The 8 parts of becoming a skipper

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of setting sail, whether you’re on a sleek yacht or a cozy little cruiser.

So, grab your first mate, and let’s embark on this journey together. By the end of this post, you’ll be sailing smoothly, impressing fellow seafarers, and ensuring your nautical adventure is one for the books.

The Importance of Proper Attire

Sun Protection:

When you’re out on the water, the sun can be a formidable companion. Make sure to pack a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and, of course, sunscreen. Trust us, your skin will thank you later!

Non-Slip Footwear:

A sailor’s best friend? A pair of sturdy, non-slip shoes. Whether you’re maneuvering on a deck or stepping onto a dock, proper footwear ensures you stay safe and sure-footed.

Layering for Changing Weather:

Mother Nature has a mind of her own, and weather conditions at sea can shift in a heartbeat. Be prepared by layering your clothing. Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics to keep comfortable, and don’t forget a windbreaker or waterproof jacket just in case the skies decide to surprise you. understanding forecasts of local weather will keep you ready for anything.

Keep you and your crew safe

Life Jacket Love: The Ultimate Accessory

Ahoy, safety enthusiasts! The life jacket is your trusty sidekick on the water. It’s not just a fashion statement; it’s a lifesaver. Ensure you have a well-fitted, Coast Guard-approved life jacket for every member aboard. Remember, it’s not about being stylish, it’s about being safe!

The Lowdown on Safety Briefings

Before you cast off, gather your crew for a safety briefing. Familiarize them with the location of life jackets, fire extinguishers, and emergency exits. Discuss the protocol for emergencies, man overboard situations, and any other specific procedures for your vessel. Preparedness is key!

Steer Clear: Restricted Areas & Hazard Zones

Navigating the open water is exhilarating, but it comes with responsibilities. Stay vigilant for restricted areas and hazard zones. Pay heed to buoys, markers, and any signage indicating off-limits areas. Respect these boundaries to ensure a safe and enjoyable voyage for all.

Remember, a safe sailor is a happy sailor. So, gear up with knowledge, and let’s keep the adventure secure!

Part III: Mind Your Manners – Onboard Behavior

Communication is Key

Understanding Nautical Terms:

Don’t let nautical jargon throw you overboard! Familiarize yourself with basic terms like “port” (left) and “starboard” (right), “bow” (front) and “stern” (back). It’ll make conversations on deck a breeze!

Hand Signals and Their Meanings:

Sometimes, the wind can be a bit of a chatterbox. That’s when hand signals come in handy. Learn signals for slowing down, changing course, and more. It’s like having your own secret language with the crew!

Tidiness on Deck

The Clean-As-You-Go Rule:

A cluttered deck is a hazard waiting to happen. Adopt the clean-as-you-go rule. Stow away equipment and keep walkways clear. It not only ensures safety but also makes for a more enjoyable sailing experience.

Stowing Your Gear Properly:

Don’t let loose gear become a flying hazard. Secure items when not in use and stow them in designated storage areas. This way, you won’t be searching for your sunglasses mid-squall!

Personal Space and Courtesy

Respecting Others’ Privacy:

Even on the open water, personal space matters. Be mindful of others’ comfort zones and respect their privacy. A little consideration goes a long way.

Being Mindful of Noise Levels:

The sea offers a symphony of sounds, but loud voices or music can disturb the tranquility. Keep noise levels in check, especially during quiet moments. Your fellow sailors will thank you for it!

Rules of the Road

Right-of-Way: Who Goes First?

Ahoy, mate! Knowing who has the right-of-way can prevent maritime mayhem. Familiarize yourself with the rules, like giving way to vessels on your starboard side. It’s like the traffic rules of the sea!

Navigational Aids: Understanding Buoys & Markers

Buoys and markers aren’t just colorful decorations; they’re vital guides. Learn what each type signifies – from red and green buoys to flashing lights. They’re like a sailor’s GPS!

Anchoring Etiquette

Finding the Right Spot:

Dropping anchor is an art. Choose your anchoring spot wisely, considering depth, seabed type, and proximity to other vessels. You don’t want to play bumper boats!

Leaving No Trace

Once anchored, be an eco-conscious sailor. Ensure your anchor doesn’t disturb the seabed or any marine life. And always retrieve your anchor and chain without leaving a trace behind.

With these navigation nuggets in your treasure chest, you’ll be charting a course like a seasoned sailor in no time!

Leave No Trace Behind

As stewards of the sea, it’s our duty to leave the marine environment just as we found it, if not better. Dispose of trash responsibly and use designated waste facilities. Remember, the sea creatures are counting on us!

