Skill in the Surf

A Landing Boat Manual




Prepared by the Training and Operations Staff,
Landing craft School, Amphibious Training base,
Coronado, California, in cooperation with the
Bureau of Naval Personnel, Instructor
Training Program

Table of Contents

Chapter Page
I Landing Boats Are Important
The plan of the manual; How to use this manual.
II Landing Craft From Troy To Tokio
Historic sea-borne invasions; Modern landing craft.
III Know Your Boat!
Characteristics of the LCVP; LCVP Nomenclature; Characteristics of the LCM(3); LCM(3) Nomenclature, operating equipment for the LCVP and LCM: Operating equipment used in boat handling; Operating equipment used with the Gray Marine diesel engine; Miscellaneous operating equipment.
IV Know Your Job!
Finding your place in a boat crew; The responsibilities of each boat crew member.
V Keep It Running
The daily boat and engine check; Care of the hull; Care of the ramp; Care of gear; Minor repairs; Hints on boat care aboard transports; Procurement of parts and materials.
VI The Coxswain Takes Over
Operating the LCVP; Characteristics of the LCVP; Starting the LCVP; Controlling the LCVP; Mooring the LCVP; Clearing from alongside; Anchoring; Using the cargo net; The run to the beach; Beaching; Lowering and raising the ramp; Broaching; Retracting from the beach; Operating the LCM(3); Characteristics of the LCM(3); Controlling the LCM(3); Tying up the LCM(3); Beaching and retracting with the LCM(3); The LCM(3) ramp; A parting word on boat operation.
VII Learning The Ropes
Rules of the Road; Rules of the Road during a landing operation; Boat etiquette; Buoyage systems; Beacons and ranges; Hydrographic markings; Storm warning signals; Station keeping; Using the compass; Knowing the ropes; A word on cargo loading.
VIII The Salvage Boat
The crew and equipment of the salvage boat; The salvage boats' job; Salvage procedures; Towing alongside and astern.
IX Where Sea Meets Land
Tide; Currents; Breakers and surf.
X Hit That Beach! 69
XI Information, Please! 77


Appendix Page
A. Glossary of Terms Used With Small Boats 87
B. Abbreviations Used for Certain Boats and Ships in Amphibious Operations 93
C. Check List of Gear Carried by the LCVP and LCM(3) 95
D. Supplementary Information on the Compass 97
E. Use of the Clutch on the Gray Marine Diesel Engine 101
F. Using the Small Boat Stadimeter 102
G. Supplementary Information on Care of the Ramp 104
H. Instructions for Operating the Hall-Scott Gasoline Engine 105
I. List of Sixteen Millimeter Navy Films Dealing With Amphibious Craft and Operations 107
J. Bibliography 109


Landing boat crew members will find this manual an unusually helpful source of information during their training. Much of the subject matter herein contained has been prepared especially for the LCVP and LCM(3) crews, but the text will be of interest to all officers and men in the Amphibious Forces.

This book was not designed merely to be read and laid aside. It was prepared so that men in training could consult it time and again while working with landing boats. Keep your copy, Review it frequently.

G.B. Howe
Lieut. U.S. Navy
Training Officer, Landing Craft School


Transcribed and formatted by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation