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Old 14-05-2019, 02:26   #1
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Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Hello!

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 itís hard to find a boat that suits my weekend schedule (although I did find and clocked some good mileage) or I donít seem to be able to get much practice on maneuvering the boat anyway as for obvious reasons thatís a job that the boat owner tends to do. Nevertheless, I was happy how I managed my so far two charter adventures, I certainly didnít 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? Whatís 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!
B.Monteiro
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Old 14-05-2019, 03:15   #2
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Don't be discouraged! That gap between Day Skipper and Coastal or Yachtmaster I found to be difficult, too - and I'm a chick. Just imagine how fun it was to deal with numerous bloviating males directing me not to worry my pretty little head over (insert particular challenge) but just step aside and let them take care of it!

You'll get there. You sound prudent and thoughtful which is great in docking and manouvreing situations. I suppose you've also used the practice of mock-manouvreing in open water before you come anywhere near a dock or mooring ball...?

I don't know if you'd be interested, but I was surfing around recently and one of the schools on the Solent East of Portsmouth. (I can't remember the name of the damn town but you go past the old Submarine barriers in the East Solent and it's on the left. Has an interesting long entrance that's good for practice.) Anyway! The school there offers some sort of mile builder and nav practice course. That might offer an option to get more specific things, like dock manouvreing, under your belt.

Best of luck and don't let the turkeys get you down!
Warmly,
Little Wing
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Old 14-05-2019, 04:58   #3
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmonteiro View Post
...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.
You are trying to learn. Good for you. There are a few out there who don't know what they're doing, don't care, and don't really want to learn. "Credit card captains" they're often called. I think the negative comments you are seeing are more aimed at the latter type, than at you.


That said, it is the internet, after all. There are people out there who feel a need to be nasty and negative about everything. They seem to think that they can make themselves feel better by making everyone else feel worse. Just ignore them. They aren't worth bothering with.


Good luck and good sailing to you.
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Old 14-05-2019, 05:08   #4
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Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

The boating community is a strange one. In some cases people are super helpful and encouraging, in others theyíll happily sit there with a drink in hand and watch you hit an unmarked rock.

For some there is also some kind of obsession with qualifications as if that means much. I know day skippers who have never set foot on a boat after the course. People with no quals whoíve sailed around the world, and YM that donít own or skipper a boat yet think they are the greatest thing out there. Strange stuff.

There also seems to be this craze for banding around the word Ďseamanshipí like itís something special. They forget maybe that seamen used to be uneducated and illiterate.

Better to just learn at your own pace and do your best. Why waste any time and energy on people that try to put you down.
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Old 14-05-2019, 08:53   #5
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

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.
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Old 14-05-2019, 09:21   #6
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmonteiro View Post
Hello!

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 itís hard to find a boat that suits my weekend schedule (although I did find and clocked some good mileage) or I donít seem to be able to get much practice on maneuvering the boat anyway as for obvious reasons thatís a job that the boat owner tends to do. Nevertheless, I was happy how I managed my so far two charter adventures, I certainly didnít 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? Whatís 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!
B.Monteiro
There are jerks in every activity. The more money the more jerks.
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Old 14-05-2019, 09:22   #7
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

As was stated before, the critical comments are usually aimed at people who look at a magazine article and figure "Hey, I'm a smart guy, I can do that" and then post something arrogant and provoking. I can't believe they don't know what they're doing, personally I think a lot of them are trolls.

I think what gets people's hackles up is the amount of earnest study that we all go through in order just to get off the dock without a mishap. Boat systems - engines, fuel, cooling, waste disposal, electrical. Sail tactics - using the wind (or lack of) to your best advantage. Then there's navigation - charts, symbols, Rules of the Road (don't get me started), weather systems.

And it goes on and on. An investment in money of course, but even more, an investment in knowledge - sometimes so arcane it boggles the mind (lead weight and wax to gauge what's on the bottom?? Really?) and sometimes so cutting edge it leaves me feeling ready for the rocking chair (raspberries are my current challenge).

It's a commitment of self that most of us have spent decades on and people like yourself that are putting in the work are welcome. Don't be put off by the naysayers. There's some of those in every crowd. I've been at this for 25 years and still have a lot to learn. That's why I'm here.

From your post it sounds like you'll do fine, you're doing the work. After you read a few hundred posts you'll know what DenverDon means by "Captain Credit Card". You don't sound like one of those. So welcome to you!
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Old 14-05-2019, 09:31   #8
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Those attitudes are not only stupid but also self destructive. Sailing as a sport is drying up and we need to promote the sport/lifestyle as much as possible to keep it alive.
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Old 14-05-2019, 09:31   #9
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Welcome aboard, Bob. The nice thing about these guys is that they know no more than you.
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Old 14-05-2019, 09:37   #10
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleWing77 View Post
Don't be discouraged! That gap between Day Skipper and Coastal or Yachtmaster I found to be difficult, too - and I'm a chick. Just imagine how fun it was to deal with numerous bloviating males directing me not to worry my pretty little head over (insert particular challenge) but just step aside and let them take care of it!

