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Old 13-05-2010, 13:08   #1
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A New Appreciation for Delivery Captains

I was offered a position as a delivery Captain for a friend and I took him up on it. This is only the third time I've done it and only for friends and I have developed a real appreciation for those that hire themselves out for this kind of work.

1. Very few boats are truly in 100% condition.
2. Sometimes radios don't work
3. Sometimes compass lights don't work
4. Sometimes nav lights are not to the proper standards
5. Sometimes rigging is so old that it breaks
6. Sometimes the engine leaks or burns too much oil
7. Sometimes a selector valve on a diesel tank gets bumped and you have to bleed the injectors on an engine in a channel.

For all the delivery Captains out there. Thanks for doing what you do and I have a great deal of newly found respect for you.

Kindest regards,
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Old 13-05-2010, 18:34   #2
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Not sometimes - more often than not.
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Old 13-05-2010, 19:05   #3
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You are so right Skiprjohn! Not a professional delivery captain but one of the few times I did captain an off shore trip ( as a favor) it was a real pain! That is why I love to crew, the cap gets all the stress while I sit back and do my watches and such. Though the key to that strategy is to pick a good captain.
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Old 14-05-2010, 08:35   #4
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Also not a 'Professional'... more of a Freelance Opportunist who enjoys being 'Out there'...
Delivered boats from newish to antiques... but then thats sorta in the range I've owned.. so I take it as it comes.. nothings perfect...lol
Though I must confess I do like an 'Honest Owner' more than a 'Blagger'..
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Old 14-05-2010, 10:17   #5
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John,

You are so right about the condition of some boats - many owners tend to 'gloss over' any problems and you can be a long way out when you discover the problems!

Standing rigging failures, hull leaks, engine failure, dirty fuel tanks, dirty water tanks, wrong spares....... need I say more?

As a delivery skipper you end up recording all the defects, fixing what you can and cursing a lot.
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Old 14-05-2010, 11:41   #6
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My first delivery (I was 19 years old) we had to cut the mizzen mast down because of rot, it would of come down on it's own. That was the same delivery I slept in a garbage bag to stay dry, mind you, that was down below in my bunk .
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Old 14-05-2010, 12:55   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiprJohn View Post
I was offered a position as a delivery Captain for a friend and I took him up on it. This is only the third time I've done it and only for friends and I have developed a real appreciation for those that hire themselves out for this kind of work.

1. Very few boats are truly in 100% condition.
2. Sometimes radios don't work
3. Sometimes compass lights don't work
4. Sometimes nav lights are not to the proper standards
5. Sometimes rigging is so old that it breaks
6. Sometimes the engine leaks or burns too much oil
7. Sometimes a selector valve on a diesel tank gets bumped and you have to bleed the injectors on an engine in a channel.

For all the delivery Captains out there. Thanks for doing what you do and I have a great deal of newly found respect for you.

Kindest regards,
8. Sometimes the water tanks leak all the water into the bilge - and the bilge pump fails too.
9. Sometimes the sheets and halyards break. You don't know the work required to raise or control sails with three-strand anchor line until it happens to you.
10. Sometimes the head breaks and there's no bucket to correct the problem.

I deliver boats regularly and have learned to carry a VHF, GPS, flashlight, batteries, charger, inverter, binoculars, tape measure, pens, pencils, paper, charts, and toilet paper in my delivery kit. There seems to be a considerable discrepancy between what the owner says is ready for sea and what I observe.

ymmv
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Old 14-05-2010, 17:51   #8
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There seems to be a considerable discrepancy between what the owner says is ready for sea and what I observe.

ymmv
Perhaps that's why the boat is ready for sea ... just not with them on board
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Old 14-05-2010, 18:34   #9
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Oh, and I forgot to say that the Onan Generator was removed but where the exhaust through hull was you could see water.
Oh well, The crew and I made it and repaired things as we went.
I hope he isn't reading this because I'll still consider him a good friend.
regards,
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Old 14-05-2010, 19:32   #10
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I too carry a lot of my own kit, becoming an issue these days as airlines don't like you having luggage, and secutity are funny about little electronic doodads they can't identify..

After a recent Trans Tasman I went to jump on a plane home (it was a winter trip so I had the full cold weather offshore sailing kit), the amount they wanted for excess luggage was my profit for the delivery. So I took my gear out of the duffel and wore as much as I possbly could (if you are wearing it, then it's not luggage). Just scraped in - no excess luggage. But I sweated in the heat till I could get aboard the plane and throw it all in theoverhead. One lady asked if I had come from Antarctica.
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Old 15-05-2010, 11:15   #11
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I agree with the airline security. I had major anxiety about having to give my favorite, and well broken in, Leatherman to a friend when the airline said no, despite showing my MM Z-card and TSA ID.

It can be tough, deciding if taking the sea boots is worth giving up several changes of clothes as well. I don't seem to have much luck with luggage following me to my destination, so I try to carry on as much as I can. Showing the TSA folks a briefcase full of electronics, batteries, wires, and gizmo's practically guarantees me a trip to the little room off to the side.

Eventually, I bought one of those big Pelican cases and put most of the stuff in there along with a detailed list of items, copies of my licenses, and a cover letter. I carry on board only the basics (laptop, GPS, VHF), and hope the TSA approved locks'll keep most of the stuff inside the case. Storing that monster hard case has led to some unique situations, but it seems the only consistent solution.
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Old 15-05-2010, 13:27   #12
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The luggage was an issue with me as well even though it was a an interisland flight back to Hilo. Still, they want to charge for every bag that you check. I just barely got by with a carry on backpack. I go for discount tickets and no luggage charges. It does eat up your profit for a delivery.
You know what they wanted to check in the backpack? Not the two GPS or the cell phone or little flashlight but they sighted in on the two bronze oarlocks in the bottom of my bag! I thought that was a bit strange. They asked me if there was anything sharp in my bag and I had to tell them about the pencils I use for navigation.
I sent the flashlight, dividers and knives in a USPS priority mail box.
regards,
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Old 15-05-2010, 14:08   #13
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I also lost my best pair of bronze dividers to airport security. Bugger.
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Old 16-05-2010, 07:10   #14
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I also lost my best pair of bronze dividers to airport security. Bugger.
Bad Luck!! That sort of petty theft is super annoying. What used to get me, but seems not to happen so much nowadays is the instant xxxx on your ticket, as you are travelling alone, on a one way ticket and usually at short notice. so you get the full treatment (though haven't had a body cavity search yet....) Tony
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Old 16-05-2010, 07:20   #15
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I've also had problems with the gas cylinder on my PFD.... Some say you can, some say you can't (too dangerous) and the fact that every life vest on the plane contains one doesn't seem to make any difference. That's life!
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