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Old 13-04-2010, 04:31   #16
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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 the skipper 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 him overboard 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 fire.

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 caught fire.

Need I go on...?
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Old 13-04-2010, 04:49   #17
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Aussies always lie about their experience.

I invited this guy Mark out on my boat. He totally sucked.

Maybe next time around the planet he'll know what he's doing...

This is an inside joke right?
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Old 13-04-2010, 05:48   #18
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I once had a hanger-on guest that wiggled his way aboard due to his wife and another lady going sailing for a few days. Was not what any of us wanted but it "happened".

Leaving the first port he starts shouting " Red Right.... Red Right..... Red Right.... I was helmsman in the Navy it is Red Right" We were Leaving Port......

Things got worse....... and for some reason it is illegal to maroon a moron at a foreign port.... that just sucks!
Maybe not a Moron - remember, in most of the world he is right! Bouyage in most of the world is the opposite to that of the USA - All sailors need to be aware of the differences between IALA A & B
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Old 13-04-2010, 06:42   #19
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I invited this guy Mark out on my boat. He totally sucked.

.
I thought you believed everything I said?

I was jus makin up words and then standing behind someone else when any work had to be done. I was always first to volunteer to go below to check the beer fridge!

I made the elf wear a short skirt to distract you!

And you're saying none of it worked

But I've watched Perfect Storm and Dead Calm. I though I'd make a great crew.
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Old 13-04-2010, 06:42   #20
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This is an inside joke right?
Mark & Nicolle are circumnavigating on thier Beneteau SeaLife. They visited Singapore last September and just ran the gauntlet of the Somalian coast on their way to Egypt.

Mark's a great sailor except when he and Nic joined Relax Lah! on our 'round the cans race he tacked the genny more in 2 hours than he had in the previous 6 months - LOL...
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Old 13-04-2010, 07:32   #21
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I guess as I read this I'm surprised how many people expect friends to be expert crew. I tend to look a them more as guests and appreciate that they have something to offer what ever level that may be. Even those with little experience quickly learn the basics and become a great help.

I really think expecting friends or guests to be seasoned crew is setting yourself up for failure. Why have such expectations?
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Old 14-04-2010, 07:23   #22
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My friend and skipper knows I can't sail; in fact I detest strings and flags and especially winches waiting to tear my hand off--much rather two huge diesels under the floorboards

BUT I do what I am told, do not get seasick and can serve you a decent meal in almost any most conditions -gets me off the first night watch

I guess after a few channel crossings, UK to Portugal and a transatlantic I really ought to try and get into the flappy things
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Old 14-04-2010, 08:28   #23
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If you're the owner and captain, the bottom line is you're responsible. I've had a few "experienced friends" out, and when they balked at my supervision, I informed them that EVERYTHING was my responsibility. If anything broke under their operation, it would be my fault, my expense, my problem.

I asked if they would pay to replace a blown sail, broken rigging or a tow if something failed due to a mistake they made and the answer was "no". The light came on, and they understood. So basically, Nautical62 has it right.

I've only been sailing since last November and even I have figured this part out.
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Old 14-04-2010, 09:55   #24
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Maybe it's just me, but I think most of my friends are smarter than these.
That's probably why they call this thread "Sailor's Confessional"
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Old 14-04-2010, 10:52   #25
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my sentiments exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by nautical62 View Post
I guess as I read this I'm surprised how many people expect friends to be expert crew. I tend to look a them more as guests and appreciate that they have something to offer what ever level that may be. Even those with little experience quickly learn the basics and become a great help.

I really think expecting friends or guests to be seasoned crew is setting yourself up for failure. Why have such expectations?
For me, the hard lesson was to realize that just because a friend owns a 40'+ sailboat, I shouldn't expect him to know which boat is privileged in a crossing situation.
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Old 14-04-2010, 12:28   #26
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Our club, mostly dinghies, has yet to recognize ASA or USsail cards. I had a guy that had a card kept saying what do you want to know, I'll tell you anything you want to know to pass the test. I said I need to see you sail. He badgered me several times, probably lasting more than an hour total. Finally got him on the water for a test, beam reached back and forth with the sails set for close hauled, zero progress upwind. I failed him, when I told him why he said I didn't know you wanted me to sail well.

All my experiences with people with cards are, if they push me that they have a card, they couldn't sail. If they said I don't mind taking another 15 minute test, they sailed great.

Also had a friend in the club that owned his own boat on the east coast. We're sailing along and I finally can't stand it that the telltales were hanging down and ask him if he knew what telltales were, he said yes and pointed them out, he then said he'd never figured out how they worked. Short explanation resulted in many expletives ending with I could have made it home up the river against the wind so much faster if I'd known that before. He'd been sailing for many years on his small cruiser.

John
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Old 14-04-2010, 13:06   #27
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That was my first post. You guys AND girls are GREAT ! Thanks. Glen (sail)
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Old 14-04-2010, 13:41   #28
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welcome glensail!!

I understand your frustration, I too just experienced this last weekend. First sail of the season, we decide to go for a short sail with some friends that attended our yacht club open house that day. We decide to ask them to join us on a short sail.

The next thing I know, one of the guys jumps up and drops the bow lines without even asking or bothering to check with my husband (captain), who has not yet even started the engine. As quickly as I could, I was right behind him and told him not to drop the lines, but it was too late. Next thing you know, (surprise!), our bow is drifting to starboard in the slip and there is not yet another boat next to us to stop our drift (good news and bad news). Quick grab the boat hook and grab the dock and reattach the dock lines. Now, please sit down and don't touch anything unless I ask you to.
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Old 14-04-2010, 14:02   #29
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Yes, Sweetsailing, we find that any guys on the boat try to help Nicolle, especially with lines... She might look female... and even at times looks young and dumb but she is really better working with me as a team than anyone else.
They may all be fine on a boat, but Nic is better on ours.


Oh, and anybody on the wharf too suddenly starts yelling at Nic when we try to come in "Throw me the rope!" When I finally tell her to throw it, they just stand there holding the line while she is saying at them "Put the bowline over the bollard". But do they? Nope, its like they can't hear her and need to hold the friggin rope while 8 tons of out of control boat bucks and rears....

Visitors should just sit and watch
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Old 14-04-2010, 14:30   #30
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happens to us all the time

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Yes, Sweetsailing, we find that any guys on the boat try to help Nicolle, especially with lines... She might look female... and even at times looks young and dumb but she is really better working with me as a team than anyone else.
my wife is petite, blond and beautiful, and is a far better sailor than most "crew" that come aboard. If I'm going to gybe the spinnaker, I want her to handle the sheets, not some newb guest who thinks he should do it just because he has gonads.

And the dock thing is CRAZY. It's nice that folks want to help, but why in the world would some stranger on the dock think that he can start barking orders at a member of a vessel's crew just because she's a woman?

(Standard orders on our boat, regardless of who is handling dock lines: Do not throw lines to potential helpers on the dock until the vessel has come to a complete stop. The more they yell that you should throw the lines while the boat is still moving, the less inclined you should be to accept their help.)
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