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Old 23-05-2019, 08:32   #31
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

My perspective comes from being both a sailor and a pilot. A pilot who built his own aircraft. The reason I mention this is my experience with nervous passengers, homebuilt aircraft are not every ones cup of tea. I found a good safety briefing helped provide a certain level of comfort and assurance if conducted properly. On our boat we start with basics, pfd, the boom, the toilet, etc. In addition if we get novices who wish to participate in sailing I give a complete briefing on how to wrap a winch keeping fingers away and having the heal of your hand towards the winch. Never wrapping a line around your hand etc.The prospect of losing a finger or breaking a hand tends to focus the listener on the briefing. Although it might appear as if we are scaring passengers, I believe we are demonstrating proficiency and concern for the safety of our passengers, again if conducted properly. A good briefing can improve the experience of your passengers.
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Old 25-05-2019, 04:50   #32
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

It's been a few years since I read a skipper's cry for help. He was in Dover on an old 72"wooden ketch, the engine was broken, the owner and a young guy were without any experience. I flew from Germany to London, on to Dover. When I got a welcome beer and still with the can in hand he said to me that he had to check into the masts. I secured him at work and when he finished he said to me: You're my co-skipper.
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Old 25-05-2019, 09:02   #33
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt Pat View Post
I'm a licensed master, and I've skippered a variety of crew sizes and sailing missions. Most have been ferry jobs: other people's pride-and-joy taken to or returned from boat yards or "fly-out" destinations. Occasionally, the owners are among the crew.



I'm retired from NASA Ames Research Center, where Cockpit (now termed "Crew") Resource Management (CRM) was invented. Being also a commercial pilot, I appreciate how that approach and risk management framework has gone a long way toward making commercial flight safer. In a nutshell, it replaces the "Captain is God" approach with safety responsibility shared among all the crew. With that in mind, here is my initial crew briefing (which I try to keep true to its name -- brief):



"As captain, I am accountable for everything that occurs aboard this vessel. In an emergency, when there is no time for debate, commands will come from me. I expect them to be followed.



(In a much gentler tone) But the whole point of prudent seamanship is to avoid emergencies. Everyone aboard this vessel is responsible for safety.



Since I have only one set of eyes and I depend on each of you for the safe conduct of this voyage -- if you see something, say something. If you think something is being overlooked or faulty information is being acted upon, speak up before it becomes an emergency."
I don't think I have ever read a better brief to crew than your example.
Well organized contrast of responsibility, challenging and succinct .
Thank you!
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Old 27-05-2019, 06:51   #34
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

I am the Captain on a 150 passenger party boat and give a similar crew briefing to yours before every cruise. I like the way you've worded some of the briefing so will use it in the future.

I also ask the crew (especially if we have new members) what their 3 main priorities are on our cruise today. After usually several incorrect answers, we eventually get around to -

#1 - Passenger safety. Every crew member should do everything in their power to keep our passengers safe.

#2 - Safety of the vessel. Immediately report any actions or observations that may affect the safety of our vessel.

#3 - Passengers should be having fun. Smile and be nice! If you are grumpy or out of sorts, go home.

Thanks for bringing up this subject.
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Old 27-05-2019, 07:00   #35
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

Having earned my stripes working on Eco tour boats in Florida, many " real captains" saw me as a Guppie and , being female making it worse, did not take me seriously.

My initial crew briefing usually ends with " I wasn't always a Captain, I used to be a vet tech. So if any of you piss me off, I will use the gaff to neuter you"
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Old 27-05-2019, 07:12   #36
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

I do brief people too but my feeling is not enough. Recently nearly wrecked a boat due to my own complacency / stupidity / you name it.


I want to say I can brief my crews no end but who will brief me (aka the captain)? (or at least, whack me with a hammer now and then to remind me that common sense is less common as we gain 'experience' and 'sea miles).


Love,
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Old 27-05-2019, 07:50   #37
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

I acquaint them with the boom and it's destructive potential

I show them how to use the head (instructions are also posted nearby)

I tell them that all the ropes (lines) they see in the cockpit are not there for decorative purposes, and please don't sit on them.

I let them know that the cockpit does double duty. It's there for sitting, but there's no place you can sit where you won't find yourself in the way at some point as the captain operates the boat.

In the unlikely event the captain says "move" without saying please, don't look at him with a perplexed look on your face. Just move.

