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Old 28-06-2016, 02:14   #1
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Beginner skipper rant..

So being a freshly minted skipper which just means I know probably just enough to be dangerous, I figured joining in on a charter holiday with an experienced skipper would be a great way to build up some miles and fill up the empty bag of experience... we sail off with relatives on the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean... Hmm wait a second. Shouldn't there have been at least a quick briefing where the life vests are? Oh well. I took the guests aside and explained to them what the life raft is for and the EPIRB and so on.. And how to radio in case of an emergency... Oh wait a second. The radio.. Is out?.. Hmmm ok radio on. This skipper is starting to annoy me. Beer is already in his hand. Hmm k.

Time to anchor on a nice bay.. Some yachts are already there. He gives the instructions to drop the anchor and I think.. Hmm we are going to land right on top of that other guys anchor I tell the skipper. "Na it will be fine" ok.. Sure enough we end up a bit too close to the other boat. Dude on a speedo comes up and complains (in my opinion rightly so) .. Our skipper tries to ignore him. Eventually he agrees to pull the anchor and go elsewhere. Almost outside the bay with very little protection. Ok .. let's eat something.

We are underway and our destination is dead on downwind. He has only the Genoa out. Since we are sailing dead downwind the apparent wind drops and the slatting of the sail from side to side eventually annoys him enough so he immediately starts the engine and we motor the rest of the way downwind.. In 15 knots ..

Anyway .. After an episode trying to dock on a wall with offshore wind where the yacht got a couple of minor scratches before eventually giving up on that maneuver completely, motoring while beautiful yachts cruise by with one reef on the main (12 knots of wind.. damn! no wind again!! Motor on!!) .. Now I am just ready to throw this guy over board but I know the rest of the crew won't support me. After all he is the skipper with 25 years experience and they have always done things this way and this is how it is done.. Who am I to challenge that? Just cause you just got a license and bought yourself a boat u think u know everything? Punk!!

Time to go back to our boat and start the real learning.

/rant end
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Old 28-06-2016, 02:19   #2
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..



You did well then

I had a similar experience on a crew course I paid a lot of money to go on and that skipper spent three days telling us how good he was
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Old 30-06-2016, 12:59   #3
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..

IMO, there are a few questions to ask (best done on the phone or meeting face to face, not by mail) before crewing:
  • Which type of spinnaker do you have on board?
  • What proportion of time at sea do you spend motoring?
  • Under what yacht speed or wind force do you start the engine?
  • What is the maximum wind force / sea state you accept for sailing?
  • What is the maximum speed you sailed with this yacht? What were the conditions at the time?
  • ...
The idea is to ask questions when the answer would not be just Yes or No.

One of my regular crew refuses to cruise on a yacht without a symmetrical spinnaker because he considers that the owner would not be sufficiently motivated in sailing efficiently.

Alain
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Old 30-06-2016, 13:05   #4
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..

Consider sailing with a different skipper next time.
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Old 30-06-2016, 14:04   #5
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..

Quote:
Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
....... I figured joining in on a charter holiday with an experienced skipper would be a great way to build up some miles and fill up the empty bag of experience... we sail off with relatives on the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean...This skipper is starting to annoy me. Beer is already in his hand.
Was the skipper a family member or was he hired? I cannot imagine a hired captain drinking on duty.
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Old 30-06-2016, 14:14   #6
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..

Shrew,
You just lack imagination. Even some merchant marine masters drink on duty.

Alain
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Old 30-06-2016, 15:04   #7
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..

The Med is obviously different to where I live.

Here, the skipper even of his own liesure boat, forget about a professional skipper, has the absolute responsibility for the safety of persons on board and there is no latitude.

For example, some years ago two guys and their families went out fishing at night and the guys had a few drinks "to keep warm". The boat swung onto nearby rocks and got holed. Two young kids sleeping in the forepeak never made it out before the boat sank stern-first. The owner of the boat (whose kids drowned) got a 5-year jail term for his part in the disaster, no recognition of the fact that he'd just lost both his kids.

So every boat owner here (if he has any modicum of intelligence) would do a full safety briefing for any newcomer to the boat and pay close attention to the possibility of any unsafe situation developing.
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Old 30-06-2016, 15:24   #8
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..

Crankysailor. I'm with your 100% on your observations of the skipper. Saftey first and you did the right thing by showing the passengers where the life jackets are, radio etc.

I had an experience with a friend whom wanted to take our kids out fishing. Asked a couple of basic questions like where are your life jackets radio etc. He didn't have any life jackets and the radio was broken.

