that can make earning a merit badge a lot easier. It contains many of the answers and solutions needed or can at least provide direction as to where one can find the answers.

It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event. You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Small-Boat Sailing Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. Please note that the use of any workbook is merely for note taking and reference and completion of any Merit Badge workbook does not warrant, guarantee, or confirm a Scouts completion of any merit badge requirement(s). You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Small-Boat Sailing Merit Badge Workbook by clicking here .   If this link is not working please check the internet for other merit badge workbook options.

It should be noted that this merit badge class is not meant for those who just want to come and see what they can get done. It is possible to complete this merit badge by being properly prepared and having done the preparation work prior to the class. Preparation is a MUST 
 
 
Other Small-Boat Sailing MERIT BADGE PAGES
 
Small-Boat Sailing Merit Badge Current Requirements
 
Scoutmaster Bucky's - Small-Boat Sailing Merit Badge Workbook
 
Small-Boat Sailing Merit Badge and Merit Badge History Page
 
Small-Boat Sailing MERIT BADGE SPECIFICS
 

Small-Boat Sailing Merit Badge Things to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

1. Merit Badge Blue Card properly filled out and signed off by your Scoutmaster

2. Small-Boat Sailing Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Proper and appropriate swimwear

5. Proof of having passed your BSA Swimmer Test within the last 12 months (failure to provide this proof to the satisfaction of the Merit Badge Counselor and/or Class Instructor will negate your eligibilty to participate in the class.

6. Permission Slip signed by parent or guardian when and if required, by the facility or location the Small-Boat Sailing activity is being held at (check with Scoutmaster Bucky if you are uncertain whether a permission slip is needed) 

7. Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to this merit badge which may also include a Merit Badge Workbook for reference with notes

8. A positive Scouting focus and attitude

 
REQUIREMENTS WITH SUGGESTED STUDY PREPARATION NOTES
 

IT MUST BE NOTED THAT DUE TO THE SAFETY LEVEL REQUIRED FOR THIS MERIT BADGE CLASS, SCOUTS NOT FOLLOWING DIRECTION OR FAILING TO ADHERE TO CLASS INSTRUCTIONS MAY BE REMOVED FROM THE CLASS AND FORFEIT PARTICIPATION FEES AND PRIVILEGE OF CONTINUING TO PARTICIPATE. PARENT OR GUARDIAN WILL BE ASKED TO COME AND REMOVE SCOUT FROM THE EVENT.

 

1. Do the following:

a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in small-boat activities, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.

Scouts should review this requirement component and be prepared to explain their findings. Scouts will find the use of the Motorboating Merit Badge pamphlet to be very helpful in preparing for this requirement component.

b. Review prevention, symptoms, and first-aid treatment for the following injuries or illnesses that can occur while sailing: blisters, cold-water shock and hypothermia, dehydration, heat-related illnesses, sunburn, sprains, and strains.

Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to discuss, demonstrate, explain, and show as necessary their first aid knowledge and proficiency as it applies to this merit badge as well as the ability to identify hazards likely to be encountered in canoeing activities.

c. Discuss the BSA Safety Afloat policy. Tell how it applies to small-boat activities.

Scouts should review the BSA Safety Afloat policy prior to the class. It is NOT acceptable to attend the class not having read the BSA Safety Afloat policy and having a general understanding of it applies to this merit badge and canoeing activities. Scouts clearly not having prepared ahead of class will not be allowed to continue participation in the class after arrival until they show their comprehension of this policy.

 

2. Before doing requirements 3 through 9, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.  Jump feetfirst into water over the head in depth. Level off and swim 75 yards in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards using an easy resting backstroke. The 100 yards must be completed in one swim without stops and must include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating.

ALL SCOUTS SHOULD BRING PROOF OF HAVING PASSED THE BSA SWIMMER TEST IN THE PAST YEAR.  (A camp swimmers tag clearly showing it belongs to the Scout, a signed letter from a certified swimming instructor stating the Scout's competency as measured against the BSA Swimmer's test requirements, or a signed note from a BSA Swimming Merit Badge Counselor or Scoutmaster will suffice - parental notes are not enough for this due to the merit badge requirements.)

Even with this "proof" the counselor(s) reserve the right to retest any Scout that they deem necessary or to satisfy their interest in safety. Scouts not having any "proof" will be required to pass the BSA Swimmer Test prior to starting participation in the class.  Those not able to pass the BSA Swimmer Test may be dismissed from the class at the discretion of the counselor.  Those not able to pass the BSA Swimmer Test and allowed to stay in the class will be limited to "on land" requirements at the discretion of the counselor.

