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Old 13-12-2016, 06:22   #1
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Crewing on deliveries, help needed

Hello All,
here where I introduced myself together with my plans:
another newbie.. - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
Part of the preparation is to gain Bluewater experience, tomorrow I'm meeting a delivery skipper (ball's started rolling faster then anticipated -thanks to my friend), not much time to educate myself how it works and what to ask.
Would appreciate if you could chime in on the topic so I'm better prepared then I'm now.
Thanks
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Old 13-12-2016, 08:01   #2
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

It would help you, & us, if you could consolidate the content from that other post which is relevent into this one. That way everyone has all of the key info in one spot. Either cut & paste, or contact a Moderator.

As to how to handle tomorrow. Tell us a bit about the trip, & what you plan to pack, & we can assist with sorting out your kit/gear.
Know that, as with anything else, the questions that you ask (especially of the skipper) tell more about you than do the answers that you give to the questions of others. Such as the things that you'll likely ask about the boat, travel, & 101 other details. So in both asking & answering questions, don't brown nose, but think & speak with thoughts as to how you can positively contribute to things. And that show that your head is in the game, even if sailing isn't your strong suit (yet).

It sounds like your attitude is good, which is probably the most important thing. And that you do want to contibute. Which is obvious by what you're asking now. So you're on the right track. Just stay positive, & with a mind towards learning. And volunteer for as much as you can, including for jobs that many consider upleasant, like going aloft, or aiding in cleaning X, or Y, even if that means hopping in the water in port to check a zinc, or clean the hull. Safely.

You're on track, so no worries

Oh, pack spares of a few key items, such as: knife, flashlight, glasses, sunglasses, warm - hat, socks, gloves, & long underwear. Especially as you never loan out your primary copy of the 1st two items. So that if you have a spare, & someone forgets theirs... no one goes without. And both are important safety items.
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Old 13-12-2016, 09:04   #3
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

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Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
It would help you, & us, if you could consolidate the content from that other post which is relevent into this one. That way everyone has all of the key info in one spot. Either cut & paste, or contact a Moderator.

As to how to handle tomorrow. Tell us a bit about the trip, & what you plan to pack, & we can assist with sorting out your kit/gear.
Know that, as with anything else, the questions that you ask (especially of the skipper) tell more about you than do the answers that you give to the questions of others. Such as the things that you'll likely ask about the boat, travel, & 101 other details. So in both asking & answering questions, don't brown nose, but think & speak with thoughts as to how you can positively contribute to things. And that show that your head is in the game, even if sailing isn't your strong suit (yet).

It sounds like your attitude is good, which is probably the most important thing. And that you do want to contibute. Which is obvious by what you're asking now. So you're on the right track. Just stay positive, & with a mind towards learning. And volunteer for as much as you can, including for jobs that many consider upleasant, like going aloft, or aiding in cleaning X, or Y, even if that means hopping in the water in port to check a zinc, or clean the hull. Safely.

You're on track, so no worries

Oh, pack spares of a few key items, such as: knife, flashlight, glasses, sunglasses, warm - hat, socks, gloves, & long underwear. Especially as you never loan out your primary copy of the 1st two items. So that if you have a spare, & someone forgets theirs... no one goes without. And both are important safety items.
I did add the link to this thread where I introduced myself and stated my objectives, should someone be interested beyond the immediate topic here.

It's just 1st face-to-face (we know nothing about each other - arranged through a 3rd party) and I have no idea where it will go from there.
I'm planing not to be pretentious nor obsequious, which is not my suit anyway, but would like to have a general picture of the arrangements made in a similar situation.
I'm a minimalist when comes to conveniences, always eager to help and learn , but don't want to put myself unnecessary in harm's way boarding a vessel with a skipper that either is unfit.
Hence my inquires how to probe those by asking (basic) relevant questions.

What you and Dan wrote is a good stepping stone in that direction, thanks to you both.
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Old 13-12-2016, 09:39   #4
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

The fact that a skipper would even consider taking an inexperienced beginner on a delivery would give me cause for concern.

I only take crew whom I have known for decades and trust implicitly to be able to handle everything that may (will) arise.
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Old 13-12-2016, 10:04   #5
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
The fact that a skipper would even consider taking an inexperienced beginner on a delivery would give me cause for concern.

I only take crew whom I have known for decades and trust implicitly to be able to handle everything that may (will) arise.
so if he agrees to take me on-board, I should not trust his judgment and stay...
Catch 22.
It reminds me when I came to Canada years ago facing experience-employment issue (still an issue); one couldn't get one without the other.


What's you advice then?
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Old 13-12-2016, 10:12   #6
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

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so if he agrees to take me on-board, I should not trust his judgment and stay...
Catch 22.
It reminds me when I came to Canada years ago facing experience-employment issue (still an issue); one couldn't get one without the other.


