Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 25-11-2017, 08:19   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 10
Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

Happy Thanksgiving all. Has anyone posted a "Volunteer Crewing for Dummies" or "How not to be a total clown on your first delivery" post? I'm sure some of you Captains have horror stories about experiences with crew.

I work full time and don't have a ton of vacation days to do a delivery. But I watch this forum for opportunities to do a shorter Chesapeake Bay/East Coast delivery that I can fit in to a week or so of leave.

So that I don't look like a total idiot, or waste the Captain's time with a ton of new guy questions, does anyone want to pass along some guidance for new crew?

-What to bring/what not to bring (do I bring my own first aid stuff? Basic tools? If I show up with a tablet and computer to pass the time does that give a bad impression, etc)

-I know we're not racing but is weight ever an issue? Can I pack enough stuff for random contingencies or is the goal to be a minimalist?

-Usually the Captains say food is provided...should crew still bring along their own snacks? Beer (if not alcohol free trip.)

-Is it safe to assume we'll be using the owner's heads as little as possible? ie don't plan on showers.

-bring my own bedding?

-Assume a watch schedule of 3-4 hours on; 3-4 hours helping cook, clean, maintain; and 3-4 hours sleep?

I am currently working on gaining as much sailing experience as I can. Once I have my sea time I'll get my Captain's license and I hope to start getting my foot in the door for deliveries. Ultimately I'd like to do some delivery work in retirement. In the meantime I'm hoping to volunteer for a delivery or two every year during vacation time.

Anything you can pass along as tips for new crew will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
__________________

__________________
The Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2017, 08:44   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
JohnEasley's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2016
Location: Palmetto, FL
Boat: "Yacht-a Yacht-a" -- 1986 Chris Craft 42' Catalina 426 Aft Cabin
Posts: 363
Images: 4
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

__________________

__________________
JohnEasley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2017, 08:57   #3
Registered User
 
Suijin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Annapolis MD; currently in Oriental NC
Boat: Valiant 40
Posts: 2,892
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

Most all of those issues vary from boat to boat and captain to captain. My general $.02 worth:

- Make sure you're properly equipped. Personal safety gear, appropriate outer wear and deck wear, sun protection, cold protection. Few things chafe you as a captain other than crew showing up missing vital, obvious gear.

- Bring as little as reasonably possible. It also chafes you to have crew show up with everything they own, multiple big bags that just makes stowage a problem. The less stuff you bring the easier it is to stow, find, keep track of, etc. It's usually not weight that's the issue, it's space, at least as far as personal gear goes.

- Extra food. If you have some dietary requirement, bring what you need to satisfy it. If you bring extra food just for pleasure, expect to share it.

- You should not have to bring first aid stuff, but obviously bring personal medications. I also insist that crew inform me, in confidence, of any medical condition that might be a factor during the trip. You should not need to being tools, although a decent boat knife is a requirement and a Leatherman-like tool is good to have.

- You use the head. Showers are subject to the water situation. Bring baby wipes if you're concerned and the situation is potentially unclear.

- Bedding. Having your own sleep sack and pillow case is never a bad idea. I also suggest a personal microfiber towel.

- Watch schedules vary depending on number of crew, who's doing what, and the captains preference for the schedule. Don't assume anything as there are lots of different approaches. Ask.
__________________
Suijin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2017, 09:47   #4
Registered User
 
SVRocinante's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Where ever the wind blows - Currently Herrington Harbour North
Boat: Hanse, 400e - 40ft
Posts: 163
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

Suijin hit the nail on the head!

I would emphasize these 2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
- Make sure you're properly equipped. Personal safety gear, appropriate outerwear and deck wear, sun protection, cold protection.

- Bring as little as reasonably possible.
It also never hurts to tell the captain what you're planning to bring and ask if there is anything else they might suggest as opposed to simply asking "What should I bring?"

Another thought is to make sure you're aware of basic seamanship "rules" and follow them - e.g. never leave the cockpit at night when you're the only person on watch... don't be concerned about waking someone to come topside if you do need to go forward to take care of something.

It will make the captain's job a heck of a lot easier if he/she sees that they don't have to watch your every move to make sure everyone stays safe.
__________________
Carlos & Maria
S/V Rocinante
SVRocinante is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2017, 09:51   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 10
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

Thanks guys. Exactly what I'm looking for.
__________________
The Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2017, 12:47   #6
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,673
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

One other thing:

No hard luggage. A small day pack, or duffle.

