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Boating: A Mini Unit

The following unit can used by 'sailors' both before entering the water and during a boating experience. It wouldn't hurt for adult sailors to review this unit either!

1. Show that you can use and care for a PFD (Personal Flotation Device):

-- Tell when PFDs should be worn and who needs to wear them
-- Tell from the label of a PFD is Coast Guard approved, the right type, and the right size
-- Adjust a life jacket or life vest to fit properly
-- Throw and float with a buoyant cushion or life ring
-- Stow PFDs in a handy place on a boat or ashore
-- Tell if a PFD is in good condition
-- Put on a PFD in water thatís over your head, if youíre a swimmer

2. Be able to keep a boat in trim. Show that you can:

-- Prevent a boat from being overloaded
-- Stow things and move weight around safely.
-- Keep water from rising or sloshing around in the bottom of the boat

3. Show that you can handle a small craft safely. In a rowboat, canoe, sailboat, or motorboat:

-- Get underway
-- Make turns and go straight
-- Speed up, slow down, and stop
-- Secure the craft

4. Keep a sharp lookout. Show that you practice boating rules of the road as you:

-- Keep away from swimmers, divers, and people fishing
-- Look out for other boats, floating objects, or dangers under the surface
-- Spot helps like buoys, lights, or landmarks
-- Help someone in distress or signal for help yourself.
-- Watch out for wakes
-- Treat the water habitat with care

5. Do your share to keep a boat shipshape. Do the following:

-- Unload or stow gear or rigging
-- Wash down, bail out, or sponge off
-- Scrub, sand, scrape, or chip
-- Paint, patch, or fix up
-- Tie knots, splice, or whip lines
-- Make something to add to boating comfort

6. Be ready for boating emergencies. Go over what to do if:

-- You fall overboard
-- Someone else falls in
-- The wind rises (or, if sailing, dies)
-- Waters get rough
-- The boat swamps or capsizes
-- It gets dark or foggy
-- There's a fire on board

7. Be a water and weather watcher. To tell if it's safe to be out in a boat, show you can take cues from:

-- Wind direction and speed
-- Waves, tides, or currents
-- Clouds
-- Weather reports or signals

8. Take care of comfort afloat. Model what you would wear to prevent harm from:

-- The sun
-- The wind
-- Cold temperatures
-- Wet conditions

9. Show that you know how to recognize and treat someone who:

-- Is not breathing
-- Has sunburn, heat stroke, heat exhaustion
-- Has hypothermia
-- Is seasick

10. Ahoy! Be an 'old salt' by doing the following:

-- Use the nautical terms for the major parts of a boat
-- Point out different types of boats for different uses
-- Tell time from ship's bells or a 24-hour clock
-- Find out some everyday phrases that have nautical origins
-- Learn your name in international code flags or Morse code
-- Gather a collection of sea stories or chanties

11. Look back at life at sea before the year 1900.

12. Look into what it's like to be a crew member, a scientist, or a captain at sea today.

13. Imagine life on a ship in the future.

14. Add at least three important items to this safe boating checklist:

-- Have a PFD on board for each person
-- File a float plan
-- ___________________________________
-- ___________________________________
-- ___________________________________

15. Plan a day-long adventure by boat. On a chart or map, figure out:

-- What course you'll follow or what landmarks you can expect to see along the way
-- How far you'll go
-- How long it will take
-- Where you could find refuge in an emergency


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