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Old 21-05-2010, 08:10   #1
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Sailing with Strangers

My wife and I have been invited to go sailing by a guy in the SF Bay. In the spirit of doing our part, what should we bring or offer? I look it at it like an opportunity for a great day, how does it end up anymore than a burden for him taking out a couple that can't sail?

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Old 21-05-2010, 08:14   #2
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LOL. Bring beer and gloves.

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Old 21-05-2010, 08:22   #3
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I'd ask what you could bring for lunch and drinks. If he says nothing give him a bottle of wine or something like that.

As someone who often has people join me for either day sailing or longer cruising, showing they appreciate the experience is something I always take to heat. The opposite is true as well.
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Old 21-05-2010, 09:03   #4
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Wear non-skid non-marking shoes. Be a crew member, not a passanger.

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Old 21-05-2010, 09:50   #5
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Sunspot Baby has it right:

Be crew, not passengers or "ballast". How is it more than just a burden for him? You share the burden of operating the boat. Some people simply enjoy teaching other people. He may enjoy bringing new people to the skill and enjoyment of sailing.

There's a phrase: "90% of sailing is simply showing up". If you show up, and are enthusiastic about learning, then you're not a burden.

Wear non-marking shoes, bring a bottle of wine or rum. I usually bring Port or Sailor Jerry's. If you know that your host doesn't imbibe, then soft drinks and lunch.
Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his own brow?
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Old 21-05-2010, 09:58   #6
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Anybody that comes aboard my vessel for a day ( or multiple days) and brings good company and lunch is more than welcome. I do not enjoy it as much when they sit in the cockpit or the bow and tell me how beautiful the view is when I am running from winch to winch and wheel...
BTW the reverse is also true. I have been on a boat when the owner immediately got drunk and let my wife and me (both newbies) to pilot his 30 footer home. Not pleasant.
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Old 21-05-2010, 10:30   #7
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Forgive me if you've sailed before and know all this. Following the good advise already given will put you on the 'invite again' list. One friend I have who is always at the top of the list, brings smoked salmon and makes scrambled egg and salmon wraps for lunch along with a nice dry white wine. It could as easily be a selection of deli cold cuts and a salad. Finger food is good if it's at all rough

The message is the journey, we are sure the answer lies in the destination. But in reality, there is no station, no place to arrive at once and for all. The joy of life is the trip, and the station is a dream that constantly out distances us”. Robert Hastings, The Station
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Old 21-05-2010, 10:52   #8
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Old 21-05-2010, 11:03   #9
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1. Boat shoes (not merely "non-marking shoes") are essential. It's just bad manners to show up in your running shoes, even if they claim to be non-marking. I've had to clean up of too many "non-marking" guests, and the people who leave a trail on my non-skid are never invited back.

2. Dress warmly. Multiple layers, nothing cotton. I love it when people show up with foulies. The more you can take in terms of cold and spray, the less likely it will be that I have to cut my sailing short.

3. Please avoid bringing something that will require a large amount of fridge space. I simply haven't got it.

4. Bring a hat retainer, especially if you're going to wear a baseball cap. Nothing more annoying than having to do a hat-overboard drill because some rooking didn't realize that when you look at the masthead fly when going to weather....

5. Believe it or not, stuff a swim suit into your duffle. I don't know how many times, after a brisk sail, we've anchored in the lee of Angel Island and guests were wishing they could take a dip.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 21-05-2010, 12:33   #10
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Saturday May 22, on the SF Bay it is going to be partly cloudy and 60 degrees with winds to 12 knots. Definitely bring a warm waterproof jacket, a warm hat and some layering under the jacket. It is usually warmer and calmer in the lee of Angel Island so be prepared to shed some of those layers.

I agree that bringing food and beverages for everyone is always a nice touch.

Afterwards, stick around until the boat is clean and put away.

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Old 21-05-2010, 13:42   #11
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Once on the boat, you might also want to ask about leaving/entering the slip. "Do you want help or do you have a 'routine'?"

I know that guests are eager to help out, but I find that it's much harder and way more stressful to have new people "help" during docking maneuvers.

Fair Winds,
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Old 22-05-2010, 05:45   #12
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Once some friends brought crab stuffed mushrooms, a raspberry pie, a nice bottle of red, and some fine cigars. Ended up anchoring for half the afternoon at the Isle of Shoals, and sailing back under the stars.

They sure got invited back.
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Old 22-05-2010, 07:07   #13
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Old 25-05-2010, 08:08   #14
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Great advice all around - I think consumables are hard to go wrong with, especially if you show up with them while your car is still available and say "should I bring these aboard or leave them in the car?".

I think you've seen the common theme 'ask the owner first' and this is much more important on our boat than it ever was in our home. I would suggest to ask before you do most anything. Should I put my bag here? Can I help with that line? Would you like me to do the dishes?

(for example, on our boat, we have an annoying but attractive tile counter so we try to avoid splashing water all over it...meaning we usually prefer to do the dishes on our boat)
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Old 25-05-2010, 08:57   #15
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I am in the ask the owner crowd. You are my guest as I invited you and on my boat here is what I usually advise - considering that we are pretty space limited and underway most of the time.

Provisioning short sails
- Don't bring food unless coordinated - especially perishables. It's a PITA to have 7 kinds of chips and no sandwiches. 5 boxes of deviled eggs, cut fruit, cheesecake etc. often gets dumped due to no cold storage (reefer)
- Bring drinks - plenty of what you like plus bottled water. Beer fine. No glass bottled beer - the bottles are hard to dispose, bulky and can break
- Bottled wine and hard liquor is the exception for glass. Bring plastic cups and wine glasses not glass. At anchor glass could be OK but we will be under sail most of the day.
- Don't bring a cooler - I have one, it has plenty of room and ice. Two coolers takes up too much space. You can bring an insulated carry bag for your food if you like.
- Hat, sunscreen, jacket etc. appropriate for the weather forecast. Don't buy sailing gloves unless you already have them. (I always have spare hats, gloves and sunblock anyway)
- Shoes? I am OK with running shoes, deck shoes, boat shoes, sandals. No "hard" marking shoes. But it's OK if you show up with the wrong shoes you will be going barefoot for the day - LOL.

Provisioning longer sails
We have a 6 hour cruise coming up with 6 adults. In these cases provisioning is only slightly more complex.

- I buy Subway sandwiches on the way to the boat. Alternately I buy ribs from the Deli or another main course for our "meal of the trip"
- I also lay in some snacks for the day
- You bring snacks, chips, nuts, anything you like for the day - I am partial to cut up fruit and cut up veggies. I prefer not having to "prepare" on the boat underway and I prefer predominantly finger foods.
- Drinks - Everyone brings "what you plan to consume" and a little more. We dump it all in the cooler and share it all. If everyone brings enough for everyone we have 6 times the stuff we need

Everything else about the same.

Helping on the boat
- If you want to help ask. I will size you up pretty quick with some Q&A and decide what you are capable of.
- The most important briefing is docking. The main rule is never put any part of yourself between the boat and anything else. If I have doubts about your ability I will ask you not to help in docking and at that time have a seat and wait until the boat is tied up. For some reason people are in a big hurry to get on the dock - weird or maybe I scare them - LOL
- I'll brief on lifejackets, sailing plan, what happens in bad weather, where to sit and stand.
- I will say that I will be direct when talking boat handling, won't yell unless safety is involved and that ambiguous communications are undesired and can be dangerous - nothing personal.

OK - another rant by Ex-Calif...Got on a roll

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