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Old 21-01-2016, 09:22   #61
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Originally Posted by DreaminFred View Post
Hello all-

I recently flew from Phoenix to West Palm to crew for a sail from Florida to USVI via the Bahamas that I saw on this website. We talked on the phone several times over three weeks, asked each other questions, I answered all questions honestly and completely. I checked his online presence and he is real and his business has customers who give him good reviews.

After I arrived, the skipper asked more questions, which again I answer honestly and completely. He decides he doesn't want me to crew for the trip. Fine, his prerogative. Bad decision, but his right to decide.

What are his obligations to me in this situation?

He "didn't have any more money" than the $260 he handed me that didn't cover the airplane change fees and that night’s hotel. But he is sailing to the Caribbean for three months.

BTW, I am an experienced sailor, have crewed on professional deliveries, numerous ASA sailing certifications, my TWIC card and have owned several sailboats and was doing this as a reality check for my liveaboard dreams.

Crew- consider your risks and expenses. If they can't pay your expenses they're trouble. I took four weeks off, updated my gear, bought SAR insurance, rented a personal ePIRB. Am easily out $750-1k, not counting my time.
Without an employment contract you have no practically claimable rights.

Our legal friends can advise you on your rights under a verbal contract.

A key success factor in leading a team is the potential for conflict. Perhaps he assessed you as not likely to fit in. His call.

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Old 21-01-2016, 09:29   #62
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

Monte

That's a good crew agreement. One line sticks out

You understand and agree that I am the captain and you must obey all lawful orders


I've had the experience (and so have many others I know) that some (experienced sailors) just seem to think they are god gift and make their won decisions about course, sails and just about everything else.

We (my wife and myself) try to run a reasonably democratic ship meaning we discuss what's going to happen and why we want things done, but in the end we expect the crew to do what they are told. Unfortunately, some seem to feel that they are the captain, not us.

.
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Old 21-01-2016, 09:31   #63
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

I'm kind of surprised that a lot of people seem to think that the crew member was withholding info. How is he supposed to know what to tell the captain? He doesn't, that's why the captain's responsibility is to ask all of the right questions PRIOR to having the guy fly out.

Now if the crew member said he had no health issues in the first interview, but revealed something important in the 2nd interview, then yes, he was withholding info. Personally, the fact that there was a 2nd interview indicates to me that the first interview wasn't well thought out or thorough, and that's entirely the captain's fault.
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Old 21-01-2016, 09:38   #64
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Originally Posted by socaldmax View Post
I'm kind of surprised that a lot of people seem to think that the crew member was withholding info. How is he supposed to know what to tell the captain? He doesn't, that's why the captain's responsibility is to ask all of the right questions PRIOR to having the guy fly out.

Now if the crew member said he had no health issues in the first interview, but revealed something important in the 2nd interview, then yes, he was withholding info. Personally, the fact that there was a 2nd interview indicates to me that the first interview wasn't well thought out or thorough, and that's entirely the captain's fault.
I don't think anyone knows whether the OP was withholding information or not. I think it was discussed as a "what if".

It's a key issue. If the captain failed to ask an important question prior to the guy's having flown out, and the guy wasn't withholding something the captain obviously needed to know, then I think the captain was wrong.

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Old 21-01-2016, 09:39   #65
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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I'm kind of surprised that a lot of people seem to think that the crew member was withholding info. How is he supposed to know what to tell the captain? He doesn't, that's why the captain's responsibility is to ask all of the right questions PRIOR to having the guy fly out.

The crew member felt the health condition was important enough to warrant PhD-level study, but not enough to mention to the captain before he flew out to crew on an open water voyage? It's solely the captain's discretion whether the issue is relevant.

If you think it might be material, it's usually best just to disclose it. We can't assess the health issue, particularly as we don't know what it is, but we can assess the nondisclosure of it.

Seems to me the captain was fully justified in however he wanted to handle it, and doesn't "owe" the crew member anything.
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Old 21-01-2016, 09:44   #66
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

I'm still a little hazy on exactly how/when you revealed your medical issue to the skipper, and we all are in the dark as to exactly what your condition is. I don't expect you to reveal that or necessarily think you should, but it would be a lot easier to answer your original question if we knew exactly what ails you and what the skippers thoughts/experience with this condition consists of.