Wildlife Watching Guidelines

Spotting a dolphin or a majestic seabird is a thrill, but let’s not turn it into a marine paparazzi session. Keep a respectful distance from wildlife and observe without interfering. Their natural behavior is best enjoyed from a distance.

Understanding Protected Areas

Marine sanctuaries and protected zones exist for a reason. Familiarize yourself with these areas and respect their boundaries. Avoid anchoring or fishing in these regions to safeguard the delicate ecosystems they harbor.

By treading lightly and respecting the natural world, we ensure that future generations of sailors can experience the same wonders of the sea. Let’s be caretakers of this incredible environment!

A. Approaching a Dock or Mooring

Controlled Speed and Maneuvering:

Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to docking. Approach the dock or mooring at a controlled speed, considering wind and current. Practice your maneuvering skills to make it a smooth process.

Proper Line Handling:

Knots are your best friends in docking situations. Master essential knots like the cleat hitch and bowline for secure mooring. And remember, always have a backup plan in case the wind has different ideas!

B. Docking Etiquette: Sharing Limited Space

Marinas can be bustling places

Especially during peak season. Be courteous to fellow boaters by keeping noise levels down and allowing enough space for them to maneuver. And if you need assistance, don’t hesitate to ask. We’re all in this boating community together!

By approaching docking and mooring with confidence and courtesy, you’ll be navigating marinas like a seasoned pro. Smooth landings, sailor!

Get more insights about the code of the sea through the Skipper Guide.

0 votes, 0 avg

QUIZ "The Skipper Guide" English Edition

Theory Test Examples

Capitaine O.Kishun

The number of attempts remaining is 3

1 / 10

1) Stem of a boat refers to

2 / 10

2) What do the letters PPC imply in relation to the registration mark PPC 2998
OL 12?

3 / 10

3) Consider another pleasure craft having registration mark PC 2098 OL 8.
According to the Tourism Authority Act 2006,

4 / 10

4) Your vessel is steering 180◦ C (heading south) and this mark is right ahead
of you.

5 / 10

5) The term “bearing” refers to

6 / 10

6) Who are the officers who are empowered to check a pleasure craft ?

7 / 10

7) Your vessel is steering 100◦ C by magnetic compass (heading East) and
you find this mark right ahead of you.In this situation you should

8 / 10

8) In the situation by night shown below, imagine yourself to be the skipper
of the vessel. Right ahead, you find a white flashing light in series of 3
flashes.In this situation

9 / 10

9) The sternlight on a ship is a white light which is found

10 / 10

10) “One nautical mile” refers to

Your score is

The average score is 57%


Part VII: Guest Etiquette

When You’re Not the Captain

Ahoy there, guest sailor! If you find yourself aboard someone else’s vessel, it’s important to be a gracious guest. Follow the lead of the captain and crew, and ask questions if you’re unsure about anything. Remember, they know their ship best!

Being Grateful and Helpful

A little gratitude goes a long way in the world of sailing. Thank the captain and crew for the experience, and offer to help with tasks like stowing gear or tidying up. It’s a small gesture that shows appreciation for their hospitality.

Leaving No Trace

Just like in the wild, leave no trace of your presence on board. Ensure you’ve gathered all your belongings, and double-check that you haven’t left any personal items behind. It’s a mark of a respectful guest.

By being a considerate guest, you’ll be welcomed back on board for future adventures. Happy sailing, and may your voyages be filled with fair winds and smooth seas!

Staying Calm Under Pressure

In the face of an emergency, a cool head is your greatest asset. Take a deep breath, assess the situation, and act with purpose. Panic can cloud judgment, so remember, you’ve got this!

Communication Protocols

Clear communication can be a lifeline in an emergency. Know how to operate the vessel’s communication equipment, whether it’s a radio or a phone. Familiarize yourself with emergency channels and procedures.

Knowing Emergency Procedures

Every vessel has its own set of emergency procedures. Take the time to familiarize yourself with them. This includes knowing the location of safety equipment, life rafts, and how to deploy them if needed.

Remember, preparation is key. By knowing what to do in an emergency, you’re ensuring the safety of yourself and your fellow crew members. Sail on with confidence!


You’ve navigated the ins and outs of nautical etiquette like a seasoned sailor! By following these dos and avoiding the don’ts, you’re set for smooth sailing adventures.

To all you budding sailors out there, remember: every journey begins with a single step… or should we say, a single sail? Embrace the learning process, stay curious, and never stop exploring.

With your newfound knowledge of what you need to know to be a skipper, you’re ready to embark on unforgettable journeys across the open water. May your sails catch every breeze, and may your adventures be as boundless as the sea itself.

Fair winds and following seas, sailors! Until our next voyage!