What's you advice then?
I don't know where you are in Ontario but there are lots of yacht clubs with active racing programs. Start as rail meat with the white sail boys (casual, not to serious) and work your way up to the Wednesday night guys (ridiculously serious) and then on to longer distance crewing such as the LO300.
Experience is a process.
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Old 13-12-2016, 10:36   #7
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

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I don't know where you are in Ontario but there are lots of yacht clubs with active racing programs. Start as rail meat with the white sail boys (casual, not to serious) and work your way up to the Wednesday night guys (ridiculously serious) and then on to longer distance crewing such as the LO300.
Experience is a process.
I have to cut corners, I'm not a spring chicken anymore
I've been sailing for some time (see another newbie..),
I understand freshwater experience probably doesn't count much for when one goes where I want to go...
I'm aware of other paid ways to get offshore, it may become my only option then.
Will see, it is all a new to me.
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Old 13-12-2016, 10:42   #8
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

I'm at a bit of a loss for how to tell you how to proceed. Well, except to tell you to trust your instincts. And if you get to the boat, & things see off, be ready to make your own way home. As well as being ready to do that from anywhere you may stop along the way if things take a turn for the wierd.

You could also do a bit of investigating into the skipper, the boat's owner, & anything else that's relevent. Checking on liscenses, resumes, the boat's history (maratime liens, etc.). Also, if the skipper has worked for delivery company X, you can look into that, & similar.

Plus, both ask, & check the seaworthyness of the vessel. Her safety gear. The soundness of her primary systems. Along with the weather vs. when you'll be sailing/delivering her, & if the trip is planned at the edge of being out of season. So that you'd possibly be in harm's way due to such. For example, doing a delivery froom SF to Seattle in October. Which is when the winter storms begin rolling down to the PNW from the Gulf of Alaska.

I've both crewed, & skippered where things were done both ways. Only on the strength of phone converstions at times, & others where everyone was pretty much a known entity. Though by the time I was traveling the oceans that way I had a couple of decades of experience under my belt. Including the Americas's Cup (1 1/2), Annapolis (US Naval Academy), & several years as a Naval Officer conning ships, & submarines. So my instincts were pretty well honed at the time, in terms of judging people, & in that I could sleep with one ear open in order to make sure that everything onboard was running correctly. And that I could handle 98% of onboard emergencies even if that meant telling the theoretical captain to shut up & listen to me sans argument.

If you trust your instincts, both about boats, & people, you'll likely be fine. Though that also means that if you don't feel comfortable deciding whether or not it's a good idea to go, then pass. Ditto if your depth of knowledge on boats is insufficient to let you make such judgement calls.

Rides are not in short supply. And unless you're destitute, & this is the only way to get some coin, then you have options. The flip side though, is that few boats or people are ever ideal for a trip. There's always a to do list for boats. And when doing deliveries, it's not uncommon for that list to be longer than one would prefer. Which can at times be a big part of why the owner isn't moving the boat. He's paying for the skipper's (& crew's) expertise in handling a less than perfect vessel. Where the pro's depth of knowledge will carry him through, when the owner lacks such a knowledge base.


A few other things to discuss are food, & per diem. Travel, lodging, vehicle expenses (rental car, busses, cabs), pay (or not), including what constitutes a work day. And if you're stuck in port somewhere would you be getting paid for that day, & at what rate. What your duties will be. Watch standing routines, & proceedures. Alcohol. Smoking. Equipment provided by the ship/owner, & what you need to bring, & what not to.

I guess that that's more than a few items, & it gives you some ideas of some of the big things which can come into play. You won't have time to discuss all of them. At least not in a short conversation. Which is where instinct comes into play again. And I don't mean to scare you, nor overload your brain. But the above is a 5min glimpse into some of the delivery game. Hopefully a helpful one. And there are lots of forums that are dedicated purely to deliverys, crewing, & skippering. Plus heaps of crew agencies. Which you can both look into online, & try & get some face time with them live. Along with (hopefully) copies of some of the contracts, rules, & paperwork which they commonly use. So that you get even more data to melt your brain with.
Dang did I just type that I mean that their contracts, & rules will help you to better learn how things work. And what you need to do to look out for yourself.

Finis
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Old 13-12-2016, 11:24   #9
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

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Originally Posted by boatpoker View Post
The fact that a skipper would even consider taking an inexperienced beginner on a delivery would give me cause for concern.

I only take crew whom I have known for decades and trust implicitly to be able to handle everything that may (will) arise.
I've taken very green crew on long deliveries of my boat. I also have seasoned and trusted crew aboard so if necessary we can doublehand until the newbie has time to get their sea legs. I always pair the newbie with a trusted crewmember until I am confident that the newbie is capable.

I like giving people a chance to gain at-sea experience, and have made some good friends that way.

