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View Poll Results: Your experience with extra crew
Love doing it, its a normal part of cruising for me 4 66.67%
Its ok but its hard finding the right person 1 16.67%
I prefer not to as it can be very hard work 2 33.33%
Extra crew have destroyed my life and run off with my partner 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 23-01-2011, 16:15   #1
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Taking on Crew: What's Your Experience

We are thinking about taking on a third person for our Tasman sea crossing. What has been your experince of having 1 extra person onboard.

We are a couple and sail that way as we like our space and the peace and quite it brings.

Damien
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Old 23-01-2011, 17:32   #2
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There was a thread a while aog started as a reult of a nightmare experience one of our posters had. You might give a search for it.
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Old 23-01-2011, 18:00   #3
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I don't think I would take a stranger of unknown provenance... if they came recommended by somebody whos opinion I trusted, maybe...
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Old 23-01-2011, 18:32   #4
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Originally Posted by Weyalan View Post
I don't think I would take a stranger of unknown provenance... if they came recommended by somebody whos opinion I trusted, maybe...
Two observations:

Accepting a stranger on your boat for a passage is like picking up a hitch-hiker in your car.

Human nature requires that we all inflate our level of experience for any and everything.
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Old 23-01-2011, 19:26   #5
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Used to do deliveries and was always looking for a hand. Only a couple of times did I pick up a totally unknown crew member. Usually they were friends of friends so I at least knew they weren't ax murders or worse.

Most of the time it worked out quite well. Never had a nightmare like the previous thread referenced but did have a couple of crew that were worthless but not dangerous.
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Old 23-01-2011, 19:30   #6
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Do it. By day 5, sleep deprivation will well and truley have hit in and you will be more than happy to be able to go off watch and let some one else stay up and keep watch.

I was the third on a trip from gladstone to NZ years back. It was much more comfy than two people trying to do 3 hours on 3 hours off etc. Yuck. Plus you make a new freind and have new and different coversations- you have a new set of ears to tell the old war stories too lol.. Just make sure its someone who knows sailing and knows it well.

The only downside will be space on your boat. You will have to respect his/her berth as a private domain for the period they are on board.

Ask around clubs, sailing schools (instructors wanting to up the hours) marinas etc.

Cheers
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Old 23-01-2011, 20:01   #7
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IMHO, the bottom line is, you are vulnerable. It may just be that you are vulnerable to an annoying personality, but that can make for a pretty unhappy/unpleasant experience.

I needed crew once. There were only 2 of us and we needed 1 more. My other crew member who is much more experienced than me had only a couple of guildlines that I think helped. PM me for those because somebody here might fit into the "not recommended" list.

I compromised my own guildlines and it would up biteing me in the..

Get resumes and references. Also Google your perspective crew member. Some one Google me once when I was looking for a rides share. I was amazed at what they found. They took what they found on Google and networked beyond the references I had given them.
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Old 23-01-2011, 20:35   #8
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We don't take strangers on U.D. Prefer to sail our boat ourselves. Don't know if you can get any decent sleep with an inknown factir on watch.
Will take people out for daysauls or weekend coastal sail to help people get experience.
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Old 23-01-2011, 22:12   #9
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I can be quite picking (not fussy) but I dont want 'that annoying guy' on board with my wife and me for 3-4 weeks, I do like the idea of meeting someone new and being able to really get to know them (not just surface level chit chat). I wouldn't want someone disrespectful and I liked that respecting their berth as their space for the duration of the stay was mentioned. It seams like a simple concept but im sure it makes their trip more pleasant.

Im keen to see what others stay on this topic.

P.S yes i remember reading the extra crew member from hell thread but i also thought that surely that must be the exception and not the rule.
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Old 23-01-2011, 22:35   #10
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Quote:
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P.S yes i remember reading the extra crew member from hell thread but i also thought that surely that must be the exception and not the rule.
It does not have to be as extreme as the "crew member from hell" thread to make things unpleasant. As a livaboard there were plenty of examples of people living too close that were just difficult and many people wanted to throttle them. In an office or in a shop, the more people you pack into a situation, the more likely that sombody is going to be difficult.

Since I'm a difficult person you can trust me on that. I still have the rope burn around my neck from the angry mob's attempt to make things clear to me.
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Old 23-01-2011, 23:10   #11
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Accepting a stranger on your boat for a passage is like picking up a hitch-hiker in your car.

No. It is not. I regularly pick up hitch-hikers. The difference is that hitchikers do not participate as an integral part of a working crew to ensure the safe function of my car and my safe arrival at my destination....
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Old 24-01-2011, 00:31   #12
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No. It is not. I regularly pick up hitch-hikers. The difference is that hitchikers do not participate as an integral part of a working crew to ensure the safe function of my car and my safe arrival at my destination....
When I'd drive nonstop from the SF Bay to Boise, Idaho I'd pull off the highway at Reno, Nevada and pick up a hitch-hiker to share the duties of driving while I took a nap. Their were always 20 or so waiting on the on- ramp trying to get back home after loseing all their money.

When I was a newbie to sailing I'd hook boat rides and/or coastal deliveries whenever I could. I can relate many tales of incompenat boatowners and captains who almost lost their boats and/or crew. Twice the boat I was on was adrift 100 miles off the coast of California, no wind and no fuel.

Which begs the question; how do you tell if the boatowner/captain has enough experience to get my hinny back to dry land.
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Old 24-01-2011, 00:56   #13
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Two observations:

Accepting a stranger on your boat for a passage is like picking up a hitch-hiker in your car.

Human nature requires that we all inflate our level of experience for any and everything.
I do it all the time. In most cases the skill level is far below what is advertised, but that is generally not a problem. In no case have I ever had a bad experience on a personal level, in fact, on the contrary, all of my randomly chosen crew have been great company and a pleasure to have on board.
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Old 24-01-2011, 02:37   #14
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I do it all the time. In most cases the skill level is far below what is advertised, but that is generally not a problem. In no case have I ever had a bad experience on a personal level, in fact, on the contrary, all of my randomly chosen crew have been great company and a pleasure to have on board.
I'll second that....... never had any significant personality problems but have had crew who overstate their levels of competence and who omit to mention their problems with sea sickness.

Go for it!
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Old 24-01-2011, 02:59   #15
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A lot depends on the person, their background, certified abilities and checkable references.

You need to go with your own instincts, but if a candidate without sterling references was being considered, I would insist they spend at least 2 days with you at the dock, going thru the boat systems, testing them on their abilities and finding out if they can follow direction, without any sense of friction.

At the end, if either one of you feels negative vibes about sailing with that person. Say no!

It is hard to fake it for 2 days of concentrated interaction
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