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Old 22-08-2011, 13:08   #76
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Re: Crew Crap

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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
Aha! the rest of the story . . . But in any case bringing a "stink potter" on a sailing vessel was the first mistake. And that would work also going the other way. Sail boaters have little or no clue how power yachts/sport fisherman operate their boats.
- - But I suspect that you did not carefully vet the crew and/or most probably did not tell them the "rules" as to how things are done on "your boat."
- - That is something quite normal for a "new" skipper. We all assume way too much that friendships and behavior patterns that we see on shore will be duplicated or transferred to what you will see on the boat when out cruising.
- - Be it a boat or airplane or whatever, once underway a lot of people's personalities seem to undergo a "Dr Jekyl/Mr Hyde" transformation. Only by carefully and adamantly "setting down your set of rules and practices" can you hope to minimize such occurrences.
- - Remember once underway you are the "Captain" first and a friend second. That doesn't mean that you should ignore suggestions from other crew members, but the responsibility for the final decisions is solely yours.
Actually in my experience "stink potters" have worked out very well. The only crew trouble I have had have been people who decided, after we were underway, that they were going to be in charge.
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Old 22-08-2011, 14:29   #77
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Re: Crew Crap

S/V ALCHEMY,

My health was was an unknown, and I opted for crew. I now know I can still handle the main when the wind is blowing snot. It will either be Mel, AKA WIFE, and I, or I will go alone.

Hind sight is always 20/20, but there has been no nasty weather in Panama. If it is it's a squall, and raising the anchor getting out of the anchgorage, and by that time it is all over. We motored, or motor sailed away from Panama for ten days before we even saw a tiny white cap.

You can believe me I am a much smarter man, because of my misjudgement, and relying on a man's word. I may not be the brightest bulb in the warehouse, but I am not completely burned out yet.........i2f
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Old 22-08-2011, 15:37   #78
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Re: Crew Crap

The Crew / Skipper thing is a 2 way street. Kinda like a marriage both sides need an understanding of WTF the other wants. and no substitute for time on the plot - although blind dates can turn out fun, not always

The big difference with being crew is you also need to know how to actually do the task .

My nightmare would be getting stuck onboard with someone whose cheque book had equipped them with the boat, the paperwork and confidence to be Skipper......but that unlikely to happen nowadays as my limit with people in a confined space (your boat or mine) is only a couple of days .....and that's mostly about me getting p#ssed off with me
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Old 22-08-2011, 16:04   #79
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Re: Crew Crap

Crew should be vetted two different ways : the psychological level and the technical level . I try and tell where their mental stability is, but I agree it is a crapshoot . I am able to access technical by powering out of the marine, telling them I need to take a leak and to head for Bellingham channel . If I come up in 5 minutes and everything is shipshape I know I have a winner . (Ie they can read a chart, take a heading , raise the sail and bring in the fenders while the engine idles slowly forward ) If they said they were experienced and they are frozen behind the wheel , we are 5 minutes from the marina ...
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Old 22-08-2011, 16:20   #80
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Re: Crew Crap

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Crew should be vetted two different ways : the psychological level and the technical level . I try and tell where their mental stability is, but I agree it is a crapshoot .. ...
Yes, a crapshoot for sure in the mental stability area. You just don't know how the person will be after a few days out. I went on a delivery with a husband and wife and about two days out the man just got insensible muttering things like 'I hate boats' and got mad at the woman over trivial things. I was a little concerned when he took his watch one night wearing his survival suit that he was just 'trying out'.
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Old 22-08-2011, 16:28   #81
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Re: Crew Crap

one possibility is to find out what meds potential crew takes on a prescribed daily basis. look those meds up online or in a pdr. make sure the potential crew is honest about ALL meds taken. that will give an idea of special needs of the individuals potentially on board.
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Old 22-08-2011, 16:37   #82
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Re: Crew Crap

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one possibility is to find out what meds potential crew takes on a prescribed daily basis. look those meds up online or in a pdr. make sure the potential crew is honest about ALL meds taken. that will give an idea of special needs of the individuals potentially on board.
Oh I really disagree with that. There are personality problems for which there are no meds. There are people who need to be on some kind of med but who aren't, and who can hide it for short periods of time (an afternoon's test sail, for instance).

You just have to take the time to get to know people.
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Old 22-08-2011, 16:44   #83
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Re: Crew Crap

I was crewing for a friend of friend.... 20 day passage, things were OK. We were not best of mates/buddies at the start of the cruise, we had spent 3 days quickly organizing the yacht for departure.

We used to eat 2 meals together a day, the person coming on watch would cook for the person on watch During this time, we chatted and got to know each other a little better. All perfectly

Then on about day 10, the Skipper causally said "I was arrested for breaking UN sanctions in Libia, I was caught by the FBI in a sting operation". At first I thought this was some funny joke, and I was waiting for the punch line. After I got to hear about leg irons etc. I started believing him. Eventually the US Govt slapped their company with a large fine, and when it was paid the skipper and 2 colleagues were told to get out of the US. Which sounds perfectly reasonable to me.

So I finish my watch, and as I lie in the forward cabin .... I now think "What the hell have I possibly got myself into".

We landed some 8 days later, there were no irregularities; But I also did not hang around in case any were to be found later - they were NOT.

It is on my crew interview sheet now....
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Old 22-08-2011, 16:59   #84
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Re: Crew Crap

1st and formost make sure your crew can spell "fathom".
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Old 22-08-2011, 17:43   #85
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Re: Crew Crap

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Originally Posted by Geoduck View Post
1st and formost make sure your crew can spell "fathom".
I can't fathom why
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Old 22-08-2011, 17:46   #86
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Re: Crew Crap

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Not defending the bloke but reading that I felt sorry for the crew :\ you sound like quite the catch!

