Ordinary Sea Scout Rank emblem

Ordinary Sea Scout

Requirements were REVISED effective February 28, 2022.

To see the changes which were made, Click here.

For the previous requirements, Click here.

  1. Ideals
    1. Explain the symbolism of the Sea Scout emblem.
    2. Give a brief oral history of the U.S. flag.
    3. Demonstrate how to fly, hoist, lower, fold, display and salute the U.S. flag. Explain flag etiquette and protocols for both land and sea.
    4. Discuss with an adult leader how you live the Scout Oath and Law in your daily life.
  2. Active Membership
    1. Meet your ship's bylaws requirement for active participation in your ship's meetings and activities for three months.
    2.  Do one of the following. Recruit a new member for your ship and follow through until the new member is registered and formally admitted with an admissions ceremony, or assist in planning and carrying out a ship recruiting activity, such as an open house or joint activity with a youth group or organization (another Sea Scout ship will not count).
  3. Leadership
    1. Participate in the BSA’s Introduction to Leadership Skills for Ships (ILSS) course.
    2. Complete quarterdeck training, either as an officer or as a prospective officer. c
    3. Serve as an activity chair for a major ship event. Responsibilities should include planning, directing, and evaluating the event.
  4. Swimming
  5. Safety
    1. Discuss BSA Safety Afloat with an adult leader or a Quartermaster candidate.
    2. Describe the safety equipment required by law for your ship's primary vessel.
    3. For larger vessels that require a crew,develop a ship's station bill for your ship and review it with an adult leader.
      For smaller vessels with only one or two people aboard, develop a roster of attendees for your ship's next float trip. Identify lead and sweep boats. Note which boats are carrying rescue and first aid equipment, the trip roster, and medical forms. Review the roster with an adult leader.
    4. Plan and practice the following drills: man overboard, fire, and abandon ship.
      If your ship uses small vessels such as small sailboats or paddlecraft, plan and practice man overboard drills (if appropriate), capsize drills and deep water re-entries.
    5. Describe any three types of equipment used in marine communications.
    6. Demonstrate your knowledge of correct maritime radio telephone communications procedures by making at least three calls to other vessels, marinas, bridges, or locks. If your vessel does not use VHF radios, this may be simulated.
    7. Demonstrate proficiency with the communication devices used on your ship's primary vessel.
    8. Galley
      1. Before an activity, submit a menu that uses cooked and uncooked dishes, a list of provisions, and estimated costs for a day's meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Once the provision list is approved, help obtain the items on the list.
      2. Explain the use of charcoal, isobutane, white gas, and propane. Include safety precautions for each.
      3. Prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner while on the activity. Demonstrate your ability to properly use the galley equipment or personal cooking gear generally used by your ship. If your vessel does not have a galley space, these may be done ashore.
      4. Demonstrate appropriate sanitation techniques for food preparation and meal cleanup.
  6. Marlinspike Seamanship
    1. Name the various materials used to manufacture rope, the advantages and disadvantages of each, and the characteristics of laid and braided rope. Discuss the meaning of lay, thread, strand, and hawser. Explain how rope is sized and measured.
    2. Using both large and small lines, tie and explain the use of the following knots: stevedore's knot, French (double) bowline, bowline on a bight, timber hitch, rolling hitch, marline hitch, midshipman's (taut-line) hitch, and trucker's hitch.
    3. Demonstrate your ability to secure a line to pilings, cleats, and rings, and to coil, flake, and flemish a line.
    4. Demonstrate how to cut and heat-seal a synthetic line and whip the end of plain-laid line using waxed cord or similar material.
  7. Boat Handling
    1. Name the principal parts of the masts, booms, spars, standing and running rigging, and sails of a gaff or Marconi-rigged sloop, schooner, and ketch or yawl.
    2. b. Demonstrate your ability to handle a vessel with paddles or oars by doing one of the following:
      • Safely board a rowboat and row in a straight line for 200 feet, stop, make a pivot turn, return to the starting point and backwater in a straight line for 40 feet. Make a turn and return to the starting point.
      • or
      • Safely board a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard and paddle a straight line for 200 feet. Make a turn and return to the starting point and backwater in a straight line for 40 feet. Demonstrate a draw stroke to move the boat sideways both right and left, and forward and reverse sweeps to spin the boat both clockwise and counterclockwise.
  8. Ground Tackle
    1. Name the parts of a stock anchor and a stockless anchor.
    2. Describe five types of anchors. Describe how each type holds the bottom, the kind of bottom in which it holds best, and the advantages or disadvantages of each type. Discuss the challenges of using an anchor with paddlecraft compared to larger vessels.
    3. Calculate the amount of anchor rode necessary for your ship's primary vessel in the following depths: 10, 20, and 30 feet in normal and storm conditions.
    4. Demonstrate the ability to set and weigh anchor appropriate for your vessel.
  9. Navigation Rules
    1. Explain the purpose of Navigation Rules, International and Inland.
    2. Know the general "Rule of Responsibility":
