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Old 28-01-2010, 09:13   #16
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Glad it works for you MCT but it doesn't look like we'll be sailing together anytime soon.

Cheers,

Joli

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Demonstrated the point perfectly Joli!

CChesley - go easy on the amateur psychology eh? I'm actually pretty easy going skipper and several crew have done more than one transat with me, two are doing a third later in the year. Crew selection -before they step aboard- is the time when perhaps *should* be overbearing and controlling - not just accept whoever turns up first? That way i can ease off and let them run the boat - on several transat trips I haven't touched the wheel except if in and out of a marina. So not overbearing and controlling see?

Also married 22 years, so um, praps don't give up the day job? Heck, you're a psychiatrist?...
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Old 28-01-2010, 09:19   #17
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Yes, you're right!! - that was *exactly* the point of the thread! Jeez.

Another thing is couples often behave as though they'd be doing you a real big favour being crew. Hm.
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Old 28-01-2010, 09:22   #18
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couple watches

I've made passages where my wife and I crewed for another couple, and where another couple crewed for us. What's nice about this arrangement is to do four-hour-on/four-hour-off watches where each couple stands watch together. A far more pleasant way to make a passage.

I'd much prefer to have another couple as crew than a couple single males. The biggest problem I have with solo male crew is that even if they are far less talented sailors than my wife, they will invariably assume that they are more skilled by virtue of genital configuration.

Once, in strong quartering seas, one of my solo male crew members was having a hard time keeping the spinnaker drawing. I finally relieved him of the helm, asked my wife to take it, and told him, "Watch how she does this. You may learn something." After about ten minutes where the chute never collapsed, he asked me how she was doing it. I answered, "Dude, ask the captain."

I tend not to have these problems with couples.
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Old 28-01-2010, 09:39   #19
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It's your boat, you get to make the rules. Sounds to me like you've picked poorly when it comes to couples. Oh well.

Cheers,

Joli

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Yes, you're right!! - that was *exactly* the point of the thread! Jeez.

Another thing is couples often behave as though they'd be doing you a real big favour being crew. Hm.
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Old 28-01-2010, 09:49   #20
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It's a bit of a shame this thread has drifted from the OP's question if "couples are less likely to cooperate as part of a mixed crew" to "i really love sailing with my wife" and "maybe you're a tyrannical skipper".

I feel the question is rather interesting and I have experienced the exact tensions described by the OP in similar social situations (camping outings for instance).

Pelagic offered some real experience, he seems to prefer the austere setting, Bash said young males have a difficult time subordinating.. Also an interesting perspective..
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Old 28-01-2010, 09:50   #21
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hm, I'm doing ok so far. You won't sail unless with your wife. So where's she? You're speaking for her, are you? See?
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Old 28-01-2010, 09:52   #22
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Are you looking for crew to help on a delivery or are you looking for a pyscho thriller romance novel? When my wife and I crew on a delivery we get accustomed to the boat quickly, figure out what our individual responsibilities and the rest of the crews are, then go to work to have a safe passage. During the passage there will be up and down times, but in the end we get where we want to go safely, all is well. I think you might want to hold up a mirror as you make some of these comments and see where the real issues might be.

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Old 28-01-2010, 09:52   #23
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Once, in strong quartering seas, one of my solo male crew members was having a hard time keeping the spinnaker drawing. I finally relieved him of the helm, asked my wife to take it, and told him, "Watch how she does this. You may learn something." After about ten minutes where the chute never collapsed, he asked me how she was doing it. I answered, "Dude, ask the captain."
Er Hmmm

You’re moving the issue from couples to women. Definitely NOT the point I was making – one of the best crew that does repeat transats with me is female and married ( to someone else, not me).

Separately…I must take issue with the skippering style described! A crewmember doesn’t know how to do something. Heyho – that’s partly why you’re the skipper cos you know and he doesn’t. But sadly you didn’t actually explain how you wanted the task done. Instead, you brought out your Favourite Crew (=wife) and made the crew feel inadequate. AND after all that the crewmember still wasn’t given instruction by his immediate superior (you) but instead given the clear yet tacit information that his wife was far more senior member in the team. Almost a perfect example of how a skipper should operate – to get the WORST out his crew – not the best.

