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Old 01-10-2012, 00:03   #16
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Re: Pretention or culture?

Many years ago, in a universe far away, a newly minted PHD joined our group, and he insisted on being addressed as "Doctor". When this affectation persisted longer than some folks thought appropriate, a number of his fellows rose to their feet as he arrived at a weekly conference and burst into song: "Everybody loves a doctor, that's why I'm in love with ME, call me Doctor"... to the tune of "Everybody loves a Baby".

Didn't really work, but the rest of us had a big chuckle, and perhaps there is some similarity here.

And for Cap'n Mike, those who have earned the title don't get the same response as those whose captaincy came in a cereal box.

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PS Manly has been yuppified beyond belief, but it still has great weather, good access to the sea and lots of places to spend boat bucks. The strawberries have been replaced with condos, houses and strip malls just in the years that we've passed through here. Ughh.
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Old 01-10-2012, 00:57   #17
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Re: Pretention or culture?

Is it any more pretentious to always call the bathroom the head, or the kitchen the galley, pulleys the blocks, etc.?
Do something stupid like run your boat into a bridge or another boat and I assure you, pretentious or not, the local authorities will be calling you captain.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:28   #18
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Re: Pretention or culture?

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Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
G'Day Auzzee,

As a Yank who has spent most of the past 20 years sailing in the vicinity of Oz I won't attempt to evaluate the cultural aspect. However, I notice that whenever I meet someone or read something where the honorific "Captain" is self-endowed, well, the threshold level of my bullshit alarm goes lower. So, yeah, I think it is pretentious!

Actually, I think that there is often a little card attached to those "Greek fusherman's caps" which entitles the purchaser to become a "captain". Maybe that's where they all come from???

Cheers,

Jim

+1

Most Aussie skippers even those with Masters Tickets (licensed captain (uscg) equilivant) take Rebel Hearts approach.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:07   #19
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I do think it is a bit pretentious to call one's self captain in most situations. It has been my experience that the vast majority of licensed captains do not do this, and the few I've met that do are quite full of themselves. Some fishing charter captains that I've met do introduce themselves as Captain Soandso, but they're always working to drum up more charters so I can understand why they do it.

Unlicensed "captains" though are another story and I find any self introduction as Captain from someone who has never gone through the process of obtaining a license as not only pretentious but also offensive. Luckily these people are often extremely easy to spot from their Greek fisherman's caps ;-). On a related note, my buddy used to refer to himself as "Commodore Roberts" back when he owned four large sailboats, but this was done amongst friends, and also as a bit of a joke.

As for referring to bathrooms as heads and kitchens as galleys etc, I've never understood why people do that. I mean on a boat I understand and endorse the practice as it goes back to the fact that the sailing language has to be very specific, but off the boat, at least for me, the switch to land terminology is automatic.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:16   #20
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Re: Pretention or culture?

I kinda view it simply as a(nother) cultural oddity .

But we all have 'em! (whether aware or not ).


Personally I differentiate between the role and the "rank", so in certain circumstances I will refer to myself as Captain - but that when dealing with officialdom and specific to the vessel concerned (i.e. "I am dealing with you as Captain of the S/v Wayluya".) and only then when it is not self evident.........but I don't have a special hat .
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:45   #21
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Re: Pretention or culture?

And, whilst we are talking of pretention, when did a tiny little cabin with a small berth in it become a 'stateroom'?
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:59   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auzzee
And, whilst we are talking of pretention, when did a tiny little cabin with a small berth in it become a 'stateroom'?
When advertisers and marketers got involved.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:11   #23
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Re: Pretention or culture?

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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
Well speaking for myself. To quote Walter Brennen: "It's no brag just fact"
Some of us did go take the time and expense to get our Captain's license aka Merchant Mariner credential and TWIC cards. Which included taking various written and charting exams, filling out the forms and going through medical examinations and peeing into cups to ensure we are drug free and then paying various fees to the goverment. Not to mention having additional responsibilty. For example if an incident occurs on the water we could lose that license we worked hard to get and you can bet that the Coast Guard will be holding those of us with MMCs to higher standards than the guy tooling around with a Bayliner. So yeah I will call myself Captain from time to time. I feel I've earned it and will be paying and peeing for it again when it comes up for renewel. Though I will also have fun with it too. I sometimes answer the phone when friends call saying "Captain Mike's naughty/nauti charters".
Now as far as doctors go the reason they may not introduce themselves as Dr. so and so is because once they do people start talking and asking about the latest pain or health issue they are experiencing. Doctors learn that there is no upside when out of the office to doing that.
What ever happened to the phrase "Quiet Professional"?
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:15   #24
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Re: Pretention or culture?

