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Old 05-04-2016, 23:57   #181
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
This reminds me of an episode of whale wars where one of the Sea Shepherd boats was contemplating on whether to go smack into a storm to chase the whalers or to go around the storm and risk loosing them. Whilst the skipper was talking to his second mate about the options, one of the other crew speaks up and says, 'I vote we go around'. Without even looking at her the skipper said, 'you don't get a vote, it's my decision'. The decided to warn the crew they were continuing the persuit.
Do you seriously think that is a good example to follow? Aboard my vessel it is a firm rule:

Anyone, at anytime, may request a change...if it appears to be a safer way... then all, including myself, shall accept the change and implement with zero complaint.

You would be surprised how much my crew appreciate knowing that anything they say will be listened to with attention.

Further, I have what I call times where I give my novice crew full control of every aspect of the vessel. I call it "Permission to Play". I, and the more experienced sailors, just watch and assist as they direct and make sure they don't damage something. It is their job to experience coaxing a little more speed and trimming or changing sails.

...........

But back to the situation at hand:

I heard a great definition of an adventure. "Anyone, even if they have never stepped on a boat before, can join the adventure."

An adventure is a disaster that almost happened.

I don't like adventures. I had one sailor complain sailing with me was so "boring".

Here that is a problem.

It is harder to sell a boring safe trip than it is to sell an adventure where thrill and danger await.

Are there safer types of vessels that could make this trip? Most certainly there are.
Could the vessels gone from China to Seattle on a safer route? You bet they could have.

What cruising sailor among us would have intentionally sailed this route!!!!!!

We know what wind conditions are like at that lattitude this time of year.

What were these vessels doing there?

Race organizers could have required all vessels to take a lower lattitude across the Pacific.
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Old 06-04-2016, 00:04   #182
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

[QUOTE=pbmaise;2090502]Do you seriously think that is a good example to follow? Aboard my vessel it is a firm rule:

Anyone, at anytime, may request a change...if it appears to be a safer way... then all, including myself, shall accept the change and implement with zero complaint.

You would be surprised how much my crew appreciate knowing that anything they say will be listened to with attention.

Further, I have what I call times where I give my novice crew full control of every aspect of the vessel. I call it "Permission to Play". I, and the more experienced sailors, just watch and assist as they direct and make sure they don't damage something. It is their job to experience coaxing a little more speed and trimming or changing sails.

QUOTE]


Do I seriously think it's a good example? Hell yes and I might point out that whilst your democracy in sailing may feel good to your crew and you have the warm fuzzie wuzzies because your crew likes being involved, if the ***** ever hits the fan, it will be YOU and not them that will be held to account. That's the law. at least in most parts of the worlds oceans.

I can just imagine (this means it's an example) you defending yourself at a maratime tribunal or a court, 'but your honour, I disagreed, but my crew took a vote and decided to dispense with the need for a night shift to catch up on sleep, so I was out voted, it wasn't my fault that we hit that other vessel'.
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Old 06-04-2016, 00:26   #183
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

[QUOTE=Rustic Charm;2090506]
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post
Do you seriously think that is a good example to follow? Aboard my vessel it is a firm rule:

Anyone, at anytime, may request a change...if it appears to be a safer way... then all, including myself, shall accept the change and implement with zero complaint.

You would be surprised how much my crew appreciate knowing that anything they say will be listened to with attention.

Further, I have what I call times where I give my novice crew full control of every aspect of the vessel. I call it "Permission to Play". I, and the more experienced sailors, just watch and assist as they direct and make sure they don't damage something. It is their job to experience coaxing a little more speed and trimming or changing sails.

QUOTE]


Do I seriously think it's a good example? Hell yes and I might point out that whilst your democracy in sailing may feel good to your crew and you have the warm fuzzie wuzzies because your crew likes being involved, if the ***** ever hits the fan, it will be YOU and not them that will be held to account. That's the law. at least in most parts of the worlds oceans.