I think the only solution to this would be for both you and the skipper to make sure that in the future, you both are very clear about all possible health issues before any money is spent by either party. By him not asking and you not offering for details about your health, he ended up in a tough spot. You may feel, and have many years of proof, that your condition isn't one that would impact your ability to be a useful crewmember and I tend to believe you, but IF something happened on the voyage and you ended up in court, you won't be the one deciding that it was OK for you to go along and that the skipper was not to blame for allowing it. The skipper knows that he will be judged by a judge or jury who will rely on what expert witnesses say about your condition, and needs to protect himself. He knows that he will rightly be held responsible for all that happens aboard his vessel. Also, YOU are confident that our condition won't be an issue, but the skipper has only your word for that and he doesn't know you very well. If your condition sounds to him like something that would likely be problematic, than he has to make the tough decision to leave you behind.

As for who should pay for your round trip in the absence of a written agreement, I think you're both approximately equally liable for this misunderstanding and $260 sounds like approximately 50% of what you can get a discount airline ticket to most places in the US, so if I think things worked out about as well as could be expected.

But, why not forget about him and this whole situation and just move on? If you're still in south Florida, there are plenty of other crew positions available, especially if you're willing to work for a one way airline ticket home from wherever your future skipper/employer takes you to. So, ask around, talk to local yacht brokers, crew agencies, crews working on sailboats you see at marinas, and i'm pretty sure that you'll soon be on your way offshore to get that experience you seek. Good luck!
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Old 21-01-2016, 10:03   #67
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

I was thinking small claims court but I doubt your "injury" would amount to much as you still have the equipment purchased. But you do sound like a good guy. Unfortunate.
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Old 21-01-2016, 10:06   #68
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Unhappy Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I don't really understand why a person would spent their own money to go be crew without an written agreement in place with someone they don't know. And even then since the chance of enforcing that agreement on a cruiser who could be anywhere afterward seems like you will never get it enforced without it costing you more than it worth.
And this is my take-home on this experience. Don't assume, use paper background documents on both sides of the transaction. Realize that you should assume everything you spend is tuition to the School of Hard Knocks. Anything more is gravy. I, for one, will not volunteer to crew again. Unless both parties have "skin in the game" there is little incentive for fair dealing.

Still sailing is better in the Caribbean than Phoenix.
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Old 21-01-2016, 10:21   #69
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

DreaminFred

You spoke to him on a number of occasions before you went. Did you use video Skype?
I do like to negotiate with people face to face and I think a video call can help me look into their face and judge them better.

Do you think that could have helped?

Do other people use Skype video? (Shut up Boatman, get your filthy mind outta the gutter... )
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Old 21-01-2016, 10:28   #70
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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(Shut up Boatman, get your filthy mind outta the gutter... )

Hahah ^^^

We haven't used Skype before but wouldn't be adverse to it either. A friend of mine likes to interview potential crew using Skype. His words when describing his interviewing technique ' I ask the girls to stand up and turn around, so we are both clear on what is expected...'
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Old 21-01-2016, 11:05   #71
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pirate Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

Done the Skype thing.. but its not even close to in person.. subtle lighting, angles etc..
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Old 21-01-2016, 11:14   #72
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

Quote:
.



I was thinking small claims court but I doubt your "injury" would amount to much as you still have the equipment purchased. But you do sound like a good guy. Unfortunate.
Sure he sounds like a nice guy, but if he is blind, severely obese or has other major problems that could endanger himself and others on a sailboat, the skipper did the only sensible thing and small claims court would be a waste of time.
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Old 21-01-2016, 11:35   #73
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Here's something that might help others in similar situations. Anyone sailing on board with us is informed they will be required to agree to the terms before departure. Along with some other information it is emailed to potential crew before any agreements are in place. Friends and family are also required to agree to these terms. This process should have resolved the OPs problem we'll beforehand. Feel free to cut/paste/edit for your own use. ( legal disclaimer : this form may or may not be legal in your particular location or situation. Seeking legal advice for your particular situation is advised )



CREW AGREEMENT SV SEPHINA

:
Monte-
Thank you, this is outstanding! Clarity and detail make for a good contract. Offshore Passage is a great place to start. I have added a few elements from this situation to specifically make such an agreement equitable to a volunteer crew member as well as the Captain of a vessel. Particularly the safety and insurance details of a vessel are of specific interest to crew and reciprocity WRT medical and next of kin seems appropriate. Goose/Gander

This would be my starting document should I ever consider volunteering as crew in the future. However, note I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV!