I always refer to another licensed captain by the title even when not on a boat. It's a sign of respect for the experience and knowledge required to earn it. However, I would never refer to myself using the title, except as Eric said in explaining my role to folks chartering, etc.

Scott
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:30   #25
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Re: Pretention or culture?

When I was 26, and received my first Ph.D., I wanted to be called doctor, but I got really tired of explaining that I wasn't a M.D.
So, I'd say that was young and pretentious.

OTOH, here in the southern part of the US, it used to be fairly common to call older gentlemen "Colonel" too.

But now, with the advent of the internet, you can buy a few square feet of land in Scotland, and call yourself a lord (laird), so I suppose none of it really matters anyway.

I would say that as far as calling yourself by a rank should be reserved for uniformed professionals.

Titles such as doctor, or initials after your name, should be reserved for business/calling cards or door signs.

Just my 2 centavos!

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Old 01-10-2012, 06:45   #26
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Re: Pretention or culture?

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Using capatin in your greeting (unless you're chartering and meeting your guests) is pretentious.

So is calling your boat a yacht.
Agree 100%. When I was USCG licensed capt, I never did, nor did I ever hear anyone else
Introduce themselves as Capt. Tony or whatever. Even when I walked on a new boat, I would introduce myself "Hi, I'm Tony, I'm the new captain".
The only time I would hear anyone refer to someone else as Capt. Bob would be if there were 2 Bob's on the boat and in course of normal conversation, they were differentiating between the two.

As for the Yacht thing, I would be too embarrassed to call it a yacht. When people ask about the size of my boat and I would say "39 feet" and they would respond "Oh, you have a yacht" and I would reply "No, I have a sailboat, Donald Trump owns a yacht". Regardless of the 'legal' use of the term yacht, non-boaters have this grandious vision of something out of Hollywood and it ain't my boat.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:07   #27
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Re: Pretention or culture?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Is it any more pretentious to always call the bathroom the head, or the kitchen the galley, pulleys the blocks, etc.?
Do something stupid like run your boat into a bridge or another boat and I assure you, pretentious or not, the local authorities will be calling you captain.
Captain Crunch?
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:19   #28
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Re: Pretention or culture?

As has been explained to me, technically the operator of any boat over 25ft is a "Captain" and is hailed by the U.S. Coast Guard as such.

Etiquette dictates that others refer to a mature male as "Mister" and yet also dictates he should never refer to himself as such. So calling someone else Captain is polite, while introducing yourself as such is - in my opinion - pretentious.

As for our pretensions I believe the hats we had embroidered when we first bought our boat say it all. Below the name of our boat the wife's hat declares "Skipper", while mine proclaims I am the "Cabin Boy".
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:30   #29
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Re: Pretention or culture?

I've heard bridgekeepers along the ICW be referred to as Captain. As in the boat's captain calling out to the keeper, "Thanks, Captain!" after going through.

It was new to me. . . . How often are bridgekeepers called Captain?

Brings to mind La Bamba:
"Yo no soy marinero, soy capitán" . . .
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:42   #30
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Re: Pretention or culture?

If you are a qualified and current ship's master, or an active member of the naval reserves with the rank of captain, by all means, go for it.

But if you are a retired mariner, or a retired naval captain, I would say you are worthy of "Skipper" or "Chief" or whatever other jocular, informal title you wish to have.

I don't think that even the guy/gal who drives the boat in a two-couple charter situation is necessarily worthy to sport "captain" as a title. I think someone who has passed the 200-tonner or 500-tonner courses, OR is qualified to skipper a tall ship (which I believe requires a 200-tonner ticket plus supplemental courses for sail-training ships or replicas) would be a "captain", although I believe "master" is the correct term.

My late father went from ages 15 to 28 in the British Merchant Marine, and from cadet to second mate on freighters during WWII and into the '50s. By all measures, he was over-qualified to drive a sailboat in Lake Ontario, yet he never called himself "Captain" or anything like it, really.

We did get an earful of nautical expressions as kids growing up, however, "pipe down", "Bristol fashion" and "stow and lash" being among the G-rated ones.

It's fun to joke around about Admirals and Captains and such, and that is indeed part of the culture of sailing. But if someone introducing him or herself to me as "Captain", and I ask them a question regarding sextant index error, the hazards of night approaches in the eastern Pacific, or the best bunker fuel for economy at 16 knots constant, I would expect more than a rum drink recipe and a peaked hat sporting braid.
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