How to Use This PamphletThe secret to successfully earning a merit badge is for you to use boththe pamphlet and the suggestions of your counselor.Your counselor can be as important to you as a coach is to an athlete.Use all of the resources your counselor can make available to you.This may be the best chance you will have to learn about this particularsubject. Make it count.If you or your counselor feels that any information in this pamphlet isincorrect, please let us know. Please state your source of information.Merit badge pamphlets are reprinted annually and requirementsupdated regularly. Your suggestions for improvement are welcome.Send comments along with a brief statement about yourself to YouthDevelopment, S209 Boy Scouts of America 1325 West Walnut HillLane P.O. Box 152079 Irving, TX 75015-2079.Who Pays for This Pamphlet?This merit badge pamphlet is one in a series of more than 100 coveringall kinds of hobby and career subjects. It is made available for youto buy as a service of the national and local councils, Boy Scouts ofAmerica. The costs of the development, writing, and editing of themerit badge pamphlets are paid for by the Boy Scouts of America inorder to bring you the best book at a reasonable price.


Requirements1. Do the following:a. Explain first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occurwhile motorboating, including hypothermia, heat reactions, dehydration, motion sickness, insect stings, tickbites, and blisters.b. Identify the conditions that must exist before performingCPR on a person, and explain how such conditions arerecognized. Demonstrate proper technique for performingCPR using a training device approved by your counselor.2. Do the following:a. Before doing requirements 3 through 6, successfullycomplete the BSA swimmer test.b. Name the different types of personal flotation devices(PFDs), and explain when each type should be used.Show how to choose and properly fit a PFD.3. Do the following:a. Explain inboard, outboard, and inboard/outboard motors,and the uses and advantages of each. Discuss the specialfeatures of a bass boat and a ski boat.b. Explain the safety procedures and precautions involvinghandling fuel and engine servicing, and equipment storageand placement.c. Explain how to winterize a boat motor and tell why thisprocedure is necessary.d. Explain the safety procedures and precautions involvingswimmers and skiers in the water, passenger positionsunder way, and boat wakes.35920ISBN 978-0-8395-3345-0 2008 Boy Scouts of America2010 PrintingBANG/Brainerd, MN4-2010/059743

4. Show you know safety laws for motorboating by doingthe following:a. Have a permit to run a motorboat, if needed.b. Explain the rules or laws that apply to recreationalboating in your area or state.c. Discuss how the hazards of weather and heavy waterconditions can affect both safety and performance inmotorboating.d. Promise that you will follow BSA Safety Afloat guidelines.Explain the meaning of each point.e. Discuss with your counselor the nautical rules of theroad and describe the national and your state’s aidsto navigation.f. Explain and show the correct use of equipment requiredby both state and federal regulations to be carried aboarda motorboat.g. Explain federal and state rules for a ventilation system,and tell why these rules are required.5. Demonstrate proper boat-handling procedures and skills bydoing the following:a. Board and assist others in boarding.b. Fuel the boat and complete a safety check.c. Get under way from dockside or from a beach launch.d. Run a course for at least a mile, showing procedures forovertaking and passing slower craft, yielding right-of-way,passing oncoming traffic, making turns, reversing direction,and using navigation aids.e. Stop and secure the boat in position on the open waterusing anchors; get under way.f. Land or dock; get out and assist others.g. Moor the boat and secure all gear.6. Point out and explain the mechanical and safety features ofa boat trailer. With others assisting, do the following:a. Launch a boat from a trailer.b. Remove a boat from the water using a trailer.motorboating3

ContentsBoating Safely. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7Signs and Signals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29Boat Handling and Seamanship. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35Care of Boat, Motor, and Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65Weather . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71Service and Emergencies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75Motorboating Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77motorboating5

.Boating SafelyBoating SafelyLearning to be a safe boater is a lot like learning to be a safedriver. First, you will need to learn the nautical “rules of theroad” and obey them. You also will need to familiarize yourselfwith federal, state, and local laws that affect recreational boating. These laws regulate such things as the minimum age foroperator licensing; numbering of boats and operators; requiredsafety equipment, lights, and sound signals; speed limits; maximum horsepower of the motor; hours of operation; and areaswhere powerboats may be prohibited.Scouting also has rules, standards, and precautions forboating activities. In some respects, the BSA standards requiremeasures and procedures that are stricter than federal, state,and local laws.In cases where a BSA boating standard differs from thegovernment regulation, apply the one that will ensurethe highest level of safety.When faced witha “traffic jam”or bottleneckon a waterway,you will need toexercise thesame patience,courtesy, andcommon senseyou would use ina similar situationon a highway orcity street.Recreational motorboating is very popular, but make sure youunderstand and follow all the safety rules.motorboating7

Boating Safely.Find out which rules and regulations apply before youlaunch a boat. For federal laws, get the most current information from the nearest U.S. Coast Guard office. For state laws,check with the state agencies having jurisdiction over boatingactivities in your state. For local regulations and general safetyguidance, consult boat and motor dealers or marine operatorsand BSA publications such as the Guide to Safe Scouting andthis Motorboating merit badge pamphlet. Check with your meritbadge counselor if you need help.Personal watercraft are powered craft up to 10 feetlong. They are designed to be operated by sitting,standing, or kneeling on the craft—sort of the aquaticversion of a motorbike. The Guide to Safe Scoutingspecifically forbids the use of motorized personalwatercraft in Scouting aquatics and in or near BSAprogram areas. It naturally follows that these craft cannot be used tocomplete Motorboating merit badge requirements—or for any otherpurpose on Scout outings or programs.All powered craft must be currently registered and displayidentifying information.8motorboating

