SmallBoatHandlerThe Sea Scout “Bar Awards,” Small Boat Handler and Qualified Seaman, were confirmed in a recent survey as being important achievements and motivators to Sea Scouts. Accordingly, considerations of eliminating these awards were set aside.

The original requirements for the Small Boat Handler Award focused on the Aids to Navigation and Boating Safety but did not require a Scout to handle a boat. As part of the follow-on to retaining the Bar Awards, the addition of handling a small boat was recently added. The following requirements have been added to the Small Boat Handler Award and will be included in the 2016 Printing of the Sea Scout Manual.

Section One- Aids to Navigation and Rules of the Road


Section Two- Boating Safety


Section Three- Boat Handling

Demonstrate your boat handling ability by doing one of the following:

1. Small-Boat Sailing

Show that you, alone or with a buddy, can sail a boat properly. Do the following:

a. Prepare a boat for sailing, including a safety inspection.

b. Get underway from dockside, mooring, or beach.

c. Properly set sails for a round-trip course approved by your leader that will include running, beating, and reaching—the basic points of sail. While sailing, demonstrate good helmsmanship skills.

d. Change direction by tacking: change direction by jibing.

e. Demonstrate getting out of irons.

f. 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.

2. Motorboating

Demonstrate proper procedures and skills by doing the following:

a. Board and show how to assist others in boarding.

b. Complete a safety check.

c. Get underway from dockside or from a beach.

d. Run a course for at least a mile, showing procedures for overtaking and passing slower craft, yielding right-of-way, passing oncoming traffic, making turns, reversing direction, and using navigation aids.

e. Land or dock; get out and show how to assist others.

f. Moor the boat and secure all gear.

3. Rowing

Alone or with a passenger, do the following:

a. Board and complete a safety check.

b. Launch from dockside or from a beach.

c. Row in a straight line for 100 yards. Stop, pivot, and return to the starting point.

d. Backwater in a straight line for 25 yards. Make a turn underway and return to the starting point.

e. Land and moor or rack your craft.

f. Come alongside a pier and help a passenger into the boat. Pull away from the pier, change positions with your passenger, and demonstrate sculling over the stern or side. Resume your rowing position, return alongside the pier, and help your passenger out of the boat.

A special thanks goes out to Charles Wurster, Cassie Johnson, and the Program Content Subcommittee for their work on this project.