Stay on the boat.

For non sailors: You are welcome onboard as a passenger, but you're also welcome to help sail. If the latter, I'll show you a couple of tasks so you'll be ready when the time comes.

Make yourself at home on the boat.
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Old 27-05-2019, 08:04   #38
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

I’m a licensed Master also (1600 GT upon Oceans) I also always include what the crew’s assigned duties are in the event of an emergency. I make sure they know where fire extinguishers and abandon ship equipment is. I think risk management depends on perspective and for those new to sailing, their perspective is very different then mine likely. I also emphasize the team approach
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Old 27-05-2019, 12:20   #39
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

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I don't sail with idiots as crew (except possibly when I'm single-handed).
I laughed so hard—I pulled a muscle. I'm gonna steal this phrase for my brief.
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Old 27-05-2019, 15:03   #40
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
I do brief people too but my feeling is not enough. Recently nearly wrecked a boat due to my own complacency / stupidity / you name it.


I want to say I can brief my crews no end but who will brief me (aka the captain)? (or at least, whack me with a hammer now and then to remind me that common sense is less common as we gain 'experience' and 'sea miles).


Love,
b.

Great point!

We recently had a near miss that resulted from an improper watch handover during an overnight passage. Had the AP course not been offset from the destination group of islands (hours earlier when we were 60 miles away) we would have crashed as we came up to the islands more quickly than anticipated.

So a passage making brief is also required that goes a bit further about sailing and boat management. Ours now includes watch handovers! And a kick up the ass to me.
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Old 29-05-2019, 08:28   #41
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpt Pat View Post
I'm a licensed master, and I've skippered a variety of crew sizes and sailing missions. Most have been ferry jobs: other people's pride-and-joy taken to or returned from boat yards or "fly-out" destinations. Occasionally, the owners are among the crew.



I'm retired from NASA Ames Research Center, where Cockpit (now termed "Crew") Resource Management (CRM) was invented. Being also a commercial pilot, I appreciate how that approach and risk management framework has gone a long way toward making commercial flight safer. In a nutshell, it replaces the "Captain is God" approach with safety responsibility shared among all the crew. With that in mind, here is my initial crew briefing (which I try to keep true to its name -- brief):



"As captain, I am accountable for everything that occurs aboard this vessel. In an emergency, when there is no time for debate, commands will come from me. I expect them to be followed.



(In a much gentler tone) But the whole point of prudent seamanship is to avoid emergencies. Everyone aboard this vessel is responsible for safety.



Since I have only one set of eyes and I depend on each of you for the safe conduct of this voyage -- if you see something, say something. If you think something is being overlooked or faulty information is being acted upon, speak up before it becomes an emergency."
Thats a very short safety breifing.
I would add the Following points.

This is a VHF Radio, and this is how it works. Cheat sheet is next to it.

I would do the same with all communication equipement availlable on board.

Do point out the fire extinguishers and how to use them.

All safety and Survival equipement is to be properly identified, located and cheat sheets attached.


I aslo have an emergy plan manual in easy reach for crew to consult.
Has a skipper yes you are responsible, but what if the skipper gets injured, sick, falls overboard or worst case dies, This will assure that your crew is safe even if you are not.
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Old 29-05-2019, 09:58   #42
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flagman101 View Post
Thats a very short safety breifing.
I would add the Following points.

This is a VHF Radio, and this is how it works. Cheat sheet is next to it.

I would do the same with all communication equipement availlable on board.

Do point out the fire extinguishers and how to use them.

All safety and Survival equipement is to be properly identified, located and cheat sheets attached.


I aslo have an emergy plan manual in easy reach for crew to consult.
Has a skipper yes you are responsible, but what if the skipper gets injured, sick, falls overboard or worst case dies, This will assure that your crew is safe even if you are not.
I think you and others are missing the point of Pat's excellent Brief.
It is an introductory explanation/clarification of the Philosophy of Command structure and crew's responsibility to always think safe.

It is not a substitute for the ongoing education and training of crew in all matters relating to safe operation and/or procedures in dealing with marine emergencies.

To supplement further discussions and drills, a Safety and Information Manual in the form of an executive summary for your vessel is a most useful binder to make up for crew to reference.
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Old 29-05-2019, 10:13   #43
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flagman101 View Post
Thats a very short safety breifing.
I would add the Following points.

This is a VHF Radio, and this is how it works. Cheat sheet is next to it.