I can just imagine (this means it's an example) you defending yourself at a maratime tribunal or a court, 'but your honour, I disagreed, but my crew took a vote and decided to dispense with the need for a night shift to catch up on sleep, so I was out voted, it wasn't my fault that we hit that other vessel'.
Nobody is talking about democracy, least of all me ( although I'm not as bad as one master I knew who used to write up the minutes of meetings before the meeting... his shipboard departmental management meetings... yes they have such things.... took all of 5 minutes max.)

CRM is all about listening to your crew/ first officer whatever... and yes there are many times when an underling junior officer/ watch leader/whatever has to be allowed to make and act on their own decisions .
Its called delegation and if you can't delegate you aren't going to be much chop as a master. However, that said, the buck still stops with the skipper.
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Old 06-04-2016, 00:41   #184
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

[QUOTE=El Pinguino;2090515]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post

Nobody is talking about democracy, least of all me ( although I'm not as bad as one master I knew who used to write up the minutes of meetings before the meeting... his shipboard departmental management meetings... yes they have such things.... took all of 5 minutes max.)

CRM is all about listening to your crew/ first officer whatever... and yes there are many times when an underling junior officer/ watch leader/whatever has to be allowed to make and act on their own decisions .
Its called delegation and if you can't delegate you aren't going to be much chop as a master. However, that said, the buck still stops with the skipper.
Originally Posted by pbmaise
Do you seriously think that is a good example to follow? Aboard my vessel it is a firm rule:

Anyone, at anytime, may request a change...if it appears to be a safer way... then all, including myself, shall accept the change and implement with zero complaint.

You would be surprised how much my crew appreciate knowing that anything they say will be listened to with attention.

Further, I have what I call times where I give my novice crew full control of every aspect of the vessel. I call it "Permission to Play". I, and the more experienced sailors, just watch and assist as they direct and make sure they don't damage something. It is their job to experience coaxing a little more speed and trimming or changing sails.

QUOTE]


Do I seriously think it's a good example? Hell yes and I might point out that whilst your democracy in sailing may feel good to your crew and you have the warm fuzzie wuzzies because your crew likes being involved, if the ***** ever hits the fan, it will be YOU and not them that will be held to account. That's the law. at least in most parts of the worlds oceans.

I can just imagine (this means it's an example) you defending yourself at a maratime tribunal or a court, 'but your honour, I disagreed, but my crew took a vote and decided to dispense with the need for a night shift to catch up on sleep, so I was out voted, it wasn't my fault that we hit that other vessel'.

Nobody is talking about democracy, least of all me ( although I'm not as bad as one master I knew who used to write up the minutes of meetings before the meeting... his shipboard departmental management meetings... yes they have such things.... took all of 5 minutes max.)

Ping follow the thread. I responded to pbmaise and YES, he definately seems to be advocating a democracy
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:10   #185
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

No he isn't... he is saying....'Anyone, at anytime, may request a change...if it appears to be a safer way... then all, including myself, shall accept the change and implement with zero complaint.

That is not democracy... democracy is having a meeting and then having a vote. That is letting the watch on deck run the ship.... I would have worded it slightly differently but not much.

'Off soundings' I keep the 12 to 4 so that I am never away from the deck for more than 3 hours. If the watch on deck reckons we need another reef in I will run with it...as I never have more than one on watch that means getting up... if they woke me at 2300 and said they thought it was time to pop the spinnaker I would tell them to go fruck their hat.

If we were running two to a watch I would be happy with sail reductions without calling me unless the weather was heavy. As it is no one leaves the cockpit unless someone else is on deck... no exceptions.
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:39   #186
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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No he isn't... he is saying....'Anyone, at anytime, may request a change...if it appears to be a safer way... then all, including myself, shall accept the change and implement with zero complaint.

That is not democracy... democracy is having a meeting and then having a vote. That is letting the watch on deck run the ship.... I would have worded it slightly differently but not much.

