Small Boat Sailing

You can find a list of counselers for this merit badge on the following page: Small Boat Sailing Counselor List

Small Boat Sailing Merit Badge Patch
Do the following:
Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in small-boat activities, and what you should do toanticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
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.
Discuss the BSA Safety Afloat policy. Tell how it applies to small-boat activities.
Before doing the following requirements, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
Describe the boat you will be using for the sailing requirement, naming all of the major parts and the function of those parts.*
Before going afloat, do the following:
Discuss the nine points of the BSA Safety Afloat plan.
Explain the rules of the road in general and any specific rules or laws that apply to your area or state.
Explain how water conditions, the hazards of weather, and heavy winds can affect both safety and performance in sailing.
Discuss the warning signs of inclement weather and what to do should heavy winds develop or a storm approach.
Prepare a typical float plan.
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.
Discuss with your counselor how to identify the wind direction and wind indicators. Explain the importance of this task before setting sail.
Following the BSA Safety Afloat plan, show that you and a buddy can sail a boat properly. Do the following:
Prepare a boat for sailing, including a safety inspection.
Get underway from a dock, mooring, or beach.
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.
Change direction by tacking; change direction by jibing.
Demonstrate getting out of irons.
Demonstrate the safety position.
Demonstrate capsize procedures and the rescue of a person overboard.**
Demonstrate the procedure to take after running aground.
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.
Demonstrate a working knowledge of marlinespike seamanship. Do the following:
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.
Show how to heave a line, coil a line, and fake down a line.
Discuss the kinds of lines used on sailboats and the types of fibers used in their manufacture. Explain the advantages and disadvantages of each.
Describe how you would care for and maintain a sailboat and its gear throughout the year.
With your counselor, review sailing terminology and the points of sail. Discuss various types of sailboats in use today and explain their differences.

Current requirements are available at Small Boat Sailing Merit Badge Requirements

Eagle RequirementNo
CategorySports and Activities
Requirements Date2017
Current Pamphlet Number35950
Current Pamphlet SKU649749
Current Pamphlet Copyright Date2016
Additional Formats
BSA Requirement Date2016
BSA Requirement PDFSmall Boat Sailing Merit Badge Requirements