With a bad "imbalance of skills" in a bad situation, I once came up with the simplest signals possible. Two only, covering every conceivable contingency.
(Tiller steered boat, only one crew, a scared kid, getting a heavy anchor
back on board with no windlass
and a relatively small engine
after short duration emergency anchoring
in heavy squalls in a shipping
channel, no shelter. One real asset: a very efficient chain pawl, on the bow roller)
I did the bow, naturally.
I used my forearm, holding my elbow
at shoulder height out to the side, to mimic where I wanted the tiller -- making use of this only when I needed it moved from last location ... same with the single
control, but with the forearm in the vertical plane, tilting fore and aft.
That way, it didn't matter where the ship's head
was pointing, whether we were making sternway, etc etc.... the requirement was 100% for obedience, 0% for intelligence. Like docking
of naval vessel, where the quartermaster on the wheel
might be below decks with no view whatsoever.
It was as good as being in two places at once. Better even than having a likeminded person, even a real expert on the helm (given we couldn't communicate due to wind noise
- and the situation was evolving, unpredictable and dynamic)
The kid did EXACTLY what he was told, although he was scared. Better value than most adults, who (I'm guessing) would generally want to exercise their own judgement to 'improve' on what they were told, or improvise between signals, regardless of how little they know.
I'd never do this except in emergency
, though ... it presents little to no opportunity for the person in the cockpit
to learn, when they're being controlled like a robot.
Also I've noticed that boys generally seem better at doing the mental transformations to work out (say) when the tiller is nominally parallel (or would be in plan view) to an abstract object viewed from an oblique angle.
Whether girls are typically less good, or just lack the confidence, I'm not entirely sure.
Supposedly there are fairly pronounced physiological differences in how the genders manage mental 3D transformations, but this is something I noticed long before hearing about the research