Making Waves Foundation A sailboat sailing in a blue sky.

6. Skipper’s Responsibility

  • Note: The primary contact details for a group/school/organisation will be available is an email notification of the booking from the office to the Skipper.
  • Skipper should then contact the school or organisation at least one working day prior to the booked sail day, to confirm the following:
    • The name & mobile number of the contact for the sail day;
    • For a Monday morning sail day skippers may choose to find out the name & mobile number of the weekend contact (who may be a different person from the weekday contact);
    • Number of wheelchairs; and,
    • Average size of children in group.

7.  Pre-Departure

7.1 Boat Call – All crew on board the boat

For a morning event/passage, the boat call time is one hour before the nominated session time, usually this means boat call is 9am, unless otherwise notified. Crew normally meets in the relevant yacht club earlier or on the boat at boat call time.

7.2 Safety – Crew Manifest Sheet

All on-water staff intending to participate on any MWF boating events/passages must pre-register their names, preferably two weeks in advance, on the MWF website booking calendar.

Any non-members wishing to participate in any MWF boating events/passages, must also advise the MWF office of their name and details two weeks prior to the event.

The Skipper must cross-check Crew Manifest to make sure that all personnel on board are listed. If there is someone on board who is not on the list, then the boat must not leave the dock until the MWF Office has been advised of the following details:

  • For harbour sailing: The person’s name, as a minimum.
  • For offshore sailing: The person’s full name, address, DOB, next of kin and contact person and details.

The final list of names that appear on the Crew Manifest list must also be recorded in the ship’s log. Crew Manifests are emailed to the crew tablet unless the boat is using hard copies, the final list must be emailed back to.

7.3 Safety – Guest Manifest Sheet

All participants need to be checked off the Guest Manifest. If any guests are not present, they need to be crossed off. Extras need to be added to the Crew Manifest sheet, see Forms. Total number of guests to be added to the boats logbook and with a total of People on Board (POB).

The guest manifest needs to be emailed to MWF head office in Sydney via the tablet or if using a hard copy text to 0421 725 170.

8. Crew Familiarity

It is every crew members’ responsibility to ensure they make themselves familiar with the location of, and operation of, the boat’s equipment. This includes first aid, safety equipment, and layout of the boat.  

All crew will be inducted on the boat they will be sailing on, to understand the operational aspects and safety equipment.

9. Prepare Yacht For Departure

This preparation is to be completed prior to the arrival of clients or prior to the indicated commencement time of any yacht activity.

  • The Skipper assumes responsibility for all things on the vessel and all people – crew, guests, clients and vessel including boat handling, safety and maintenance reporting.
  • The Skipper or 2IC performs the following checks:
    • Competence level of all MWF crew members onboard
    • That standing and running rigging appear to be in good order
    • Engine
      • Fluids levels within tolerance range
      • Belt tension is within 10mm deflection on either side
    • The steering/running gear, where possible. Otherwise, the Skipper must be satisfied that steering is in good order
  • The Skipper is to start the engine as per instructions for that boat, provided there are no anomalies post-engine checks:
    • Ensure water is exiting exhaust
    • Note for Kayle: When engine is shut down out on the harbour or out at sea away from the dock, the exhaust pipe plug must be inserted into the end of the exhaust pipe to prevent any water entering the exhaust and engine as a result of wave action
    • Check neutral and forward and reverse thrust are operational
  • The 2IC is responsible for ensuring the pre-departure checking of the boat, delegating tasks, recording completion on the Boat Checklist Start-Up, and Pack-Down as detailed in the Forms and reporting to Skipper at briefing.
  • Ramps are used on all Winds of Joy sails to ensure safe boarding, even if there are no wheel chair users on the sail. Some people need the extra stability of a ramp to board.

