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Old 24-08-2018, 17:18   #46
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

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I believe you are wrong to think that using the honorific of Captain is empty and vain. When a vessel is underway on any navigable waters in the US, the person in charge IS the Captain, and is liable under admiralty law for the safe operation of the vessel and the safety of the passengers. It is not an empty title. Now, while not on a vessel underway I can agree with you that the use of the honorific of Captain might be vainglorious for someone who is just a recreational boater. However, if that person has been granted a professional license to be Master of a vessel, then I don't think it is improper to address them as Captain, or of them to wish to be addressed so, particularly if they use that professional license as part of their livelihood. Earning your Captains license is an achievement that requires respect. Also in terms of the law, it makes no difference if you are the Captain of a supertanker or a 34 foot recreational sailboat, you both have to go by the rules and safeguard your vessel and its passengers. Same for aircraft. The buck stops at the pilot in command whether it is a 747 or a 2 seat Piper cub.
8

I like your post. I speak as a former licensed Captain. As a leader in various civic organizations I find that people often shun leadership and leadership roles. As the person in charge of any vessel you automatically become the Captain, assume the responsibility and respect your own a position.
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Old 24-08-2018, 17:19   #47
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

I get WTF Dave, I like to think that's an honorary title.

I think captain is an easy way to make sure you are talking to the person in charge.
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Old 24-08-2018, 17:24   #48
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

you are captain of your vessel be it a bathtub or a air craft carrier
this goes back to merchant shipping of thee olden days that is why when you check into other countries your are the captain or hailed by those in authority , if this does not suit with your liberal vies then I'm sorry to hear that, there is also Lord Budda or holy Highness , but the laws of the high Seas will always call you CAPTAIN me I prefer admiral of the fleet but my 8 year old daughter has that position and I'm relegated to cabin boy, and no my name is not ROGER (Sorry to those named Roger )
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Old 24-08-2018, 17:42   #49
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

A problem can arise when someone who is (on land) reasonably rational and considerate of others opinions and input, and then once aboard become dogmatic, even abusive.
We have lived on board our vessel for over 40 years and think we know a reasonable amount about the vessel and when we have sailing guests I explain to them that I greatly value their questions and involvement. However the caveat is that if something needs to be done then what I ask for is done.
I try to give rational reasons for actions such as "to meet acceptable safety, we need to run out another 30 m of anchor chain before we fold the sails safely away".
I also try to reward others verbally to reassure them that what they have done was valued. This often results in them asking informed questions about their actions.

I also try to ensure that they are are well informed of practices by getting them involved well before an urgent need arises.

I have seen "captains" abuse crew simply because the crew just did not really know what to do. That fault is actually the "captain's" , not the crew member's fault. A good captain generates a competent happy crew.

On my first long cruise one crew member was vastly more experienced (and competent) than me but he was a particularly shy chap. I saw my job as one where we all needed to listen to him carefully, so we established near formal circumstances where he would take myself and others through particular best practices. It worked.

However, we did have one older crew member who continuously tried to look "big" in front of his wife and was often rude to her when she didn't do as he "wanted". On one occasion he put us all at risk by abandoning a previously discussed responsibility. The management (my missus) ripped into him but even that didn't work so we finally put him and his wife ashore. The lesson here was that it often pays to have "independent" crew members who meet for the first time on your vessel. They then work out a relationship with the "captain" or owner that works on the boat.

So surely, the term "captain" may have a formal meaning in some quarters, but a good "captain" is an earned term of respect used by others.

"I hereby command that a free toddy of rum be issued to all for a job well done."
"Aye, aye captain!"
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Old 24-08-2018, 17:59   #50
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

I like being called skipper, because on the boat it's the truth. And maybe, just maybe, I'll have to take complete control and give direct orders. Very rare, but when it happens, everybody knows. Otherwise, it's consensus and talking a lot.
I only get captain in jest or criticism. Ok.
But I do like the shirt that I was given: "I'm the Captain. Get over it!"
Skipper is indeed a legal term, equivalent to captain sometimes.
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Old 24-08-2018, 18:38   #51
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

Someone introduced me today as "Captain ...". It made me think of all the bozos Ive known who like to be called "Captain". I clarified that I dont normally go by that honorific.

In a professional setting I dont mind being called captain, but in a recreational setting it seems a bit pretentious.
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Old 24-08-2018, 18:40   #52
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

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Originally Posted by captlloyd View Post
8

I like your post. I speak as a former licensed Captain. As a leader in various civic organizations I find that people often shun leadership and leadership roles. As the person in charge of any vessel you automatically become the Captain, assume the responsibility and respect your own a position.



