Merit Badge Requirements Merit Badge History
Small-Boat Sailing Merit Badge Workbook
This Scoutmaster Bucky Merit Badge Workbook is based off the 2020 Scouts BSA Requirements.
Type your work on this page or download the Small-Boat Sailing Workbook PDF.

Consider also using the Small-Boat Sailing merit badge class preparation page for clarification and expections when participating in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge opportunity (online or in-person).

Scout's Name:
Requirement 1: Do the following:
Requirement 1a: 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.
Requirement 1b: Review prevention, symptoms, and first-aid treatment for the following injuries or illnesses that can occur while canoeing: blisters, cold-water shock and hypothermia, dehydration, heat-related illnesses, sunburn, sprains, and strains.
Requirement 1c: Discuss the BSA Safety Afloat policy. Tell how it applies to small-boat activities.
Requirement 2: Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
Requirement 3: Describe the boat you will be using for the sailing requirement, naming all of the major parts and the function of those parts.*
Requirement 4: Before going afloat, do the following:
Requirement 4a: Discuss the nine points of the BSA Safety Afloat plan.
Requirement 4b: Explain the rules of the road in general and any specific rules or laws that apply to your area or state.
Requirement 4c: Explain how water conditions, the hazards of weather, and heavy winds can affect both safety and performance in sailing.
Requirement 4d: Discuss the warning signs of inclement weather and what to do should heavy winds develop or a storm approach.
Requirement 4e: Prepare a typical float plan.
Requirement 4f: 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.
Requirement 5: Discuss with your counselor how to identify the wind direction and wind indicators. Explain the importance of this task before setting sail.
Requirement 6: Following the BSA Safety Afloat plan, show that you and a buddy can sail a boat properly. Do the following:
Requirement 6a: Prepare a boat for sailing, including a safety inspection.
Requirement 6b: Get underway from a dock, mooring, or beach.
Requirement 6c: 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.
Requirement 6d: Change direction by tacking; change direction by jibing.
Requirement 6e: Demonstrate getting out of irons.
Requirement 6f: Demonstrate the safety position.
Requirement 6g: Demonstrate capsize procedures and the rescue of a person overboard.**
Requirement 6h: Demonstrate the procedure to take after running aground.
Requirement 6i: 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 7: Demonstrate a working knowledge of marlinespike seamanship. Do the following:
Requirement 7a: 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.
Requirement 7b: Show how to heave a line, coil a line, and fake down a line.
Requirement 7c: Discuss the kinds of lines used on sailboats and the types of fibers used in their manufacture. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Requirement 8: Describe how you would care for and maintain a sailboat and its gear throughout the year.
Requirement 9: With your counselor, review sailing terminology and the points of sail. Discuss various types of sailboats in use today and explain their differences.