Approved by Bridge December 8, 2021
Pentagon Sailing Club
Training, Qualification, Certification and Crewing Policies
1. Purpose. To establish policies and procedures for the PSC Training Program and PSC sailing qualifications, certifications and minimum crew requirements. PSC provides training for several reasons – one is to improve skills through various skills/levels of certification.
2.. Revision. This revision replaces the Pentagon Sailing Club Training Program Policies and Procedures dated August 2013.
3.. Background. PSC since its founding has offered sailing related training to its members. It has also established sailing qualification and certification requirements. PSC qualification and certification requirements have been used to establish which members have the necessary training, skills and experience to safely serve as skipper and follow PSC policies and procedures while in charge of a PSC owned or chartered boat. PSC has adopted the qualification and certification practices of recognized authorities on sailing such as the U.S. Naval Sailing Association (USNSA) and the American Sailing Association (ASA). PSC’s Bay Skipper Program originated with U.S. Naval Sailing Association (USNSA); however, the Club’s Bay Skipper certification is now awarded directly from PSC.
4. Club Objectives. The objectives of the PSC as stated in the By-Laws are to encourage development of seamanship skills, and to provide opportunities for sail training, recreational sailing, and related activities for the recreation of Club members. The By-Laws also provide that the Training Commodore has overall responsibility for training, qualifications and certifications
5. Training Policy.
a. The club shall conduct a training program aligned to meet club objectives, interests on the part of club membership and as the availability of resources such as boats and instructors allow.
b. Training programs are also a means to: develop and maintain seamanship skills; socialize with fellow Club members; and, foster the recreational objectives of the club.
c. All club members are encouraged to participate in Club training programs at least annually either as a student, instructor or as a training support member.
d. Members should pursue training at their own pace to meet their unique goals.
e. To participate in training, the member should have the strength and agility to handle lines, sheets, tiller/wheel and to generally perform the functions of a crew member of the boat.
f. The Club shall offer training to support a PSC qualification and certification program to develop and maintain members skills in order to serve as skippers and crew. Skippers and crew must have the training, skills, judgment and experience to safely operate PSC owned and chartered boats in support of PSC sponsored on-the water activities including training sails, recreation sails, raft-ups and racing.
g. PSC training programs shall be patterned after recognized sail training authorities such as ASA in order to offer members the qualifications, certifications and endorsements of these organizations.
h. PSC is not a sailing school and does not offer sail training to the public. PSC sail training is available only to members in good standing.
i. PSC members serving as instructors are strictly volunteers helping other members and receive no compensation for the services they perform. The Club may reimburse instructors for expenses related to achieving or maintaining instructor certifications, for example ASA annual instructor fees.
j. PSC supports documenting members time aboard PSC owned or chartered boats for U.S. Coast Guard Sea Service licensing requirements. The River or Bay Commodore as applicable may sign off on U.S. Coast Guard Sea Service forms where a PSC member is using time on PSC owned or chartered boats to document sea service for a U.S. Coast Guard license. It is up to the PSC member to provide appropriate logs and documentation to allow the Bridge member to sign off on such forms. U.S. Coast Guard policies for documenting sea service such as what constitutes a sea day apply.
k. Training for maintenance and repair for PSC owned boats including the Boat Captain program is outside the scope of this policy and is a responsibility of the River Commodore.
l. Training, qualifications and certification requirements for the Racing Program are outside the scope of this policy and shall be established, maintained and documented and by the Racing Captain. Racing Program training, qualifications and certification requirements shall be published to the Club on the PSC web site.
6. Training Program Roles and Responsibilities.
a. Training Commodore (TC). The TC’s duties and responsibilities are established in the By-laws. More specific functions within the broad outline of the By-laws are in enclosure (1).
b. The TC has a broad range of duties and responsibilities. To effectively and efficiently carryout functions, the support of other volunteers is essential. The duties of the volunteers can take many forms based on member interest and availability such as River Instructors.
c. Critical volunteers include instructors for the River, Bay and Winter Training Programs.
d. A significant amount of planning and coordinating is needed to schedule and arrange for logistics for training events. Volunteers should be recruited as River Training Coordinator, Bay Training Coordinator and Winter Training Program Coordinator. Coordination for these three basic programs is also a lot of work. For this reason, it may be necessary to breakdown aspects of these programs into smaller more manageable portions. Examples include: Training Certification Committee and Coordinator for the Bay Docking classes. Specific suggestions for volunteer coordinators and committees are in enclosure (1).
