It is hard to recall
all the little things that have gone haywire over the years but every one is a learning
experience. Other peoples boats that you have been hired to move or deliver don't necessarily have the same unique quirks and issues that a delivery
crew has to deal with but they fall within several broad categories on a fairly predictable basis. In order, I would say
4. Running rigging
My experience, which is only my personal look at problem issues, may not match up with other skippers who operate in different locales. Most of my deliveries were a mix of power and sail, few multi hulls, a fair number of vessels where the owner wanted to accompany me on the delivery
, particularly if they just bought the boat.
I usually spent a day going over the boat and the systems to familiarize myself with the vessel depending on the length of the trip. If I turned up some negatives or defects that led to a lack of seaworthyness, then time to talk with the owner/broker before moving the boat and have the deficiencies addressed.
I always brought my own tools and basic inventory of parts
for repair underway. Any parts
needed to make the boat seaworthy
before leaving was the owners responsibility. If I did the repair underway, he was charged the day rate plus parts... all spelled out in the contract
before leaving. I had one guy wanting me to paint
a forward stateroom on a trip down to Mexico
. I suggested if he wanted a painter, hire one but do the job in port.
The only other major issue I can recall
was on a trip north aboard a 52 sail from Puerto Vallarta
to Los Angeles. Crew of 2 plus myself. Turned the corner for the slog north and on of the crew totally lost
it... screaming, hallucinating. physically fighting myself and the other crew member
who was a woman. Turns out he was a full blown manic depressive and had gone off or forgot his meds. We finally restrained him, wrapped him up in a sleeping bag so he couldn't kick holes in the bulkheads and headed back to Cabo and turned him over to the authorities and made the trip north with just the two of us. Very disconcerting to say the least but the woman crew handled it like a trooper and did a number of other deliveries with me over the years.
You are always going to find that there are issues that come up on strange boats even if they are in great nick or brand new out of the box. The experenced gained from each passage
adds to a tool kit that gives you the confidence and competence to resolve just about anything the ocean can throw at you. Great way to make a living provided you are patient, knowlegeable, treat your crew like you would want to be treated and keep a meticulous log and good records. Capt Phil