    3. Define stand-on and give-way vessels for the following situations: meeting, crossing, and overtaking for both power and sailing vessels.
    4. Explain "Responsibility Between Vessels" (vessel priority).
    5. Explain the navigation lights required for power-driven and sailing vessels underway. Explain what is required for a vessel under oars. Describe the lighting requirements for paddlecraft. Explain why carrying a sound producing device such as a whistle is important when operating a paddlecraft.
    6. Describe the sound signals for maneuvering, warning, and restricted visibility.
  10. Piloting and Navigation
    1. Demonstrate your understanding of latitude and longitude. Using a chart, demonstrate that you can locate your position from given coordinates and determine the coordinates of at least five aids to navigation.
    2. Explain the degree system of compass direction. Explain variation and deviation and how they are used to convert between true headings and bearings to compass headings and bearings.
    3. Describe three kinds of devices used aboard ship for measuring speed and/or distance traveled and, if possible, demonstrate their use.
    4. Explain the 24-hour time system and demonstrate that you can convert between 12- and 24-hour time.
    5. Understand Coordinated Universal Time (Greenwich Mean Time or Zulu Time) and zone time. Demonstrate your ability to convert from one to the other for your local area.
    6. Make a dead reckoning table of compass and distances (minimum three legs) between two points, plot these on a chart, and determine the final position.
      Note: Ideally this requirement should be met while underway. If this is not possible, it may be simulated using charts.
    7. Discuss how a GPS unit works. Explain possible uses and functions including different screen views. Use a GPS unit to set a waypoint and navigate to the waypoint you have set.
  11. Practical Deck Seamanship
    1. Name the seven watches and explain bell time.
    2. Explain the duties of a lookout and demonstrate how to report objects in view and wind directions with respect to the vessel.
    3. Name relative bearings expressed in degrees.
    4. While underway, serve as a lookout for two hours total. When boating in a manually propelled craft, boating alone or as a bow paddler for a tandem craft will meet this requirement.
    5. Demonstrate the use of wheel or helm commands found in the Sea Scout Manual.
    6. Describe the deck log kept aboard your ship’s principal craft. Contribute to a cruise log for three days of cruising (one cruise or a combination of day cruises). Submit the logs to your Skipper.
  12. Environment
    1. Discuss with an adult leader the Federal Water Pollution Control Act as related to oil discharges. Explain what a "Discharge of Oil Prohibited" placard is and, if applicable, find it aboard your ship's vessels.
    2. Explain what aquatic nuisance species are and how you can help stop their spread.
    3. Explain how the principles of Leave No Trace can be applied to boating trips.
  13. Weather
    • Read and understand a local weather bulletin. Know how to obtain current marine and weather reports from the National Weather Service in your area by telephone or radio, or online.
    • Find a river in your area and review the forecasted flow levels by using the National Weather Service's Hydrologic Prediction Service's map and graphs. Compare forecasted flow levels to average flow levels using the USGS National Water Information System web page.
  14. Cruising
    1. Plan and participate in an overnight cruise. If underway in a paddlecraft, paddling independently or as a stern paddler/steersman will meet this requirement.
    2. While on the cruise, perform the duties of a helmsman for at least 30 minutes.
  15. Boating Safety Course
      Successfully complete a boating safety course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) offered by one of the following agencies: a state boating agency, the United States Power Squadrons, the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, or other private or military education courses.
  16. Service
    1. Log at least eight hours of work on ship equipment, projects, or activities other than ship meetings, parties, dances, or fun events.
    2. Participate with your ship for at least eight hours in community service projects
  17. Electives
    • Choose any three electives from the options listed following the Quartermaster rank requirements.
      Click Here to see the list of electives.

Reference materials such as U.S. Coast Guard navigation rules. International Sailing Federation Rules, OSHA requirements. International Code of Signals, and others change frequently. They should be available in your ship's library. They are not reprinted in this (the Sea Scout) manual.

For more details on Sea Scouting,
including References, and Web References for the requirements shown above,
see the official Sea Scouting Web Site, at http://www.seascout.org

Source: Sea Scout Manual Errata 6 - https://seascout.org/download/sea-scout-manual-errata-notice-6-2022/?wpdmdl=23655

Page updated on: September 16, 2022

Scouts Using the Internet Cartoon - Courtesy of Richard Diesslin - Click to See More Cartoons
© 1994-2024 - U.S. Scouting Service Project | Site Map | Disclaimer | Project Team | Contact Us | Privacy Policy

Materials found at U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Websites may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA or WOSM and does not speak on behalf of BSA or WOSM. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors. You can support this website with in two ways: Visit Our Trading Post at www.ScoutingBooks.com or make a donation by clicking the button below.
(U.S. Scouting Service Project Donation)

(Ruth Lyons Memorial Donations)