7. Training Structure.
a. The PSC training structure consists of the following programs: River Training Program; River Instructor Training; Bay Skipper Training Program; and, Winter Training Program. Details of these programs are contained in enclosures (2) through (5)
b. ASA Certifications. The PSC River Basic Keelboat class is based on ASA 101/103 and are prerequisites for subsequent ASA certifications. PSC also offers ASA courses and certifications beyond ASA 101 and ASA 103 depending on the availability of PSC Bay Skippers with the required ASA certifications and suitable boats. The courses are conducted on the Chesapeake Bay on chartered boats 30-50 in length. Private boats may also be used for these classes. PSC generally is able to offer the following advanced ASA sailing certifications: ASA 104 Bareboat Cruising; ASA 106, Advanced Coastal Cruising; ASA 114 Cruising Catamaran; and, ASA 118 Docking Endorsement. These courses will follow ASA policies and procedures including the ASA written exam.
c. U.S. Naval Sailing Association Certifications. The US Naval Sailing Association is an organization of military-affiliated, predominantly Navy members, formed to promote fleet readiness, develop professionalism, develop a competitive spirit, and impart a love of the sea and skills that may be used in recreational opportunities throughout a life time. PSC has been a member of this organization for many years and patterned sail training and qualifications after USNSA practices. This organization has largely been inactive for a number of years prior to the approval of this policy and PSC is no longer issuing USNSA certifications such as D skipper.
d. Other Training Topics. PSC, subject to membership interest may offer additional training classes. Examples of past classes in this category are: Introduction to Celestial Navigation and Heavy Weather Sailing.
8. Requirements for PSC Skipper and Crew on PSC Owned or Chartered Boats.
Qualification levels to serve as skipper on a PSC owned or chartered boat and minimum crew requirements are contained in enclosure (6) except that the Racing Captain shall establish qualification standards for and certify members as PSC Racing Skipper. A member with the PSC Racing Skipper certification is authorized to serve as skipper for a PSC owned boat for PSC Racing Program sails and for other Club River events as outlined in enclosure (6). The Racing Captain shall establish minimum crew requirements for PSC Racing Program sails. The PSC Racing Program minimum crew requirements may allow for single-handed operation of PSC owned boats, by motor power only, for administrative purposes. The River Commodore shall establish qualifications and minimum crew requirements for operation of the boats for maintenance purposes. The River Commodore is authorized to allow single-handed operation of PSC owned boats, by motor power only, for maintenance purposes.
9. Training Schedule, Sign-ups, and Payments.
a. Sailing course schedules and other information will be posted to the PSC website:(www.pentagonsailing.org) and published in club announcements.
b. Course and training events are reserved on-line.
10. Training Cancellations and Refunds.
This is a subject of a separate PSC policy.
PSC encourages members to provide constructive feedback on PSC skippers, lecturers, students and the event itself.
a. In general, the member leading the training event should ask the participants to identify one thing they liked about the event and one area for improvement. The member leading the training event should share this feedback with others as appropriate.
b. Significant concerns regarding an instructor, student or the event should be addressed at the time it arises in order to resolve the issue as quickly and as amicably as possible. If the circumstances do not warrant this approach bring the issue up with the TC or Commodore.
c. The Training Commodore or training event lead may elect to have a more formal feedback process for a particular event such as developing and having participants fill out surveys.
d. For the PSC Basic Keelboat Class. This class requires a more formalized approach to feedback as follows:
i. At the conclusion of each on-the-water session the instructor should meet with each student and provide feedback on how they are doing. The meeting should be a short, simple chat on the dock out of earshot of others. The instructor should also ask the student for one item they liked about the session and one item for improvement; the instructor should take appropriate action based on this feedback.
ii. The Lead Instructor should meet with the other instructors to share how the class went that day. Each instructor should provide an assessment on how individual students are doing. Based on this assessment, crews may be arranged into new crew mixes to better match skill levels and based on this evaluation.
e. Bay Skipper Program. Skippers are encouraged to hold a critique session with the entire crew at the conclusion of each Bay training event. Skippers and candidates should use the checklist and log book sign off process to provide appropriate feedback. For on-the-water evaluations the Skipper should discuss with the candidate how the evaluation went and whether the evaluation was passed. If the Skipper is unable to pass the candidate, provide reasons for not passing and recommendations on how to pass. Candidates should be encouraged to provide feedback to the Skipper.
f. ASA Courses. Skippers and students should follow a similar process as the Bay Skipper Program.