You'll get there. You sound prudent and thoughtful which is great in docking and manouvreing situations. I suppose you've also used the practice of mock-manouvreing in open water before you come anywhere near a dock or mooring ball...?

I don't know if you'd be interested, but I was surfing around recently and one of the schools on the Solent East of Portsmouth. (I can't remember the name of the damn town but you go past the old Submarine barriers in the East Solent and it's on the left. Has an interesting long entrance that's good for practice.) Anyway! The school there offers some sort of mile builder and nav practice course. That might offer an option to get more specific things, like dock manouvreing, under your belt.

Best of luck and don't let the turkeys get you down!
Warmly,
Little Wing



Bid you know Michelle Mazotta from the RCYC Toronto. I believe she was the sailing coordinator there. She used to bring down members of the club in February to charter my boat in California to build their hours towards their Yachtmaster
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Old 14-05-2019, 10:11   #11
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Don't be discouraged. I chartered for years throughout the Med and Caribbean and, looking back on it, I was one of those boneheads that drive cruisers crazy. Some people were intolerant, some were awfully helpful. But you are out there doing it, so don't let the negatrons get you down.

I thought we knew some things when we bought our own boat and spent a few months preparing for an Atlantic crossing. The truth? I pulled every goofy trick known to man on our own boat. We're pretty capable now, but I learned that you only gain experience by....gaining experience!
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Old 14-05-2019, 10:57   #12
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

It really is all about getting the miles in and practicing. If you have your own boat it's somewhat easier because you know exactly how the boat will behave in given circumstances (or at least you should !) with charter boats they all handle a bit differently (port kick, starboard kick, bow thruster etc etc) . I think you will find that most people are supportive and helpful but will be watching carefully when you dock near them just in case things go wrong. But be wary of well intentioned people on the dock all shouting conflicting advice !
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Old 14-05-2019, 11:45   #13
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

I just counted 55 books on my shelves on the subject of sailing and racing. Everything from Arthur Knapp's "Race Your Boat Right" to Adlard Cole's "Heavy Weather Sailing" to Chapmans to Dutton's to Nigel Calder. I read most of them two or three times during my first year ocean racing and cruising (as crew, not skipper). Two years later I was managing a 57' Columbia for its non-sailor owner. I sailed and raced that boat all over the Hawaiian Islands for a year. With a nice fine comfortable boat like that I had no trouble finding qualified crew, racers or cruisers.

My advice; race, race, race. On the boat I currently race (low level club racing, no more long distance ocean racing for me) we took on two people a year ago who didn't know port from starboard. They can now pack, jibe and douse a spinnaker and other valuable stuff. But the best thing about racing is you watch, listen and learn. You learn about the type of people you want to be on a boat with and, maybe, those your don't.

Hang out with boat crews at marinas and yacht clubs and get on a racing crew. Most successful racing skippers (along with their top crew) are good teachers and are always looking for one or two new people to break in. You will learn more practical stuff faster that way than with any other from of training you could do to prep yourself for sailing as a charterer/owner/master. But also reading those 55 books, can't hurt, either.
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Old 14-05-2019, 11:59   #14
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

I've sailed open boats, completed coastal and astral nav. courses, have studied and learned the 'Rules of the Road' and I've lived on an old ex-sail boat for 35+ years, so I know how to moor a boat and tie appropriate knots.

We have decided to sell up and move to a warmer country, buy a house, and also buy a 50' ketch. I'm sure we'll make one or two 'slip-ups' while learning about the boat. I'm also sure there will be critics - probably harsh ones - but I'm also sure there'll be a lot of advice and help available when necessary.

Starting here, I guess: Does anybody have any suggestions, advice now?
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Old 14-05-2019, 12:19   #15
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Re: Is This Really What An Inexperienced Skipper Gets?

Most skippers worry about docking, mooring, departing more than anything. That's when it's easy to hit another expensive boat, and in full view of people.

But, we've all done it. On my first charter I tried to moor against another boat and really messed up. The skipper put down his chardonnay, asked me what the F*** I was doing, jumped on board and sorted the boat out. All this in full view of Dartmouth town quay. It was horrific.
Five minutes later that skipper's resumed his wine and is re-assuring me: "We've all done it....Better go on a boat manoeuvring course". Which I did - a weekend motoring backwards and forwards against a tide of 5kn. Learned more doing that than I'd learned doing my RYA qualifications. It's all about feel, and about understanding what the water is doing under your hull (where the prop, rudder, and keel hang down). As you realise, it's not the mileage that gets you this understanding of the water.

We've all got to learn from our mistakes, and anyone who disparages your efforts is not cool.
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