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Old 01-07-2016, 09:46   #31
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

Originally Posted by w1651 View Post
I'm a newby and do need advice. I make mistakes and try to learn from them and still have a hard time remembering everything. But a good word and some advice is always welcome. Just don't talk down to me and it will be well received. With that said.
You can't tell someone something when they don't want to hear you. And unfortunately in this world everyone knows everything about every subject.
If you go with thought that, "you can't know everything," it keeps you out of the trap of having to pretend that you know everything. Then you are free to drill down on any topic by asking questions and listening to the answers until enlightenment.

The essence of this reality has served me well throughout my adult life and I am better for it (I think.)

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Old 01-07-2016, 10:03   #32
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

Why feel bad about inability to help somebody? I think I'm correct in saying that a lot of life's happiness and success involves knowing who to entirely avoid. Getting suckered into helping them is just stupid. I used to feel that I had to help everybody but now I avoid psychopaths, know it alls and introverts: they all greatly overvalue their worth.

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Old 01-07-2016, 10:45   #33
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

I had another sailor criticize me on my way of raising my mast and it upset me and let my wife know he was pissing me off. 12 hours later in catholic mass the priest gave a talk on not judging people and looked square at me with his finger pointed my way and said louder "Don't judge people". I had never met this priest before. It woke me up as to how fast me make assumptions about people being idiots when we have no idea what their life is or has been like. We joke about that experience often but it left a definite impression on me.
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Old 01-07-2016, 10:54   #34
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Too much boat. The fellow needs a smaller boat, if any.

Guy I bought my boat from, who I never met, couldn't handle it, was afraid of it. Every time it went out he paid a pro to go along and "help", which meant it was rarely used. His plan was to sell the boat and buy something much smaller for day sailing, which made sense as there are better boats for day sailing than an IP.

But he sounds a lot like very many people where I sail, they rarely ever go out, when they do they are I think sometimes inebriated, and that often doesn't work well.
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Old 01-07-2016, 11:21   #35
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

Why, there's nothing wrong with that man that a Basic Keelboat course and a Lido 14 couldn't fix!!!

Seriously, he does sound like a liability waiting to happen. One of the most important things in life is who you choose to surround yourself with.
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:10   #36
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Exclamation Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

People aren't created equally smart, there are plenty of thick headed dumbasses out there, some even with the funds to buy a boat. It's very likely the OP simply stumbled upon a genuine low IQ idiot.

You can't fix stupid... Not politically correct, but very true.
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:11   #37
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

His boat his rules.

Some pepople treasure advice from others. Other people abhor it. Neither is a moron or idiot or a bad person in any way,

I have more experience than a lot of boaters I encounter. Before offering my opinion, if I see someone struggling, I ask if they would like some help or advice.

If not, your boat your rules.

In my opinion, not following a clear direction from a skipper, regardless of their expertise or experience, is wrong. Every skipper has the right to be wrong. It's their boat. They will learn in their own way and in their own time. Or not, it is not up to us to make excellent skippers out of all.

Once I came into an anchorage attempting a new anchoring method for the first time. A fellow I knew came up in his dinghy and requested a line. I said no, we are trying this on our own. He repeated his request. I again declined trying to explain why. He persisted. . I told him to get out of our way. It got heated. He left thinking , what an %==++#. I left thinking, nice guy, but he needs to back off when his help is not needed.

I suggest considering this when offering help to others. Determine if you help is truly desired, and if not, his boat his rules. Never stop offering, unless you're told its not needed. Respect the skippers wishes, either way.
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Old 01-07-2016, 12:49   #38
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

I agree, his boat his rules.

I don't try to offer help that is not requested. He never asked me what I thought about this particular docking event as we approached or before. He realized he had current with him and wrong side walk. But took no action to adjust his process to compensate. Like passing and coming about against the current and applying an advantaged walk direction. I resisted the urge to suggest this. When we continued past for another go, I wrongly thought he would come about up current. But he just looped around for another pass. I wasn't requested as advisor, just deck hand.

But about the not jumping to the dock from a moving boat passing pilings and cleating off the wrong line first goes. It was never requested to do so. It was later stated that it was what the skipper expected me to do. With no verbal commands. In fact with no commands at all except toss that line on the second go round.

Mostly just a bunch of shouting about "crashing my bowsprit" while standing at the tiller doing nothing.

That's why asked if such actions (jumping and cleating to stop a boat) were standard proceedure on his boat. He didn't answer.

I did each thing asked as crew should. Offered no alternatives or acted without an order. Except bear hugging the piling and scuffing my shin.

Won't be crew for him again.
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Old 01-07-2016, 13:26   #39
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

Trying to teach someone who doesn't want to learn is like pushing on a rope. If that person is the skipper it is very frustrating. I won't do it anymore. If I like someone and they wish to learn then I'll take them out on Carina and show them how I do things on this boat - I will not be crew on a boat whose "skipper" doesn't know what he is doing under any circumstances. It is just too difficult to teach the skipper while crewing, and too often their ego gets in the way.

We get a fair number of noobs here as well that are ready to buy boats and go cruising, without any of the education/experience necessary. They claim to be the captain, but have never crewed or taken classes and are unprepared for the role. IMHO the best way to become a competent skipper is to crew for as many experienced skippers as possible. Also reading a lot of books and taking classes is very helpful, along with following forums like this. Then practice as much as possible and gradually expand the experiences as the skills improve. But some noobs seem to think they don't need to do that, even find it offensive that it is suggested. Unsurprisingly some end up abandoning their boats, or putting them up on reefs.

Encouraging (helping?) owners who will not learn does no one any favors. I spend a lot of time helping noobs, but only if they are committed to learning. Otherwise it is just helping an accident happen.

