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Old 28-01-2010, 10:31   #31
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I do have sometimes strong opinions, other here may attest to that. My apology if it was not as intended.

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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, 10:37   #32
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you're missing something here

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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.
My wife is not crew. She is co-owner of the boat. Where does the assumption that I was "immediate superior" of the crew come from? Would you assume me to be superior because of my Y chromosome?
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Old 28-01-2010, 11:23   #33
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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?
Yea, web boards need lots of 'more thinking'. I don't see a lot of difference between taking on a couple, two best friends from a local race boat, or a pair with a domestic partner agreement. If you prefer to take on multiple crew separately and try and carefully manipulate the onboard dynamics to your liking, go for it. No one wants to be on a trip with crew that don't carry their weight and are grumpy. I guess I've always been lucky and found my crew mates to be really enjoyable to be with.
I'm sure you are OK in the mirror. I personally think that arriving at the port of destination safely is a good yardstick. Beyond that, I'd like everyone onboard to have a decent passage and perhaps learn a few things. But arrival at the destination port safely is the primary goal of a delivery.

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Old 28-01-2010, 12:13   #34
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I find this thread interesting and provocotive. I do not speak from the experience of having done many deliveries or having hired myself our as crew or used web boards….although I have sailed with many different crews for long periods of time.

I have known some sailing couples that have been great fun to sail with and who are extremely competent, individually and as a team and in know way could be equated to be dimishing the most important goal of the skipper: safety!

The issue with the sailing couple that divvied up duties doesn’t seem like a problem to me (it wouldn't bother me, make it less fun or be inherently less safe.) The issue about the safety issue on the fore deck was interesting…I just don’t see how this example supports the lack of safety that would be characteristic of a sailing couple in general as there would circumstances where safety would be enhanced by a couple that works wel together… as in general stable couples are very responsible, I think insurance companies verify this with lower rates for married people.

I do understand that the original poster is speaking from his personal experience which is valid. I would suggest that it is a closed minded attitude to think of adopting this as a bias as a rule. The argument that the bias is justified does not hold water as far a safety and fun…from my perspective. but I guess we each make our own choices as skippers selecting crew...I will choose keep my desicions based on individuals not a particular bias. (except maybe something like a know pshycological instability or drug dependancy).
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Old 28-01-2010, 13:41   #35
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My wife is not crew. She is co-owner of the boat. Where does the assumption that I was "immediate superior" of the crew come from? Would you assume me to be superior because of my Y chromosome?
Hum, i think you're trying to make a different point and parade right-on non-sexist values a little too hard. But I will answer your indignant question.

No, i did not think you were skipper because of your Y chromosome. If you are skipper, you are immediate superior of all other crew (on a small crusing boat) who all report directly to you.

I (not unreasonably, i feel) inferred that *you* were skipper, because you used a proprietorial phrase "my crew" in an earlier post, and because you organised the (not hideous, but significant) humiliation of crew.

Your wife might be joint owner and you might even call her "captain" but if she meekly permits the joint owner to humiliate crew, she ain't the skipper. You are. Either way, i think a better way to show the crew would have been to actually show him what was required, not run the humiliating "har har my wife's loads better than you" performance that you described, and which as you seem to proudly say (and even after ten minutes) didn't result in the crew/victim knowing any more than at the start.

If your wife really was skipper then surely she would have stopped your charade? She could have said "come on bashy, cup of tea please two sweetners and DO stop humiliating the crew" and she actually wouldn't have needed to be skip to say that. Or even joint owner.

You have blocking share (50%) in boat and evidently take/use the power that accrues - and your wife doesn't.

I might be missing something -yes - perhaps your wife humiliates the crew even more "No no no NO goodness me that's NOT black pepper what ARE you thinking of, Bash darling can you spare a moment to come down to the galley, another humiliation opportunity beckons, i need to show this fool how to use seasoning properly, he's clueless, but i primarily want to show him that you're excellent at cooking without actually explaining what i want him to do, so can you spare ten minutes to really make him feel bad again, hm?..." but i imagine not?

