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 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 Skipper course, and email your certificate of completion to MITNA has arranged a discounted $25 rate for this online course. Please use the MITNA discount code to receive the discount. (If you do not have MIT certificates to view the discount code, or if this price is a financial hardship, please contact the bluewater skippers.)
  • Read the U.S. Coast Guard guide to navigation markers
  • Please print out a 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:

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:
      • bowline
      • 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