'Off soundings' I keep the 12 to 4 so that I am never away from the deck for more than 3 hours. If the watch on deck reckons we need another reef in I will run with it...as I never have more than one on watch that means getting up... if they woke me at 2300 and said they thought it was time to pop the spinnaker I would tell them to go fruck their hat.

If we were running two to a watch I would be happy with sail reductions without calling me unless the weather was heavy. As it is no one leaves the cockpit unless someone else is on deck... no exceptions.
In sailing leadership styles this is called a democracy.

..'Anyone, at anytime, may request a change...if it appears to be a safer way... then all, including myself, shall accept the change and implement with zero complaint"

Voting, has little to do with it. The moment he suggested 'he would accept the change' he's suggesting the majority would decide.

When I skippered my police vessel, if someone was continuing to question my decision making I'd put them in their place. If they continued to question my operating if the vessel, then regardless of their rank I'd be having something to say about it. Not that I ever had a problem with that as I think everyone knew well the skippers responsibility.

Now, that is significantly different that someone on board alerting me to a problem they can see which I may not have yet observed. But as for questioning my decision making and expecting me to concede to the groups decision NFW

And CMR is not 'delegation'. That's something else.
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Old 06-04-2016, 01:58   #187
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

You haven't done a BRM course have you? its not about constantly questioning your skills .. if that happens you may have a problem.... its about crew speaking up and being involved in the decision making process... nada mas

Loookeee here
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Old 06-04-2016, 02:01   #188
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

We all know we should be clipped on all the time ,but I can understand coiling sheets and halyard tails big ones on a 70 footer and long, they are in a heap all round your tether
it is tempting to unclip ,pull your tether free rather than thread the sheets through.You are not watching the waves coming you are concentrating on the mess around your feet,just as you unclip to pull it free a wave washes over too late gone second wave takes you under the life lines.
A very unlucky accident,preventable ,yes of course, they all are in hind sight.
You cannot watch your crew every second.
A sad loss.
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Old 06-04-2016, 02:18   #189
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

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You haven't done a BRM course have you? its not about constantly questioning your skills .. if that happens you may have a problem.... its about crew speaking up and being involved in the decision making process... nada mas

Loookeee here
I have absolutely no need to do a $2000 Bridge Management Course, no I'd suggest few on CF have apart from professional merchant sailors. But, I can't see what that has to do with what we are discussing?

I've explained myself clearly enough I believe. I have NO problem with my crew raising a problem they see, informing me of something they may believe I'm not aware of it. That's the CMR bit Ping. I don't even have a problem with someone questioning something I have told them about what we will do, as long as they do it respectfully. i will even 'consult' with my passengers over some things, but I definately won't allow crew to start voting or expressing strongly their views of what I should be doing.

AND let's put this in context, which was criticism of the Sea Shepherd illustration which one poster suggested was a 'smack down' of the person 'who wanted to vote on the course to take'
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Old 06-04-2016, 02:25   #190
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

[QUOTE=Rustic Charm;2090506]
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post
Do you seriously think that is a good example to follow? Aboard my vessel it is a firm rule:

Anyone, at anytime, may request a change...if it appears to be a safer way... then all, including myself, shall accept the change and implement with zero complaint.

You would be surprised how much my crew appreciate knowing that anything they say will be listened to with attention.

Further, I have what I call times where I give my novice crew full control of every aspect of the vessel. I call it "Permission to Play". I, and the more experienced sailors, just watch and assist as they direct and make sure they don't damage something. It is their job to experience coaxing a little more speed and trimming or changing sails.

QUOTE]


Do I seriously think it's a good example? Hell yes and I might point out that whilst your democracy in sailing may feel good to your crew and you have the warm fuzzie wuzzies because your crew likes being involved, if the ***** ever hits the fan, it will be YOU and not them that will be held to account. That's the law. at least in most parts of the worlds oceans.

