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Old 06-09-2010, 12:24   #16
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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
For me it's:-


who understands that their is a difference between Skipper and Crew

Not taking any instructions personally
Not needing to be entertained 24/7 (yer crew, not a guest )


Sounds like the architypical BOSS / SLAVE arrangement.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:37   #17
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Sounds like the architypical BOSS / SLAVE arrangement.
Oh no. that's a very different arrangement
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:41   #18
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Good crew:
* never get seasick
* never show up late for watch
* never fall asleep on watch
* never clog a head
* don't reprogram the nav instruments

A word about that last item. When I crew on a boat that's using a different orientation than I usually use--whether it's "head up" vs "north up," fathoms vs meters, true wind vs apparent wind, water depth vs clearance--I force myself to adapt to the boat's standard. If this isn't something you can do on my boat, then I don't want you on my boat. This is especially true if your way is better than my way, because on my boat, my way is the only way.
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Old 06-09-2010, 12:52   #19
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Oh no. that's a very different arrangement

Yeah, trust you, and I bet there is a goat involved somewhere too.
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Old 06-09-2010, 16:53   #20
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Yeah, trust you, and I bet there is a goat involved somewhere too.
Maybe......

But your initial response does show up one of the major factors - personal desires

What I consider is good crew may not be anothers (and vice verce) and both of us may be right. Problems come when folks are unable or unwilling to adapt. or are not willing to live with less than the ideal.
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Old 06-09-2010, 17:15   #21
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Its a two way street and has to suit both parties for best results
Wise words. Everybody has expectations. Some of them are expected and some of them are sought. When the seek to expectation ratio rises the reasonableness of the situation improves. This diminishes as a function of time. Thus the rule that no idiot can be tolerated forever.

Keep your enemies closer and your goats locked up.

Be careful for what you ask for. Having it in writing is not the same as getting it at sea. (it's a goat rule corollary)
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Old 06-09-2010, 17:19   #22
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Lot's of good comments so far.

I might add...a willingness and desire to learn...and once a skill is learned...the ability to anticipate...( not having to be told, everytime )

One example...if we're coming into a dock...a skipper should only have to say whether it's a port or starboard tie-up.

Docklines get prepared, fenders go out, boat pole is out, gate gets opened...etc etc.
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Old 06-09-2010, 18:15   #23
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Crew that is serious, as David said, putting the needs of the boat and voyage above other concerns and always willing to pitch in on whatever is needed. And some sense of humor that keeps them from taking themselves tooo seriously. Of course, some Captains might take themselves a bit too seriously as well.

In my training squadron before deployment, the Ops officer, Maj. Gordon, was an engineer by training and loved to delve into the charts and graphs of technical performance data on the aircraft, and did it for his own pleasure and preparation. He was a good-natured man and a good officer but a meticulous man who's bombardier/navigator crew was a bright Lt. Larry who had a wry sense of humor. Crew Lt. Larry kept up with his Capt., even tho' he thought the techie bit was over the top, so he thought to lay a snare for Maj. Gordon for a giggle. Knowing Maj. Gordon always asked for the outside air temp as soon as they reached altitude, one day Lt. Larry told him it was -40. Maj. Gordon asked whether that was Fahrenheit or Celsius. Lt. Larry said, what's the difference? Maj. Gordon was sent into a spasm only to find out that -40 is where the two scales cross. Completely dished, but in a really funny and charming way that became a good story for lo these many years later.
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Old 06-09-2010, 18:32   #24
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- 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

When I am offered to crew on a new boat I google all I can about the boat. I try to learn the rig and how the boat is set up. I try to learn how to sail it from the armchair.

I may be brought on as rail meat but the trimmer may not show up. If I know in theory how to trim the genny or the main I just got promoted on my first day.

I show up early and I take some time to learn "the ropes" - i.e. how the boat is set up and where all the lines are run.
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Old 06-09-2010, 18:46   #25
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Assuming the skipper is the "managing owner", he/she has the legal responsibility for the safety of the vessel, the crew and any damage done by the vessel to any other vessel, shore facilities or to the environment. In addition, the skipper has invested tens of thousands of dollars in the vessel while the crew has invested nothing. It is therefore incumbent on the crew to understand their position in the chain of command. This comes naturally to the vast majority of people. However, I have come to understand that there are certain individuals who, having been Capt. Bligh on their own boat and are none to happy to sail as Lt. Bligh on another person's boat. This unhappiness presents itself in a snarky "this is how I would do that on my boat" monologue. Unfortunately, even though the advise may be sound, it ends up being unwelcome especially if deivered in the presence of other crew. In short, if another boat owner offers to crew, one should proceed with caution.
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:15   #26
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1. Can do the job.
2. Will do the job.
3. Good chemistry with the the rest of the crew.
4. If not ok on #1, willing to learn.

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Old 07-09-2010, 08:01   #27
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doen't need ot be asked to do something needing to be done...
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:02   #28
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Great thread!!

#1) Keeps a good watch, everything else can be dealt with but if you cannot keep a good watch you are worthless as a crew member (IMHO).
#2) Can follow orders in a timely precise manner.
#3) Is on deck when needed (a crew you rarely have to say "get up on deck" when something is going wrong)
#4) Easy going attitude and learns the ways of the vessel quickly.


*Keeps a good watch means
a) checking the horizon (time dictated by traffic), checks 360 degrees every time. They do not push the time limit on horizon scans for collision avoidance.
b) Wakes the captain when unsure of the situation, be it reefing, possible collision, or needing to be away from the helm longer than collision avoidance allows.
c) Will admit if he/she cannot stay awake for their watch, honesty is the best policy for this situation! Better to be censored by the captain then "dead by tanker".
c) Is ready for watch with all needed essential (coffee, flashlight, knife etc) so doesn't have to rummage below when everyone is sleeping.


Sorry so long winded,
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:05   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
- 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 up.
-- 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.
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Old 07-09-2010, 08:08   #30
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And the mirror to this, a Good Skipper:

1. Always says please, even when it's an order.
2. Never shouts.
3. Does his own job skillfully and safely.
4. Is hospitable.
5. Works as hard as the crew.
6. Has the boat well prepared and supplied beforehand.
7. Shares his knowledge with the crew, and thinks about the crew's getting experience at different jobs. Asks the crew what they want to experience and what they want to learn.
8. Writes up the cruise carefully for the crew's sea time log.
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