I would do the same with all communication equipement availlable on board.

Do point out the fire extinguishers and how to use them.

All safety and Survival equipement is to be properly identified, located and cheat sheets attached.


I aslo have an emergy plan manual in easy reach for crew to consult.
Has a skipper yes you are responsible, but what if the skipper gets injured, sick, falls overboard or worst case dies, This will assure that your crew is safe even if you are not.
Yes, but that's the safety briefing - which in my preference is given just after the initial briefing. I want first to establish who is responsible and accountable for what -- and that everyone is responsible for safety. The intent is to set what is called a "safety culture" aboard. Failure to set that foundation, in my experience and observation, causes crew to daydream through the safety briefing just like most folks do during safety briefings when they are airline passengers. The crew, especially the more experienced crew members, tend to dismiss the safety briefing thinking: "yeah, yeah, I've heard this all before." The next time you get aboard a commercial flight, just watch how many people actually look at the emergency and evacuation plan card. That dismissive attitude is what I'm trying to prevent and correct.

I give the safety briefing more than once, accompanied by drills and demonstrations. I first describe where all the safety items are. Then I expect the crew to tell me where those items are, how they work, and under what conditions they are used. Smoke doesn't always call for using the extinguisher, for example. The spraying the chemical extinguishers inappropriately is as destructive as putting out a fire with a sledge hammer. The first exercise is MOB.

So far as who-does-what, I post a RACI matrix with all the crew names showing:

Responsible
Accountable
Consulted
Informed

Under "Safety," every crew member is listed (including me, of course).

Establishing who's responsible for what goes a long way toward preventing bickering, or worse: the "I thought you did that" conflicts that can lead to safety lapses leading to catastrophes.
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Old 29-05-2019, 10:52   #44
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

G'day Cpt Pat,
I sailed overnight charters in Qld, often with a different crew every trip. I asked them how long they'd been aboard and if they had done the trip before, If so where's the best destinations and anchorage.
Made them feel important and saved me a bit of work.
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Old Yesterday, 16:20   #45
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Re: What is your initial crew briefing?

And remember this, all ye who board this vessel:
All things aboard this Ship are in the process of breaking down. Aging, decaying, and rotting. Unwanted fissures are appearing and processes are grinding to a halt. The slow rhythmic march towards entropy cannot be stopped! Accept all of this with grace and knowledge of the inevitable, which will liberate you from angst of the eventual outcome. You know how this ends. So smile in the face of it – enjoy the now.


Of course, my aspiring Sailor, by now you should realize all that is about us...not this kind Old Sailboat. This vessel? Hell! She will outlast anybody who has ever stepped aboard. Understand the basics below, and she will take care of you as she has taken care of me.

Top 3 dangers aboard:

1) Falling overboard into the water or falling down the stairs. (aka feeling stupid or seriously hurt)
2) Taking on water (aka you yelling “we’re sinking!” and jumping into the water)
3) Fire (aka you yelling “fire” and jumping into the water)


To stay safe, learn the following:


1) Always keep one hand firmly gripped onto something solid. Never hop across / over things. Step deliberately. Everything is very slippery when wet. Falling is your biggest risk aboard the boat. Your biggest danger of falling is not during a storm or high winds, it’s when the weather is calm and you aren’t paying attention. Or while docking, or docked.


2) To stop the boat for any reason, learn how to:
-release sails
-kill engine
-release anchor
3) To save the boat from sinking or fire, learn how to:
-use the bilge pump
-use fire extinguishers
4) To call for help, verify VHF is on channel 16:
-say “mayday, mayday, mayday”
-give name, situation , location (coordinates from GPS) and describe any signal devices used
-use strobe light, flares, flags, shirts, etc.
5) Learn location of first aid kit
(over)
6) General Stuff:
-Never panic. (The Sea smells fear)
-If in doubt, ask.
-Everything will get wet.
-If something is broken, please let the Captain know.
-The Captain loves you, but his priorities are: 1) Move the vessel safely 2) Navigate safely 3) Entertain you




(The formatting above is bad, but it's actually a nicely formatted pdf I email to guests ahead of time. It always gets a chuckle, but is really serious. We go over the steps while on board. We do a "walk thru talk thru" of everything once.


PS: Airhead toilet for the win! Sure it has trade-offs, but fretting about guests blowing up the head isn't one)
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