I can just imagine (this means it's an example) you defending yourself at a maratime tribunal or a court, 'but your honour, I disagreed, but my crew took a vote and decided to dispense with the need for a night shift to catch up on sleep, so I was out voted, it wasn't my fault that we hit that other vessel'.
I agree with others that this is not the way to get good performance out of a team of people.

It's definitely not a democracy -- and that's because the skipper bears the whole responsibility, something which must not be diluted -- but to get excellent performance out of any team of people, all must be empowered to think and take initiative, and to speak up. A dictatorial captain is a weak captain, who produces a team of weak, sullen people with no initiative and taking no responsibility themselves. Real leadership is something totally different. The buck stops on your nav table, so the final decision is always yours, but you have to listen to what your team are saying, take it into account, and build consensus, use the knowledge, skills and initiative of every crew member to the fullest possible extent, and not treat them as instruments. Ordering someone to do something, which he doesn't want to do himself, should be something which is practically never required.

On my boat, decisions concerning safety are treated somewhat differently from other decisions -- if anyone considers something we propose to do as being unsafe, we will almost always just not do it -- it's a kind of veto which every crew member has. I am careful to have a strong consensus for any decision to take any kind of unusual risk, or we just don't do it. This is really important for many reasons, not the least of which is that is something then goes wrong, you want every man on board "owning" that decision, having "bought into it" at the outset, which dramatically improves performance in a crisis.

Obviously this system works less well, with groups of people who don't think alike, and much better with people who do. But "thinking alike" is also something strongly influenced by the quality of leadership, and something which groups of good people will fall into, in the process of listening to each other in the same way that the captain listens to them.

Lots of people come and go on my boat, and I have been exceptionally lucky with the quality of the crew I've had. I really enjoy being in a crew doing something like sailing, and it's really a joy when everything "clicks", and people start to even read each other's minds.
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Old 06-04-2016, 02:32   #191
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

[QUOTE=Dockhead;2090538]
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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post

I agree with others that this is not the way to get good performance out of a team of people.

It's definitely not a democracy -- and that's because the skipper bears the whole responsibility, something which must not be diluted -- but to get excellent performance out of any team of people, all must be empowered to think and take initiative, and to speak up. A dictatorial captain is a weak captain, who produces a team of weak, sullen people with no initiative and taking no responsibility themselves. Real leadership is something totally different. The buck stops on your nav table, so the final decision is always yours, but you have to listen to what your team are saying, take it into account, and build consensus, use the knowledge, skills and initiative of every crew member to the fullest possible extent, and not treat them as instruments. Ordering someone to do something, which he doesn't want to do himself, should be something which is practically never required.

On my boat, decisions concerning safety are treated somewhat differently from other decisions -- if anyone considers something we propose to do as being unsafe, we will almost always just not do it -- it's a kind of veto which every crew member has. I am careful to have a strong consensus for any decision to take any kind of unusual risk, or we just don't do it. This is really important for many reasons, not the least of which is that is something then goes wrong, you want every man on board "owning" that decision, having "bought into it" at the outset, which dramatically improves performance in a crisis.

Obviously this system works less well, with groups of people who don't think alike, and much better with people who do. But "thinking alike" is also something strongly influenced by the quality of leadership, and something which groups of good people will fall into, in the process of listening to each other in the same way that the captain listens to them.

Lots of people come and go on my boat, and I have been exceptionally lucky with the quality of the crew I've had. I really enjoy being in a crew doing something like sailing, and it's really a joy when everything "clicks", and people start to even read each other's minds.
A wise response I agree entirely.

I'm starting to think we are more or less saying the same thing.
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:06   #192
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

Most of us in this discussion are captains of vessels.

We are taking a hard personal look at our own management style and learning from what I consider to be a mistake.

There is indeed unfortunate chance in this world and the hand of God that none of us can control.

And then there is caution and prudent operation of a sailing vessel.