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Old 01-07-2016, 13:31   #40
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

Just on a side note. I have learned more watching others and not doing what they did, then I ever could have learned getting advice. If you see a guy not using the wind and or current to his or her advantage and he bumps the dock or scratches his topsides I just say to myself. I guess I won't do it that way when the wind blows from the east. But if he almost sinks his boat because he rammed into the dock after having a few to many cold ones on a day sail. Well we'll just stay away and out of that guys way when ever we go out.
Auto pilot is saying get up here and grab the tiller.
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Old 01-07-2016, 13:32   #41
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

Four Winds, you're a great neighbor to have, and I'd say a credit to the boating community.

If you can remove your ego (and here I mean the need to be recognized as right, or have your advice accepted and applied) from the dynamic and just let the man do what he will do, you will free yourself of the frustration over this situation. There's a difference between being nice to people and being responsible for them. He must learn on his own and come to his own conclusions, no matter how much you know your ideas and practices are right, correct, or better. Don't let his refusal to accept your help cause resentment in you. The observation that he doesn't seem to be responding to your advice has nothing to do with you, but everything to do with him: his temperament, his personality, his social skill set. You're not going to change any of that (insert beating dead horse gif here).

Your last statement, "I won't be crewing for him again," is a step in the right direction. Feel good about saying "No" to other entanglements you are not comfortable with, but offer your advice/insights freely (which you seem to be more than happy to do). It feels good to say "No" and realize the sky doesn't fall. Very freeing. And turning him down will speak to him as well, maybe louder than your words would.

Respect him enough to let him do his own suffering: you can't do that for him. Draw your line of involvement, then stay on your side of it.

It was Mark Twain who said "You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear." This gentleman may need some time to accept his porcine essence.

Fair Winds.
s/y Eagle's Wings Catalina 30 MkII
"Man must have just enough faith in himself to have adventures, and just enough doubt of himself to enjoy them." G. K. Chesterfield
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Old 01-07-2016, 13:34   #42
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

I've known some good people that seem to lack the ability to understand cause and effect relationships related to mass, velocity and interpreting the physical effects of their actions.

I was first exposed to this at the age of fifteen when taking a group driver's education class. One member of our team, a friend of mine, would frighten us all when it was his turn at the wheel. He didn't seem to see things or understand where he was directing the vehicle.

A couple years later I came across this same friend where I saw him standing next to his car at the side of an intersection. I stopped to talk to him and he asked for my assistance. He pointed out to me that he had a stop sign lodged under his car. It seems that was unable to get off it in either forward or reverse. He was complaining about his bad luck as he called for a tow truck to lift him off!
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 01-07-2016, 14:36   #43
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

Starbuck, I read your post twice with interest. And appreciate what you say and take it to heart.

I started to use the word frustrated earlier in the thread but it was a little off the mark. Perplexing and dumbfounded is closer to the truth for this particular set of experiences.

I do get some personal satisfaction from helping people with less experience than me advance thier skillset. Some times when I have shown someone how to judge if they can make a mark without tacking again (as an example) from some considerable distance, and the light goes on above thier head, I quietly smile inside.

But in this case I stopped offering advise some weeks ago. It has had no effect. Often biting my tounge to resist my natural instincts.

I considered carefully whether to use the word dangerous in the thread title. But it is not overstating the situation.

Hudson Force's comments about his friend apply here, too.

The almost panicked turn to port in front of an oncoming power boat at speed and visible for several minutes before hand was the most dangerous and unaware move of the day. After the correction and the complete lack of acknowledgement or even a subtle response of any kind, I realise fully now how hopeless it for me to help.

It's far beyond being embarrassed to crew and dock with him with people watching. Which it is.

But I don't want to be around when something really bad happens.

Feel like I'm beating up on him pretty bad. Which bothers me. But nothing I can do.

It has helped to discuss it here.
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Old 01-07-2016, 14:38   #44
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.

Why not be totally honest and tell your friend you don't trust his competence to operate his boat and that he needs to get instruction and training, both for his own safety and for that of crew and other vessels? That training should come from a neutral and professional source. Let him know that it is not judgement on his character but a positive way to become qualified and comfortable to skipper. None of us are born knowing how to sail - it is a learned skill, and he cannot be expected to excuse himself from getting that education and training. Do that and you have been a better friend to him than silently seething. Or walk away.
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Old 01-07-2016, 14:42   #45
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Re: Dangerous skippers, and not wanting to say anything.


First, good on ya for trying to help. Imho, "helping" people is actually not all that easy, mostly because they don't know what to ask for. I think Mark Pierce is right about this one, that the guy bought a too big, too unmaneuverable boat for an entry level sailor. He might also be like Hudson's old friend, a person with little outside awareness and understanding of cause and effect. You account of him screaming past the dock at 1 1/2 knots sort of corroborates that. No reverse, no lines ready, he clearly wasn't processing information very fast.

Getting your ego out of the way, will help. As mentioned above, the only one in the whole world for whom you can be responsible is you, so you take responsibility for offering a hand, and pretty soon folks know they can come and ask. If you think they're not asking for the "right kind" of hand, then butt out. "Help" is usually much better received when it is asked for, so relative to this guy, if you want to spend the energy, I'd ask him exactly what kind of help he has in mind. If he doesn't like that, tell him what he did that scared or hurt you. You can't use your body safely as a fender for a crab crusher. Never put any part of your body between a boat and a hard place.

Since he is leaving, you might write him a letter of some suggestions to consider, and say "fair winds." I think extricating yourself is important, and having some kind of closure with this guy.


On edit: I just read AbelCMann's post. Very well said, sir.

Ann & Jim, U.S. s/v Insatiable II, SE Qld, for a while
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