10. Wheelchair Tie Down Method

When wheelchairs are onboard, they are tied down using sail ties. Most wheelchairs have tie points at the four corners of the wheelchair. The most useful point to connect to on the deck is the traveler bar and stanchions. There are also pad eyes that can be used. The general approach is to cross connect the ties e.g. on the front of the chair connect the left front corner across the front to the right side. See the images here. Usually 3 or 4 ties are required per wheelchair.

11. Crew Briefing

The Skipper (or appointed crew member) will undertake a crew briefing prior to departure which will cover the roles and checks.

12. Welcome and Safety Onboard

Before commencing and welcoming clients, introducing crew and safety briefing, make sure you can be heard by taking up a position to windward of everyone on board. Before guest’s board vessel, they will be given a life jacket with a name tag secured.

Also, ensure you have the clients’ attention and arrange and ensure everyone is seated.

  • Welcome everybody onboard and provide clients with an overview of MWF
    • Outline the program for the day;
    • Introductions of MWF crew and clients and
    • Deliver the safety briefing as per the orange briefing notes in hand.

13. Departure

All crew should check the wind direction prior to departure and understand the implications the wind will have on boat handling and to their role. If unsure, seek clarity from Skipper or 2IC.

14. Facilitate Departure

  • Have a crew member at each mooring line point (bow/springs/stern) awaiting instructions from Helm/Skipper to drop their line on the dock

15. Helm Departure

  • Before engaging any gear, forward or reverse, make sure that there are no lines in the water.
  • Advise the crew who are holding mooring lines of which order you plan to drop the mooring lines.
  • Instruct crew member at mooring lines (unless you are under instruction) when to drop their line.
  • Instruct bow to check for traffic prior to initiating departure.

16. Mooring Lines and Fenders

  • Review where all lines and fenders are positioned pre-departure to ensure they are secured in the same position upon return
  • All crew should be onboard and awaiting Helm’s/Skipper’s instructions
  • Drop lines onto dock as instructed by Helm/Skipper
  • Collect and stow fenders:  Clients can assist with fenders. They should be secured on deck at stern until dry before stowing below


  • All information requested in the logbook to be filled in.

18. Sailing

18.1 Helming

  • Clients should wherever possible be engaged in steering, e.g. keeping on a straight course, aiming at a particular landmark or similar, preparing for a tack, calling and steering boat through a tack. The helmsperson must always remain in control of the boat.
  • Establish and maintain a high level of awareness of
    • Internal environment and implications
      • Abilities of crew – don’t assume competence
      • Gear onboard
    • External environment and implications
      • Harbour traffic and obstacles
  • Steer to a course as instructed by Skipper under motor whilst hoisting and under sail

18.2 Hoisting Sails

  • Clients should wherever possible be engaged in hoisting sails, e.g. tailing winches, sweating halyards;
  • One or two clients should be encouraged to assist in sweating the halyard;
  • Crew should demonstrate technique and encourage clients;
  • Once sails are up, shepherd clients from cockpit to foredeck and assist in foredeck supervision;
  • Ensure reefing lines are free to run;
  • Ensure vang is eased;
  • Ensure Cunningham is connected and is ready to be tensioned when and if appropriate;
  • Assist in hoisting of all sails by “sweating” the halyard at the mast and
  • Check the leach line tension and review tension if the conditions change

18.3 Mainsail Specific

  • Ensure correct backstay tension;
  • Remove sail ties from the front of the sail and each sail tie as the sail is hoisted. DO NOT remove all ties at once.
  • Release or loosen the mainsheet to ensure the wind against the rising main does not cause resistance;
  • Ensure sail ready to be hoisted with bolt rope or sail slugs at sails luff in the sail groove of the mast and
  • Communicate “made” when the sail luff tension of the mainsail is appropriate

18.4 Headsail Specific

Procedure for furling head sail

  • Ensure furling line is free to run.
  • Windward sheet is off the winch.
  • Working sheet has 3 turns on the winch.
  • Furling line is on a cabin top winch with 1 turn.
  • Turn boat onto a reach.
  • Pull sail out on the working sheet, while easing out the furling line.
  • Trim sail as required.