It is my view the skippers of these vessels were operating in dangerous seas with a novice crew racing to meet an artificial deadline. How many crew members had already booked their flights to leave from Seattle? How many new crew members would be mad that they were sitting in hotels waiting? How many crews were hoping to be first across an artificial line?

How many of us made the mistake of rushing to get to a port for the wrong reasons and as a consequence had something bad occur. It happened to me. I lost a mast as a consequence, or alternately, I learned of a defect in the rigging in a very abrupt fashion.

In this case as a consequence something far worse than a demasting occured. To meet outside objectives, high lattitude seas were taken which guaranteed strong winds and a swift passage.

No one has answered my question.

Before I ask it again, let me say I have some experience. I have crossed the Pacific end to end and more, I have sailed to Vancouver Island just north of Seattle. I have had a wide range of crew novice to highly experienced. I own a vessel nearly 70 ft myself, and I have made mistakes when trying to reach a port to meet an artificial deadline.

I was crew on the Hawaii to Seattle trip and twice requested a course change that the captain denied. He was rushing to get to port for a haul out. Ten minutes later a broadside wave nearly knocked our vessel over. He finally approved a safer course after his wife screamed at him to listen.

Question: Based on winds at the time, type of vessel, and qualifications of the crew, would you have crossed the Pacific at such a high lattitude? Or, would you have dropped down to a much lower lattitude and taken longer?

....................

It took my a while to find the right term.

The command structure aboard my vessel is called a STRATOCRACY. It is a form of military rule. The commander sets the objective and gives little power and free will. There is no democratic voting.

This does not mean the crew does not have input. Safety input is actively sought.

I set one key objective: To arrive safely in port.

Notice I have said "port" and not destination. I have changed port targets when a desired or closer port appears less safe.

Since my goal is to safely arrive in port, any request is heeded if it is a safer method. If there is any doubt, it is up to me to decide if a suggested change is safer. If I disagree that it is not safer it is up to me to explain why in a very polite way.

In this "whale war" example the crew member wanted to go around a storm. Well that certainly was the safer way wasn't it? Instead the captain and crew bullied the jr crew member because they wanted to chase a whaling boat.

Well that captain in my book placed his vessel and crew at risk for an artificial objective. Rule of the sea is safety of vessel and crew first.


..............

When a skipper is racing a vessel is this rule no longer true?

When planning a route to cross the Pacific, does this rule no longer hold?
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:21   #193
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post
Most of us in this discussion are captains of vessels.

We are taking a hard personal look at our own management style and learning from what I consider to be a mistake.

There is indeed unfortunate chance in this world and the hand of God that none of us can control.

And then there is caution and prudent operation of a sailing vessel.

It is my view the skippers of these vessels were operating in dangerous seas with a novice crew racing to meet an artificial deadline. How many crew members had already booked their flights to leave from Seattle? How many new crew members would be mad that they were sitting in hotels waiting? How many crews were hoping to be first across an artificial line?

How many of us made the mistake of rushing to get to a port for the wrong reasons and as a consequence had something bad occur. It happened to me. I lost a mast as a consequence, or alternately, I learned of a defect in the rigging in a very abrupt fashion.

In this case as a consequence something far worse than a demasting occured. To meet outside objectives, high lattitude seas were taken which guaranteed strong winds and a swift passage.

No one has answered my question.

Before I ask it again, let me say I have some experience. I have crossed the Pacific end to end and more, I have sailed to Vancouver Island just north of Seattle. I have had a wide range of crew novice to highly experienced. I own a vessel nearly 70 ft myself, and I have made mistakes when trying to reach a port to meet an artificial deadline.

I was crew on the Hawaii to Seattle trip and twice requested a course change that the captain denied. He was rushing to get to port for a haul out. Ten minutes later a broadside wave nearly knocked our vessel over. He finally approved a safer course after his wife screamed at him to listen.

