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Old 23-03-2015, 11:15   #106
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

I think you are hearing much the same thing from many of the folks who have responded. I agree, my feel is that you are being too sensitive. I hear, 'he made you lunch', 'you learned a lot','it took two months from Fl to Beaufort', 'you want to pull anchor up but haven't yet' which sounds a little odd for your comments. If someone was on my boat for two months we would all wish death or worse on each other.
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Old 23-03-2015, 11:27   #107
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Hahah, Randy. We have no harsh or negative feelings towards him or the event, it happened last year. I was just curious about what others would do in this situation. I'm not looking to be told that we were right or wrong, just wondering what others would do in a similar situation. It had been on my mind, but I didn't want to make it look like we were unappreciative and felt entitled to something that we didn't deserve.
What I'd do? What I did!

The local yacht club has a guest night for racing small sail boats, and I went to the place for the social experience. I wanted to sail.

I volunteered on a Shield 25 and went out with the old man who owned the boat and his 'pal' whom he screamed at when the poor guy didn't know what was what he was doin'.

BTW the Pal responded to my suggestion that he take some ASA courses and the exams with "Oh, I took the skippers course," beaming smile. But admitted he didn't 'need to take the exam.' (God forbid he might discover what he didn't learn.)

What a ludicrous experience, and me just out of sailing school having passed my exams with brand new stamps in my log. (That sailing school experience was a wonderful awakening, BTW, having sailed since age nine with an unsympathetic uncle, but soft spoken man. Then, relearning same stuff by the book. Interesting reflection on boyhood and growing up.)

The point: Never went back to sail with him again. Never had a conversation with his pal, again.

Coincidence: I'm going far, far away for a long, long time on a big, big boat OF MY OWN. Opposite coast.
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Old 23-03-2015, 11:34   #108
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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I too respect your opinions socaldmax!
What I was trying to say was you can learn from all types. I can take verbal abuse...my captain found out I was a MD as told me every day "I don't like docs, they make me take it up the $#%#@@! and more specificly "I don't like you, your one of them damn docs!" I really think it was because I almost lost one of his MOB dummies at 0300. But I learned a ton from him.
NoQuarter:
If you can only learn from those like you you'll be learning very little from your crewing opportunities. The old captain mentioned above didn't btw, just ride me. I don't think he liked the women in his class. And his 50 foot boat had antiquated, barely readable electronics (cathode ray tube type) and copies of paper maps. He took people out in the ocean every week. And his classes were full.
I guess the point I was trying to make was he didn't sail safely IMHO. I told him not to go out in the gulf stream with strong northeries. It wasn't safe. He just looked at me with a grin and said "Well, your not the captn are ya?" But nobody jumped ship in Bimini or hailed a USCG cutter. (though we were tempted)
His abusive personality didn't make him a good captain. But he was a good captain and we were willing to put up with his abuse to learn seamanship.
At times I may appear abusive. I have roused the entire crew at Midnight, made them put on survival suits and lifejackets and tie in in the cockpit till we passed standing waves of unknown height on a dangerous bank. I didn't tell them why, I didn't have time too. Once over I thanked them and told them they could go back to bed, we would be in port in 2 hours or less. I have yelled at people doing unsafe things.
Sure he may have been abusive. If you want to bail, that's your decision. But your asking what I would have done? I would have stayed, learned and then never darkened his door again. That is what I did with the guy mentioned above.
I get what you're saying, I have very thick skin as well, the examples you gave sound a lot like "salty sailor banter" rather than true insults. Our cook used to tell everyone they were actually the offspring of the family german shepherd, or the family tree only had one branch, etc as he served the food. It was his way of joking with people. You knew if he was angry with someone, he'd stop joking with them.

In this case, it looks like she has a little thinner skin and this guy was a jerk. Not a good fit, so the best answer is to just move on.
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Old 23-03-2015, 11:37   #109
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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It is hard to know from your descriptions whether you were actually treated poorly NoQuarter79. We only have your side of the story, and as we know it takes two sides to really screw something up.

