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Old 30-01-2018, 18:56   #1
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Would you deliver her?

Hi everyone,

Before heading to topic i have to say thank you. I have benefited so much from reading these forums and learning from more seasoned sailors!

This time, i got a sketchy gig and i would like your opinions on this:

So i was invited to join a sailboat crew that is supposed to deliver a boat from the Beleares islands to Portugal.

I have some experience in the Portuguese west coast, which can be unforgiving at times, but haven’t skippered across Gibraltar. I am studying the passage, and aware of some of the problems we may run into, but if you guys have any useful advice, please leave a tip!

After the first crew meeting I understand that i am the most experienced crew and i get the feeling im being brought as a human liferaft, if you know what i mean. I refused to skipper the boat, as i am not even the most graduated aboard, but kept my intentions to crew and be useful on passage planning and sailing. I need the mileage anyway and its a good opportunity to get some experience points.

Now, “the plot thickens” when i ask about all the safety gear and precautions and i find out the boat has no RADAR or iAIS.

Now, equipment fails appart, i can get navionics and iAIS on my devices (iphone, ipad) but no radar...?


What do you guys think...Would you sail her?!
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Old 30-01-2018, 19:29   #2
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Re: Would you deliver her?

Like many members of CF, I have sailed thousands of miles on sailboats, offshore, across ocean, and coastal, without RADAR or AIS (or GPS).

While I have not yet sailed there, I hope to in the future. So take the following comment with a splash of saltwater.

If you have a sound seaworthy boat, good GPS, charts, navigation lights, a good alert and watchful crew and captain, you should be able to do the trip.

The most important thing is weather and sea state. The coast of Portugal during the winter can have huge seas coming in from the Atlantic storms. So, timing is everything.

But, if you are unsure of the captain, crew, boat, route, timing, or weather...

Good luck on your decision, and be sure to let us know how it goes.
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Old 30-01-2018, 19:42   #3
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Re: Would you deliver her?

I am a bit confused here, so help us understand...

I think you said that you were the most experienced member of the proposed crew, and that you did not feel up to being skipper. A good decision IMO, Does this mean that one of the less experienced folks will then be in charge?

If that's the case, I'd personally not take part. Going in to a potentially difficult passage on an unknown boat with an inexperienced crew AND skipper does not sound wise.

But I'm pretty conservative! Especially when my life is at risk...

Jim
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Old 30-01-2018, 19:43   #4
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Re: Would you deliver her?

Thanks for the reply and good advice!

Yes, i can navigate her across and i trust myself to do so. But what I don’t have is a skilled crew. The skipper is inexperienced and the team captain is way off. As to the rest i’ll have to train half of them on site.

I can take the Portuguese coast but i know its gonna be scary. I don’t know how they’ll react in big sea state, but im confortable as i can easily get in port along my way up.

The thing is...
Gibraltar cross is known for shallow waters, currents and a lot of traffic. So the planning has to be on spot. Add that to low visibility with no radar...

Would you be at ease during the passage?
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Old 30-01-2018, 19:43   #5
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Re: Would you deliver her?

Quote:
Originally Posted by where.is.mike View Post
Now, “the plot thickens” when i ask about all the safety gear and precautions and i find out the boat has no RADAR or iAIS.

Now, equipment fails appart, i can get navionics and iAIS on my devices (iphone, ipad) but no radar...?
First, I wouldn't let the lack of AIS stop me. As for radar, that depends on the area and possibility of fog. Someone familiar with that area should advise you on that.

Bur iAIS? Do you mean internet-delivered AIS? That is hardly real-time AIS -- the updates can be many minutes old, and should not be relied on for close-quarters piloting. And with your iDevice, will you be getting reliable internet connectivity at sea? You shouldn't consider iAIS to be a substitute for a real AIS.
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Old 30-01-2018, 19:44   #6
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Re: Would you deliver her?

As steady already mentioned, other factors such as the captain, crew, weather and general seaworthiness of the vessel are probably more important that a radar and ais.

Time and fatigue go high on my list of issues to be considered with s new crew. How many days at sea and how many sailors on board?
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Old 30-01-2018, 19:48   #7
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Re: Would you deliver her?

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First, I wouldn't let the lack of AIS stop me. As for radar, that depends on the area and possibility of fog. Someone familiar with that area should advise you on that.



Bur iAIS? Do you mean internet-delivered AIS? That is hardly real-time AIS -- the updates can be many minutes old, and should not be relied on for close-quarters piloting. And with your iDevice, will you be getting reliable internet connectivity at sea? You shouldn't consider iAIS to be a substitute for a real AIS.


Thanks for the reply!

I am getting good study and advice on the matter but im picky with my safety and the possibility of fog is a big concern.

Im not relying on it, a have navionics but it may be a good help.

Do you think im being paranoid?
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Old 30-01-2018, 19:51   #8
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Re: Would you deliver her?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
I am a bit confused here, so help us understand...

I think you said that you were the most experienced member of the proposed crew, and that you did not feel up to being skipper. A good decision IMO, Does this mean that one of the less experienced folks will then be in charge?

If that's the case, I'd personally not take part. Going in to a potentially difficult passage on an unknown boat with an inexperienced crew AND skipper does not sound wise.