Are you really saying your wife is skipper/captain?
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Old 28-01-2010, 15:04   #36
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This thread and site might benefit more with a tone of openness to others views. Getting down to politics of Gender is doomed to failure and will serve the members very little wrt sailing, I would suggest.

My guess as to what might be at the heart of the sailing related discussion is that a sailing vessel at sea might require a clearly delineated power structure like that found on Naval Ship.

If this position is taken, by definition I see why someone might not see room for a couple on their boat. Any ship needs to have someone who is able take the reigns for safeties sake and is the one who takes the position of and be ultimately responsible for the safety of all aboard but is there room there room for couples and families? Can a crew made up couples or a family be as safe and have as much fun (in general) as a group of unattached (within the crew ranks) type crews?

The OP clearly stated that having a fun and enjoyable experience at sea was important to him, and this was his reason for veering away from bringing couples to crew in the future.

The exception taken to Bash’s use of his wife to counter remarks by someone who he felt was being sexist was seen it only as a tactic of humiliating someone. The way I heard it was sexist thinking is just as dangerous as the mentality experienced from the couple who acted as one instead of following the skipper directly.

Maybe this thread would be of more value if we heard what people's fundamental views on what a crew should act like when couples or families are involved? Should it be like the military? Should it be like Captn Ron? Should it be something else?
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Old 28-01-2010, 16:38   #37
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Are you really saying your wife is skipper/captain?
I've posted about this before. I find the notion of "captain" to be archaic. It certainly doesn't reflect realities of command and control on our boat. Not only do we not function that way, we've never needed that sort of hierarchy. I'm no more the captain of our boat than I am of our marriage. Nor is she.

And yes, I've heard all the objections, like "What about if you're being boarded by pirates in the middle of a hurricane!"

I can only answer that this sort of thing simply doesn't happen on our boat. It's been decades since the last year when we didn't put at least 1,000nm on our knot log, and my wife still loves the time she spends afloat. We constantly invite other couples to go out with us, and there's never any screaming. If one of us, either one, wants to shorten sail, we do so. I tend to want to hoist the spinnaker at times when she'd rather not be bothered, but one of us is always able to persuade the other.

It's that easy.
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Old 28-01-2010, 16:40   #38
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a team within a team.
I think the couple dynamic as crew is well worth raising - but just like many other topics aint gonna be no 100% single right answer. I am sure good couples to have onboard and those who are a royal PITA..........but the same applies to skippers as well

Choosing, creating and then managing a team ain't ever easy - nor is finding a good leader easy..........doing both mostly within the confines of a boat on an ocean is gonna be a challenge - perhaps one for the next series of The Apprentice?
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Old 28-01-2010, 18:49   #39
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I've posted about this before. I find the notion of "captain" to be archaic. It certainly doesn't reflect realities of command and control on our boat. Not only do we not function that way, we've never needed that sort of hierarchy. I'm no more the captain of our boat than I am of our marriage. Nor is she.

And yes, I've heard all the objections, like "What about if you're being boarded by pirates in the middle of a hurricane!"

I can only answer that this sort of thing simply doesn't happen on our boat. It's been decades since the last year when we didn't put at least 1,000nm on our knot log, and my wife still loves the time she spends afloat. We constantly invite other couples to go out with us, and there's never any screaming. If one of us, either one, wants to shorten sail, we do so. I tend to want to hoist the spinnaker at times when she'd rather not be bothered, but one of us is always able to persuade the other.

It's that easy.
Fine. I think I and many others already understand how it works.

I personally think you are abrogating the reponsibilities that you gleefully yet informally have taken with your "stay there, you might learn sometthing" and yet there's also the "Ooh no, I'm not the skipper". You use the power to command crew, but don't follow through with the responsibility to show what you want. Poor show.

I spose I'm talking about longer trips, several weeks. If the "no skipper" thing works for you on shortish trips, week or less, fine. On longer trips every time you near land the authorities will need to know who is the master of the ship and they need one name. Really, it's you. Oh yes it is!
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Old 29-01-2010, 01:50   #40
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G'Day all,

Something that I have long believed, and which has been reinforced by the rhetoric spewed out in this thread:
The two most dangerous things one can do on a small yacht are
1. Take on strangers (individuals or couples or whatever) as crew.
2. Go as crew on a boat with an unknown skipper.