Some crew bring their PLB's. (Personal Locator Beacon). They have their limitations, and I don't use one, but some people prefer to have one. Some would say they are must haves. In fact, your skipper might be one of them.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-11-2017, 12:55   #7
Registered User
 
Suijin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Annapolis MD; currently in Oriental NC
Boat: Valiant 40
Posts: 2,892
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

Just another note on the "questions for captains" front.

A crew member that asks when they don't know, even if it amounts to hundreds of questions per day, is an absolute delight compared to the crew member that thinks that they know everything, or doesn't ask because they're embarrassed about revealing their ignorance.

The more questions a crew member asks, the more I come to understand what they know and what they don't know, which helps me understand their capabilities and expertise. That's extremely valuable information to a captain. I can have some confidence about what I can task them with and what I cannot. It also establishes a pattern of dialogue that makes information exchange much easier and more comfortable.

If you present yourself as inexperienced and the captain takes you on, it's their responsibility to educate you within reason. That's why you're joining as crew, and if they don't understand that and don't have the right disposition to tutor you and help you learn then for God's sake find out beforehand and find another ride lol.
__________________
Suijin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2017, 05:10   #8
Registered User
 
ranger42c's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maryland, USA
Boat: 42' Sportfish
Posts: 2,984
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

It's useful if crew members know about how to handle lines at docks.

The Captain should brief everyone on the plan du jour when approaching a landing, make sure everyone understands, etc... and ideally he/she will outline Plans B, C, D, etc. as well.

But if crew know and understand the terminology, and how to use various lines to augment the helm's ability to land the boat... things can often go slightly better, first time.

Some reading might include Chapman's, and especially everything there is to know about spring lines, warping, etc.

-Chris
__________________
Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2017, 09:08   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2014
Boat: Hylas 54
Posts: 85
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

One thing that could be problematic is that you are trying to fit some sailing into finite time frames. There is nothing worse from a captains POV than a crew member who needs to leave or return to make it back to work, pick up the dog, make a flight etc etc. Flexibility on timing is a big plus when selecting crew.
__________________
Hobiehobie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2017, 09:12   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 10
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

Agree that is a challenge. Fortunately my job is flexible enough that if we get stuck, I'm just using up more vacation days than planned.
__________________
The Traveler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2017, 10:11   #11
Registered User
 
hamburking's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Kingston Ont Canada
Boat: Looking for my next boat!
Posts: 2,148
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

RULE #1: The captain is always right.

RULE #2: When the captain is wrong, RULE #1 applies.

Remember this always, and you will be fine.

Here are my own personal additions:

RULE #3: BE NICE!

RULE #4: When everyone else is being an a-hole, apply RULE #3. This is often very difficult to do, but absolutely necessary.

And please don't bring that large, hard sided "spinner" suitcase, unless you plan to sit in it and row yourself ashore.
__________________
hamburking is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2017, 12:21   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: LA/northern Utah/Wisconsin/Chicago
Boat: Hans Christian 38 Mk II
Posts: 27
Images: 1
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

There's always the challenge of sailing with a dummy: One who argues that the captain is always wrong, has no gear, destroys equipment and harmony. Last minute crew picks for the Haha based on a cute as$ can (and do) turn out disastrously. Too bad i didn't have an anchor to spare.
Dancing on my deck as the next dummy took her off my hands was fun though.
__________________
AndyEss is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2017, 13:12   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,374
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

Years ago when I was doing deliveries I often picked up green crew. A couple of times I took friends that had never even been on a sailboat before the trip.

Most of them worked out great. A couple didn't. Based on that experience my take, several already mentioned. However, for anything always discuss with the captain beforehand.

- Pack light, pack in a soft bag, no suitcases. However, packing light doesn't mean leaving essential stuff behind to minimize your baggage. Bring your own weather gear">foul weather gear and a good boating knife or your favorite multi-tool. Generally other safety gear should be supplied on the boat but if you have it then ask the captain. Except for a knife tools should be on the boat.