12. Training Recognition and Awards Program.
a. Members should be recognized at Club monthly meetings for achieving qualification levels. This not only provides recognition to the member but encourages other members to seek qualifications. PSC certificates should be presented.
b. The Training Commodore identifies club members for awards at the end of the sailing season. Suggested awards are below. These awards can be modified to fit the circumstances of a particular season.
i. The “Most Improved Sailor of the Year” award is presented to the member who has demonstrated the greatest sailing ability improvement over the course of the sailing season.
ii. The “Training Commodore’s Award” is presented to the member who has given an extraordinary level of service to the training program. Service is demonstrated by both the hours spent training students and the overall support to the program. Training Awards are presented at the club’s annual holiday party and awards dinner.
(1) Volunteer Training Functions
(2) PSC River Keelboat Skipper Training Program
(3) River Instructor Training Program
(4) PSC Bay Training Program
(5) Winter Training Program
(6) Skipper Qualification and Minimum Crewing Requirements
Volunteer Training Functions
1. Training Commodore
a. Recruiting and maintaining volunteers from the club to plan and conduct PSC training programs.
b. Establishing the annual training budget for Bridge approval.
c. Controlling receipts and expenditures and providing records as required by the Treasurer.
d. Developing training policies, program, and procedures.
e. Creating and distributing Training check lists (e.g., Bay Skipper (On-the-Water Evaluation (OTW) check lists).
f. Issuing certification cards and certificates.
g. Establishing the club’s PSC General Topics and Safety Exam, and PSC Navigation Rules (Rules of the Road) Exams.
h. Proctoring all the club’s training program exams; this function may be delegated.
i. Appointing a River Training Coordinator, a Bay Training Coordinator, and other personnel to execute programs and approve lesson plans for their respective training programs.
j. Appointing members of the PSC Training Certification Committee (TCC).
k. Acting as the tie-breaker vote in the decisions of the PSC Training Certification Committee.
l. Liaising with American Sailing Association and other organizations to convey certifications and establish training standards.
m. Maintaining the club’s official Skipper list to document the current qualification levels of all club members.
n. Maintaining the list of all qualified River Instructors.
o. Creating and distributing or designating the required annual Rules of the Road Exam for Bay Skippers and checking to ensure that Boating Safety Certificate requirements are met by all PSC Skippers, and encouraging CPR and First Aid recertification.
p. Implementing the Training Awards Program.
q. Referring reports of accidents during training events to the Vice Commodore and Commodore for review and action as appropriate.
r. Gathering monthly volunteer hours from Training Program volunteers and submitting them to the PSC FVSM Manager monthly.
s. Performing other duties as required by the PSC Commodore.
All PSC instructors are ambassadors for the club. Instructors are responsible for:
a. Executing training in accordance with the training program, training objectives, and all club policies.
b. Acting as safety officers during all training events.
c. Evaluating students as requested by the TC, RTC, or BTC in a standardized and fair manner.
d. Maintaining training standards while maintaining a fun, enjoyable atmosphere.
e. Ensuring boats have required working equipment and safety items.
f. Maintaining personal proficiency and standards of seamanship and skill requirements, including a Boating Safety Certificate for the waters where training is conducted.
g. Ensuring all students comply with boat checkout, float plan, and registration requirements.
h. Lead Instructor for Basic Keelboat Class.
i. Assign Primary and Assistant instructors and students to boats.
ii. Obtain reports from Primary Instructors on progress of students. Makes adjustments to student assignments to match student abilities and improve the learning experience as needed.
iii. Passes down information on student progress and other pertinent information to on-coming instructors for the next on-the-water session.
i. During Bay Events:
i. Coordinating with the BTC and crew on training plans and objectives.
ii. Coordinating with the Bay Commodore, or charter company for boat access, parking, maintenance issues, and other information.
iii. Issuing directions, gear lists, meal plans, and other information to crew.
iv. Providing after-action reviews when required.
3. River Training Coordinator (RTC).
The TC is encouraged to recruit volunteers and appoint them as RTC to assist with the conduct of the club’s various river training programs. Serving in this capacity over multiple seasons is highly desirable. Consider more than one volunteer to split the duties into manageable portions; e.g., RTC for Scheduling River Instructors. RTC’s have the following functions:
a. Developing training objectives, lesson plans, and materials for instructor use.
b. Scheduling River Instructors and monitoring compliance with Boating Safety Certificate requirements.
c. Registration and waiver form monitoring and coordinating.
d. Managing issuance of red River Instructor shirts.
e. Monitoring and providing information on Boating Safety Course requirements.
f. Coordinating with the River Commodore and RC volunteers on boat availability, scheduling and maintenance issues.
g. Advertising and marketing the Basic Sail Training (River) Program including providing content for the website and internal Club announcements.
h. Coordinating and preparing certificates including sending completion certificates to external organizations such as ASA.
i. Tracking and reporting volunteer hours for instructors and other volunteers.
