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Old 13-09-2016, 16:44   #76
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

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Old 13-09-2016, 16:55   #77
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

Excerpt quote from Hobbitt: "Anyone over the age of 40 is directly responsible for the constant and uncontrollable decline is basic manners and general civility in our society."

Hobbitt, I wholeheartedly agree with most of what you say, and I think very few people in the forum would disagree.

My mother used to often say: "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread". I just checked the saying on Wiki ... yes, it is still in use!!!!.

I think the saying also applies to the fools that offer opinion, advice, take an action, without going first to any effort of empathy, understanding, expertise. In all walks of life.

It affects the nicest, most generous people the most, including probably the originator of this thread. We have a duty to not put up with it, to be firm. It's a constant battle though, and not one we really want to have when under the duress of a passage.

A skipper of another day/overnight/s charter boat (up to 6 PAX) in our Marina was regularly ridiculed (after the trip) by his customers because his "rulebook" and briefing was the best part of 30 minutes. But he says they never complained during the trip, (only after), and I'm pretty sure he ran a far tighter ship and had fewer people problems than I, with my 10 minute more casual style briefing.

He turned the "fools" toward being "angels" by laying out the rules, upfront.
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Old 13-09-2016, 17:08   #78
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

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Teaspoons at the FRONT!!!??? What are you thinking man? This no good, I am sorry, we just can't go sailing together.

What is a teaspoon?
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Old 13-09-2016, 18:10   #79
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

I sail with a very successful skipper. When he was running his business and had major cash flow and expense account he would not let me pay for anything. Now he is retired I pay for things like a trip to the food or liquor shop without giving him a chance to object.

He has always told me where I could sleep on the boat and gives a quite thorough training session on expectations and safety equipment and procedures when I first board. If you let your guests think they are getting a free vacation that's what they will take.

Explain the term keel haul.
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Old 13-09-2016, 18:28   #80
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

For any readers who are interested in this whole issue, there is currently a thread from crew people about poor captains. It is a subject that comes up every few months or so, and there is a lot of archived info.

GILow, I'm going to make an assumption here, which may be dangerous, but since you've had management and team building training, I think you're assessing your captaincy style incorrectly. My guess is that you assumed the skipper position, and you also encourage feedback. You're sailing mostly with family and friends. Family already know you're the head of household. In other words, I'm questioning that your boat is a democracy. Just like families aren't democracies, although sometimes kids think they should have an equal vote. You can still have a transparent leadership style, and be accepted as the skipper.

As to strangers, or even other family who are not accustomed to sailing with you, I truly think they need a bit of OJT. When my daughter, and her husband and kids came to visit in New Caledonia, our first chat after they got over their jet lag was about who was to be "spotter" if someone went overboard, and where they lifejackets were and where they would keep them. (As we have long berths, at the foot of the berth is fine.) But even something that simple starts you off with how you want to continue. They have to have responsibilities, it helps them be part of it all, and if it's a holiday for them, you have to make it all happen.

I feel a little sad that the OP has had some really unpleasant skippering problems, and ugly personal relations. But I also think that vetting crew (and I like the idea of having them demonstrate follow-through as an indication of self discipline) is essential, and how you deal with them about their responsibilities is key. You don't have to be Capt. Bligh, but SOMEone has to be in charge.

Now, off the soapbox, and onto the cabin sole!

Ann
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Old 13-09-2016, 20:27   #81
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

When taking "guests" out, I say..."It's my prerogative to bring everything and everybody back which I choose to". "Please understand, this is not a democracy and if I return early for any drama, you will be on the dock with all the other guest to answer for your behavior...have a nice day".
Friends are different. I know each one has their limitations, whether it is age, health, strength or what not. I general, I have had good experiences.
I had one acquaintance who was unemployed and staying on the couch when I lived in Hawaii. I was decommissioning my Ingrid 38 in Seattle and invited him along, air fare paid, all his food and we sleep on the boat in exchange for a little labor, wrapping the mast in carpet, coiling rigging and what not. Well the guy spent 5 full days glued to his cell phone talking to his harem. I finally gave up on him helping and had to hire the yard crew...an extra $600. Once, when coming into a dock for refueling with wind and current from the wrong direction, we were feet away from the controlled crash when his cell phone went off and I asked him not to answer since we were docking. He answered and held his finger in the air indicating that I should wait until he finished. If I hadn't been near that dock and he pulled that, I would have grabbed that damn phone and flung it overboard. He was off my couch when we returned to Hawaii.
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Old 13-09-2016, 20:36   #82
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

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I must apologize. I really love this forum. There are so many BS experts here and an equal number of truly great people. The group to which users fall into, I think, depends more on the day of the week than anything else. There are a few contributors that I actually follow because they seem so smart. But this thread just really got me going.
I think most of the BS'ers are folks who have never had a boat but love giving advise based on what goes on between their ears. I'm learning not to even read their ramblings. After awhile you will see who the kookies are.
I think without saying it to the OP, most of us identify with him. Look how many responses in such a short time. Like you, most of us were raised by good parents. It's a different crowd now. They seem to have the "right of entitlement" thing going on.
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Old 13-09-2016, 22:32   #83
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

A comment and a suggestion:

First: I've always believed 'there is no free lunch' apparently the OP not only gave free lunches, but all other meals and board too. Anything given for free has no value in my books, so if these people you invited really appreciate sailing in a great boat in exotic places, they should be willing to pay something for the pleasure.

Second: When your invited crew members first come aboard, be sure to greet them as follows ... Good day. Allow me to introduce myself ... My name is Bligh; Captain Bligh. Be sure to address me as such every time I give an order. Insubordination is corrected aboard this vessel by use of the "cat" ...

