Safety Instructions and Etiquette
For WSA Day Sails, Cruises and Special Events

1. Become familiar with the boat, safety equipment and its location, and major safety procedure.

2. Be sure your life jacket fits properly and have it close at hand if you are not already wearing it (non-swimmers must wear life jackets at all times!). Bring your own life jacket if you have one.

3. Know the following:

  • The skipper’s man overboard drill
  • Where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them.
  • Where the visual distress and sound-producing devices are and how to use them.
  • How to use the radio in an emergency.
  • The name and distinguishing characteristics of the boat (length of boat, type, color of hull, striping, etc.).
  • Where the emergency steering is located.
  • What you should do if the skipper becomes incapacitated or falls overboard.
  • How to start and stop the engine and bilge pump.
  • What the skipper’s expectations are of you regarding crewing the boat (i.e., position, rotation, lookouts – always have alookout!).
  • How to operate the head.
  • When in doubt about any of the above equipment and procedures, please ask the skipper before leaving the dock.

Be Alert, ask questions:

  • When you are curious, don’t understand a command and/or are unsure of terminology or instructions, just ask. People areeager to help and teach!
  • Let the skipper know the reality of your skill and comfort level before the boat leaves the dock.
  • Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know how to do something.


  • Never put your hands or fingers between a sheet or a halyard and the winch when wrapping, setting up or freeingsheets/halyards/line from winch.
  • Never put any part of your body between the boat and the dock or another boat in an attempt to stop, fend off or push off.
  • Never use a boat hook to fend off, push off or stop the boat.
  • Never consume alcohol while the boat is underway.
  • Never bring onto the boat or use illegal substances on the boat at any time.
  • Never smoke while the boat is underway (at the discretion of the skipper).


  • Practice safe boating.
  • Be courteous, considerate and polite.
  • Depart the boat after the sail ONLY after helping put it back in ship-shape order.
  • Be on time and share in provisioning as planned.
  • Dress appropriately and bring your personal belongings in a soft duffel.