Another example of why one should be wary of sailing with a couple, it seems.
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Old 28-01-2010, 09:55   #24
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We have had good and bad experiences with couples as crew. My wife likes another woman to play cards with her, to help in the galley but we have had two women who spent most of the 7 day passages seasick. Havn't had problems with watches. Our last couple was last Fall. After the trip our other crew voted her in and him out.
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Old 28-01-2010, 10:02   #25
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Are you looking for crew to help on a delivery or are you looking for a pyscho thriller romance novel? When my wife and I crew on a delivery we get accustomed to the boat quickly, figure out what our individual responsibilities and the rest of the crews are, then go to work to have a safe passage. During the passage there will be up and down times, but in the end we get where we want to go safely, all is well. I think you might want to hold up a mirror as you make some of these comments and see where the real issues might be.

Paul L
Um, i think you might have done a bit more thinking before you posted. There were valid points in the OP. You and your other half work well, that's great.

Usually, the couple do indeed have a fine time - my point was that it can be at the expense of others having such a great time as well. Merely arriving at another port "safely" as you say, isn't a great yardstick of a good trip - a great deal if not the whole point of many trips is to have fun - if it wasn't fun we could get it shipped or whatever.

Having done lots of long trips, and many crew coming again, male and female, i suppose I must be okay in terms of that mirror you suggested. Whereas you (as part of a couple) seem blind to even the notion of any potential problem - which perhaps partially validates the OP?
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Old 28-01-2010, 10:12   #26
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I don't believe I've said that? I said I trust my wife since we've sailed together extensively. Considering she has a whole lot of ex-navy nukes and engineers working for her I think see can speak for herself.

I have a rule of hierarchy when sailing:
1) Those I know and trust.
2) Those I know and don't trust.
3) Those I don't know and therefore are yet to earn my trust.

She's in the first group, you're in the 3rd group.

If we are both available and wish to sail together we are a package deal, as the owner you can accept or decline that.

Cheers,

Joli

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hm, I'm doing ok so far. You won't sail unless with your wife. So where's she? You're speaking for her, are you? See?
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Old 28-01-2010, 10:14   #27
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It's a bit of a shame this thread has drifted from the OP's question if "couples are less likely to cooperate as part of a mixed crew" to "i really love sailing with my wife" and "maybe you're a tyrannical skipper".
I agree. I don't think there was anything insulting in the original post and it is responses like those that have been given that discourage people from posting anything thought provoking or philosophical on this forum.

This happens a lot on forums. I'm never sure if the issue if reading comprehension or baggage, or often a combination.
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Old 28-01-2010, 10:15   #28
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mct, you're right, you will never over-ride a couple's years of behavioral history with each other, not to mention all that shared oxytocin & dopamine transmission they've been doing. That's a feature that you can either try to (fruitlessly) work against, or see as an asset that can be used as a strength.

Couples who've been sailing together for very long have already worked out hundreds, if not thousands, of often subtle communications, practices and divisions of labor on their own boat that a completely new crew (to each other) have to go through before they work seamlessly together.

It sure sounds like you've had lots of experience at this and, as has been indicated, you have your method, it is your boat, and it is both your right and responsibility to do it as you see fit. No problem from me on that.

However, I certainly wouldn't dismiss the couple as crew as a potential advantage in a general sense. As indicated above, if the couple's features fit with a captain's needs, then there's some distinct advantages to be had.

I've personally known a number of cruising couples that I'd have as crew without a moment's concern. I've seen them run their own boats, so I know what they'd do and have total trust in their skills and judgment. There are some very experienced couples here on CF (Joli and his partner, Evans and Beth, etc.) where I'd jump at the chance to crew for them, and see it as a privilege to learn from them.

I think what is really the issue in picking any crew is that trust factor. Does the person or couple have the skills and judgment so that I can trust them with my boat and the lives of myself and the other crew?

As for myself, I sleep quite comfortably when my partner is on watch.

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Old 28-01-2010, 10:28   #29
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What a rather fabulous post IDrifter! I don't disagree with anything you say.

Yes, of course, *once* you know someone or a couple well, that's a whole different thing. I probably owe Joli an apology. Although he did kick the doors down slightly heftily with his first post on the thread? Perhaps one option would be to hire joli and his wife and let them do the transat and i'll do summink else while they get on with it....

Incidentally, i use shared contribution crew, not paid delivery crew, so i'd hope (dunno) that pro delivery crew would be above this sort of issue, perhaps...

Thanks again
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Old 28-01-2010, 10:28   #30
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I look at a "couple" question this way. After racing quite a bit with lots of people, if I know certain people will be on a boat and I don't trust/like them I'm not going on the boat. The opposite is also true, if I've sailed thousands of miles with a guy and they're good mates, I'll sign up.

My wife falls into the good mate catagory. That is my demarcation line.
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