On-the-Water Text Selection

As a certified On-the-Water Instructor (National Safe Boating Council, US Powerboating, US Power Squadron) and a US Coast Guard licensed Master 100 Ton, I have reviewed many publications on “Power Boat Operations”.

One of the best for training purposes, was the publication the US Coast Guard used for training their Small Boat Crews; the Boat Crew Seamanship Manual, COMDTINST M19114.5C, September 2003.  This publication was available publicly through their website, but they have since removed it from distribution.  It is still available from other public sources.

U.S. Coast Guard sent this bulletin on 12/20/2017:

“During the most recent review of the Boat Crew Seamanship Manual, subject matter
experts determined that the information would be better packaged for the field in
the form of five Boat Crew Handbooks”.

We have made Chapter 10, Boat Handling and Chapter 14, Navigation available on this site and we use portions of them in our On-the-Water courses.


If you decide to download the full publication, understand it is 898 pages!

When using these documents, please be aware that when the Coast Guard uses the term “coxswain”, they are referring to the “boat operator”.

Boat Crew Seamanship Manual