Question: Based on winds at the time, type of vessel, and qualifications of the crew, would you have crossed the Pacific at such a high lattitude? Or, would you have dropped down to a much lower lattitude and taken longer?

....................

It took my a while to find the right term.

The command structure aboard my vessel is called a STRATOCRACY. It is a form of military rule. The commander sets the objective and gives little power and free will. There is no democratic voting.

This does not mean the crew does not have input. Safety input is actively sought.

I set one key objective: To arrive safely in port.

Notice I have said "port" and not destination. I have changed port targets when a desired or closer port appears less safe.

Since my goal is to safely arrive in port, any request is heeded if it is a safer method. If there is any doubt, it is up to me to decide if a suggested change is safer. If I disagree that it is not safer it is up to me to explain why in a very polite way.

In this "whale war" example the crew member wanted to go around a storm. Well that certainly was the safer way wasn't it? Instead the captain and crew bullied the jr crew member because they wanted to chase a whaling boat.

Well that captain in my book placed his vessel and crew at risk for an artificial objective. Rule of the sea is safety of vessel and crew first.
..............

When a skipper is racing a vessel is this rule no longer true?

When planning a route to cross the Pacific, does this rule no longer hold?
Most of what you have written here is very well thought out and sensible

But then you go and ruin it by adding what I suspect is a bias, probably against Sea Shepherd I don't know

But you say he 'bullied' her, a term which would not fit ANY definition of the term bullied. You can't bully someone by simply responding to a junior worker, officer, whatever, with a single answer. That's just silly. Bullying has to be repeated, or it's not bullying.

Going around the storm was the more 'comfortable' option. It was not a hurricane, it was a patch of bad weather. Their job, their task, was to keep with the whaling vessel. That was their job. Though, I note you call it an 'artificial objective', which again seems to suggest your bias. It was 'artificial', it's what they are there for.
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:23   #194
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pirate Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post
Most of us in this discussion are captains of vessels.

We are taking a hard personal look at our own management style and learning from what I consider to be a mistake.

There is indeed unfortunate chance in this world and the hand of God that none of us can control.

And then there is caution and prudent operation of a sailing vessel.

It is my view the skippers of these vessels were operating in dangerous seas with a novice crew racing to meet an artificial deadline. How many crew members had already booked their flights to leave from Seattle? How many new crew members would be mad that they were sitting in hotels waiting? How many crews were hoping to be first across an artificial line?

How many of us made the mistake of rushing to get to a port for the wrong reasons and as a consequence had something bad occur. It happened to me. I lost a mast as a consequence, or alternately, I learned of a defect in the rigging in a very abrupt fashion.

In this case as a consequence something far worse than a demasting occured. To meet outside objectives, high lattitude seas were taken which guaranteed strong winds and a swift passage.

No one has answered my question.

Before I ask it again, let me say I have some experience. I have crossed the Pacific end to end and more, I have sailed to Vancouver Island just north of Seattle. I have had a wide range of crew novice to highly experienced. I own a vessel nearly 70 ft myself, and I have made mistakes when trying to reach a port to meet an artificial deadline.

I was crew on the Hawaii to Seattle trip and twice requested a course change that the captain denied. He was rushing to get to port for a haul out. Ten minutes later a broadside wave nearly knocked our vessel over. He finally approved a safer course after his wife screamed at him to listen.

Question: Based on winds at the time, type of vessel, and qualifications of the crew, would you have crossed the Pacific at such a high lattitude? Or, would you have dropped down to a much lower lattitude and taken longer?

....................

It took my a while to find the right term.

The command structure aboard my vessel is called a STRATOCRACY. It is a form of military rule. The commander sets the objective and gives little power and free will. There is no democratic voting.

This does not mean the crew does not have input. Safety input is actively sought.

I set one key objective: To arrive safely in port.

Notice I have said "port" and not destination. I have changed port targets when a desired or closer port appears less safe.