4. Bay Training Coordinators (BTC).
The TC is encouraged to recruit volunteers and appoint them as BTCs to assist with the conduct of the club’s various Bay training programs. Serving in this capacity over multiple seasons is highly desirable. Consider more than one volunteer to split the duties into manageable portions; e.g., BTC for CQM training. BTCs have the following functions:
a. Bay Skipper Program manager/coordinator to manage and or coordinate between activities; e.g., work with the Bay Commodore to schedule sails to allow members to proceed with Bay Skipper qualifications.
b. Developing training schedules for the season; e.g., catamaran ASA 114 classes.
c. Scheduling Bay Skippers with appropriate qualifications for training events; e.g., ASA qualified 214 skippers for ASA 114 classes.
d. Monitoring compliance with Boating Safety Certificate, CPR/First Aid and Rules of the Road requirements for Bay Skippers.
e. Managing Bay Skipper shirts and hats.
f. Coordinating with the Bay Commodore and BTC volunteers on boat availability and scheduling; e.g., availability of a catamaran for an ASA 114 class; and, arranging an overnight sail for a second on-the-water evaluation for a Bay Skipper candidate.
g. Advertising and marketing the Bay Skipper Program including providing content for the website and internal Club announcements.
h. Coordinating and preparing certificates including sending completion certificates to external organizations such as ASA.
i. Tracking and reporting volunteer hours for instructors and other volunteers.
j. Coordinating with the Training Certification Committee and implementing their decisions for the Bay Training Program on behalf of the TC.
5. Winter Training Program Coordinator (WTPC).
The TC is encouraged to recruit volunteers and appoint them as WTPCs to assist with the conduct of the club’s various winter training programs. Serving in this capacity over multiple seasons is highly desirable. Consider more than one volunteer to split the duties into manageable portions; e.g., WTPC for CPR/First Aid training.
a. Developing training schedules for the season; e.g., rules of road class.
b. Manage virtual facilities for classes conducted virtually; e.g., Zoom meeting for catamaran ASA 114 classes.
c. Arranging for and coordinating with instructors for class specific needs.
d. Maintain the club classroom training equipment (computer, projector, white board, coffee pots etc.) during the winter.
e. Provide refreshments for winter training classes.
f. Collect class fees at the beginning of every class as required.
6. Training Certification Committee (TCC).
The TCC acts as an advisory body to the TC and is comprised of four club members who have at least two years of experience with PSC sailing programs. The TCC should have a mix of river and bay experience. Two of the members should be Senior Bay Skippers and two should have the ASA 201/203 qualification. All members should be active participants in bay or river sailing and have demonstrated leadership and commitment to PSC and furthering sailing and seamanship. The TC appoints the TCC for a two-year term, running concurrently with that TC’s tenure. Members may serve multiple terms. The responsibilities of the Committee include:
a. Advising the TC on training policies and procedures.
b. By vote, approve candidates for Bay Senior Skipper status.
c. Mentoring and developing the sailing skills of club members.
d. Considering any other training matters as assigned by the TC.
e. Evaluating qualification levels for members challenging the PSC qualification program.
f. Making formal recommendations by majority vote. (The TC will cast tiebreaking votes of the Committee.).
PSC River Keelboat Skipper Training Program
1. The purpose of this program is to qualify and certify members to serve as skipper on a PSC owned river boat, ensuring that those who are certified can safely operate boats minimizing risks to property and individuals.