That said, I will concur that sexism is not uncommon in the sailing and cruising world -- at least in my experience. As a cruising couple who pretty much shares all duties we occasionally feel the subtle, and not so subtle, slings & arrows of sexism. And I will say it mostly comes from older sailors (both male and female). It's not unique to the sailing and cruising of course. I do think it is mostly a generational thing that is getting better, but you will still hear the "admiral and captain" terms thrown around all too often.

Actually, your story reminds me of the experience relayed to me by some friends. They are well-experience sailing couple who went south to help some "friends" move their boat to the Bahamas. They too jumped ship after suffering a couple of weeks of abuse, much of it aimed at the woman who is clearly a better sailor than this supposed "friend" of theirs would ever be.

There's no way we can know the truth of what actually happened, but if you truly felt abused, then you were right to leave.
Good comment, the new psychology states, accurately in my opinion: Feelings are facts.

So, If that's how you feel, that's how it is.

I'm surprised at some of the reactions on this forum. I guess this treatment is typical of the sea and skippers and their boats on the ocean. Not me.
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Old 23-03-2015, 11:42   #110
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

This thread has legs.
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Old 23-03-2015, 11:55   #111
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Good comment, the new psychology states, accurately in my opinion: Feelings are facts.

So, If that's how you feel, that's how it is.

I'm surprised at some of the reactions on this forum. I guess this treatment is typical of the sea and skippers and their boats on the ocean. Not me.
I haven't been around too long, but I have seen this phenomena before. This is how they treat newbies, especially if they appear to be sensitive and ask something that is based on opinion, like in this thread.


Now if seaworthy lass had mentioned that some salty old dog had bumped her on the dock and didn't say excuse me, the replies would have been totally different. Every single reply would have been some guy offering to kill the rude old bugger for being the scourge of the sailing community and making the entire boating world look like a bunch of hoodlums.

Now the denials will start flying, but the proof is all around. Simply look up any thread started by seaworthy lass (especially one asking for advice or an opinion) and then read all of the replies.

The difference in tone is dramatic. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, it's a very common occurrence on website forums. Human nature in the online environment, if you will. Most people don't even realize they do it, but I've observed this same thing pretty much everywhere. You observe and start to realize it's the reality of website politics, or group behavior in typed form.
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Old 23-03-2015, 12:00   #112
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

Maybe what it really comes down to is that a older skipper and a younger couple aren't a good match for a 30' boat after 2 months
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Old 23-03-2015, 12:02   #113
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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His abusive personality didn't make him a good captain. But he was a good captain and we were willing to put up with his abuse to learn seamanship.
At times I may appear abusive. I have roused the entire crew at Midnight, made them put on survival suits and lifejackets and tie in in the cockpit till we passed standing waves of unknown height on a dangerous bank. I didn't tell them why, I didn't have time too. Once over I thanked them and told them they could go back to bed, we would be in port in 2 hours or less. I have yelled at people doing unsafe things.
Newt, I too am one of your fans on CF, but I really think you're off your rocker on this one. There is no reason anyone should have to put up with abusive behaviour. And there is a clear difference between "salty banter" and being rude and obnoxious. A captain, or indeed any leader, can command without being a jerk. If they can't, that just makes them a bad captain. Unless you've signed up for the marines, no one should have to put up with someone being abusive.

And your example is telling. First off, it's not abusive to make an urgent command in the face of perceived and imminent danger (as you did). That's not being abusive. Secondly, despite all the Kraken tales to the contrary, we all know that the vast majority of time on a cruising boat is not spent in life-or-death, split second decision-making time. Most of the time there's no need to make instant "Just Do IT!" decisions. And I do find it amusing that in your example you say you didn't have time to explain the situation, when you just did so in one short sentence. I assume this means your crew were so green as to not understand this simple concept?