Since my goal is to safely arrive in port, any request is heeded if it is a safer method. If there is any doubt, it is up to me to decide if a suggested change is safer. If I disagree that it is not safer it is up to me to explain why in a very polite way.

In this "whale war" example the crew member wanted to go around a storm. Well that certainly was the safer way wasn't it? Instead the captain and crew bullied the jr crew member because they wanted to chase a whaling boat.

Well that captain in my book placed his vessel and crew at risk for an artificial objective. Rule of the sea is safety of vessel and crew first.


..............

When a skipper is racing a vessel is this rule no longer true?

When planning a route to cross the Pacific, does this rule no longer hold?
A+1...
There's times to obey and there's times to question..
I'm at the helm and an offwatch crew sitting in the bow sings out.. "Hard astarboard..!!"... I'm there.. main sheeted as we turn to or bear away..
If it proves pointless they cop for it.. else its.. "Well spotted mate..!!"
And.. when I yell.. "Release that sheet..!!" do it and save being slammed up against the cabin..
Question me anytime.. command me anytime.. just do them at the right moment..
And.. when there's time for an answer..
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Old 06-04-2016, 04:33   #195
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Re: Fatality - Clipper around the world race

Quote:
Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post
Most of us in this discussion are captains of vessels.

We are taking a hard personal look at our own management style and learning from what I consider to be a mistake.

There is indeed unfortunate chance in this world and the hand of God that none of us can control.

And then there is caution and prudent operation of a sailing vessel.

It is my view the skippers of these vessels were operating in dangerous seas with a novice crew racing to meet an artificial deadline. How many crew members had already booked their flights to leave from Seattle? How many new crew members would be mad that they were sitting in hotels waiting? How many crews were hoping to be first across an artificial line?

How many of us made the mistake of rushing to get to a port for the wrong reasons and as a consequence had something bad occur. It happened to me. I lost a mast as a consequence, or alternately, I learned of a defect in the rigging in a very abrupt fashion.

In this case as a consequence something far worse than a demasting occured. To meet outside objectives, high lattitude seas were taken which guaranteed strong winds and a swift passage.

No one has answered my question.

Before I ask it again, let me say I have some experience. I have crossed the Pacific end to end and more, I have sailed to Vancouver Island just north of Seattle. I have had a wide range of crew novice to highly experienced. I own a vessel nearly 70 ft myself, and I have made mistakes when trying to reach a port to meet an artificial deadline.

I was crew on the Hawaii to Seattle trip and twice requested a course change that the captain denied. He was rushing to get to port for a haul out. Ten minutes later a broadside wave nearly knocked our vessel over. He finally approved a safer course after his wife screamed at him to listen.

Question: Based on winds at the time, type of vessel, and qualifications of the crew, would you have crossed the Pacific at such a high lattitude? Or, would you have dropped down to a much lower lattitude and taken longer?

....................

It took my a while to find the right term.

The command structure aboard my vessel is called a STRATOCRACY. It is a form of military rule. The commander sets the objective and gives little power and free will. There is no democratic voting.

This does not mean the crew does not have input. Safety input is actively sought.

I set one key objective: To arrive safely in port.

Notice I have said "port" and not destination. I have changed port targets when a desired or closer port appears less safe.

Since my goal is to safely arrive in port, any request is heeded if it is a safer method. If there is any doubt, it is up to me to decide if a suggested change is safer. If I disagree that it is not safer it is up to me to explain why in a very polite way.

In this "whale war" example the crew member wanted to go around a storm. Well that certainly was the safer way wasn't it? Instead the captain and crew bullied the jr crew member because they wanted to chase a whaling boat.

Well that captain in my book placed his vessel and crew at risk for an artificial objective. Rule of the sea is safety of vessel and crew first.

When a skipper is racing a vessel is this rule no longer true?

When planning a route to cross the Pacific, does this rule no longer hold?
And to answer your question, I would have definately dropped down a bit and slowed down. But then, I'm never in a race like they are.
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