Checkout Criteria

During a checkout you will be evaluated in the areas described below. The level to which you will be evaluated will depend on the size and complexity of the boat being requested.

Leadership & Communication

Demonstrate use of audible commands that clearly communicate your requests and intentions.

Docking & Motoring

Basic Keelboat: Demonstrate operation of an outboard motor, maneuvering and docking.

Basic Cruising: Demonstrate leaving and returning to the slip under power. Demonstrate back & fill and driving in reverse.

Bareboat: In addition to Basic Cruising skills, demonstrate side tie, use of spring lines and backing into a slip.

Points of Sail & Sail Trim

Demonstrate proper methods of making sail and striking sail.

Demonstrate clear knowledge of the points of sail and proper sail trim.

Demonstrate heading up and heading down, using proper sail trim during the maneuver.


Demonstrate methods of shortening sail, using the reefing systems on the boat being sailed.

Tacking & Jibing

Demonstrate tacking, jibing, heaving-to and stopping the boat.

Crew Overboard Recovery

Basic Keelboat: Demonstrate COB recovery using the Figure 8 method.

Basic Cruising/Bareboat: Also demonstrate COB recovery using the Quick Stop method.


Demonstrate knowledge of scope calculations and selection of an appropriate anchorage.

Demonstrate proper anchoring technique.


Demonstrate ability to tie the following knots: bowline, round turn & two half hitches, stopper knot (figure 8), cleat hitch and coiling a line.


Basic Keelboat: Demonstrate ability to read a chart (title block, depths, aids to navigation). Know how to read and interpret the tide book.

Basic Cruising/Bareboat: Demonstrate ability to plot bearings and fixes and to make time, speed distance calculations. Demonstrate ability to steer a compass course.


Demonstrate clear knowledge of nomenclature at the appropriate level.


Demonstrate ability to adjust and operate the VHF radio, and knowledge of hailing, distress and working channels.

Boat Systems

Basic Cruising/Bareboat: Demonstrate knowledge of plumbing, cooking and electrical systems. Demonstrate ability to perform basic engine check (oil level, cooling water, belt tension, strainer, through-hull, packing gland).

Safety Systems

Demonstrate knowledge of how to check and use the boat’s safety systems (life ring, Life Sling, fire extinguishers, flares). Know different ways of signaling distress.

General Awareness

Demonstrate awareness of what is happening aboard the boat and around you on the water.

Demonstrate a working knowledge of the Rules of the Road for boats under sail and boats under power.

Submit Sailing Resume               Submit Powerboating Resume