Having said that I don't mind sailing with the demanding control freak skippers if they know their stuff. It's only when they don't that it becomes a problem.

In fact that's the key to good harmony on board: skipper must know their stuff, crew must be able to follow instruction. Most crew have no idea what they are getting into though, life on board a boat is very different, especially when the wind gets up, most are not capable. I've crewed with a sailing instructor who spent the whole time curled in his bunk every time the seas got up...
As one who has had a difficult time making a decision as to whether to take on crew or go solo on my upcoming voyage, John's blog post has given me much food for thought. In his case, he took on what he thought was going to be a much-valued crew member if/when weather came up:

"I was told with much enthusiasm that our crew had sailed the Southern Ocean on a 3 masted Bark. From South America to the Antartic. Standing watches, bracing the yardarms, steering, and going up the masts. Then there was the delivery of a 85 ft schooner. From Cabo to San Diego by going the old clipper route offshore."

It seems, however, that what he had was someone who couldn't handle the simplest tasks, without supervision & direction. On a day-sail in protected or semi-protected waters, this would be a disappointment, although not uncommon. On an extended bluewater cruise, however, the impact would be much more significant, because everyone's life is in the hands of the person(s) on watch.

I've talked with a number of people, here & on other forums, who want to come on my little boat for our trip. I think that figuring out if the person has "issues" or if you'll get along is near impossible to determine prior to leaving, as is whether the other will excel or cave under pressure. As far as knowledge, ability and commonsense is concerned, however, it probably would have been more prudent for John to have taken the time to test the guy out on a few day-sails. But, if someone who had such a resume - like several on these forums actually do- came to crew on my boat, it does seem as though an awkward situation presents itself if I ask that that person prove their abilities, especially if they are more experienced/senior than myself. After John's experience, I think I'd take the risk of insulting someone, however.

As for "control-freak" Captains, I learned from one when in my early teens & served under others and appreciate every second of my association with them, albeit, in retrospect. To me, the rights of the crew are to expect the captain to get you "there" safely and feed/water/berth you well. After that, your rights are what the captain says they are, nothing more.
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Old 22-08-2011, 19:33   #87
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Re: Crew Crap

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Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Oh I really disagree with that. There are personality problems for which there are no meds. There are people who need to be on some kind of med but who aren't, and who can hide it for short periods of time (an afternoon's test sail, for instance).

You just have to take the time to get to know people.
as owner of boat , i will not deal with anyone's special needs. knowing the meds allows me to see what, exactly, their special needs are. i am a critical and emergency room rn with over 30 yrs of history and awesome career in areas some rns only dream of working. i KNOW i can find out more about people from their meds than i can by im-ing with em for a year.
i will also know what they will do as soon as out of sight of land. is reason behind my telling them i will be sailing over 100 miles away from land.
is fun to watch reactions. and gives me a chance to know what the lies are, if any, i have been told by potential crew, as well as what is a weak point.
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Old 22-08-2011, 19:34   #88
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Re: Crew Crap

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Originally Posted by imagine2frolic View Post
S/V ALCHEMY,

My health was was an unknown, and I opted for crew. I now know I can still handle the main when the wind is blowing snot. It will either be Mel, AKA WIFE, and I, or I will go alone.

Hind sight is always 20/20, but there has been no nasty weather in Panama. If it is it's a squall, and raising the anchor getting out of the anchgorage, and by that time it is all over. We motored, or motor sailed away from Panama for ten days before we even saw a tiny white cap.

You can believe me I am a much smarter man, because of my misjudgement, and relying on a man's word. I may not be the brightest bulb in the warehouse, but I am not completely burned out yet.........i2f
Well, I wish you fair winds and a productive learning experience. Maybe the test is to pick representally snotty weather, up the anchor, and then tell the potential crew "OK, sail us out of this bay, which is rapidly becoming a lee shore. We'll watch!"
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Old 23-08-2011, 00:25   #89
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Re: Crew Crap

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Let's see here, you have 23 post, and act as if you know me? It's pretty obvious that you don't, but yet you wish to call me a control freak, and quite the catch. Not to mention I may, or may not know my stuff.
[stuff]
As far as calling me a control freak. After a month the man couldn't understand to push the little lever with his thumb to remove, and place the winch handle in, or out of the winch. You really need to read the blog before you start calling me out. Sometimes it's best to keep your fingers off the keyboard unless you want to remove all doubt to your state of mind!........i2f
Okey dokey man, didn't mean to touch a nerve

I apologise if I offended. You sound like a very level headed person who is able to deal with criticism well. Also I certainly wasn't defending unable-to-pump-head guy, he is plainly incompetent.

Lastly, you're right, I did have a bad childhood, it's amazing that you're able to discern this after I have only made 23 posts, you must be incredibly perceptive!
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Old 23-08-2011, 00:47   #90
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Re: Crew Crap

Zee,
One problem with that might be that if you asked me that question, I'd tell you that I took Welbutrin which, as you'd know, is an anti-depressant. However, Welbutrin is also sold under the name Zyban, for smoking cessation. The results of taking it, however, are nil & I'm still puffing up a storm & looking for the next anti-smoking magic pill.
If I decide to solo my voyage, I'm leaving the smokes at the dock!
But, point well-taken, meds could certainly be an indication and, therefore, be a good way to suss-out an issue.
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