2. The PSC River Basic Keelboat Skipper Training Program.
a. This program consists of a PSC Class that includes two classroom sessions, three on-the-water sessions, an on-the-water evaluation session; demonstration of knot tying and a written examination.
b. The classroom sessions are conducted on-line or in-person as resources permit and at the discretion of the Training Commodore.
c. The on-the water sessions are conducted from the club's current host marina by PSC River Instructors on PSC owned keelboats in the range of 22-23 feet. All boats are equipped with outboard motors. These sailboats have basic sailing equipment and sparse below deck systems.
d. ASA 101/103 requirements are used to conduct the Basic Keelboat class.
e. Upon successful completion of the class and completion of a State/ District of Columbia approved Boating Safety class the member is eligible to be certified by the TC as a PSC River Basic Keelboat Skipper.
f. Depending on the availability of resources such as boats and instructors, the Basic Keelboat Class is normally conducted four to five times per year.
g. Members maybe certified as a PSC River Basic Keelboat Skipper without completing the PSC Basic Keelboat Class based on previous sailing training and experience. Members with relevant prior sailing experience may request immediate designation as a PSC River Basic Keelboat Skipper. The member seeking this qualification shall submit a sailing resume including documentation of completion of a State/ District of Columbia approved Boating Safety class to the Training Commodore or the TC’s designee. The TC or designee will review the resume and if the experience is deemed appropriate schedule an on-the-water evaluation with a PSC River Instructor. ASA 101 and 103 certifications require successful completion of these written examinations. The member may be certified as PSC River Basic Keelboat Skipper by the TC or designee upon successful completion of the on-the-water evaluation as determined by the PSC River Instructor.
h. Members with PSC B-KBS or PSC 101/103 certifications will be granted PSC Basic Keelboat Skipper designation without further action.
3. PSC River Social Sail Program.
One of the purposes of this program is to develop a cadre of members who can serve as skippers for PSC social sails on the river.
a. For the PSC River Social Sail qualification level, the member must:
i. be certified as a PSC River Basic Keelboat Skipper;
ii. have completed a State/ District of Columbia approved Boating Safety class;
iii. have completed three sails on PSC river boats in the past two years after being certified as a PSC River Basic Keelboat Skipper ,
iv. sail aboard a PSC river boat at least one time each season prior to sailing as Skipper for a Social Sail.
b. The member requesting this certification shall submit a sailing resume to the TC.
c. The TC shall examine the resume to determine if the member has the qualifications set forth above, and shall also consider recency of experience, sailing time on PSC owned boats on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers and other factors as determined by the TC or designee(s).
d. The TC shall then either certify the member as a PSC River Social Sail Skipper or if in the TC’s opinion the member needs more experience or training, provide recommendations to the member seeking this qualification so they can obtain the additional experience to serve as a PSC Social Sail Skipper.
e. The TC may delegate authority to receive, review and approve the certification as PSC River Social Sail Skipper to designee(s).
4. PSC River Advanced Skipper Program. The purpose of this program is to develop a cadre of members who can serve as skippers for PSC sails on the river at night and for longer sails outside the local operating area.
a. For the PSC River Advanced Skipper qualification level, the member must:
i. be certified as a PSC River Basic Keelboat Skipper;
ii. have completed a State/ District of Columbia approved Boating Safety class;
iii. have the equivalent of at least one season of sailing in addition to the above requirements;
iv. have at least one night sail on the Potomac River and at least one sail to a Potomac River destination beyond the National Harbor marina
v. sail aboard a PSC river boat at least one time each season prior to sailing as Skipper for a trip at night or beyond the National Harbor marina.
b. The member requesting this certification shall submit a sailing resume to the TC.
c. The TC shall examine the resume to determine if the member has the qualifications set forth above, and shall also consider recency of experience, sailing time on PSC owned boats on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers and other factors as determined by the TC.
d. The TC shall then either certify the member as a PSC River Advanced Skipper or if in the TC’s opinion the member needs more experience or training, provide recommendations to the member seeking this qualification so they can obtain the additional experience to serve as a PSC Social Sail Skipper.
e. The TC may delegate authority to receive, review and approve the certification as PSC River Advanced Skipper to designee(s).
5. Sailing Resume and Sailing Hours Log for PSC River Social Sail and Advanced Skipper.
The sailing resume may be of any format including an email. The member requesting the certification should include a log of sailing times over the past two years. The sailing log for this purpose may be self-certified.
River Instructor Training Program
1. The purpose of the River Instructor Training Program is to develop a cadre of club members qualified to serve as skippers for the PSC River Basic Keelboat Skipper Training Program.
2. There are three designations of instructors for this program: Assistant Instructor; Primary Instructor; and, Lead Instructor. Primary and Lead Instructors are certified as River Instructors, authorized Assistant Instructors are not.
3. To serve as an Assistant, Primary or Lead Instructor a member must meet the following requirements:
a. be certified as a PSC River Basic Keelboat Skipper;
b. have reviewed the slides used in the classroom; have reviewed the annual briefing for River instructors and the River Basic Keelboat Class syllabus with a certified PSC Primary or Lead Instructor;
c. sail aboard a PSC river boat at least one time each season prior to taking students out. Additional requirements for each of the three designation levels are as below.
