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Coast Guard Auxiliary

Boating Skills and Seamanship:

Jeff SteinbergThe U. S. Coast Guard Auxiliary's “Boating Skills & Seamanship” (BS&S) course is a comprehensive course designed for both the experienced and the novice boater. The course, now offered in the latest edition of the text, consists of eight core required lessons, added optional lessons that providing up-to-date knowledge for handling boats in all conditions. In addition, as part of the class we are offering a “Line and Knots Workshop” prior to our regular sessions. “Lines and Knots” (over five sessions) will teach the student how to tie specific important knots that are needed for everyday boating.

This class, offered and taught by experienced and knowledgeable members of Flotilla 12-4 Auxiliarists, is open to the public. Students are only responsible for the cost of materials. Upon passing an examination at the conclusion of each course, students will receive a “Certificate of Completion” which is accepted by some insurance companies in order to provide a discount. This course is appropriate for all boaters.

“Boating Skills & Seamanship” is taught in the beautiful facilities of the Del Rey Yacht Club, located at 13900 Palawan Way in Marina del Rey. Free Parking is available. For more information, contact our PE by e-mail at The upcoming schedule of classes is as follows:

Cost: $80 (covers cost of materials)
Space limited!
Registration starts at 6:30pm on the first night
Class starts at 7:00pm

Topics include:

- Which Boat Is for You? -- boater's language, types of boats, outboard motors and stern drives, hull design, uses of boats, boat building materials, your intended use, the Coast Guard Customer Info line, marine surveyors, buying a boat..
- Lines and Knots Workshop (over five weeks) -- types of lines and the purposes; learn "The Bowline," The "Half-Hitch," "Sheet Bend," "Square Knot," the "Cleat Hitch," the "Clove Hitch," the "Stopper Knot."
- Equipment for your Boat -- requirements for your boat, your boat's equipment, legal considerations, substance abuse, boating accident reports, Courtesy Marine Examinations.
- Trailering your Boat -- legal considerations, practical considerations, the towing vehicle, balancing the load, handling your trailer, pre-departure checks, preparing to launch, launching, retrieving, storing your boat and trailer, theft prevention, Zebra mussels, float plan.
- Handling your Boat -- leave with a full tank, fueling your boat, your boat's propeller, cars and boats, twin screws, jet drives, loading your boat, getting started, leaving a pier, "man" overboard, docking, mooring to a permanent anchor, anchoring, towing a skier, heavy weather, small boat safety.
- Your "Highway" Signs -- protection of ATONs, buoyage systems, waterway marks, how waterways are marked, light characteristics, chart symbols, light structures, lights on bridges, electronic aids to navigation, a word to the wise, navigation publications.
- The Rules You Must Follow -- two sets of rules, to whom do the rules apply, what is a vessel, the general responsibility rule, general considerations, conduct in narrow channels, traffic separation schemes, vessel traffic services, stand-on or give-way, rules for special vessels, risk of collision, bend signals, restricted visibility, vessel lights and shapes, vessels at anchor, diving operations, distress signals, drawbridge signals, penalties.
- Boating Safety -- small boat safety, personal watercraft, hypothermia, motorboats and sailboats, carbon monoxide poisoning, float plan, U.S. Coast Guard District Offices, instructions for using a course plotter, metric conversion system.
- Introduction to Navigation -- piloting tools, maps and charts, chart features, your chart's general information block, other charted information, your magnetic compass, position on the earth's surface, locating a point on a chart, distance on the earth's surface, measuring distance, course plotting, sources of compass error, correcting a compass reading, positioning, speed-time-distance, dead reckoning, practice your art.
- Powering your Boat -- types of marine engines, marine engines, selecting a propeller, induction systems, ignition systems, flame arresters, cooling systems, gasoline considerations, batteries, maintenance, winterizing your boat, spring fitting-out, troubleshooting.
- Your Boat's Radio -- radios used on boats, functions of radios, licenses, selecting your VHF-FM radio, installation, operating your VHF-FM, maintain a radio watch, channels have special purposes, some "no no's," copies of the rules, calling another station, procedure words, phonetic alphabet, routine radio check, distress, urgency, and safety calls, crew training.

Currently Enrolled Students:

BS&S class handouts.

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Coast Guard Auxiliary

12-4, The Los Angeles Flotilla
A unit of Division 12, Eleventh Coast Guard District, Southern Region