I guess that this is why we seem to prefer to sail doublehanded, 'cause the "couple issue" is just between us!

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Broken Bay, NSW, Oz
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Old 29-01-2010, 06:15   #41
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I'm going to add a woman's point of view here, what I'm seeing here is point scoring.

Why care what someone's choice of crew may be? When it comes to crew, we ALL do it our own way. When it comes to 'command', we also all do it our own way. MCT might not want a couple, so what? I don't want men on my boat cos I think they introduce a dynamic that disrupts the way I do things, does it matter to anyone except me and my crew?

P.
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Old 29-01-2010, 08:08   #42
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Quote:
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I've posted about this before. I find the notion of "captain" to be archaic. It certainly doesn't reflect realities of command and control on our boat. Not only do we not function that way, we've never needed that sort of hierarchy. I'm no more the captain of our boat than I am of our marriage. Nor is she.
Bash, in your personal dynamic that makes perfect sense. You aren't captain of your marriage and I'm sure many wives would object to being treated as a subordinate when brought along on a sailboat. She's not "crew" in the traditional sense. You two are a team.

MCT's dynamic is completely different. He's not married to any of the crew. The people operating his boat are "crew". He pays them or barters their skill for passage, experience, adventure or education. He is the master of the vessel, and unless he's doing something manifestly unsafe that an experienced "sailing couple" feels is endangering them, they should do as he directs. If their experience is unpleasant, then they shouldn't crew for him. It's not like he's press-ganging married couples off of the docks.

He wants a single, homogenous team, not "teams withing teams". I can't see how this is insulting or why people are getting their skivvies in a wad over it. Maybe it's just the way he put it.
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Old 29-01-2010, 08:35   #43
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I can't see how this is insulting or why people are getting their skivvies in a wad over it. Maybe it's just the way he put it.
i would think that a couple could actually reduce some of the pressures of existing within a small crew .. i mean this ain't the US navy anymore right? again he may have hired the wrong couples.
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Old 29-01-2010, 10:20   #44
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Quote:
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Fine. I think I and many others already understand how it works.

I personally think you are abrogating the reponsibilities that you gleefully yet informally have taken with your "stay there, you might learn sometthing" and yet there's also the "Ooh no, I'm not the skipper". You use the power to command crew, but don't follow through with the responsibility to show what you want. Poor show.

I spose I'm talking about longer trips, several weeks. If the "no skipper" thing works for you on shortish trips, week or less, fine. On longer trips every time you near land the authorities will need to know who is the master of the ship and they need one name. Really, it's you. Oh yes it is!
Your thoughts on the land authorities are spot on. We've been stopped and questioned here and there, as the authorities sometimes do, and they always want to know who is in charge. Call the Harbor Master on your radio and he will also ask. It's more than just an archaic tradition. There have always been good reasons why there should ultimately be one person in control/responsible on a boat. It's not a Democracy for a reason.

That said, if it is a husband and wife team, it is more of a team. The leadership role can me more split. She may be in charge of certain areas and duties, and you may be in charge of others.
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Old 29-01-2010, 18:28   #45
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Take Responsibility!

The bottom line is that whatever crew decisions you make or captain’s policy you have, take responsibility for them, instead of trying to justify it.

I have met wonderful couples that seem perfect for the positions open, but because of my policy I have passed them over because in my opinion, the risk of setting a precedent with the rest of the professional crew was not worth it.

Also I encourage and look for crew who scrutinize the captain as much as I do them during the interview process, since that indicates to me a thinking person willing to take responsibility for their actions in joining the yacht. It is a “Two way Street”!

Mct brought up a delicate but valid question about crew/couple dynamics and I am quite sure we all saw some validity in his observations.

We should thank him, not try to caricaturize him for his contribution.

A true leader knows where he is going and does not look back to see if anyone is following, so just do what feels right and listen to the questions being asked when selecting crew.
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