Ordinary rank focuses on the Sea Scout's ever-increasing skills in the boat handling and maintenance, as well as leadership and navigation.
- 1. Give an explanation of the Sea Scout emblem and tell how and why is is used. Prove that you have a general understanding of the customs and courtesies of the sea.
- References: See "Customs and Courtesies" on page 16, "Badges of Office--Youth" on page 119, and "Badges of Office--Adult" on page 120.
- 2. Give a brief history of the U.S. flag and show when to fly it and how to hoist, lower, fold, display, and salute it.
- Reference: See "The History of Your Flag" on page 17.
- 3. Attend at least 75 percent of your ship's meetings and special activities for six months.
- Note: Check with your ship's yeoman.
- 4. Complete quarterdeck training, either as a petty officer or as a prospective petty officer, as provided and required by your ship and council.
- 5. Recruit a new member for your ship and follow through until the new member is registered and formally admitted. (This requirement may be waived by the ship committee if additional membership is not possible at the time the Sea Scout applies.)
- Reference: See "Recruiting New Members" on page 20.
- 6. Boats: Know the identifying features and special advantages of 10 of the following types of boats: canoe, catamaran, dinghy, dory, kayak, motor cruiser, motor lifeboat, motor sailer, motor whaleboat, pram, pulling whaleboat, punt, runabout, self-bailing surfboat, skiff, trimaran. Name the principal parts of the type of craft commonly used by your ship.
- Know the proper display of boat flags and courtesy on small boats.
- Demonstrate your ability to handle a rowboat.
- References: See "Boat Etiquette" on page 305, "Larger Sailing Craft" on page 266, "Powerboats" on page 269, and Rowing merit badge pamphlet, No. 33404.
- 7. Marlinspike Seamanship: Using line appropriate to the craft you normally use, tie the following knots and explain the use of each: overhand knot, stevedore's knot, bowline on a bight, timber hitch, rolling hitch, marline hitch, midshipman's hitch, and double bowline (French bowline).
- Name the various materials used for rope, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and the characteristics of laid and braided rope. Understand the meaning of lay, thread, strand, and hawser.
- Demonstrate the ability to secure a line to pilings, bitts and rings, and to coil, flake, and flemish a line. Know how rope is sized and measured. Demonstrate how to cut and heat-seal a synthetic line.
- References: See "Rope" on page 125 and "Knots" on page 129.
- 8. Ground Tackle: Describe five types of anchors. Describe how each type holds the bottom, the kind of bottom in which it holds best, and any other advantages or disadvantages.
- Name the parts of a stock anchor and stockless anchor.
- Demonstrate the ability to weigh and set anchor.
- Reference: See "Ground Tackle" on page 147.
- 9. Piloting: Explain the degree system of compass direction. Explain variation and deviation, and show how corrections are applied to correcting and uncorrecting compass headings assigned by your consultant.
- Name relative bearings expressed in both degrees and points. Be able to report objects in view and wind directions with respect to the boat, and know the duties of a lookout.
- Name three kinds of devices used aboard ship for measuring speed and/or distance traveled and, if possible, demonstrate their use.
- Make a dead reckoning table of compass and distances (minimum three legs) between two points, plot these on a chart, and determine the final position.
- Note: It is best if this requirement can be met while under way. If this is not possible, it may be simulated, but the courses and charts used must be those in the normal cruising area of the ship.
- References: See "Piloting and Rules of the Road" on page 172 and "Speed Logs" on page 203.
- 10. Communications: Name the three principal methods of visual signaling and explain the advantages and limitations of each method.
- Name the three principal types of radiotelephone equipment in marine use and demonstrate your knowledge of correct radiotelephone procedures.
- References: "Communications Signaling" on page 222 and "Radiotelephone Procedures" on page 200.
- 11. Time: Understand Universal Coordinated Time (Greenwich mean time) and zone time, and demonstrate the ability to convert from one to the other for your local area. Name the seven watches and bell time. Understand the 24-hour system of telling time.
- References: See "Time" on page 230 and "Watches and Bell Time Contest" on page 36.
- 12. Swimming: Meet the requirements for the Swimming merit badge.
- References: See "Safe Swim Defense" on page 250 and Swimming merit badge pamphlet, No. 33352.