4. Additional requirements for each of the three designation levels are as below:
a. Assistant Instructor: This member helps either the primary or lead instructor with all aspects of the on-the water portion of the PSC Basic Keelboat Class. To qualify as an Assistant Instructor the member must have participated in a sail aboard a PSC owned boat on the river for at least one sail.
b. Primary Instructor: This member is certified as a PSC River Instructor. To qualify this member must participate in at least three separate days of any class as Assistant Instructor and be recommended by a Primary or Lead Instructor as a Primary Instructor.
c. Lead Instructor: The member is qualified as a Primary Instructor, has satisfactorily completed the ASA 201/203 and has reviewed PSC administrative procedures related to ASA documentation procedures with a Lead Instructor or the TC. This member is certified as a PSC River Instructor.
5. Members with PSC designations as Assistant, Primary or Lead Instructor prior to this version of the Training Policy will retain these designations.
6. Prior Experience. Members with relevant prior sailing experience may request immediate designation at any of the three levels by submitting a sailing resume to the Training Commodore or the TC’s designee. The TC or designee will review the resume and if the experience is deemed appropriate authorize the member to serve as an Assistant Instructor for at least one day of a class. Upon completion and with the recommendation of either the Primary or Lead Instructor who skippered the sail, the TC or designee may certify the member at the requested level.
7. The TC or designees shall hold one or more training sessions for Assistant, Primary and Lead Instructors near the beginning of the sailing season and possibly mid-season. All prospective instructors must attend these sessions or review slides from the training. The training shall cover club policies, training program conduct and objectives, lesson plans, safety, administrative information, and other pertinent topics.
8. PSC may conduct ASA 201/203 Instructor training. Successful completion of this training allows members to earn the ASA 201/203 designation. Members may also earn this ASA certification from other organizations. An ASA 201/203 earned at an organization other than PSC is accepted by PSC for qualification as a PSC Lead Instructor; the provisions of paragraph 6, Prior Experience, still apply.
PSC Bay Training Program
1. The purpose of the PSC Bay Training Program is to develop Club members to serve as crew and skipper for a PSC chartered boat in the 30–50-foot range for a PSC sponsored event on the waters of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia (DELMARVA). The Bay Skipper program is the Club’s foundation for sail training vessels 30-50 feet (i.e., sailing beyond what we do in the river).
2. PSC shall generally offer the following PSC certifications: PSC Bay Senior Crew; PSC Bay Watch Captain; PSC Bay Skipper; PSC Docking Instructor; PSC Catamaran Skipper; and, PSC Senior Bay Skipper. A general description of these qualifications is as follows:
a. PSC Bay Senior Crew. The first level of achievement within the PSC Bay Skipper Personal Qualification Standard. The minimum crew requirements of enclosure (6) requires a member with the PSC Bay Senior Crew certification to be part of the crew for a PSC Bay sail beyond a PSC Bay Day Sail such as an extended night sail where the boat will be sailing through the night with the boats crew standing watches.
b. PSC Bay Watch Captain. This is the second level of achievement within the PSC Bay Skipper Personal Qualification Standard. Watch Captain is capable of supervising a watch section sailing an offshore capable, inboard auxiliary powered sailing vessel with a qualified PSC Bay Skipper aboard. This certification requires navigational and other seamanship skills to supervise a watch during continuous passages across unfamiliar waters day, night and reduced visibility in moderate wind and sea conditions.
c. PSC Bay Skipper. The Bay Skipper Certification is the highest level within the PSC Bay Skipper Personal Qualification Standard. A member with the PSC Bay Skipper certification is authorized to serve as skipper for a PSC Bay sail on Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay including tributaries for day sails, night sails where the boat will be sailing through the night with the crew standing watches and for raft-ups. A PSC Bay Skipper may be allowed to sail on DELMARVA waters outside of Maryland waters if the member has experience outside of Maryland waters; e.g., performed a DELMARVA sail as part of a Naval Academy Sailing program. The Bay Commodore makes this determination.
d. PSC Bay Senior Skipper. The member has the PSC Bay Skipper Certification and meets the following additional requirements:
i. successfully served as a PSC Bay Skipper for at least one season;
ii. conducted at least one on-the-water evaluation for a PSC Bay Skipper candidate;
iii. participated in at least one sail outside Maryland waters in the DELMARVA region while serving as a certified Senior Crew or higher;
iv. has passed a rules of the road exam approved by the TC within the last year;
v. has a current CPR/ first aid certificate; and,
vi. submits a sail resume to a panel designated by the TC.
