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The NYYC Seamanship Committee seeks to further good seamanship through education, practical training and informational support that increases the nautical competency and confidence of all NYYC members, guests and staff and improves their decision-making, both at sea and ashore. Additionally, the Seamanship Committee assists other committees on matters regarding safety and risk management.

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The New York Yacht Club has long played a vital role in contributing to seamanship in the yachting community. The Club has been instrumental in the well known Safety at Sea seminars, now a required program for most ocean races. NYYC members continue to contribute to teaching others and seeking to set the highest standards in excellence in seamanship.

Seamanship Committee - developing and improving New York Yacht Club Mariners seamanship skills.

The successful mariner requires a bedrock foundation of seamanship, and the continued exercising of these skills. Together with contributions from across the NYYC, the seamanship committee plays an integral role in meeting this challenge.

Seamanship has been defined as knowledge of various skills required to operate a boat. Prudent seamanship is more than acquiring a baseline knowledge and competence in boathandling. It is a continuing mindset which inspires the prudent skipper to constantly improve his/her skills ,experience and knowledge.

At the heart of seamanship is navigation - “the science and art of directing the movements of a vessel from one point to another in a safe and efficient matter” (as defined by C. F. Chapman). Nathaniel Bowditch’s American Practical Navigator reminds us that a “good navigator constantly thinks strategically, operationally, and tactically.” Although basic navigation is the cornerstone for any good skipper, one cannot exclude and supplement modern electronic aides in deciding a proper course of action for the vessel. Constant awareness of weather and boat conditions, along with a quick plan of action should anything impact the safety of the yacht or her crew, are paramount. The key to a well rounded command of the vessel is to utilize all sources of information available but not relying on one source alone and to maintain a vigilant awareness of constantly changing conditions of the crew, boat and surroundings.

It is the intent of the seamanship committee to offer the prudent skipper information that is accurate, current and thought provoking. We will provide this via the website, workshops, and recommendations to other committees.

Seamanship is -

  • Art and science
  • Knowledge
  • Experience
  • Navigation - open ocean and piloting waters
  • Risk management
  • Weather awareness and forecasting
  • Knowledge of boat characteristics
  • Knowledge of boat’s mechanical systems

Old vs new -

  • Chart work
  • Non electronic devices, sextant, compass , DR, visual
  • Original electronic devices, RDF, Loran
  • Electronic nav aides (GPS, radar, Wx forecasting systems, computer software/ routing systems