Procedure non-furling head sail

  • Remove & stow sail ties that are securing headsail to the deck;
  • Thread the bolt rope at the head of the sail through feeder and leave tension on halyard by attaching bow strop to bail of headsail halyard, remove before the hoist;
  • Ensure the bolt rope runs through feeder and foil throughout the hoist;
  • Keep slight and appropriate tension on the sheets whilst hoisting – ensure enough to stop excessive flapping, but not too much such that it puts undue pressure on the luff and
  • Communicate “made” when the sail luff tension of the headsail is appropriate.

18.5 Tacking and Gybing

  • Clients should wherever possible be engaged in tacking and gybing, e.g. releasing sheets, pulling in sheets, moving across the deck…
  • When any course change is proposed, alert crew/clients of the change and ask for confirmation back from the crew/clients that the order has been understood
  • Check for traffic prior to altering course, don’t forget to look over your shoulder.
  • Make sure that all clients are secure and understand what will be happening
  • Communicate to the crew:
    • Ask crew “ready to tack/gybe”
    • Receive hand signal & loud verbal confirmation from crew that they are ready to tack/gybe
    • Count down “Tacking 3,2,1” then advise the crew that the “helm is over”
    • With gybing the call will be to centre the main, “Gybing 3,2,1”
    • Advise the crew when the boat is on its new course and they can trim to that course

18.6 Navigation

  • Crew should have a working knowledge of the Collision Regulations and local variances.
  • Crew must maintain a good and proper lookout at all times
  • Crew should establish and maintain:
    • A thorough knowledge of all navigational marks, sounds and signals
    • A working knowledge of electronic navigational aids onboard the vessel
    • Awareness of the vessel’s position, immediate course and destination at all times
  • Crew should participate in radio operation when required, if licensed.

18.7 Foredeck

  • Crew should supervise clients on the foredeck ensuring all are holding on, safe and clear of sails and sheets.
  • Crew should ensure that clients are out of the way through tacks and gybes by being flat on the deck and well forward, clear of sheets or away from the foredeck.
  • Consideration should be given to moving all clients to cockpit area for sail drop.
  • A volunteer must lead and coordinate all activity from mast forward
  • Foredeck crew should maintain a lookout for traffic when exiting the dock and communicate “clear” or “hold” as appropriate to Helm/Skipper
  • Foredeck crew should communication with Helm, Pit and Mast throughout all maneuvers.

18.8 Main Winch, Traveler & Deck Area

  • Create and maintain effective communication with the Helm
  • On Kayle when the dock lines have been taken off the winches, the traveler lines must go back onto each winch.
  • Ensure traveler track is always clear.
  • Use the traveler as determined by the Skipper/2IC
  • Maintain a safe working area around the main winch and traveler
  • Make sure that the number of main sheet wraps on the main winch are appropriate for the conditions and winching-on or easing-out

19. Mast

  • The mast position is important for communication of intentions as well as instructions throughout the day.
  • The Mast crew member should maintain eye contact and communication with Foredeck and Pit throughout all relevant maneuvers.

20. Pit

  • Clients should be involved in winding winches and tailing lines as much as possible.
  • As much as possible, keep halyards, control lines, and so on, locked off when on winches to take the load off the clutch to protect integrity of the various lines
  • Before releasing a clutch, take the tension off the line around a winch to ease and control the release
  • Maintain eye contact and communication with mast, foredeck and task leader throughout all relevant maneuvers.