Upon review of the candidate’s sail resume the panel recommends certification as PSC Bay Senior Skipper to the TC if appropriate. The TC shall seek and consider the advice of the Commodore before final certification of a member as a PSC Bay Senior Skipper. A member with the PSC Bay Senior Skipper certification is authorized to serve as skipper for all PSC Bay sails on all the waters of the DELMARVA. A PSC Bay Senior Skipper is authorized to conduct the final on-the-water evaluation for members seeking the PSC Bay Skipper certification. The Bay Commodore may require a PSC Bay Senior Skipper be the skipper for PSC sponsored sails outside of Maryland waters or serve as PSC Officer in Tactical Command (OTC) for a PSC designated squadron sailing outside of Maryland waters where a skipper on one or more of the boats only holds the PSC Bay Skipper certification.
e. PSC Bay Docking Instructor. This certification authorizes the member to conduct PSC docking/Close Quarters Maneuvering (CQM) classes on the Bay in a 30-50 monohull auxiliary powered sailboat. A member seeking this certification must have the following qualifications: certified as a PSC Bay Skipper or PSC Senior Bay Skipper; have the ASA 218 certification, or be recommended by a panel designated by the TC to evaluate the sailing resume of a member seeking this PSC Bay Docking Instructor certification. The PSC Bay Docking Instructor certification will be made by the TC; the TC may delegate this certification authority to a PSC member who has suitable qualifications and experience to evaluate a member’s training and experience for this designation. If a PSC Bay Docking Instructor has the ASA 218 certification the docking class participants will be eligible to receive the ASA 118 docking endorsement. All PSC docking classes shall follow the procedures for an ASA 118 docking class except that if the ASA 118 endorsement is not offered an exam is not required.
f. PSC Bay Catamaran Skipper. This certification authorizes the member to serve as skipper on the Bay in a 30–50-foot catamaran. A member seeking this certification must have the following qualifications: certified as a PSC Bay Skipper or PSC Senior Bay Skipper; have the ASA 214 certification or be recommended by a panel designated by the TC to evaluate the sailing resume of a member seeking this PSC Bay Catamaran Skipper certification. The PSC Bay Catamaran certification will be made by the TC; the TC may delegate this certification authority to a PSC member who has suitable qualifications and experience to evaluate a member’s training and experience for this designation. If a PSC Catamaran Skipper has the ASA 214 certification the docking class participants will be eligible to receive the ASA 114 catamaran certification. All PSC Catamaran sails designated as offering the ASA 114 certification shall follow the procedures for an ASA 114 catamaran class except that if the ASA 114 endorsement is not offered an exam is not required.
g. Members with the designation of D-CS earned at PSC prior to the effective date of this policy revision shall have the certification as PSC Bay Skipper certification with no further actions required.
h. Members with the designation of PSC Senior Skipper earned at PSC prior to the effective date of this policy revision shall have the corresponding certification under this policy as PSC Senior Bay Skipper with no further actions required.
i. Members who served as skipper for a PSC Catamaran class or sail prior to the effective date of this policy revision shall have the corresponding certification as PSC Bay Catamaran Skipper with no further actions required.
j. Members who served as skipper for a PSC Docking or Close Quarters Maneuvering (CQM) class prior to the effective date of this policy revision shall have the corresponding certification as PSC Docking Instructor with no further actions required.
k. Prior Experience. Members with relevant prior sailing experience may request immediate designation at any of the Bay Skipper certifications except PSC Bay Senior Skipper.
i. The member seeking a Bay certification shall submit a sailing resume to the Training Commodore or the TC’s designee. The TC or designee will review the resume. For Senior Crew or Watch Captain the certification may be granted based on a review of the resume. However, the TC or designee may require the member to participate in a PSC Bay sail for an on-the-water evaluation by a PSC Bay Skipper. In this case a positive recommendation from the PSC Bay Skipper will allow the member to be certified.
ii. For PSC Bay Skipper an on-the-water evaluation is required. This evaluation may be performed by any certified PSC Bay Skipper. A positive evaluation is needed for certification. During the on-the-water evaluation the PSC Bay Skipper shall review PSC practices for day sails, night sail, raft ups and dealing with the charter company.
iii. Certification as PSC Bay Skipper must be completed prior to certification as PSC Catamaran Skipper or PSC Bay Docking Instructor. After this certification is made the member may apply for certification as PSC Catamaran Skipper or PSC Docking Instructor following the procedures above for these certification levels.
