Safety Checklist for Cruising Crew

Bill Rohde - May 18, 2020

The Cruising Club of America has put together an excellent safety checklist for skippers to use whenever new crew are invited aboard. Take a look, and consider adding this to the things you think about this summer whenever you leave the dock with new crew or guests aboard, whether it be for a day trip or a week-long cruise with company.

CCA Safety Check-List for Short-handed Cruising 

Minimum skills crew should have for cruising safely 
© Cruising Club of America 2013 - Republished by Permission
1.  Can they stop the boat? 
2.  Can they lower the sails? 
3.  Can they steer a compass course? 
4.  Can they engage and set a course on the autopilot or windvane? 
5.  Can they start and stop the engine? 
6.  Can they drop the anchor? 
7.  Can they determine the latitude and longitude of the boat’s current position? 
8.  Can they use the VHF radio to call another boat or Coast Guard and send a DSC message (Digital Selective Calling)? 
9.  Do they know how to call for help (send a MAYDAY message)? 
10. If your boat has one, so they know how to set off an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacon) or PLB (Personal Locator Beacon)? 
11. Do they know how to deploy the Lifesling (or other life ring)? 
12. If your boat has one, can they release the MOM or Man Overboard pole? 
13. Do they know where the flares are and how to use them? 
14. Do they know where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them? 
In addition to the many other services it provides primarily to ocean cruisers, the Cruising Club of America is the organization which organizes and hosts with USSailing the popular Safety at Sea Seminars around the country. However please note that given the current COVID-19 pandemic, immediate live Safety at Sea events have been temporarily placed on hold.
The CCA also makes available numerous other resources of potential interest to cruisers anywhere, including those of us who cruise the Great Lakes. For example, click the CCA Culture of Safety Page
Incidentally, GLCC member Bob Knight is also a CCA member, and serves as the club's CCA liaison.