But I'm pretty conservative! Especially when my life is at risk...

Jim


Yes, it does.
But from what I understand i think they’ll be very receptive to my suggestions.

Still....
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Old 30-01-2018, 19:53   #9
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Re: Would you deliver her?

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Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Like many members of CF, I have sailed thousands of miles on sailboats, offshore, across ocean, and coastal, without RADAR or AIS (or GPS).



While I have not yet sailed there, I hope to in the future. So take the following comment with a splash of saltwater.



If you have a sound seaworthy boat, good GPS, charts, navigation lights, a good alert and watchful crew and captain, you should be able to do the trip.



The most important thing is weather and sea state. The coast of Portugal during the winter can have huge seas coming in from the Atlantic storms. So, timing is everything.



But, if you are unsure of the captain, crew, boat, route, timing, or weather...



Good luck on your decision, and be sure to let us know how it goes.


Thanks for the reply and good advice!

Yes, i can navigate her across and i trust myself to do so. But what I don’t have is a skilled crew. The skipper is inexperienced and the team captain is way off. As to the rest i’ll have to train half of them on site.

I can take the Portuguese coast but i know its gonna be scary. I don’t know how they’ll react in big sea state, but im confortable as i can easily get in port along my way up.

The thing is...
Gibraltar cross is known for shallow waters, currents and a lot of traffic. So the planning has to be on spot. Add that to low visibility with no radar...

Would you be at ease during the passage?
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Old 30-01-2018, 19:58   #10
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Re: Would you deliver her?

With an inexperienced crew this time of year? No, I would not go.
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Old 30-01-2018, 20:04   #11
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Re: Would you deliver her?

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Originally Posted by JC Reefer View Post
As steady already mentioned, other factors such as the captain, crew, weather and general seaworthiness of the vessel are probably more important that a radar and ais.

Time and fatigue go high on my list of issues to be considered with s new crew. How many days at sea and how many sailors on board?


Yes, you’re right.
But navigating old school requires salt, a lot of it. I think the more i do it, as a young sailor like myself, the more i respect seasoned sailors. Especially because i had to do it when i lost all instruments and it takes training.

What I don’t trust is a green skipper doing old school navigation, on a heavy traffic channel with great possibility of fog and an unskilled crew. And I can’t skipper the boat as my license doesn’t allow for some passages.
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Old 30-01-2018, 20:06   #12
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Re: Would you deliver her?

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Originally Posted by Anders View Post
With an inexperienced crew this time of year? No, I would not go.


I know...right..?
It feels like a bad idea but im kinda stuck and half compromised.

The only thing in favor is i have time. And that can make all the difference in making good weather passages.

Do you think..?
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Old 30-01-2018, 21:30   #13
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Re: Would you deliver her?

This is a relatively easy passage, but with a good chance of stronger winds. Electronics wouldn't be my concern at all, but experience of crew and condition of boat would. But on the other hand, how to get the experience without subjecting yourself to the perils of the sea? There is an inherent risk in sailing, and the more risk you expose yourself to - gradually - the more competent you will become. And your competence reduces the risk.
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Old 30-01-2018, 22:53   #14
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Re: Would you deliver her?

Quote:
Originally Posted by where.is.mike View Post
Thanks for the reply and good advice!

Yes, i can navigate her across and i trust myself to do so. But what I don’t have is a skilled crew. The skipper is inexperienced and the team captain is way off. As to the rest i’ll have to train half of them on site.

I can take the Portuguese coast but i know its gonna be scary. I don’t know how they’ll react in big sea state, but im confortable as i can easily get in port along my way up.

The thing is...
Gibraltar cross is known for shallow waters, currents and a lot of traffic. So the planning has to be on spot. Add that to low visibility with no radar...

Would you be at ease during the passage?
Reading this, it doesn't sound like typical "you need respect for the sea and what it can do". This sounds like you really don't trust yourself and are scared. If you are scared and you are the most experienced, it sounds like the entire crew isn't prepared based on your assessment, so walk away.

Just not having Radar/AIS isn't something that should leave you scared. Is the boat otherwise in good shape? Are the crew able bodied with reasonable skill set? Or are there other issues, you haven't shared?

I assume you mean the Balearic Islands to Portugal, so there are bail out points along most of the route. You could always do shorter hops waiting for weather windows as a safer option. It doesn't eliminate the risk entirely but does reduce it. The coast of Portugal is the worst but if you stop and wait for a good weather window, you should be able to round the SW tip and make for Lisbon with a day or two of good forecast.

In the end, if you aren't comfortable, it's OK to walk away.
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Old 31-01-2018, 01:43   #15
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Re: Would you deliver her?

I think a lot more information is needed. I have done deliveries in both direction a number of times.

Details of the boat, basic safety gear, time of year of the trip and the size and capabilities of the crew.

Are you confident in the abilities of the skipper? If not walk away now.

Break your dilemma down into rational segments, are there difficulties in the command structure, skipper, owner etc. Are sufficient supplies and, more importantly spares on board. Have safe havens been identified, is weather information available - conditions in the western Mediterranean can change fast. How will watch keeping work, is sea sickness a problem, the list goes on.

As skipper, I like to choose my crew. The only time I was given a crew, by a sailing school, it was less than satisfactory!

Good luck!
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