Course Types

Mark Boat Handling

Course Description

This course is for anyone who will be operating a race support boat for a race, regatta or event. An operator of a race support boat is expected to be able to perform safety, rescue and mark-setting operations. This course covers different race course configurations, GPS usage, techniques on setting and retrieving marks and race course signals.

On-the-Water Sessions

  • VHF radio communications
  • Boat rescues, incl. capsizes
  • Person in Water rescue
  • Towing: astern & alongside
  • Williamson turn
  • Steering a range in/outbound
  • Intercepting & maintaining position with moving vessel
  • Use of bearings & GPS
  • Search pattern
  • Taking wind readings
  • Setting & moving marks using range/bearing & GPS
  • Setting a starting line & gate

Classroom Sessions

  • Weather & water briefings
  • VHF radio procedures
  • Safety & rescue equipment & procedures
  • Towing concepts
  • Search patterns concepts
  • Plotting a position
  • Calculating tides & currents
  • Race support boat equipment & procedures
  • Effects of wind & current
  • Race course configurations


  • Safe Powerboat Handling or Accelerated Safe Powerboat Handling Certification

Suggested Age

  • 16–adult

Certification(s) Earned

  • Mark-Set Boat Handling Certificate