Bluewater Crew Rating
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 X Dimension, MIT's 43-foot yacht, 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:
- The MIT Provisional rating.
- Complete the Nauticed.org Skipper course, and email your certificate of completion to firstname.lastname@example.org. MITNA has arranged a discounted $25 rate for this online course. See the Bluewater Crew Rating Checklist for the discount code. When you email your certificate, it is best to copy at least one of the current skippers directly to avoid delays of email from a non-member to the list.
- Read the U.S. Coast Guard guide to navigation markers.
- Please print out the Bluewater Crew Rating Checklist and bring it with you to the class, and to future sails.
For more background, any of these books may be used:
- Annapolis Book of Seamanship
- U.S. Sailing's "Basic Cruising"
- American Sailing Association "Cruising Fundamentals"
- ASA "Coastal Cruising Made Easy"
In the class, sailors will be expected to learn and demonstrate understanding of:
- Basic operation of our 43-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 at least the following knots:
- cleat hitch
- rolling hitch
- figure-eight knot
- clove hitch
- Coiling and heaving a line
- Starting the engine
- Checking oil and coolant
- Checking gauges
- Checking for exhaust water
- Stopping the engine
- Safety information
- Working with new sailors
- Radio procedure
- Safe use of winches
- Location and use of fire extinguishers on board
- Location and use of life jackets and inflatable PFDs
- Retrieving crew overboard
- Distress signals and location/use of signal flares
- Checking and emptying the bilges
- Navigational skills
- Familiarity with layout of Boston Harbor
- Rules of the road
- Coastal piloting using charts
- Understanding of aids to navigation
- Knowledge of boat's draft (8 feet!)
- Use of GPS receiver