Advice? Bring a duffel, not a hard-corner suitcase. Bring a sailing knife (with shackle-key). Ask about personal safety gear (PFD, / harness, tether, PLBs, etc.) and make sure you have weather-appropriate footwear, foulies and layers. Find out who else will be sailing with you. Do some google-searching to see it there are any horror stories about the skipper, crew, or the boat. It's OK to ask the skipper for references, and to check them out.

Unless you are certain that you will not get seasick, bring and use medicine that works -- try it ahead of time so you aren't surprised by adverse side-effects while at sea. I personally use Bonine (same as non-drowsy dramamine), and start taking it one or two days before we cast off. That has worked very well for me. I have friends who swear by the scopalamine patch.

Most important, bring a good attitude.
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Old 13-12-2016, 11:30   #10
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

UNCIVILIZED:
that was very CIVILIZED and fairly comprehensive; thanks for taking time to elaborate.
I can afford a paid experience, but I'm frugal at the same time, would like to have a more personal experience possibly developing into a good rapport that would lead to more sailing under the same skipper.
Ideally I see myself being accepted for what I represent by someone that is confident enough (not imprudent one) to take a 'greenhorn' and inherent risks involved on-board.
I guess I need a mentor and a risk-taker of a benevolent nature
and BTW I wouldn't even dream to be paid for being taught..
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Old 13-12-2016, 11:41   #11
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

I regularly take new-to-me crew on deliveries. I've had one bad experience, but mostly very positive ones. I recently completed a Bermuda->Antigua passage with two great crew whom I had never met until I picked them up with my dinghy in Bermuda! I was comfortable because I know that between me and my mate, we can get the boat to the destination ourselves -- the others simply (hopefully) allow us to get more sleep. Some have proven to be great cooks, some talented at sail trim, some mechanically inclined, and some simply good conversationalists. They all added something.

To assess the captain, I would ask both his experience and his goals. I would also attempt to assess if I could get along with him.

To assess the boat, I would ask what the most pressing problems with the boat (maintenance, repair, upgrade, etc.) are. There will always be something, usually dozens of things, that need work. If you get an honest answer to this question, it'll tell you the shape the boat is in, as well as the maintenance priorities.
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Old 13-12-2016, 11:46   #12
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

From the experience you posted on the other thread, youve got a good background.

Just be honest and dont try to over state your experience (thats really annoying...because offshore, when its important, the truth will be obvious...and you wont get invited back...very annoying).

Ive taken on plenty of inexperienced crew, less than you, and so have other delivery skippers. The most important things are a good disposition and the ability to stand competent watch. Your delivey captain should not actually need your help to sail the boat...but he sure would like to get some unworried sleep and an extra hand from time to time.
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Old 13-12-2016, 11:48   #13
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

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I've taken very green crew on long deliveries of my boat.
That's a very different situation than mine. I am being entrusted with someone else's vessel, often worth several hundred thousand dollars, a few times into the low millions. They expect (and get) a thoroughly experienced and reliable crew.

While I would never take a boat out in dangerous conditions, on delivery I often go when others stay at the dock. In rough weather I need to be able to sleep without worrying about the newb. I need someone who can helm in rough seas while I bleed an engine, I need someone who can change fuel filters or impellers when things get stinky.
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Old 13-12-2016, 11:53   #14
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

I can't say as I know of many (any) skippers that would take an experienced crew who's a pain in the ass, or looks like he'll turn into one, over someone who's green, but has a great attitude. Boats are really tiny spaces, so morale, & low key temperments trump knowledge most of the time.

Given that, and knowing that there's plenty of green crewmen out there, if a skipper is hiring crew, guess who he'll pick. And he'll be happy to speak with the owner to ensure that his crew's taken proper care of. Fiscally & otherwise. At least he will if he's a decent person, & a decent skipper. Personally I'd avoid most that don't think in such a fashion. Since having good crew onboard is the biggest piece of safety gear there is. Including for boosting morale, making it easier for everyone to be relaxed & well rested, etc.

Also, as stated, there are loads of other ways to gain experience. Racing probably being the best one. Since when racing, boats get pushed, so you wind up doing things which can be marginal... trending to loco. And as a result, you also learn how to keep your cool under stress, as well as how to sort out snafus. Plus you race at night, in bad weather, for long distances, when tired... All of which helps your skills. Gratis. And on top of it, racing boats often need to get delivered to a race's starting point, or home from a race afterwards. Which, if you have a good delivery crew, they'll have time to teach you stuff in a low key environ.

Oh, & not all racing is half tethered lunacy. Wednesday night beer can races are low key, & great for learning too.
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Old 13-12-2016, 11:59   #15
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Re: Crewing on deliveries, help needed

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Since having good crew onboard is the biggest piece of safety gear there is
+1, wish I'd said that
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