Bluewater Crew Rating

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The Bluewater Crew Rating was implemented to provide an educational opportunity to sailors at MIT who are interested in learning more about coastal sailing. A sailor who has attained the Bluewater Crew Rating has demonstrated that they familiar with the boat and can assist the skipper in its safe operation.


To become Bluewater Crew, you must:

  • obtain the Provisional rating
  • successfully complete a one-day Bluewater Crew Class
  • in addition to the class, sail on the boat at least twice
  • be checked-off by the class instructor and one other skipper for each of the items on the Bluewater Crew Rating Checklist
  • be endorsed by two skippers (which may include the class instructor)

Bluewater Crew Class

The Bluewater Crew Class will be taught on Mashnee, MIT's Buzzards Bay 30, over the course of a day. There will be a maximum of four students on board.

Before taking the class, students must complete the following:

For more background, any of these books may be used:

In the class, sailors will be expected to learn and demonstrate understanding of:

  • Basic operation of our 47-foot cruising vessel
    • Mooring approach and departure
    • Raising and lowering the mainsail
    • Unfurling and furling the foresail
    • Reefing the mainsail
    • Tacking/jibing a large vessel
    • Heaving to
    • Assisting with docking
      • Tying fenders
      • Preparing bow, stern, and spring lines
      • Safely stepping off boat at shrouds
      • Handling bow, stern and spring lines on dock
      • Leaving the dock
    • Proper use of the head
    • Dinghy driving
      • Tying dinghy to stern or to mooring
    • Basic mainsail and foresail trim
    • Winch operation
    • Tying and using at least the following knots:
      • bowline
      • cleat hitch
      • figure-eight knot
      • clove hitch
      • reef knot
      • rolling hitch
      • round turn and two half hitches
    • Coiling and heaving a line
    • Using the diesel engine
      • Checking oil and coolant
      • Checking gauges
      • Starting the engine
      • Checking for exhaust water
      • Stopping the engine
  • Safety information
    • Familiarity with the inland navigation rules
    • VHF radio operation and distress call procedure
    • Safe line handling including safe use of winches
    • Location and proper use of navigation lights for sailing and motoring
    • Location and proper use of fire extinguishers on board
    • Location and proper use of personal flotation devices (PFD)
    • Location and proper use of visual distress signals
    • Location and proper use of sound devices: danger and low visibility signals
    • Location and proper use of bilge pumps, checking and emptying the bilge
    • Assisting the skipper with crew overboard maneuvers
    • Knowledge of boat's draft (5'4" centerboard up, 8'4" centerboard down)
    • Location and proper use of the depth meter
    • Working with new sailors unfamiliar with the above
  • Navigational skills
    • Familiarity with layout of Boston Harbor
    • Familiarity with aids to navigation (ATONs) in Boston Harbor and Massachusetts Bay
    • Visual harbor piloting using ATONs and following all rules of the road
    • Coastal piloting using the nautical paper charts on board
    • Using the GPS chart plotter and other electronic charts