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Old 14-05-2019, 13:04   #16
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Unfortunately on these lists, there are always those that have to demean others. They know it all and have all the letters behind their name to prove it and post them. Really only makes themselves look like asses. Fortunately, there are a lot more good folks out here that are willing and able to help guide a rookie. Hang in there, you will become one of the experienced and then it will be your chance to decide how you are going to give advise. Ted.

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Old 14-05-2019, 13:50   #17
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

All have given you good advice. Learn the things you need to know and be prepared for surprises both good and bad. Finally try not to be thin skinned. The big briny will test your mettle soon enough.

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Old 14-05-2019, 15:11   #18
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Thank you for all the good advice and pleasant words. I think I was hoping for such a response when I first post and I certainly feel more assured about getting out there.

The true is that so far in my personal experience I only found helpful cruisers/boaters on my few days out sailing, I possibly gave too much importance to some unfortunate comments that I found here, which most definetely do not at all represent what the cruising community is about.

I am really keen to learn and be as better prepare to handle the boat and crew as I possibly can. I take a lot of time to read my subscription of the Yachting Monthy magazine, I do online courses, been going to boat shows, etc. trying to learn as much as possible to put to use when I am out there.

Every single minute of my charter time I was focused on what was happening, focused on preparation, how to take and moor the boat at the next destination, it was indeed very tiring for me and I couldn't stop being worried until I had the boat moored safely at the end of each charter. I am sure that with time this will get much better and I will be able to relax and appreciate the sailing a bit more.

Again, thanks everyone for the kind feedback!
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Old 14-05-2019, 15:43   #19
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Originally Posted by philiosophy View Post
The big briny will test your mettle soon enough.
Keep in mind, the big briny treats everyone equally. That's when you might chance to see those who believe they are 'better' than others suddenly find themselves in trouble. Yes, it happens to all of us, that is why the majority of sailors are more helpful than otherwise.
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Old 14-05-2019, 17:49   #20
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Originally Posted by stewie View Post
I think that you will find that most cruising yachties help and encourage others. You have found a minority, so just ignore them and find better company. Hope that you enjoy your week yachting.
Agree with Stewie in the main.

However, I have seen rare examples of skippers who just don't learn over time, don't look for advice when it's really clear that they aren't coping, obviously don't practice, and risk damaging or do damage other boats. I offered one rich newby marina neighbour help and support in subtle, kind and then obvious ways. He declined, instead tried to get his own practice at 5.00 am, unseen. Managed to impale his saloon window on my bowsprit. That type of new skipper generates a bit of intolerance.

You don't show that attitude and don't deserve nothing other than support and encouragement, as was given to me as a keen beginner.

Someone else has said in this thread that it's not about miles as much as focused practice of maneouvers - for hours and hours, not just once or twice.
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Old 14-05-2019, 18:26   #21
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Really, there are only two things where other skippers should care.

Anchoring. Folks worry that you might either drag down on them or swing into them. Really learn it. Read up on properly placing and setting, evaluating holding, positioning vs. other boats (not too close, not in front of them), how to reduce yawing (which loosens anchors), and a host of other factors. The Complete Book of Anchoring and Rigging Modern Anchors will get you started. Practical Sailor Magazine has some good guides and a LOT of articles. And practice a lot.

Docking. Practice. And not just when you come in. Blocked practice, in the form of docking and leaving over and over, carefully critiquing what you did right and not right. Even though I am quite experienced, every time I get a new boat I do some blocked practice of docking, tacking, jibing, and reefing. Each of these has a best method for each boat, and learning them in bad weather is not a good idea. This is the best way to learn maneuvering; not doing it once, under the watchful eye of an instructor or owner, but over and over, learning from mistakes before you forget them.

Sailing is complicated too. Don't forget a little blocked practice on a charter boat; do a couple linked tacks at least, and reef once, so you know how. But all of this is away from prying eyes.

Racing is a great learning tool for certain things... but not for these two skills. The other problem with racing is that you learn how to maneuver with a crew; you need to learn how to do everything singlehanded, to be a cruiser. There may technically be crew, but they are either asleep, fixing dinner, or sun bathing.
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Old 15-05-2019, 00:01   #22
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Watching charter boats screw up is one of the more popular forms of entertainment in the islands. Get used to it. After a while, as you gain competence, you too will see the humor in it!
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Old 15-05-2019, 01:28   #23
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

I agree with much of what has been said by others especially that getting practice into berths etc. is the most difficult to get if you don't have your own boat. And getting it wrong can be embarrassing and expensive.
Many years ago when I did my Coastal Skipper course we spent a whole day in Cowes practising going in and out of berths with the wind/against the wind/into the tide/with the tide/ferry gliding/springing off etc. etc. It was the most valuable day of the course and with sufficient crew and fenders no damage done.
I was recently talking to a couple nervous about their first channel crossing because they fear losing sight of land. I said I fear seeing land because there are things to bump into!
So, ignore the "wise guys", study the different techniques, watch how others handle their boats, do what you can to get experience, recognise that each boat tends to handle differently and above all enjoy it.
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Old 15-05-2019, 08:16   #24
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Agree with all the comments. Being a sailor does not exclude any of the negative traits in human nature but on the whole I have meet far more nice ones. Generally though in the more remote locations. The South Coast defentely has a high percentage of the intollerent ones.

