Practical Test (Checksail)

Practical Test (Checksail)

A typical checksail can be completed in 1 to 1.5 hours including preparing the boat and restowing gear afterwards. There is no boat rental charge for a checksail. The checksail is intended to be an independent validation of the Skipper’s abilities by an experienced sailor familiar with local waters. A Skipper does not have to be a salty seadog to pass a checksail, just be able to demonstrate that he/she can safely use our boats within the limits of our sailing area, and bring them safely back to the docks. It is important to remember the emphasis during a checksail is on safety and seamanship, not speed of execution.

In addition to being able to answer basic questions and use the knowledge described above, during the checksail the skipper should expect to complete the following:

Discuss the weather for the planned sail with the examiner.

Discuss the sailing environment in Monterey, including natural and man-made hazards, rules regarding marine mammals, typical boat traffic in the marina area, and any other considerations.

Demonstrate a safety equipment check using the checklist provided by the NPSAA.

Discuss proper anchoring technique (Note that anchoring is not practiced here, it is for distress situations only. Be able to explain why, when, and how you would anchor.)

Demonstrate the ability to properly rig the boat for sailing. When back at the dock, properly stow all gear.

Discuss man overboard recovery techniques and considerations in Monterey Bay.

Demonstrate a successful man overboard recovery using the technique of your choice.

Discuss the proper use of emergency/distress signals provided aboard the boats.

Discuss the effects of weather, and current when leaving and returning to the dock (under power).

Demonstrate the ability to tie at a minimum a bowline, figure-8, cleat hitch, and coil a line.

Demonstrate proper use of the VHF radio by conducting a ‘radio check’ with another station.

Demonstrate the ability to safely start, operate, and stop the outboard motor.

Demonstrate the ability to safely leave the marina area under power, clear the channel, and give the proper commands to the crew to raise and lower sails while maintaining safe control of the boat.

When the checksail is complete, demonstrate the ability to reverse this sequence and bring the boat back to the dock safely.

Demonstrate the ability to control the boat under sail while steering a straight course, and executing maneuvers including both tacks and jibes

Demonstrate proper knowledge of sail trim for each point of sail (Note that racing quality sail trim is not expected. A Skipper should, however, ensure the sails are trimmed appropriately for the course being steered.)

Demonstrate a close approach to an obstruction (such as a buoy) under sail