Qualified Seaman

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Qualified Seaman Bar Award

The bar (No. 4053) is awarded upon completion of the Qualified Seaman course.
Level:Sea Scout

The Qualified Seaman Course is designed for Sea Scout ships whose members are not interested in following the advancement plan leading to Quartermaster, or [it] can serve as a training outline for traditional ships. The entire membership of a ship can work as a group in the course led by the ship’s adult officers and/or qualified instructors.

Details supporting the course outlines are found in the technical sections of the Sea Scout Manual along with references to other publications listed in the bibliography.


Qualified Seaman Course

Section One — Aids to Navigation

  1. Aids to navigation
  2. The buoyage system
  3. Use of various buoys
  4. Storm warnings—publications and charts
  5. Other storm warnings
  6. Daymarks on vessels
  7. Dredges, moored vessels, and towing
  8. Daymarks, beacons, minor lights, and ranges
  9. Intracoastal waterway markings, buoys, and aids
  10. Lightships and lighthouses
  11. Radio beacons
  12. Government publications—tide tables, Notice to Mariners, etc.

Section Two — Rules of the Road

  1. Purpose of rules of the road
  2. Danger zone, right of way
  3. Sound signals
  4. Lights
  5. Orders to the helmsman

Section Three — Seamanship

  1. Lookout
  2. Bearings, reporting
  3. Taking soundings
  4. Marlinspike seamanship
  5. Types and use of anchors

Section Four — Safety

  1. Necessary equipment
  2. Hazards
  3. Hull inspection
  4. Firefighting
  5. Proper fueling
  6. Life jackets
  7. Charts
  8. Weather
  9. Man overboard drill—class project
  10. Grounding
  11. First aid

Section Five — Piloting

  1. The compass—description and use
  2. Compass boxing contest
  3. Operating by visual aids
  4. Working a course

Section Six — Charts

  1. Definition of charts
  2. Orientation and dividers
  3. Chart symbols
  4. Speed, distance, and time

Section Seven — Safe Boating

  1. Operation
  2. Principles of sailing
  3. Powerboat operation

Section Eight — Operating a Boat

  1. Demonstrate proper operation of a sailboat or a powerboat.
    1. Safety checklist
    2. Emergency procedure
    3. Handling lines
    4. Correct anchoring
    5. Use a chart—lay out a course
    6. Operate the boat in a proper manner and make a correct landing.

NOTE: Most of the requirements for earning the Small-Boat Handler bar are met by each state’s National Association of State Boating Law Administrators boating safety course. State agencies provide group instruction, as well as online instruction and testing. NASBLA-approved boating safety courses are also taught by the U.S. Power Squadrons and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

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