Originally Posted by Ex-Calif
- Good personality. Gets on well in a team
- Doesn't overstep authority or boundaries - plays position
- Passionate about learning
- Passionate about teaching other crew mates
- Helpful underway and on the dock
- Good retention - Don't make the skipper give the same lesson every week
- Prepared in advance
- Thick skin - Most skippers are a--holes
- Sets about cheerfully doing all the dirty jobs on board without being asked (the good skipper will pitch
in and do them side by side with the crew, but good crew's behavior does not depend on skipper being good) -- crewing
is a JOB, even if it's our passion and our vacation
, too (just like the skipper's role is a job, and even more so), and should be treated like a job first and foremost.
- Doesn't relax after a passage
before lines are in order and things are shipshape everywhere
- Keeps him- or herself busy -- doesn't relax and watch the skipper work
- Doesn't make a mess in the galley
(on the contrary, proactively keeps the galley
in perfect order).
- May not be a consummate seaman (good attitude and personality is much more important in a non-racing role IMHO) but has at least gone to the trouble to learn three or four knots. A crewman who can't tie a fender
on is a real problem on most boats, because the skipper can't pilot the boat into the dock and demonstrate knots at the same time.
- Does not drink up the ship's rum
locker -- if he or she has not been asked to contribute to expenses (and on our boat we provide provisions), he or she will at least add as much in the way of liquid stores as he or she consumes.
- On that theme, does not get drunker than the skipper under any circumstances.
- Preferably does not smoke, or if he/she does smoke, at least, does not tip ashes on the teak deck
(common sense, but it is amazing how often this has happened on our boat).
- Does not rush off after a cruise
without helping with post-cruise cleaning
-- DOES ask for time at the helm
and to be taught new skills -- that is every crew's privilege
, in my opinion.
We've had a number of crewmen found sight unseen on crew lists, often on short notice and without much screening. This is a bigger risk than a blind Internet
date, for the simple reason that a blind date can be ended on a half-hour's notice, whereas you're generally stuck with a bad crewman for a week or however long your cruise
lasts. We've been quite lucky so far, especially in the good personality department, where all the crewmen this year have scored full marks. We have enjoyed the company of all the crew we've had this year, and that's probably the most important thing of all! One of them was even an excellent seaman, an unexpected bonus; another was not, but he was mechanically apt and made a great contribution to fixing things on board. You meet a better sort of person at sea, and in our experience that includes crewmen.