FWIW-


CREW AGREEMENT

SV YACHT: ________________ (here after referred to as "the Yacht")

CAPTAIN: ___________________________

VOYAGE FROM: ______________________________

TO: _________________________________

APPROXIMATE DATES ____________________________


INTENTIONS:

This agreement is designed to anticipate problems that might occur while aboard, both at sea or coastal cruising, and thus, avoid them. It is designed to protect both the Captain/owner and those who join him. To facilitate inquiries, should anything go wrong, a copy will be sent to the Captain's representative before departure; and I suggest that you send a copy to someone you deem appropriate. It is wise to inform someone at home of your plans.

In completing this agreement YOU TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR DECISION TO JOIN, and agree that you are willing to accept all that may come your way. There have been no inducements or promises or consideration that is not fully described in this agreement.

DECLARATIONS

The Captain hereby declares his belief that the boat is properly equipped and prepared for the planned voyage, and that he is fully competent to manage, alone or with crew. He invites the crew to test this statement in any way they wish - by their own inquiries and judgment, or with the help of others. When you sign this you agree that you have full investigated and found that the boat is properly equipped and that the Captain is capable, fit and competent. You understand and agree that I am the captain and you must obey all lawful orders.

Specifically, safety equipment on board includes USCG minimum safety equipment for a vessel of this size, AIS, radar, appropriate tankage and food for a trip of this duration; ePIRB, life raft and storm gear including jack-lines and harnesses, and self-steering gear. In addition I have sufficient financial resources to effect safe completion of the voyage.

Upon accepting an offer to crew on the Yacht you can reasonably expect that the trip will be completed. Should you not reach the final destination because of your own decision you are responsible for all your expenses, both paid and unpaid. Should you not reach the final destination because of my decisions or act of God, weather, etc.. I will pay your travel expenses to and from your original departure point excepting as specified below. There is no further financial obligation on either party.

MEDICAL DETAILS:
The boat has a well-equipped medical kit, and a powerful radio with which emergency help may be obtained. However, you must take full responsibility for any current or past medical conditions that may recur, or any medical or health problems that may occur during or as a result of this trip. Make sure that you have ample medication for at least twice as long as the expected passage. You must inform the Captain of any potentially serious conditions that could affect safety at sea.

CREW
Give details below of any known drug allergies, conditions that exist or might recur, and current medication(s):

(mark "NONE" if none)_____________________________________________

Medical insurance may help save your life.

List details of your medical insurance, if any and all contact details:


Apart from spoiling your trip and making it harder for others aboard, seasickness can be dangerous, even fatal. Unless you know, from extensive experience, that you will not be affected, you must have, and be willing to use, reputable seasickness treatment. This is your responsibility.

_________ (initials, crew) ___________ (Initials, Captain)

CAPTAIN
Give details below of any known drug allergies, conditions that exist or might recur, and current medication(s):

(mark "NONE" if none)_____________________________________________

I have medical insurance.

List details of medical insurance, if any and all contact details:


I have marine liability insurance that covers actions of Captain and crew in the operation of the Yacht.

Details of liability insurance:


_________ (initials, Captain) ___________ (Initials, crew)

PASSPORTS, VISAS AND REPATRIATION:
When you enter another country you may need to have a passport and visa, and be able to prove you can get yourself out of the country (other than by yacht) to another country to which you have full right of entry. The simplest way is to have an air ticket, or to carry sufficient cash to cover one. Credit cards are of no use in some countries. You are responsible for this and you understand that you may be asked to furnish proof to the Captain on boarding and upon leaving each port.

TRIP INTERRUPTION:
You understand that should you leave the yacht, for whatever reason, at a port other than that to which you had agreed in this agreement, you will be responsible for all your own travel and related costs. You also understand and agree that if you are asked to leave the yacht for reasons of demonstrated lack of competence, inappropriate behavior, medical issue not disclosed in this document, or the inability to carry out required tasks, which, in Captain's opinion, is endangering the safe operation of the yacht, you will also be responsible for all your own repatriation costs. However, in this event, the Captain will take all reasonable measures to disembark you at a suitable port along the intended route, from which you can arrange your travel home.

MAINTENANCE WORK:
Keeping a cruising boat in safe condition requires work on repairs and maintenance, and this is an obligation to be shared by all aboard. Good crew looks for ways to help, and taking part will make you feel involved. As a guide you should be willing to put in about a half an hour a day, plus half a day per week, on maintenance or and repair to the boat. This does not include domestic work, in which you will also be required to share.

