It's not just crew who don't know what they're doing. To give you the opposite side, I sailed on 9 different private sailing boats working passages from Europe
to NZ as unpaid crew. Being aware of the fact I'd be at the mercy of the skippers, I did plenty of courses and got as much experience as possible before I left. On the Atlantic crossing
the boat (80ft):
1) Took on enough water
that it took 24hrs for an electric pump
to get rid of it.
2) Broke 5 halyards due to poor maintenance/no preparation and thus dropped many sails
in the sea.
3) Broke a roller furler
due to poor maintenance
leaving us in 35kts of wind
and atlantic swell in the middle of the night with an hourglass shaped foresail half up and half down
4) We were boarded by refugees of Cape Verde
OK so the boarding wasn't the skipper's fault but everything else was.
The next boat I was on was infested with cockroaches. We set off from Trinidad heading north straight for Grenada
, of course we got pushed so far west that the trip took twice as long as it should have and we totally missed Christmas
day. When I got to have a look at the charts
was 'using' it turned out the only one he'd got was a passage
planning chart for all the windward islands
. He had an autopilot
that he didn't know how to use and we almost lost
in a squall. As we pulled in to Georgetown
harbour he revealed to me that the engine
'wasn't working properly' and hadn't been for a while so I got him out of the harbour and motored in circles until I established a jury-rig for gear
selection then took us in. He couldn't get us anywhere near the mooring
buoy so in the end I did it having to leave the helm
and dash below to change between fwd and reverse with him out of harm's way up the bow. I spent 2 days rebuilding the cable-controls and throttle/gear selector.
When we sailed up to Union Island we had to motor
the last few miles and the temp on the gauge kept rising, he said it 'always did that' until I pointed out the smoke coming from under the saloon
floor. We came into Union island (none of us had ever been there before) between the reefs
at night under sail having put out the engine
In Moorea I was on a catamaran
where the owner/skipper tried to anchor
in 40m, because they had 50m of chain. I convinced them that only the big ocean liners anchored there, and we ought to go and anchor
where all the other cruising-yachts were. The anchor was one of those ones that deploys off one bow and then you use the bridle
to centre it between the hulls. They tried to back up on the anchor to set it, and the boat twisted sideways so much that the chain jumped off the roller. I cleared up the mess and we tried again, same result. I cleared up the mess again. 3rd time, I was at the helm
and instantly realized that the port engine was stuck in forwards. The skipper
who'd owned the boat for 30 years and already circumnavigated in it once, hadn't noticed. I immediately shut off the port engine and anchored using the stbd one. The next day the generator
Need I go on...?