 

3. Describe the boat you will be using for the sailing requirement, naming all of the major parts and the function of those parts. The skills may be demonstrated on any boat available to the Scout; sailboards are not acceptable. While no 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.

Requirement 3 will be covered in the class however Scouts should review the merit badge pamphlet for an understanding of basic parts and their functions found on most small-boat sailing vessels. Scouts will be asked to share their understanding and research during class discussion on this requirement and its components.

 

4. Before going afloat, do the following:

a. Discuss the nine points of the BSA Safety Afloat plan.

Scouts should review the BSA Safety Afloat policy prior to the class. It is NOT acceptable to attend the class not having read the BSA Safety Afloat policy and having a general understanding of it and how it applies to this merit badge and small-boat sailing activities. Scouts clearly not having prepared ahead of class will not be allowed to continue participation in the class after arrival until they show their comprehension of this policy.

b. Explain the rules of the road in general and any specific rules or laws that apply to your area or state.

Scouts will most likely need to utilize the Internet (with your parent's permission) to research information to complete this requirement.  Scouts should bring their findings to share with the counselor during the class and be prepared share their findings through explanation with the counselor.

c. Explain how water conditions, the hazards of weather, and heavy winds can affect both- safety and performance in sailing.

Scouts should utilize the Small-Boat Sailing Merit Badge pamphlet, and any other resources available, to prepare for discussion on this requirement component.  It is highly recommended to utilize a merit badge workbook or notebook to make notes for use during the class to aid in completion of this requirement component.

d. Discuss the warning signs of inclement weather and what to do should heavy winds develop or a storm approach.

Scouts should review this requirement and be prepared to discuss. It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for discussion of these items.

e. Prepare a typical float plan.

This requirement will be done as a part of the class with the assistance of the merit badge instructor / counselor.

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.

Scouts should make notes to assist them with the explanation and discussion of this requirement component. It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for discussion of this requirement.

 

5. Discuss with your counselor how to identify the wind direction and wind indicators. Explain the importance of this task before setting sail.

Scouts will find the use of the Small-Boat Sailing Merit Badge pamphlet to be a great resource to reference for finding information that will allow them to complete this requirement. Scouts will need to come to the class with some prepared knowledge or notes to assist them in the completion of this requirement. Scouts not showing they have properly prepared for this requirement may find it difficult to obtain credit for completion of this requirement.

 

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 skills.

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. 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.

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.

Requirement 6 and its components are all skill-based requirements. While the counselor will utilize the EDGE method; Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, and Enable to cover these requirements, it is still not a guarantee that all Scouts will complete each of the requirement components. Only Scouts who successfully demonstrate these skills to the counselor's satisfaction will be signed off on each requirement component. Every effort will be made to assist and accommodate each Scout however it MUST be noted that these are skill-based requirements. All Scouts will have an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to perform and maneuver for each of this requirement's components.

 

7. 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.

Scouts will need to show their proficiency in tying and utilizing appropriately the referenced knots. Below are some guides to use while refreshing one's self on how to tie a few of these knots. Only Scouts showing proficiency in these knots AND properly demonstrating how they might be used as it relates to small-boat sailing will be considered for sign off on this part of Requirement 7.

 

SQUARE (REEF) KNOT

CLOVE HITCH

FIGURE-EIGHT KNOT

TWO HALF HITCHES

CLEAT HITCH

 

BOWLINE

b. Show how to heave a line, coil a line, and fake down a line

With the assistance from the merit badge instructor / counselor, Scouts will need to be able to show their ability to perform these skills.  Review of the Small-Boat Sailing Merit Badge pamphlet will give Scouts an understanding and basis in which to be prepared for performing the acts necessary to complete this requirement at the class.

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.

Scouts should be prepared to share their findings with the counselor and class for this requirement component. Use of the merit badge pamphlet for this information is highly suggested.

 

8. Describe how you would care for and maintain a sailboat and its gear throughout the year.

While the counselor will give insight to this requirement during the class, only Scouts that have prepared ahead of time by reviewing the merit badge pamphlet and showing the ability to actively discuss their knowledge and findings will be signed off on this requirement. You may want to consider making notes that you can reference during the class to assist in your discussion.

 

9. With your counselor, review sailing terminology and the points of sail. Discuss various types of sailboats in use today and explain their differences.

This requirement will be covered during the class however Scouts should prepare and make themselves familiar with the terms and elements of this requirement. Without this preparation and reading (most of which is in the merit badge pamphlet), Scouts may not be signed off on this requirement.

 
this page last reviewed / updated: April 2019
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