- 13. Cruising: Take part in the planning and make a two-day (including overnight) cruise in an approved craft under leadership. Submit a satisfactory log of the cruise.
- Name the wheel or helm orders specified in the current Pilot Rules manual. While on the cruise, perform the duties of a helmsman.
- Note: For each day of the cruise, fill out a cruise log.
- References: See "Sample Plan--Long Cruise" on page 72 and "Helmsmanship" on page 220.
- 14. Safety: Know the man overboard, fire, abandon ship, and all other drills used by your ship.
- List the equipment that should be contained in an abandon ship bag, and list the duties to be performed before abandoning ship.
- List safety equipment required by law for your ship's main vessel. Discuss BSA Safety Afloat with a ship's officer.
- References: See "Boating Safety" on page 242; "Overloading or Improper Loading Equals Boating Accidents" on page 254; BSA Safety Afloat Training Outline, No. 34159; and Federal Requirements and Safety Tips for Recreational Boats (U.S. Coast Guard).
- 15. Galley: While on a cruise or at a camp, prepare or take charge of a breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including boiled, fried, and uncooked dishes. Demonstrate your ability to properly use the galley equipment or personal cooking gear generally used aboard your craft. Demonstrate appropriate sanitation techniques for food preparation and meal cleanup.
- Submit a menu, list of provisions, and estimated costs before meeting the above requirement.
- Explain the use of charcoal, pressurized alcohol, propane, and compressed natural gas stoves, including safety precautions for each.
- References: See "Good Galley--Good Cruise" on page 73, "Fire Prevention" on page 248, and Cooking merit badge pamphlet, No. 33349.
- 16. Sailing: Name the principal parts of the masts, booms, spars, standing and running rigging, and sails of a gaff- or Marconi-rigged sloop, schooner, and ketch or yawl.
- Describe the identifying characteristics of a sloop, ketch, yawl, cutter, and schooner.
- Reference: See "Larger Sailing Craft" on page 266 and appendix A.
- 17. Work: As a Seaman Apprentice log at least 16 hours of work on ship equipment, projects, or activities other than regular ship meetings, parties, dances, or fun events.
- Note: Arrange this work through the ship's officers.
- 18. Electives: Do any three of the following.
- Note: Many ships place emphasis on differing skills because of the nature of their programs. Check with ship's petty officers before selecting electives to ensure that they will be consistent with the ship's program.
- a. Drill: Demonstrate your ability to execute commands in close-order drill.
- Reference: See "Drill Ship Formations and Movements" on page 44.
- b. Signaling: Send and receive semaphore messages using proper procedures at a rate of at least 30 letters a minute.
- Reference: See "Semaphone" on page 223.
- c. Compass: Box the compass to 32 points and demonstrate your ability to compute the degree heading for each point. Describe the relationship between the 32 points and the relative bearing system using points.
- Reference: See "Mariner's Compass" on page 173.
- d. Yacht Racing: Describe the procedures used in yacht racing, and the signals used by the race committee to start a race, and serve as a crew member in a race sailed under current International Sailing Federation Rules.
- Note: Secure the help of your ship's officers to obtain a copy of the current version of the ISAF racing rules from the U.S. Sailing Association and secure a berth on your nearest qualified yacht club race, or sail in your local council or regional sailing races.
- e. Sailing: In a cat-rigged or similar small boat, demonstrate the ability to sail singlehandedly a triangular course (leeward, windward, and reaching marks). Demonstrate beating, reaching, and running. A qualified instructor must observe this.
- Reference: See appendix A.
- f. Ornamental Ropework: Demonstrate your ability to make a three-strand turk's head and a three-stand monkey's fist. Using either ornamental knot, make up a heaving line.
- Note: Most ornamental ropework is far too complicated to describe and illustrate effectively within a manual of this type. Secure the help of a consultant and read the literature the consultant recommends.
- g. Engines: Perform routine maintenance on your ship's propulsion system, including filter, spark plug, oil changes, and other appropriate proper fueling procedures. Refer to operation manuals or ship officers for correct procedures.
- Reference: See "Engines" on page 162.
Requirements for the Ordinary rank are the same as for the Sea Scout Bronze Award.
Help with these requirements
Venturing basic advancement
Sea Scout ranks
- Ordinary Requirements — on the BSA Scouting.org site.