I refused to go out with him until I drove back home and got life jackets and my portable radio. He thought I was being a bit pandantic. I told him the quote a US coast guard said to me once.

"I have never retrieved a dead body in a life jacket".

When it comes to boats and water you must have the proper safety equipment.

We fished close to shore but I declined every invitation after that.

I am sure you learned a great deal from your experience.

Fair winds
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Old 30-06-2016, 15:52   #9
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..

Oh well, at least it didn't rain.
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Old 30-06-2016, 16:14   #10
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..

Cranky, good for you. Years of claimed experience is no proof of sound judgement or good seamanship. Your eye to safety will increase along with your sea miles. Good seamanship is something to take seriously and to be proud of.


S/V B'Shert
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Old 30-06-2016, 16:41   #11
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..

Quote:
Originally Posted by crankysailor View Post
So being a freshly minted skipper which just means I know probably just enough to be dangerous, I figured joining in on a charter holiday with an experienced skipper would be a great way to build up some miles and fill up the empty bag of experience... we sail off with relatives on the beautiful waters of the Mediterranean... Hmm wait a second. Shouldn't there have been at least a quick briefing where the life vests are? Oh well. I took the guests aside and explained to them what the life raft is for and the EPIRB and so on.. And how to radio in case of an emergency... Oh wait a second. The radio.. Is out?.. Hmmm ok radio on. This skipper is starting to annoy me. Beer is already in his hand. Hmm k.

Time to anchor on a nice bay.. Some yachts are already there. He gives the instructions to drop the anchor and I think.. Hmm we are going to land right on top of that other guys anchor I tell the skipper. "Na it will be fine" ok.. Sure enough we end up a bit too close to the other boat. Dude on a speedo comes up and complains (in my opinion rightly so) .. Our skipper tries to ignore him. Eventually he agrees to pull the anchor and go elsewhere. Almost outside the bay with very little protection. Ok .. let's eat something.

We are underway and our destination is dead on downwind. He has only the Genoa out. Since we are sailing dead downwind the apparent wind drops and the slatting of the sail from side to side eventually annoys him enough so he immediately starts the engine and we motor the rest of the way downwind.. In 15 knots ..

Anyway .. After an episode trying to dock on a wall with offshore wind where the yacht got a couple of minor scratches before eventually giving up on that maneuver completely, motoring while beautiful yachts cruise by with one reef on the main (12 knots of wind.. damn! no wind again!! Motor on!!) .. Now I am just ready to throw this guy over board but I know the rest of the crew won't support me. After all he is the skipper with 25 years experience and they have always done things this way and this is how it is done.. Who am I to challenge that? Just cause you just got a license and bought yourself a boat u think u know everything? Punk!!

Time to go back to our boat and start the real learning.

/rant end
The skipper was just educating you on the standard of excellence typically found on the water. More advanced courses cover "rules of the road" and how to program the autopilot before leaving the dock.
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Old 30-06-2016, 16:58   #12
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..

The most important technique for every newbie skipper to learn is docking. It goes like this.

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Old 30-06-2016, 19:20   #13
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..

Bravo to you, Cranky. Change your nickname to PrudentSailor. What's really important here is that you are starting off with the right attitude. Apply the same attitude not just to sailing itself but to navigation, weather prediction, anchoring, boat maintenance, extending your envelope, and a host of other areas that make up cruising. You'll get to enjoy sailing without putting yourself and those you love at risk. Any skipper who acts like that one is asking to become the subject of an USCG accident report.
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Old 30-06-2016, 19:30   #14
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..

One thing you ARE doing wrong is to assume you are learning more from what you believe to be a good skipper. But we all know one cannot learn without making mistakes. And how do you make them with a good skipper watching over your every step and wiping your arse tears?

Another thing you are doing wrong is assuming 25 years in the Med is enough to learn everything. But we all know (from this forum) that in the Med it either blows or gets dead flat. None of the extremes is particularly conductive to learning how to sail. Really. Take Rocna for example. Rubber shanks are only 50% good in weed.

You will come across so many posts here where apparently very disappointed posters cry that armchair sailors are giving them advice on silly questions they asked. Now you prove them wrong and you showed that even 25 years of bluewater (it is, in the Med, unless you are just crossing a sewage area) experience is not the way to go either.

Thank you for ranting. Learn from mistakes. Then claim the insurance.

Over and out,
b.
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Old 30-06-2016, 22:53   #15
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Re: Beginner skipper rant..

savoir has directed you well, just sit through a couple of screenings of Captain Ron and you will have all the knowledge and experience needed.
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