3. PSC Personal Qualification Standard (PQS). A PSC Bay Skipper Qualification Standard shall be used to qualify PSC members as PSC Bay Skippers.
a. The PSC Bay Skipper PQS shall include the qualifications for PSC Senior Crew, PSC Watch Captain and PSC Bay Skipper within this standard.
b. The TC shall appoint a panel to maintain the PSC Bay Skipper PQS and shall approve the PQS for use after obtaining the advice of the Bay Commodore.
4. PQS Content. The PQS shall include the following:
a. Members should declare themselves as a candidate for the PSC Bay Skipper Qualification and Certification to the TC or designee.
b. The PQS shall be used to document completion of the various PQS requirements.
c. The PQS shall include a Sailing Log.
d. The PQS shall include the requirement for passing written exams on boat systems, navigation, rules of the road and other topics as deemed necessary. Certifications on these topics by other sailing authorities that require an exam may be substituted for PSC exams; e.g., the ASA 105 Coastal Navigation Sailing Certification.
e. The Watch Captain qualification shall require both a day and night on-the-water evaluation for seamanship skills to include navigation.
f. The PQS shall include both demonstration of skills and time on the water requirements. PSC Bay Skippers are authorized to sign off on PQS requirements .
g. The PQS in use by PSC as of the date of this policy shall remain in force until modified and approved by TC.
h. The PQS shall be a mix of US Navy Sailing, ASA requirements and other requirements specific to the PSC Bay Program such as raft up skills, serving as a River Instructor and charter company procedures.
i. Candidates proceed at their own pace.
j. The final level of qualification requires two separate on-the-water evaluations. Upon completion of all the PQS tasks and time requirements, a candidate schedules with the Training Commodore or TC designee the formal on the water evaluations. All Bay sails provide the opportunity for training. Candidates may receive training from any PSC Bay Skipper on any Bay, offshore, or tropical-waters sailing event.
k. All PSC Bay Skippers are authorized to conduct the first on-the-water evaluation for qualification of a candidate as a PSC Bay Skipper. The second on-the-water evaluation shall be conducted by a PSC Senior Bay Skipper.
l. Candidates may also receive training and accumulate hours on private sails. Candidates may only use PSC Bay Skippers to credential their hours, signatures, or evolutions unless specifically authorized by the Training Commodore or designee. Boats must be greater than 30 feet in length with inboard propulsion to be used for the Cruising Skipper Candidate Check list and Logbook.
5. Annual Requirements for PSC Bay Skippers. Bay Skippers who wish to continue as PSC Bay Skippers must keep their CPR/First Aid current. They must also complete an annual Rules of the Road exam from a recognized sailing authority such as the U.S. Naval Academy or a PSC Rules of the Road annual exam, attend training clinics as required and submit sailing resumes if required by chartering companies.
Winter Training Program
1. Subject to the availability of resources including classroom space and instructors the Winter Training Program (WTP) is conducted every year from October through April.
2. Classes are held virtually or at training facilities as indicated in the PSC Calendar of Events. The WTP is intended to provide advanced classroom training beyond the PSC Basic Keelboat Skipper course.
3. Any PSC member may attend the WTP, but the WTP is particularly beneficial for candidates in the PSC Bay Skipper Training Program.
4. Course topics normally may include Advanced Sail Trim, Heavy Weather Sailing, Safety Equipment, Weather, Large Boat Systems, Navigation and Piloting, Anchoring and Rafting, Rules of the Road, and Boat Chartering.
5. PSC also sponsors a First Aid and CPR course leading to a certification from organizations such as the Red Cross.
6. WTP classes will greatly assist in the study for the PSC Bay Skipper written exams. These exams are normally given in the April to May timeframe, but may be individually scheduled at any time with the Training Commodore or designee. Nevertheless, taking the winter training classes is not sufficient for passing the Bay Skipper (aka “cruising exams”.) The exams are broad in their scope and may touch on topic areas not covered during the winter training program. Preparation for the exams requires the study of the US Sailing series of cruising books, “Chapman’s Piloting”, the Inland and International Rules of the Road and John Rousmaniere’s “Annapolis Book of Seamanship”
Skipper Qualification and Minimum Crewing Requirements
The below table provide the qualification levels to serve as skipper and minimum crewing requirements on a PSC owned or chartered boat for the events listed .
Download the table here - Skipper Qualification and Minimum Crewing Requirements