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In honor of the 90th anniversary of Sea Scouts in 2002, BoatUS, the nation’s largest recreational boating organization, instituted the annual Sea Scout National Flagship Award. Since then the award has been presented to ships from Texas, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, California, and Oregon.


Now is the time for all ships to take stock of their past year’s program and document their accomplishments to apply for the annual National Flagship Competition. You will find attached the Annual Sea Scout Flagship Application, Sea Scout Ship Performance outline, and the Ship’s Performance Scoresheet for the Journey to Excellence Award.


 Download the PDF version of the National Flagship Application HERE.


Make sure the ship meets the entire minimal standard on this scoresheet. If you feel that the ship qualifies, have the Sea Scouts in the ship put together a compelling packet of information that tells the judges why the ship deserves this prestigious honor. The application should include the completed scoresheet and a written narrative supplemented by other materials to support the ship’s application. Supporting material can include, but is not limited to, videos, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, meeting minutes, letters, etc. Be comprehensive, yet concise and creative.  Please note that simply filling out the scoresheet and mailing it without supporting materials will not qualify the ship for this award.

A ship must meet the minimal national standards in all areas for a calendar year starting January 1 and ending December 31. The application is due to the National Sea Scout Office by March 31, 2014 to be considered for the National Flagship Award. The address is National Flagship Competition, Boy Scouts of America, National Sea Scout Office, SUM 250, 1325 West Walnut Hill Lane, Irving, Texas 75038. Call (972) 580-2448 for answers to your questions regarding this award.


The ship that is awarded the National Flagship honor will be allowed to wear the National Flagship patch with the current year and fly the National Flagship flag with four stars. (There are patches for the uniform and a ship’s flag available through the BSA Supply Group, which can be ordered and paid for by the winning ship.)

Download the PDF version of the National Flagship Application HERE

How to Start a Ship

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2014-2015 National Boatswain

Barque Eagle Cruise 2014

The Engineering Candidate Hawsepipe (TECH) Program

2013-14 National Boatswain

2013 National Flagship SSS Makai

Introducing the New Century Uniform

Massachusetts Honors Sea Scout Centennial

sea scout-apprenticeApprentice

  1. Ideals
    1. Qualify as a member of your Sea Scout ship by taking part in the ship’s admission ceremony.
    2. Repeat from memory and discuss with an adult leader the Sea Promise.  Discuss the BSA Mission Statement, the BSA Vision Statement, the Scout Oath and Law and agree to carry out the provisions of your ship’s code and bylaws.
    3. Demonstrate acceptable courtesies used aboard a Sea Scout vessel.
    4. Demonstrate the proper procedure for boarding a Sea Scout vessel and landship.
  2. Active Membership
    1. Provide evidence that you are fulfilling your financial obligations to your ship, including helping with fund-raisers.
      Note: Check with your ship’s purser.
    2. Obtain the Sea Scout uniform. Describe the Sea Scout work and dress uniforms. Tell how and when the uniforms are worn and explain care of uniforms.
  3. Leadership
    1. Describe your ship’s organization, including the youth and adult leadership positions.
    2. Demonstrate your ability to identify officer and adult leader insignia. Explain the chain of command in your ship.
  4. Swimming
    1. Jump feetfirst into water over your head, swim 75 yards/meters in a strong manner using one or more of the following strokes: sidestroke, breaststroke, trudgen, or crawl; then swim 25 yards/meters using the elementary backstroke. The 100 yards/meters must be swum continuously and include at least one sharp turn. After completing the swim, rest by floating on your back, remaining as motionless as possible. (Refer to the BSA’s Swimming merit badge instruction if you need to improve your swimming strokes.)
    2. Discuss the BSA Safe Swim Defense plan and explain how it is used to protect Sea Scouts and other groups during swimming activities.
  5. Safety
    1. Explain the uses, advantages, and disadvantages of the five types of Coast Guard–approved life jackets. Demonstrate the proper use and care of life jackets used by your ship. 
    2. Identify visual day and night marine distress signals, and know their location and the proper use for your ship’s vessel(s).
    3. Use the Distress Communications Form to demonstrate the procedure to send the following VHF emergency messages: Mayday, Pan Pan, and Security.
    4. Know the safety rules that apply to vessels and equipment used by your ship, and safety standards in the use of power tools, machinery, lifting heavy objects, and other safety devices used by your ship.
  6. Marlinspike Seamanship
      Using both large and small lines, tie and explain the use of the following knots: overhand, square, figure eight, bowline, two half hitches, clove hitch, sheet bend, and cleat hitch.
  7. Boat Handling
    1. Demonstrate the ability to use a heaving line.
  8. Service
      Log at least 16 hours of work on ship equipment, projects, or activities other than regular ship meetings, parties, dances, or fun events.
        Note: Arrange for this work through the ship’s officers.
        Source:  Sea Scout Manual, 11th Edition, 2012 printing