Motorboating Merit Badge for Boy Scouts

Motorboating Merit Badge for Boy Scouts

Boy Scouts learn about motor boat operation and safety while working on the Motorboating merit badge.

With the fun of operating a motor boat boat comes the responsibility for keeping that boat in first-class condition, knowing and obeying the nautical “rules of the road,” and gaining the general knowledge and skills to operate a boat safely.

Motorboating Merit Badge Requirements

  1. Do the following:
    1. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while motorboating, and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
    2. Explain first aid for injuries or illnesses that could occur while motorboating, including hypothermia, heat reactions, dehydration, motion sickness, bugbites, and blisters.
    3. Identify the conditions that must exist before performing CPR on a person, and explain how such conditions are recognized. Demonstrate proper technique for performing CPR using a training device approved by your counselor.
  2. Do the following:
    1. Before doing requirements 3 through 6, successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.
    2. Name the different types of personal flotation devices (PFDs), and explain when each type should be used. Show how to choose and properly fit a PFD.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Explain inboard, outboard, and inboard/outboard motors, and the uses and advantages of each. Discuss the special features of a bass boat and a ski boat.
    2. Explain the safety procedures and precautions involving handling fuel and engine servicing, and equipment storage and placement.
    3. Explain how to winterize a boat motor and tell why this procedure is necessary.
    4. Explain the safety procedures and precautions involving swimmers and skiers in the water, passenger positions under way, and boat wakes.
  4. Show you know safety laws for motorboating by doing the following:
    1. Have a permit to run a motorboat, if needed.
    2. Explain the rules or laws that apply to recreational boating in your area or state.
    3. Discuss how the hazards of weather and heavy water conditions can affect both safety and performance in motorboating.
    4. Promise that you will follow BSA Safety Afloat guidelines. Explain the meaning of each point.
    5. Discuss with your counselor the nautical rules of the road and describe the national and your state’s aids to navigation.
    6. Explain and show the correct use of equipment required by both state and federal regulations to be carried aboard a motorboat.
    7. Explain federal and state rules for a ventilation system, and tell why these rules are required.
  5. 5. Demonstrate proper boat-handling procedures and skills by doing the following:
    1. Board and assist others in boarding.
    2. Fuel the boat and complete a safety check.
    3. Get under way from dockside or from a beach launch.
    4. Run a course for at least a mile, showing procedures for overtaking and passing slower craft, yielding right-of-way, passing oncoming traffic, making turns, reversing direction, and using navigation aids.
    5. Stop and secure the boat in position on the open water using anchors; get under way.
    6. Land or dock; get out and assist others.
    7. Moor the boat and secure all gear.
  6. Point out and explain the mechanical and safety features of a boat trailer. With others assisting, do the following:
    1. Launch a boat from a trailer.
    2. Remove a boat from the water using a trailer.
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