- Bring any meds including seasickness pills if you want/need them. Be sure to inform the captain if any serious prescription meds or medical conditions, especially any that might make you drowsy or effect judgement. Make sure they are in the original bottle with the prescription. Note that medical marijuana doesn't count so leave that at home. There are some states that don't go along and the feds definitely are not on board.

- Phones and a reasonable sized laptop or tablet are probably fine but check with the captain on his/her preferences and definitely ask about charging. Bring 12V chargers since 120V AC is often not available.

- If you have a personal set of binoculars you might want to bring those.

- 100% agree that asking questions is essential. Don't be afraid of showing your inexperience, an experienced skipper will figure it out anyway.

- Yes the captain is always right until he/she isn't. 99.9% of the time you should listen and follow orders but there are idiots out there on boats. If the skipper crunches the boat due to a screwup that's one thing. But if you see something that is clearly dangerous and could result in your own demise then speak up or bail out.

- Food. The situation will vary from boat to boat and trip to trip. If food is supplied just exercise restraint. Don't go up on the night watch and eat all the cookies on board the first night. Doesn't hurt if you want to bring a few snacks, energy bars or whatever turns you on. Unless otherwise specified dinner out is on your own dime.

- Watch. I always instructed my crew to call me in any situation. If they heard something, call me. If they saw something, call me. If they thought they heard or saw something, call me. When in doubt, call me. I don't care if I just went to sleep after standing watch for 24 hours straight. Don't think about it, just call me. I promise never to complain or say anything but thank you if you call me.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2017, 15:34   #14
Registered User
 
Aaarrgh's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Western KY - US
Boat: 1984 Merit 25
Posts: 82
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

Traveler, you have wonderfully asked what I haven't had the words to ask, and Community, you have responded with grace and knowledge that I have sought for quite some time.
I will be a healthy and strong 62 years old on Christmas Day. I'm a self-employed commercial painting contractor of 37 years, and I can arrange to put my business on cruise control for at least a couple of weeks, to join any of you for at least my second blue water adventure. I've had one "blue water" week long sailing adventure as crew, invited on a final exam in my son's senior college semester. And that week absolutely captured me, and began my quest to once again (or many times again) crew, bareboat charter, or haul my Merit 25 to the Gulf or East coast. I just am so drawn to be back on big water after being "satisfactorily" land locked on Kentucky Lake. Big water would be much more than "satisfaction".
Thank you all for these valuable posts. This thread has made it worth all the money it took to be part of this community. Oops! I forgot that this was free!
Anyway, I am not declaring "Crew Available", but rather just looking for any other directions, considering what you read above.

Gratefully,
Aarrrgh!
__________________
Aaarrgh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-11-2017, 15:53   #15
Moderator
 
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 4,384
Images: 34
Re: Instructions for crew - Crewing for Dummies

Hi Traveler,
Welcome aboard! Sounds like you got a lot of good info. I might add a couple:
*bring your favorite pillow (that helps me sleep anyway)
*maybe someone mentioned it and I missed it but: harness and pfd and foul weather gear and good gloves and rigging knife, it's better to have your own that you know well. I'd add a strobe and a plb personally.
*I doubt there will be any showering unless you luck out on a short delivery on a really big boat.
*And as said, ask questions without being annoying, and stay calm even if the weather isn't.
*Making coffee and snacks for everyone is always a plus.
*Don't forget your glasses and any medications!
*Try to avoid complaining about anything at all costs
*sleeping bag but if you'll be in hot weather ALSO bring a sheet sewn into a bag for a liner for your bag or to sleep when it is too warm at night.
*some kind of fleece for under the foul weather gear (you can tell I am not sailing around Florida)
*Don't assume alcohol (or any other drugs) will be ALLOWED. Some skippers say none on the trip, wait till we get there.

I'm sure there'll be few more tips. Good luck in your adventures and future plans.
__________________

__________________
DL
Pythagoras
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
Don C L is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
crew, crewing

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Man/Crew Overboard INSTRUCTIONS BozSail General Sailing Forum 6 04-05-2013 15:03
Icom 802 for Dummies dkall Marine Electronics 18 30-05-2010 06:47
Crew Available: Puerta Vallarta - Advice for Getting Crewing, Please Theainmexico Crew Archives 3 29-12-2009 21:02
Fitting out with paper honeycomb for dummies Toys_with_time Construction, Maintenance & Refit 0 09-06-2008 22:23



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:35.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.