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Old 17-05-2012, 15:50   #1
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The Right Crew or.....

Finding the right crew that blend in perfectly with other sailing members on a yacht seems a rather complicated issue. When you do find someone suitable they usually seek passage to a certain destination and that's where you part ways. Then there is the matter of remuneration working hours and responsibilities. The question of personalities, habits and what they expect from you as the employer is another question.

Is the absence of decent permanent help the reason why so many yachtees rather go single handed?
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Old 17-05-2012, 17:24   #2
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Re: The right crew or.....

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Originally Posted by niel12 View Post
Finding the right crew that blend in perfectly with other sailing members on a yacht seems a rather complicated issue. When you do find someone suitable they usually seek passage to a certain destination and that's where you part ways. Then there is the matter of remuneration working hours and responsibilities. The question of personalities, habits and what they expect from you as the employer is another question.

Is the absence of decent permanent help the reason why so many yachtees rather go single handed?
I think this is a bit of apples and oranges. 99.9% of “yachtees” don’t pay anything and thus are not “employers”.

Yachties bring on crew for a number of reasons and with a number of different schemes. The spectrum ranges from you paying a fee plus a share of all expenses and your own travel TO they pay for everything including your travel and a small stipend (bless you heart).

I also work on passenger carrying Commercial sail boats and they usually want you on for a full season. I’m only doing short-term relief work on the Commercial boats right now. After a few months of 15hr days, 6 or 7 days a week I’m just pooped out.

You can see where I have been working here:

Misc pictures of some of the Commercial boats I have worked on are here:

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Old 17-05-2012, 17:36   #3
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Re: The right crew or.....

a job is a job,if crew are disruptive ,argumentative,incompetent the solution is easy fire them.

however if you have people,who are essentially guests on your yacht crewing for you, for no recompense, treat them as such.
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Old 17-05-2012, 18:03   #4
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Re: The right crew or.....

Don't take anyone aboard without a recommendation from someone or a source you trust. As a delivery skipper, I had a cadre of seasoned and not so seasoned folks I could call on. Mind you, these were paying positions depending on experience. I would conduct interviews, check references, talk to other skippers for whom the candidateds worked and spend some time going over their CV's.
Only got burned once when a new hire I had flown to Mexico failed to mention his medical problem and had not taken his meds. Quick turn around to the nearest port and dropped him. Capt Phil
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Old 18-05-2012, 03:36   #5
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Re: The right crew or.....

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Is the absence of decent permanent help the reason why so many yachtees rather go single handed?
Probably - but IMO that more down to a Skipper than to "decent" crew not being available. Probably also why folks often go shorthanded (say Skipper and wife even where one of them is not so much on the crewing (or skippering?!) side).

If the Skipper doesn't know what he wants and needs (not always the same thing!) from crew - and especially if essentially expecting others to do him a favour for SFA , then likely to always be dissapointed with crew. Seems to often be a mindset that "I have a nice boat - and you are lucky to even be allowed onboard" rather than acknowledging that both parties are bringing something to the table (that the other wants). Skipper putting hand in (own!) pocket is a good way to improve chances of getting good crew, but money alone is no guarantee - also takes smarts and effort by the Skipper.

"Good" crew are to a very large degree what the Skipper makes of those onboard. Plusses and Minuses to everyone, whether an Old Salt or a total newbie - "Your" nightmare crew could be my first pick, or vice verce!

But I second the proposition that doing a bit of research on unknowns is good, but with the caveat that essentially you really won't know how good they are / whether they fit with you until onboard (and they are in the same position with you / your boat) - for an extended passage I would choose to start with a small hop and not to rely on anyone until they are a known quantity. Having a plan B is important.

Complaining that someone who is getting little in return has not re-organised their entire life around your needs (of having a nice time) does not make them "unreliable" when they can't turn up as expected or change plans to meet your each and every whim, due to life intervening (work / family / something better to do) - that's just how life is, deal with that possibility - in advance.
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Old 20-05-2012, 09:06   #6
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Re: The right crew or.....

Thanks for all the info and suggestions, i will most certainly follow all the suggestions.
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Old 21-05-2012, 12:40   #7
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This is an interesting topic. I crewed on a delivery from Mazatlan MX to New Zealand where the skipper/owner did a "bait and switch". When we got to the Marquesas he announced he needed to arrive in NZ two weeks earlier than we were told. He effectively dropped all the island time which is a big part why many of us volunteer and pay our own airfare. The pity is we all got along really well until the switch. I jumped in Tahiti mostly because he was not waiting for proper weather windows. I heard he had a very rough crossing to NZ because of that.
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Old 21-05-2012, 12:53   #8
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Re: The right crew or.....

what i can't understand is why some boats who take crew allways have crew problems and mutinies.

,and on other boats they all end up friends,have a great time,face engine failures,blown out sails,delays,bad food,no money yet the next time you see them,more crew have joined..

noticed this phenonamen over a few circumnavigations
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Old 21-05-2012, 14:35   #9
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Re: The right crew or.....

Brian, i am of opinion that owner treated the guys real dog like and frankly i believe what you sow you will most certainly reap, no matter how long!

I have been in a manufacturing business for 30 years and my the shortest term any worker ever worked for me was 15 years, one wonder why! I think your attitude as skipper or captain is probably just as important as your word or in the former situation the terms and condision wherunder you employ any crew for that matter! So the skipper/captain/employer do have a responsibility and that has nothing to do with attitude!
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Old 21-05-2012, 15:11   #10
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Re: The right crew or.....

niel12, that speaks very well for you as an employer, however the dynamic between people aboard a vessel out of sight of land can change dramatically, and it may have nothing to do with whether someone is a jerk or not. Although I have had those experiences on both sides of the fence. Some folks do well cooped up in a small space with other different personalities and others do not. And a lot of times you don't know what you are up against until it's too late. At that point it may be a real chore just to be civil until you get to land fall and go your separate ways. I witnessed vessel coming in to Tahiti where the crew bolted with out even helping to tie up the vessel, and I have also seen friends sailing together under some very difficult circumstances; that make the best of a bad situation and all laugh together about it. Humans are funny animals, and somewhat unpredictable. I have gotten to the point where I am not all that interested in sailing with people I don't know. There are always exceptions, of course.
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Old 21-05-2012, 15:19   #11
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Re: The right crew or.....

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what i can't understand is why some boats who take crew allways have crew problems and mutinies.

,and on other boats they all end up friends,have a great time,face engine failures,blown out sails,delays,bad food,no money yet the next time you see them,more crew have joined..

noticed this phenonamen over a few circumnavigations

Because many owners/captains/skippers of leisure boats can't lead men for love nor money.

They either pretend they know more than they do, or they do know but are insufferable or poor managers of people ( especially people doing it for free).

crew problems are almost always the captains fault in my opinion.

Dave
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Old 21-05-2012, 15:57   #12
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Re: The right crew or.....

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Because many owners/captains/skippers of leisure boats can't lead men for love nor money.

They either pretend they know more than they do, or they do know but are insufferable or poor managers of people ( especially people doing it for free).

crew problems are almost always the captains fault in my opinion.

Dave
you have a good point there!
i guess some people are probably better off single handing,or stuck with the long suffering wife!
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Old 21-05-2012, 20:44   #13
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Re: The right crew or.....

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Because many owners/captains/skippers of leisure boats can't lead men for love nor money.

They either pretend they know more than they do, or they do know but are insufferable or poor managers of people ( especially people doing it for free).

crew problems are almost always the captains fault in my opinion.

Dave

Totally agree....
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