The only real way to learn to be a good skipper is regularly sailing and having your own boat. You can lean a lot sailing with freinds and chartering but untill you are responsible for your own boat you will not learn many important aspects of maintainance, dealing with beuocracy and decision making. Best thing I ever did was to buy and do up an old folk boat. If you can afford it buy something small (max 26ft) old and cheap. As long as it is fit for a trip round the bay it is good enough. Getting it seaworthy will teach you lots! The great benifit of a small boat is you get lots of feedback, if you sail trim is wrong she will stop. Also when you get it wrong you will do muvch less harm and the repairs will be cheaper!!
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Old 15-05-2019, 08:55   #25
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

I have found most sailors to be very helpful. My advice would be to race as much as possible. You learn a LOT.

Both boat owners I have crewed for were incredibly patient and taught me most of everything I know about sailing big boats. Check the local yacht club racing series websites, often there will be people looking for crew. That's how I found the boat I started racing on and I met some amazing people!
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Old 15-05-2019, 09:06   #26
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

One other thought: your trepidation? In some cases it never goes away. With thousands of nm under our keel, I still sleep lightly whenever we're at anchor, and will usually be up once during the night to check on things.

I only remember one problem (note to self: don't expect a low sand bar to protect you from swells all night - when you anchor at low tide!).

Almost never is there a hint of a problem if we've been conscientious about anchoring (which we always are), but almost always I am expecting one.
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Old 15-05-2019, 13:53   #27

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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Quote: "One other thought: your trepidation? In some cases it never goes away."

There is an adage among airmen and among seamen: "If you are not anxious, you simply don't understand your situation!" Sardonic, obviously, but laden with truth for all that :-)!

Roland advocated in his post that you buy yourself a cheapie (i.e. a boat you can afford to put scratches on) and then go out and practice. Couldn't agree more! A skipper's first responsibility is to keep his ship and his crew safe by exercising good judgement in all circumstances. And as I'm sure you know: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement!"

I am fortunate where I sail in having all manner of flotsam available, such at logs escaped from log booms being towed to the sawmills. There is nothing better for practising coming alongside, than an escapee log in the middle of Trincomalee Channel.

When we first bought TrentePieds, a puny little 30-footer, I set up my brother-in-law, (Lieut. RCN retired) by asking him to come alongside a friend's private float, starboard side to. BIL just couldn't do it. Somehow he kept winding up with the boat at a fortyfive degree angle to the float. "No prob", sez I, "just take 'er 'round again". Took him the best part of a dozen tries before the little lightbulb went on in 'is 'ead, and he did it right. Poor man only knew how to bring a twin screw ship alongside. Once he clued in to his "deficiency" there was obviously no problem :-)!

Here is one of my favourite instructional clips:

So you see, even people who should know better mess up at times. This deckhand was lucky not to get seriously hurt, but his skipper is at fault for letting this situation develop. The fellow who boards from the dockwall needs a talking to as well :-)!

Anyway, _play the clip a few times and see if you can enumerate all the things that are wrong about this docking - all of which must be laid at the door of the skipper :-)!

All the best,

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Old 15-05-2019, 14:14   #28
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

My own impression is that many of the nattering nabobs of negativity, who are totally confident in their opinions, are at the peak of Mount Stupid in the Dunning-Kruger curve. Humility and prudence are signs of growth leading to competence. See for an explanation.

The day you see yourself as not being a student - as knowing everything - is the day you should stop sailing.
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Old 15-05-2019, 14:20   #29
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

I think it’s worth remembering that the only reason people mock others for their shortcomings is to make themselves feel better about themselves. So that they can sit there and think (or even say out loud) “I would never have done that!”

It’s also worth remembering that there is no such thing as the perfect sailor. One of the main attractions for me of this lifestyle is that it’s something you can work at for your entire life and you will still - hands down, guaranteed - you will still screw up sometimes and some of those screw-ups will be spectacular.

Look at any of the ‘great sailors’ whose books we’ve all read and whose seamanship, skills etc. we all revere. How many boats did Bernard Moitessier sink?
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Old 16-05-2019, 10:55   #30
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Originally Posted by bmonteiro View Post

New skipper here, started sailing about 1 year ago in the UK (Solent). Completed the Day Skipper (RYA) and chartered as a skipper with an also inexperienced crew on two occasions. I tried to get as much miles as possible crewing for someone else but or it’s hard to find a boat that suits my weekend schedule (although I did find and clocked some good mileage) or I don’t seem to be able to get much practice on maneuvering the boat anyway as for obvious reasons that’s a job that the boat owner tends to do. Nevertheless, I was happy how I managed my so far two charter adventures, I certainly didn’t hide the fact that I lack of experience but I was careful enough and sailed and moored safely. I am now on my last preparations for our week long holiday sailing in Croatia and been reading about the differences on mooring, etc. In the process I am finding out that there are a lot of people in the boating community that seem very intolerant towards inexperienced skippers/sailors with absolute negative comments being shared online for little reason. Is this really what we are facing? Do people forget how they started? How can a jump from not sailing to be an inexperienced sailor be done? What’s exactly going on?

I still believe that most of you out there are willing to support and incentive others like me but I have to admit that I'm a bit shocked with some things that I have been reading.

All the best!

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nobody who sails in Adriatic sea can criticize one who learned to sail in the Solent

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