21. Reefing Mainsail

  • Participate in reefing the mainsail by:
  • Lower halyard until Mast instructs “hold”
  • Make off new tack (cringle) at the appropriate reefing point
  • Re-establish the halyard pressure until Mast communicates “made”
  • Ease boom vang and mainsheet tension before final winch tensioning of the reefing/leech line
  • At the same time, take up all reefing line slack around a winch, and pull the appropriate reef line by hand
  • Then, use winch & handle to winch the reefing line in until appropriate leach tension is established or the task leader communicates “made”
  • Check and adjust the mainsail leech line tension to prevent any leech flutter

22. Headsail Trim

  • Clients should be involved in these processes as much as possible.
  • Crew should ensure effective communication with the Helm is maintained.
  • Trim sails for optimal performance on the set course, or as instructed by Helm/Skipper
    • Sheet the sail in if the sail is luffing (flapping) and/or if the inboard tell-tales are flapping;
    • Sheet the sail out if the outboard tell-tales are flapping or if the Helm/Skipper instructs “bear away”
  • Communicate with mainsail trimmer to ensure optimal “slot” exists between the mainsail and headsail.

23. Mainsail Trim

  • Clients should wherever possible be engaged in trimming the headsail, e.g., winching sheets, easing sheets etc.…
  • Trim sail for optimal performance on the set course, or as instructed by Helm/Skipper
  • Sheet the sail in if the sail is luffing (flapping) and/or if the inboard tell-tales are flapping
  • Sheet the sail out if the outboard tell-tales are flapping or if the Helm/Skipper instructs “bearing away”
  • Ensure the vang, outhaul and Cunningham tensions are appropriate for the conditions and point of sailing
  • Communicate your recommendations to Helm/Skipper for confirmation prior to action
  • Communicate with Headsail Trimmer to ensure optimal “slot” exists between the mainsail and headsail

24. Dropping Sails

  • Start engine and point the boat into the wind
  • Participate in dropping of sails by lowering halyards at an appropriate pace for deck crew to manage the sail drop
  • Maintain appropriate tension on the working sheet whilst dropping

24.1 Headsail Specific


  • Boat should be upwind and slightly above close hauled.
  • Flake headsail as it is lowered and fasten the sail to the deck with appropriate equipment
  • Secure halyard using the bow strop
  • Upon return to the dock, facilitate bagging and stowing of flaked headsail


  • Boat should be sailed onto a beam reach or downwind.
  • Furling line is on the cabin top winch.
  • As the working sheet is eased out the furling line is pulled in.
  • Once sail is furled, figure 8 the furling line on the horn cleat in front of the winch.
  • Headsail sheets tension taken up on the winch, by hand and locked off.

24.2 Mainsail Specific

  • Let the halyard off slowly, the cockpit crew easing the turns round the drum with one hand and holding the end of the rope in the other.
  • The foredeck crew pulls down on the luff by hand to prevent the sail from bunching or jamming in the track.
  • Having pulled in the mainsheet and fastened the topping lift to prevent the boom from swaying, the crew flake the mainsail from side to side, which involves arranging it in neat folds on top of the boom
  • Secure the flaked sail with sail ties, which are traditionally tied with slip knots.

24.3 Going Aloft

  • A crew member may need to go aloft for the purpose of maintenance, repair, removal of sail cover or an overall rig check.
  • Participants or guests may be taken aloft as part of a dockside activity.
  • Whenever possible go aloft when vessel is stationary and in a sheltered location.
  • Person to go aloft should wear a helmet and use a bosun’s chair or climbing harness secured by two halyards. Don’t climb on one line only.
  • Chair or harness to be secured by a bowline. Don’t attach the shackle directly to harness.
  • Make sure spare halyards at the mast are tight, as the person going aloft will hold onto these.
  • On deck, one person observing and two on primary winches or one primary winch taking the weight and a deck winch as back-up, grinding with clutches closed.
  • Once stopped, clutches to remain closed and halyards secured to winches using a one round turn two half hitches. Don’t rely on the self-tailers.
  • Once person aloft signals to come down, person operating the two winches must be seated for safety.
  • Clutches to be opened, only then half hitches to be undone with a fully dressed winch.
  • Another crew member to be sitting and located between the two open jammers in case of an incident, the jammers can be closed quickly.
  • Both winches eased together using a smooth motion. Observer to relay information between person aloft and winches.
  • Process is not finished until person aloft is on deck and harness has been removed.


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