Mate Candidates

Club members interested in improving their skills can become mate candidates.  MC’s learn a variety of skills for safely managing all aspects of the sail.  

Download the Mates Manual

Click here for information on knot tying

Seaworthy Training Sessions
(Rev 11/9/2015)

All OSC Mate Candidates are required to complete a checklist of 10 areas of seamanship in their Mate’s Manual and have each signed off by either the Candidate’s Mentoring Skipper or other OSC Skippers. The areas are broad based, for example: ‘Preparing To Sail/Leaving The Dock’, Sailing At Sea’, or ‘Navigation’; so that each Mate Candidate gains experience from, and is encouraged to sail with, a variety of Skippers. Additionally, unless the items are successfully completed and signed off during routine sailing on the Club’s sailboats with the OSC Skippers, we offer four optional Seaworthy Training Sessions. These sessions cover skills that may not be encountered in daily sailing, such as: Crew Overboard drills, Anchoring, Docking/Undocking, etc. These sessions compliment the Club’s Assessment & Enhancement (A&E) Program and ensure that Mate Candidates are fully trained to fulfill their responsibility, including acting in the Skipper’s place in times of emergency. Following is an overview of the four Seaworthy Training Sessions: 

Anchoring –  The proper procedures for anchoring are reviewed in addition to actual practice of dropping & hauling up the anchor, safe operation of the anchor windlass, ensuring correct scope is used, etc.  

Boat Systems –  A thorough overview of boat systems is conducted on-board each of the Club’s vessels including engine, electronics, hydraulics, and communications.

Docking/Undocking –  Mate Candidates are drilled in actual docking & undocking the Club’s sailboats at boat slips. Additionally, candidates can enhance proficiency in docking & undocking while sailing with their mentor, or other Skippers (at the Skipper’s discretion), normally after having participated in the formal Docking/Undocking Seaworthy Training Session.

Crew Overboard (COB) –This hands-on session includes deployment and use of on-board emergency equipment including a Life Sling that has been installed on each of the club’s sailboats. Mate candidates participate in actual simulations of crew overboard rescue situations, maneuvering the boat back to the COB using the Jibe-Stop method, and bringing the COB (simulated with a flotation cushion) back to the swim step ladder for rescue. Seaworthy Training Sessions are delivered with a minimum of 2 and generally a maximum of 3-4 participants. Although Mate-Candidates are given priority in signing up for these Sessions, they are also open to OSC Skippers and Mates. 

Oasis Sailing Club (OSC) Mate Candidate’s Program

Welcome to the Oasis Sailing Club.  We invite interested and qualified members to participate in the Mate Candidate program to expand and enrich your sailing experience by becoming an OSC Mate.  The primary responsibility of the Mate is to support the Skipper and act in the Skipper’s capacity when the Skipper is unable to perform his/her duties. Each OSC sailing must have a Skipper.  Having a qualified Mate on board is highly encouraged and has been club practice but  the final decision is at the skipper’s discretion.

Under the guidance of a “Mentoring Skipper” and other OSC Skippers, Mate Candidates learn and demonstrate knowledge of sailing ability, nautical rules of the road, boat-handling skills, docking, and general seamanship.  As experience is gained, and verified, they are ‘signed off’ in the OSC Mate’s Manual by your Mentoring Skipper, and other OSC Skippers.  The Manual provides a step-by-step guide to becoming a Mate.  This includes items such as:

  • Location & use of onboard equipment
  • Preparing to sail & leaving the dock
  • Getting under sail
  • Safely sailing in the harbor & at sea
  • Returning and securing the boat
  • Navigating, communications and what to do in case of emergencies

In addition to being an experienced sailor, the Skipper is a leader who has the skills to organize and direct the crew, respond quickly and adequately in times of emergency, and is a member of the club’s Board or Directors.  Therefore, in addition to the objective criteria of the Mate’s Checklist, Mate Candidates are evaluated on such criteria as:  the ability to organize & lead, judgment, good seamanship, and crew compatibility.  Mate Candidates also participate in special “Seaworthy Training Sessions” focusing on Anchoring, Crew Overboard (MOB), Docking/undocking, and boat systems.

While not all Mate Candidates become Mates, and not all Mates become Skippers, no one becomes an OSC Skipper unless first becoming a Mate. Hence, Mate Candidates are the future of our club.  

Since there is no additional cost to participate in the Mate’s program, it is a great way to build upon your skills while sailing and working on your Mate’s certification, and if desired & qualified, to ultimately be certified as an OSC “Skipper”.   

If you are interested in becoming a Mate Candidate, below are the steps to get started and follow to completion of the program:

Sail with as many Skippers as possible for at least several months and let them know you are interested in becoming a Mate Candidate.  

  1. OSC members wishing to be Mate Candidates need to qualify through the following process: Members must sail with (on separate sails) and receive three Specialized Training Team (STT) member recommendations to be eligible for the Mate Candidate program.  There is no expectation that you have advanced skills or knowledge at this point; only that you have spent time on the water and have a general familiarization of what occurs on our normal day sails.
  2. Ask a Skipper that you feel you have ‘chemistry’ with if he/she will be your Mentoring Skipper in the Mate Candidate program.  Upon agreeing the Skipper/ Mentor will work with you and support you in completing the program.
  3. Follow up with your Mentor to ensure he/ she has emailed the Training Officer who will in turn register you as a Mate Candidate.  You can pick up an OSC Mate’s Manual at sailing club meetings or download a copy online; simply go to: and click on the “Training” tab from the Home page. Select “Mate Candidates” from the pulldown menu and click the link at the top of the page for the Manual.
  4. Read the Manual and become familiar with the content and the club’s sailboats. Go sailing, take your Mate’s Manual with you and have items “signed off” by your Mentoring Skipper or other OSC Skippers. Periodically, review your progress with your Mentor and discuss next steps. The Training Chair, may also request an update on your progress, typically on a quarterly basis.
  5. Mates should sail with the Mentoring Skipper frequently and also with other Skippers to learn from their varied experiences. It is good to keep an informal log of the Skippers you have sailed with and when.  All Skippers will be voting on your candidacy for Mate so it is important that they are familiar with your skills.
  6. Once you have been signed off on the sections in the Mate’s Manual, you will schedule an Assessment and Enhancement (A&E) session with the Training Chairman. An A&E usually takes an hour and a half to two hours where you demonstrate competency and knowledge of the skills and information contained in the Mate’s Manual.  It is an on the water session evaluated by a minimum of two Specialized Training Team (STT) members and other members acting as your crew.
  7. Following your successful completion of the A&E, your mentoring Skipper will nominate you for promotion at a future meeting of the Board of Directors.  Assuming the vote is a positive one; Congratulations!  You are now a certified OSC Mate. 

Good luck and all the best

Chris Hill  – Training Chairman; Stan Espenship – Commodore

Specialized Training Team Members
Marc Branson
Stan Espenship
Dave Garrett
Don Gordon
Mike Green
Ron Havis
Chris Hill
Gerrit LeGrand
Charlie Polce
Rob Reid
John Santo