COST:
You may be required to contribute a daily amount to cover your cost aboard. To help avoid disagreements, all arrangements and all transactions must be recorded, at the time they are made, in this document initialed by both parties. You agree that at any monies you pay toward your own costs is not for any charter fee or passenger fee for the benefit of the boat or its owner or the Captain, but only for your own costs.

Costs per day: (no greater than) $__________________ initial_______


CREW DETAILS:

Name______________________________________________ ______

Address___________________________________________ _______

Passport Country/Number____________________________________
Passport Place and date of issue_______________________________
Passport expiry date_________________________________________

Contact Phone_____________________________________________

Next of kin Name _________________________ address ____________________
Phone _________________

Alternative contact Name____________________ Phone ______________


CAPTAIN DETAILS:

Name______________________________________________ ______

Address___________________________________________ _______

Passport Country/Number____________________________________
Passport Place and date of issue_______________________________
Passport expiry date_________________________________________

Contact Phone_____________________________________________

Next of kin Name _________________________ address ____________________
Phone _________________
Alternative contact Name____________________ Phone ______________

(Provide two (2) copies of the issue page(s) of your passport, and provide information from the passport: number, issue place , date of issue, expiration date, home address; and next of kin's full name, address and telephone number and an alternative contact.)

(initials, crew) ___________ (Initials, Captain) ___________

CREW DECLARATIONS
I have completed the above details fully and honestly, and have volunteered any further information I am aware of that may affect the safe enjoyment of the proposed voyage by all aboard. I do not have any illegal drugs or weapons in my possession, and will immediately inform the Captain if I become aware of any on board, or anyone trying to bring such items aboard. I declare, by written statement on this agreement, details of any convictions, in any country, for the involvement with illegal drugs or weapons. I will not carry any packages for any third party on the boat without first requesting permission from the Captain.

I will make myself familiar with the location and operation of all safety equipment aboard the boat. I will seek to learn all aspects of seamanship by reading appropriate manuals and books aboard, and by asking help from the Captain and others. The responsibility is fully mine to learn and to ask to be taught any skills that I need for safe operation of the boat. If there is anything happening aboard the boat about which I am uncomfortable, I will discuss it with those concerned as soon as possible in order to avoid irreversible resentments that may spoil the atmosphere for all aboard. If the Captain is held responsible for bailing me out of trouble if I transgress local laws and customs, I agree to fully reimburse any cost incurred; and to compensate him for the time lost for every day of delay my action may cause. I agree to share all work aboard, and obey all orders given to me relating to the safe conduct of the boat, at all times.

I am aware that there are risks that I will face in this voyage, and take full responsibility for my decision to join the crew.

I, or my heirs, next of kin, legal representatives, successors and assigns, and in consideration of the acceptance as a crew member of the yacht, do hereby waive any and all claims which I may have against __________ or any other duly qualified and authorized operator of the vessel appointed by him, arising out of, or in any way connected with, my participation as a members of the crew of the yacht, and understand and agree that, excepting as outlined in this agreement, as a member of the crew of said yacht, I have no recourse or claims of any kind against the Captain and shall hold him harmless against all consequences of my participation as a crew member aboard the yacht.


Crew member:________________________

Captain:____________________________

Dated at:________________________this ______day of ________, 201____.


State of________________


CREW AGREEMENT S/Y_____________________


County of________________


On this day personally appeared before me___________________________ to me known to be the individual described in and who executed the within and foregoing instrument, and acknowledge that he/she signed the same as his/her free and voluntary act and deed, for the uses and purposes therein described Given under hand and official seal the _______ day of ________, 199____.

____________________________

Notary Public in the for the State of ______________.

Residing at _________________________________.

My commission expires________________________.


___________________
(Notary Seal)
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Old 21-01-2016, 11:42   #74
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
Hahah ^^^

We haven't used Skype before but wouldn't be averse to it either. A friend of mine likes to interview potential crew using Skype. His words when describing his interviewing technique ' I ask the girls to stand up and turn around, so we are both clear on what is expected...'
Have any of the "girls" then asked him to stand up and turn around, and when they eventually managed to stop giggling, declined the position? What's fair is fair...
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Old 21-01-2016, 11:44   #75
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Re: What's a skipper's obligation to voluntary crew?

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. I have added a few elements from this situation to specifically make such an agreement equitable to a volunteer crew member
Curious to what a "Volunteer Crew Member" is?
The opposite would be in-volunteer Crew, or Shanghaied: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghaiing

These days, I would think most if not all crew members are volunteers whether they are paid or not.
Do you mean Passenger, or Un-Paid Crew Member?
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