You should have no further problems.
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Old 13-09-2016, 22:32   #84
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

Hobbit, I really don't buy the entitlement / generational thing.

It is all about motivation and those of us who went thru a "hippie" faze in the 70's , also resisted discipline and authority preferring to sail on a diplomatic Walden Pond rather than at Sea.:what:

At sea,I am of the general opinion that you can mold and motivate most crew, simply by being a leader in your craft and demonstrating an experienced attention to details, while sharing that knowledge as a teacher.

I wonder if some of the members here who successfully managed their own businesses or staff, think of it as a democracy?

Did they have the same doubts as a leader about training their business employees ?

If not, then why do some have problems molding guests into an enjoyable team with them as captain?

In both cases, you have a captive audience and a motivation to survive.

I think you just need the confidence to be the pack leader as a captain and mold the crew to your standard.... or dump them.
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Old 13-09-2016, 22:43   #85
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

We utilize CREW RESOURCE MANAGEMENT in my industry.

Works well...no need for a Cap Bligh....treat crew with respect....crew input is welcome. Buck stops with the captain.
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Old 13-09-2016, 23:43   #86
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post

GILow, I'm going to make an assumption here, which may be dangerous, but since you've had management and team building training, I think you're assessing your captaincy style incorrectly. My guess is that you assumed the skipper position, and you also encourage feedback. You're sailing mostly with family and friends. Family already know you're the head of household. In other words, I'm questioning that your boat is a democracy. Just like families aren't democracies, although sometimes kids think they should have an equal vote. You can still have a transparent leadership style, and be accepted as the skipper.

Ann, I nearly swallowed my coffee the wrong way reading this. :^)

I am married to a nurse, and any man I know who is married to a nurse will back me up when I claim that the power balance in our family is not exactly as you describe it.

I sail more frequently with "connections" rather than close friends and certainly almost never with family. It is one of the ironies of my life that my son hates sailing and none of my family live nearby.

My formula to date has been to offer anyone who expresses an interest a trip on the boat and see how it works out. With new arrivals I do a safety briefing appropriate to their skill level, from the full breakfast menu type for first timers to the after dinner mint summary for those that have sailed more than me.

After that I try to work out the most suitable level of language for communication based on their level of sailing experience and away we go.

It has worked so far and it feels democratic to me.

Matt

P.S. I try to hand the wheel over at the first opportunity. I am a bit happier in the galley than anywhere else on the boat.


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Old 14-09-2016, 00:21   #87
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

Thanks to the OP, it is a pandoras box when people find themselves in a confined space, in what can be trying circumstances, and there may be (will be) conflicting personallities at head to head.

Worked on offshore rigs many years ago as a machinist, still remember a Philipino deck hand stumbling past with a screwdiver stuck between his shoulderblades, simply for trying to do the right thing (teaspoon in the wrong place no doubt).

Russian friend in the merchant marine "knew of" circumstances when a troublemaker simply was reported as MOB..say no more

This is why the OP's question is so open to interpretation, is it the "captain" or is it the "crew" ? I'm sure current management theory could keep the thread alive for quite some time..

Me, I just put on my blazer, grab a gin and tonic and talk about the sad state of affairs in modern sailing....
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Old 14-09-2016, 01:16   #88
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

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Excerpt quote from Hobbitt: "Anyone over the age of 40 is directly responsible for the constant and uncontrollable decline is basic manners and general civility in our society."

Hobbitt, I wholeheartedly agree with most of what you say, and I think very few people in the forum would disagree.
I have to wholeheartedly disagree. ( And I'm over 40 myself).

Complaining about the lack of manners in the younger generation is of all times. Every generation complains about the one following it being less civilized. This is universal, and an example of the cognitive biases our imperfect brains suffer from.

But think of it. Already in Roman times older people complained about the behavior of the young. Do you however really think that it would be possible for every generation to be worse behaved than the previous? In fact, it is rather the opposite. We are currently a society that is massively more peaceful and civilized than for example the 19th century was. And this in spite of people in the 19th century complaining at every opportunity that the manners of the young were ever getting worse...
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Old 14-09-2016, 01:50   #89
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

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In Europe, unless it’s a delivery, volunteer crew share expenses – food, berthing, and fuel. When the crew is sharing the expense (even if it is a symbolic amount compared to the total cost of running the boat), that makes them “co-owners” of the voyage and are definitely not any kind of “employees”.
I think this is probably the clue to your different experiences. Requiring people to commit financially to an undertaking functions as a filter. It weeds out those who think they are entitled, and leaves you with those for whom it is self evident that in order to get something you also need to give something.
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Old 14-09-2016, 04:06   #90
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Re: How Much Abuse do you Tolerate on Your Boat

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I have to wholeheartedly disagree. ( And I'm over 40 myself).

Complaining about the lack of manners in the younger generation is of all times. Every generation complains about the one following it being less civilized. This is universal, and an example of the cognitive biases our imperfect brains suffer from.

But think of it. Already in Roman times older people complained about the behavior of the young. Do you however really think that it would be possible for every generation to be worse behaved than the previous? In fact, it is rather the opposite. We are currently a society that is massively more peaceful and civilized than for example the 19th century was. And this in spite of people in the 19th century complaining at every opportunity that the manners of the young were ever getting worse...
I agree. I am reminded too that manners, like language is an active, changing thing. Culture must constantly change to bring about changes in society most of us find agreeable. At one time women were considered to have bad manners for speaking up for themselves.
Never the less, on a boat, there is much to be gained for paying attention to the captain than inserting yourself into captains business.
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