What do you mean by "licenced Captain". Do you have a document that says "Captain" on it?


As the person in charge, you automatically become the "captain" (small C). Not a Captain (capital C).


By what authority do you call yourself Capt here?
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Old 24-08-2018, 18:42   #53
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

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I like being called skipper, because on the boat it's the truth. And maybe, just maybe, I'll have to take complete control and give direct orders. Very rare, but when it happens, everybody knows. Otherwise, it's consensus and talking a lot.
I only get captain in jest or criticism. Ok.
But I do like the shirt that I was given: "I'm the Captain. Get over it!"
Skipper is indeed a legal term, equivalent to captain sometimes.
Ha, reminds me of a relatively inexperienced friend who attended one of those Captain Schools and got his ticket. I was ribbing him about it and said there was no way I was gonna call him "Captain", but rather "Skippy"...it stuck...and thats his nickname to this day!
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Old 24-08-2018, 19:01   #54
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

I don't call myself captain (or any other title in life).

I've had other boat owners on the dock call me that. It comes across disingenuous (like they expect the same in return). It feels awkward.

After i did a 700 mile single hand sail a coworker started calling me captain. It was a sign of respect, as to him it was an accomplishment. I felt good about that.

I've never taken offence about the label.
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Old 24-08-2018, 19:12   #55
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

Hard to get used to. Two of us on the boat. Both with Masters. It would give me the creeps if she called me anything but the usual.

On a long transit with crew, it’s clear we are the word.

In the Caribbean, we get hailed by dock hands as captain. Normal, We expect it.

As the others have noted, we are the ones with the creds, legally, we are responsible. Captains under law. Took bad advice from a dock hand, hit the dock. Should have driven my boat instead. My fault.
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Old 24-08-2018, 20:19   #56
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

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you are captain of your vessel be it a bathtub or a air craft carrier this goes back to merchant shipping of thee olden days

[...]

During the golden age of sail, the world was more clearly divided by social class, for those on land as much as for those on the water. "Two Years Before the Mast" is one well-written account, notable because it was penned by someone from an upper class background, who had chosen to enter the merchant marine as a sailor. On most vessels, the officers were the only ones who could read and write, and the captain the only one who could navigate. The culture, in that time, was not one where the captain would freely share those skills and the knowledge behind them with others.



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your are the captain or hailed by those in authority , if this does not suit with your liberal vies then I'm sorry to hear that

Snerk.




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"I hereby command that a free toddy of rum be issued to all for a job well done."

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I think captain is an easy way to make sure you are talking to the person in charge.

So, to be clear, and to better focus the discussion, I have no problem whatsoever with the idea that someone has to be in charge and that the name for that role is "captain." I see it as situational. If there is a situation where it is important to clarify who is responsible, as with border crossings or other official matters, fine. But, please, not at supper or the fuel dock.


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In the Caribbean, we get hailed by dock hands as captain. Normal, We expect it.

Many cultures see cruisers in a different light. I agree that one must adjust to local norms.


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As the others have noted, we are the ones with the creds, legally, we are responsible. Captains under law. Took bad advice from a dock hand, hit the dock. Should have driven my boat instead. My fault.


I have struggled to accept the fact that well-meaning dockhands must be dealt with firmly as 90% of them do not understand a thing about sailboats.
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Old 25-08-2018, 06:35   #57
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

I have never found being called captain a comfortable moniker. The only times I have ever been called captain was in Florida by dockhands, I did not get used to it.

Here in Michigan I never hear it, and I am just fine with that. Skip or skipper just feels more appropriate, casual yet respective.
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Old 25-08-2018, 07:22   #58
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

Who wants to be called Captain when they screw up?
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Old 25-08-2018, 20:22   #59
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

"Even the Coast Guard when assisting vessels in distress refers to the Skipper, Driver, or operator of the vessel as Captain.... at least while assisting on the radio"
In the same vein, police and emergency services talk about the operator of a vehicle being the 'driver'.
I'm just using my boats and have no professional qualifications, besides a government boat operator's licence, similar to a driver's licence.
If someone called me Captain or Skipper, I'd think they were taking the piss.
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Old 25-08-2018, 20:36   #60
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Re: "Captain" and "Skipper" as honorifics

Again today, the Coast Guard was speaking with a boat in distress and repeatedly referred to the operator as Captain

He was taking on water and they went through there usual your location Captain, PFD's on, children, bilge pumps working, cell phone number etc

A very busy morning on the radio as a carrier was coming out with it's patrol boats keeping traffic away (plus two containers ships coming in and a CG Cutter) ...….. in the middle of all that folks wanting radio checks on channel 16 even though there's an auto sea tow check on channel 28
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