What most of you are waxing eloquently about are classic bullies. Or they are people who have no concept of effective leadership. Think about how much more you would learn from a good seaman who wasn't abusive?
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Old 23-03-2015, 12:02   #114
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pirate Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
I haven't been around too long, but I have seen this phenomena before. This is how they treat newbies, especially if they appear to be sensitive and ask something that is based on opinion, like in this thread.


Now if seaworthy lass had mentioned that some salty old dog had bumped her on the dock and didn't say excuse me, the replies would have been totally different. Every single reply would have been some guy offering to kill the rude old bugger for being the scourge of the sailing community and making the entire boating world look like a bunch of hoodlums.

Now the denials will start flying, but the proof is all around. Simply look up any thread started by seaworthy lass (especially one asking for advice or an opinion) and then read all of the replies.

The difference in tone is dramatic. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, it's a very common occurrence on website forums. Human nature in the online environment, if you will. Most people don't even realize they do it, but I've observed this same thing pretty much everywhere. You observe and start to realize it's the reality of website politics, or group behavior in typed form.
Damn right the 'Tone' is different..
You don't bad mouth 'Moderators' if you fancy hanging around a while..
but then.. one ain't gotta kiss ass either..
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Old 23-03-2015, 12:05   #115
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

What anyone else would do shouldn't matter...only what works for you
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Old 23-03-2015, 12:06   #116
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Damn right the 'Tone' is different..
You don't bad mouth 'Moderators' if you fancy hanging around a while..
but then.. one ain't gotta kiss ass either..
Suck up
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Old 23-03-2015, 12:12   #117
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Suck up
...Moi....??
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Old 23-03-2015, 12:13   #118
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

You asked how to deal with a bad captain. Of course, with the very limited perspective of someone who has only sailed with none or very few other captains in similar circumstances, he may not really be "bad" but I suppose if you have a strong feeling that he's bad, then for your purposes he is so I'll go with that assumption. I think the answer to the question is to put up with him as cheerfully as possible, doing your very best to support his decisions, and then leave at the very first opportunity. It would be courteous to give him a heads up that you are leaving, but I don't see it as a real big deal that you just left since you weren't breaking even a verbal contract with him as far as I know.

Lots of captains yell, particularly racing skippers. It seems like it's almost a tradition because of all the excitement and stress in a race, and yelling just happens. That's one reason why I don't take part in formal races any more, I just don't care for that sort of thing while trying to enjoy the ocean and sailing. While cruising, as far as I'm concerned, yelling at crew is just a way of announcing to the whole harbor (it's amazing how sound travels across water in a quiet anchorage!) that you failed to prepare your crew properly and as a whole, you just don't have it together or have confidence in each other! Why would anyone want to announce that to the whole world? But many do. So, he was exhibiting his own insecurities or ineptitude when he found it necessary to yell, but as crew, it's not your job to "fix" this character flaw for him. Just try to focus on what he's trying to say and do it, and then leave the boat ASAP. Make a mental note to not ever be that kind of captain to your crew. Move on.
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Old 23-03-2015, 12:16   #119
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Newt, I too am one of your fans on CF, but I really think you're off your rocker on this one.
Not only am I off my rocker but I am shaking my cane at all you young pups! Take that dag nabbit! Old captains of the world unite and refuse to teach any more sailing! I'm going to my union rep!

(then digging his toe in the sand a bit) Well, it's not like I have never been wrong...

Oh well, my boat still loves me
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Old 23-03-2015, 12:20   #120
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Re: How do you deal with a bad captain?

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Not only am I off my rocker but I am shaking my cane at all you young pups! Take that dag nabbit! Old captains of the world unite and refuse to teach any more sailing! I'm going to my union rep!

(then digging his toe in the sand a bit) Well, it's not like I have never been wrong...

Oh well, my boat still loves me
Don't worry gramps. I still love you too
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