Crew Sailing Self Assessment Tool

Please rate your sailing skills to classify yourself.  These questions are not meant to be intimidating.  PCYC skippers may ask for a rating as assistance to building a balanced crew. Place a tick mark next to the questions you answer YES and be completely honest. The intent is to help you increase your knowledge, skills and enjoyment.

Add up all of your “YES” answers and circle the rating that most closely applies. Scores are at the end!!

General Information

  1. Have you ever been on a sailboat before?
  2. Do you have your PCOC?
  3. Do you have appropriate sailing gear, e.g., deck shoes, gloves, foul weather gear, etc.
  4. Are you subject to sea-sickness?

Boat Operation

  1. Can you furl a sail?
  2. Do you know port from starboard?  Bow from stern?  Fore from aft?
  3. Can you secure a line to a cleat properly?
  4. Can you attach a fender properly?
  5. Can you wrap, tail and crank a winch?
  6. Have you been on the foredeck when the boat is underway?
  7. Can you tie a bowline?
  8. Can you tie a figure 8 knot?
  9. Do you know what halyards and sheets are?
  10. Can you attach the sails/sheets or halyards without instruction?
  11. Can you attach the sails/sheets or halyards with instruction?
  12. Do you know what the forestay and spreaders are?
  13. Do you know what cunninghams and boom vangs are?
  14. Can you trim sails properly without instruction?
  15. Can you trim sails properly with instruction?
  16. Can you describe the terms head, tack, clew, luff, foot, and leech?
  17. Do you know what leeward and windward are?
  18. Do you know how to cast off?
  19. Do you know how to handle docking lines?
  20. Can you set an anchor?
  21. Can you head the boat into the wind for raising the sails?
  22. Can you change the jibs/reef the main in heavy weather?
  23. Do you know what “head up” and “bear off” mean?
  24. Do you know what a run is, a reach, a beat?
  25. Can you tack/jibe a boat?
  26. Can you attach spring lines?
  27. Can you handle the tiller/wheel while going downwind?
  28. Can you handle the tiller/wheel going upwind?
  29. Can you handle the tiller/wheel in heavy weather?
  30. Do you know what a weather helm is?  A lee helm?
  31. Can you sail a boat by the tell-tales and/or wind-vane?
  32. Can you operate an outboard engine?
  33. Can you operate an inboard engine?


  1. Can you read a compass?
  2. Do you know the difference between a heading and a track?
  3. Do you know basic right-of- way rules?
  4. Can you be on the tiller or wheel for short periods of time?
  5. Do you have knowledge of the basic buoying system; e.g., “red right returning?”
  6. Can you read a chart plotter; e.g., Garmin, Raymarine?


  1. Can you put on a PFD (life jacket) properly?
  2. Do you have a radio operator’s certificate?
  3. Can you use a fire extinguisher?
  4. Do you know the man overboard (MOB) procedures?
  5. Can you conduct a man overboard (MOB) procedure?
  6. If something happens to the Skipper, can you take over the boat operation?

Add up all of your “YES’ answers and circle the rating that most closely applies:

  • 0-15: Novice
  • 16-35: Intermediate
  • 35-49: Experienced