.Boating SafelyThe Guide to Safe Scouting requires that all participants inScouting aquatics activities: Know and practice the BSA Safety Afloat guidelines. Are able to render first aid for the types of injuries andillnesses that could happen while motorboating. Are familiar with appropriate personal flotation devices(PFDs) and how to fit them. Understand fire prevention measures and know how tooperate onboard fire extinguishers. Are familiar with the waterways they will be using. Respect and practice the nautical rules of the road.Safety AfloatThe BSA Safety Afloat guidelines were developed topromote boating safety and to set standards for safeScouting activity afloat. Be sure to keep these guidelinesin mind during all boating activities.1. Qualified SupervisionAll activity afloat must be supervised by a mature andconscientious adult age 21 or older who Understands and accepts responsibility for the well-beingand safety of the people in his or her careEvery Scout Is experienced in the water and the particular watercraftto be usedstudy and Is confident in his or her ability to respond in the eventof an emergency Is trained in and committed to complying with BSA SafetyAfloat standardsThere should be one qualified adult supervisor for each10 people, with a minimum of two adults for any group. Atleast one supervisor must be age 21 or older, and the remainingsupervisors must be age 18 or older. At least one of these adultsmust be certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).boater shouldunderstand thepoints of the BSASafety Afloat plan.The complete textcan be found inthe Guide toSafe Scouting.motorboating9

Boating Safely.2. Physical FitnessAll participants must show evidence of fitness by presentinga complete health history from a physician, parent, or legalguardian. Adult supervisors will adjust the activity to anticipateany potential risks associated with individual health conditionssuch as diabetes, severe allergies, epilepsy, asthma, or heartconditions. If a participant has any significant health conditions, the adult leader should require proof of an examinationby a physician.3. Swimming AbilityA person who has not been classified as a “swimmer” mayride as a passenger in a rowboat or motorboat with an adult“swimmer” or in a canoe, raft, or sailboat with an adult certified as a lifeguard or a lifesaver by a recognized agency. Inall other circumstances, the person must be a “swimmer” toparticipate in an activity afloat. “Swimmers” must pass theBSA swimmer test.BSA Swimmer TestEvery skilland maneuverdiscussed in thispamphlet mustbe done whilewearing a PFD.10motorboatingTo qualify as a “swimmer,” you must pass the followingswimmer test. Jump feetfirst into water over your headin depth. Level off and swim 75 yards in a strongmanner using one or more of the following strokes:sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl. Then swim25 yards using an easy resting backstroke. The 100yards must be completed without any stops and mustinclude at least one sharp turn. After completing theswim, rest by floating. You will need to renew thisqualification test each year.4. Personal Flotation EquipmentWhenever you participate in any boating activity on the openwater, you must wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard–approved personal flotation device, or PFD. Recreational boatersusually wear Type III PFDs.

.Boating Safely5. Buddy SystemAll activity afloat must followthe principles of the buddysystem. Every individualmust have a buddy, andevery craft should have abuddy boat when on thewater. The buddy systemassures that for every personinvolved in an aquatics activity, at least one other personis always aware of his or hersituation and prepared tolend assistance immediatelyWhenever you go boating, make sure you have awhen needed.6. Skill Proficiencybuddy with you. If your boat goes afloat, the samerule applies—go with a buddy boat.All participants in activity afloat must be trained and experiencedin watercraft handling skills, safety, and emergency procedures.Anyone operating a powerboat must be able to meet requirements for the Motorboating merit badge or equivalent.7. PlanningFloat Plan. Know exactly where the group will put in and pullout, and what course it will follow. Determine all stopoverpoints in advance, and review the plan beforehand with otherswho have made the trip recently. Be sure to use accurate andcurrent maps of the waterways to be traveled, and estimatetravel time generously to allow for unexpected weather conditions and to avoid traveling under time pressures. It is stronglyrecommended that a currently trained BSA Lifeguard assistgroups in the planning and conducting of all activity afloat.Preferably, anadult member ofthe group shouldrun the coursebefore the triptakes place.Local Rules. Determine which state and local laws or regulations apply for your trip. Get written permission from theowners or managers to use or cross private property.Notification. Give a copy of your float plan to a few responsible adults who will be staying behind, such as the participants’parents or a troop committee member. Appropriate authoritiessuch as the Coast Guard, state police, or park personnel alsoshould be notified of the activity when their jurisdiction isinvolved. Upon your return, check in with everyone whohas a copy of the float plan.motorboating11

Boating Safely.Weather. Be familiar with the seasonal weather pattern for thearea. Check the weather forecast just before setting out, andkeep an alert eye on the weather. Bring all craft ashore if roughweather threatens.Contingencies. Anticipate possible emergencies or othercircumstances that could force a change in the original plan,and decide on alternate plans—just in case.Carry an approved fire extinguisher, and know how touse and maintain it.8. EquipmentAll equipment must be suited to the craft, to the water conditions, and to the individual; must be in good repair; and mustsatisfy all state and U.S. Coast Guard requirements. To theextent possible, carry spare equipment and appropriate repairmaterials. Be sure that rescue equipment is available forimmediate use.9. DisciplineAll participants should know, understand, and respect the rulesand procedures for safe activity afloat. The group should reviewthe applicable rules just before setting off. Safety rules—pluscommon sense and good judgment—keep the fun from beingspoiled by accidents or injury.In some cases, Sea Scout standards may be substituted forthe Safety Afloat guidelines.The Sea Scout standards maybe used when Venturers or SeaScouts operate cruising vessels(including powerboats longerthan 20 feet) or participate inany high-adventure program orother activity under the directcontrol of the BSA NationalCouncil. These activities allrequire adult supervision.12motorboating

.Boating SafelyFirst AidFollo