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Old 03-01-2019, 08:01   #1
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The rules of Crewing and Skippering

Hi,

I have crewed for others and I am an owner/skipper of my own sailboat.
Recently I had crew on board and it didnt go well. I have a very short list of rules but it seems that when the crew came aboard I found out I had more.
Being crew, it was easy to follow the captains orders for the most part, and I thought it was common sense about life on board. ( have been doing this for a while so I am not a newbie).
So to my surprise when it wasnt going well, I didnt really know what my options were.......
After a couple of blowouts and loud discussions, I was left frustrated.
My question is this;
Is there a list of rules for crew and captain? perceived or outright has to be done?
Lastly I came down early and found my engine was seized and we never went anywhere for 7 weeks waiting for repairs and parts

Mark
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:34   #2
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Re: The rules of Crewing and Skippering

As always, Captain makes to the final decision.



I always have a discussion with the crew or with the captain a separation agreement. When something goes south, what each party would do to have a mutually amicable separation.



Finding the right match is never simple. Both sides must do the due diligence.
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Old 03-01-2019, 08:46   #3
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Re: The rules of Crewing and Skippering

Mark,
First off I'm a newbie/wannabe and just beginning with my sailing experience so take that into consideration. You can't teach common sense and expect others to have that. I think every situation/crewman is different and as 'skipper' you have to evaluate what that person can do and is capable of. As crew it is their responsibility to act accordingly and follow the rules of vessel/skipper. If the crewman(person) is unsure of what be doing they should ask what you as skipper expects of them. This is a two way street and you as skipper will have to add more rules as necessary depending on the skill set of that crew member in question. I have only crewed just a few times for a couple of different skippers and each sail was different. This one time in particular I probably was not the best but I also wasn't sure what was expected to me. Communication is key with each outing, but in the end crew should follow orders and if they don't understand they need to ask.

That really sucks that your engine seized due to stupidity. I feel for you.

fair winds
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:04   #4
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Re: The rules of Crewing and Skippering

Hi, fawcettm,

Here is a link to a previous thread on this subject. Post #55 contains a sample contract developed by one of our moderators before he died (natural causes). I thought it was pretty clear, and if I were taking on strangers for crew, might be tempted to use something very like it.

What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

Ann
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:42   #5
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Re: The rules of Crewing and Skippering

For someone familiar with boating, it is normally cristal clear, that the skipper has the last word. For some people not familiar with boating, this concept can be impossible to understand.

Simple solution - do not take such people, who can not understand or live to this simple concept, out with your boat.
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Old 03-01-2019, 12:48   #6
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Re: The rules of Crewing and Skippering

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Originally Posted by Hesti View Post
For someone familiar with boating, it is normally cristal clear, that the skipper has the last word. For some people not familiar with boating, this concept can be impossible to understand.

Simple solution - do not take such people, who can not understand or live to this simple concept, out with your boat.
This is why, in my experience, people who've served in the military make excellent crew members. They understand that some endeavors call for a chain of command and that ultimate responsibility has to reside in one person.
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Old 03-01-2019, 13:02   #7
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Do as I say..
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Old 03-01-2019, 20:28   #8
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Re: The rules of Crewing and Skippering

--And, right now! Talk --if necessary--can happen after *it* is done.
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Old 03-01-2019, 21:00   #9
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Re: The rules of Crewing and Skippering

In my case I knew of the skipper, I knew his family and they were well known for being a sailing family, 6 boys all active in crewing and skippering around the world, and though he didn't know me, he knew the man who recommended me. My point is, it is preferable that you can check the skipper's references and he or she can check yours, easily. And they don't have to be testimonials to your sailing abilities. Personal characteristics like reliability, ability to stay calm in the face of adversity, ability to take directions are all traits a skipper will be interested in.
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Old 03-01-2019, 21:06   #10
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Re: The rules of Crewing and Skippering

The skipper is boss, absolutely, but you can sometimes make life easier for yourself. I was on a long coastal passage and one crew member was a bit of a pain. I made up an excuse to have to cut into the next port. Then, the weather was a bit iffy. After a day or so I announced that we wouldn’t be able to set off for another few days because of a pending storm, and reluctantly told the guy that we wouldn’t be able to make his schedule. So he got off the boat immediately and flew to where he was going.

Sometimes it’s easier to manoeuvre crew to do what you want rather than flat out tell them to leave. But in the final analysis, you have to be ready to tell them to leave if that’s what’s necessary. My example wasn’t safety critical, but it did improve the rest of the trip.
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Old 04-01-2019, 01:22   #11
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Re: The rules of Crewing and Skippering

The only thing I'd like to add is the experience factor. Just because someone is the captain/owner, doesn't mean he knows what to do. I've been the experienced guy on a few boats where the owner was a newbie and for safety sake felt the need to speak up. Only after the fact have the owners said glad you said something, I didn't really know what to do. We've all been new at some point, so as long as that's understood, there shouldn't be a problem.
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:36   #12
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Re: The rules of Crewing and Skippering

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, EvntHorizon.

Another recent thread ➥ Whats the RULES!!
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:45   #13
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Re: The rules of Crewing and Skippering

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Originally Posted by Souzag818 View Post
I've been the experienced guy on a few boats where the owner was a newbie and for safety sake felt the need to speak up.
Same here. One incident I remember quite clearly. We were not in a crisis situation, but the captain had given an order that was going to precipitate a crisis. I spoke up. Insisted that we consider our options. The captain -- to say the least -- was not at all happy to have his orders questioned.


It wasn't until weeks later (and after more than a couple of drinks) that he admitted that I was right, and that it was a good thing that I spoke up.


So don't be a Captain Bligh. If you're not in a crisis situation, and you have time to discuss options, then discuss them. The captain is NOT always right!
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:03   #14
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Re: The rules of Crewing and Skippering

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Hi, fawcettm,

Here is a link to a previous thread on this subject. Post #55 contains a sample contract developed by one of our moderators before he died (natural causes). I thought it was pretty clear, and if I were taking on strangers for crew, might be tempted to use something very like it.

What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

Ann
Thanks Ann and Monty,

Iíll be using the agreement in the future to help avoid the problems we had last summer.

Ken
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:50   #15
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Re: The rules of Crewing and Skippering

Crummy Crew dynamics can screw even the best of trips. Well at least make it less pleasant.

Rules:
Safety first
Keep water out of the boat
Keep the mast point up
Keep the boat moving
If you donít know then ask

I read what you wrote but could you please be more specific.

What kind of issues did you have?
What obvious rules had been broken?
What complaints did the crew have?

For me, I try to avoid conflict all together. If Iím having a problem with crew Iíll speak with them directly but quietly so as to not public shame them in front of others.

I also do not match up people who are not getting along.

Also before you go to sea with someone, you should do some homework. Read their sailing resume and spend some time talking with them.

Dinner or some drinks should give some feeling in how things are going. If it smells like trouble on shore then it probably will be out at sea.

Thanks!
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