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Old 24-09-2012, 08:43   #1
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Lightbulb Using a Delivery Skipper / Crew - Tips & Advice (and Horror Stories!)

Prompted by a recent thread, hopefully this will develop into the ins and outs of engaging a Delivery Skipper (and how an Owner can help themselves by understanding more about where the Skipper is coming from).

Some lessons learnt (aka Horror Stories!) - from either side! - would also be nice . For the "better" stories probably best (to help fit with the CF "Play Nice" rule) to change the names / details if needed - and if anyone wants to PM me a tale I will be happy to post it up for them to stay anonymous .

Am also thinking this thread not only for the folks doing (or have done) Deliveries, but also the Owners.......the good and the bad experiances, plus maybe also the frustrations of lining someone suitable up?
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Old 24-09-2012, 11:18   #2
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Re: Using a Delivery Skipper / Crew - Tips & Advice (and Horror Stories!)

LOL.... For now.......
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Old 24-09-2012, 11:29   #3
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Re: Using a Delivery Skipper / Crew - Tips & Advice (and Horror Stories!)

Great thread idea.

I was just talking to someone about this last Saturday. He'd had his Swan 44 delivered form Seattle to SF, and it cost him more to repair the damaged gear than if he'd have paid to have the boat trucked down the coast. This was the second friend I've had share the same complaint.

As a point of reference, my insurance deductible on the current boat is twice what it would cost me to ship the boat one-way to Seattle.
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Old 24-09-2012, 11:32   #4
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Re: Using a Delivery Skipper / Crew - Tips & Advice (and Horror Stories!)

Great thread potential!
No doubt the usual Captain duties and inspections of proper gear, spare parts, etc.,must occur...but..
My strongest recommendation is to spend as much time as possible with the owner of the boat and go over every thing and every system. Take good notes. There is alwasy something forgotten to be discussed in terms of little gremlins around the boat. Sometimes even the sequencing of turing on and off systems can be difficult due to unusal wiring. The extra time it takes to confront all of these systems with the owner will be well paid off when the poop hits the fan at 0200 and in 25kts+.

Tight lines!

Cheers, Jeffry
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Old 24-09-2012, 11:38   #5
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Re: Using a Delivery Skipper / Crew - Tips & Advice (and Horror Stories!)

I think Boats (Boatman61) might have something to say when he sees this thread.

I'm interested to see how many people have their "stories" to tell. While I think this is a GREAT idea for a thread, I'd like to also point out that many people that care to ake the time to write a review about a service provided usually have an axe to grind.
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Old 24-09-2012, 11:45   #6
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Re: Using a Delivery Skipper / Crew - Tips & Advice (and Horror Stories!)

Hola Bash,

Can you elaborate on the damages? Operator error? Poor maintenance record?

At first blush trucking costs can appear to be an advantage considering wear and tear andbstress, but decommissioning at departure can go pretty smoothly.. while putting a boat back together at the final destination can be a royal pain. Especially if the boat has some years. Wiring issues, leaks and a whole bunch of other headaches I am very familiar with. Unless it's a racer designed for shipping, be careful.

Vetting of your Captain is paramount through references and contacting those references. Don't be lazy and trust the Captain and his word on his abilities and experience level.

Just sayin'...

Cheers, Jeffry
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Old 24-09-2012, 12:04   #7
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Re: Using a Delivery Skipper / Crew - Tips & Advice (and Horror Stories!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Jeffry View Post
Can you elaborate on the damages? Operator error? Poor maintenance record?
In the first case, the problem was that the delivery skipper did not realize that the generator raw-water intake required a separate seacock to be opened than the thru-hull for the auxiliary.

In the second case, my only data point was a cockpit conversation in an anchorage last weekend over some excellent wine. I'm left with the impression that the gear damage was the result of the delivery skipper not waiting for an appropriate weather window, but I didn't press for a list of broken gear. It was a 20-some-year-old Swan, but well maintained by a knowledgable owner. The boat is a past winner of the Vic-Maui.
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Old 24-09-2012, 13:21   #8
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Re: Using a Delivery Skipper / Crew - Tips & Advice (and Horror Stories!)

Operator error. That's a shame. In terms of the mechanical issues..well, lack of experience at it's worst. Weather windows... I'm leaving for a delivery to San Francisco from LA on Wednesday. As long as I'm not over 10nm from shore I get constant weather GRIB files to my computer. Knowing how to read them is a whole other story. A good sailor should never be too proud to ask for a second opinion on weather. I always consult a close personal friend who also happens to be a weather guru on top of having delivered and raced boats around the world with over 300,000 nm. We normally concur...but I always welcome his comments. '

Got to get ready! Cheers, Jeffry
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Old 24-09-2012, 13:41   #9
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We had an older boat trucked from Md to Fl a few years ago. The ride caused the diesel tank and water tank to rupture. Not fun for us would not ne gunfire the driver if dot caught him
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Old 24-09-2012, 14:00   #10
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Re: Using a Delivery Skipper / Crew - Tips & Advice (and Horror Stories!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khagan1227 View Post
I think Boats (Boatman61) might have something to say when he sees this thread.
That was in the back of my mind . But I appreciate that where folks are actively fishing for future punters that might not always be smart to be overly honest - that's why I offered to anonymise any stories (just PM me).

Quote:
I'm interested to see how many people have their "stories" to tell. While I think this is a GREAT idea for a thread, I'd like to also point out that many people that care to ake the time to write a review about a service provided usually have an axe to grind.
An axe to grind? I'm looking forward to those . The irony being that those tales can often reveal more about the complainer than the intended target .

In any event all a learning tool (for others).


and apart from that (infotainment ), am genuinely thinking would be useful for Owners to understand what a Delivery Skipper needs from them, to make both their lives easier.........I suspect that unrealistic expectations do play a part in any less than smooth deliveries, so perhaps an opportunity for Delivery Skippers to try and help Owners help themselves - for the benefit of the Delivery Skipper.
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Old 24-09-2012, 14:01   #11
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I had an interesting experience with a delivery crew taking my HR352 from Holland to Spain.
They arrived on schedule and in one piece. No real damage.
But then, first night in port of arrival, one of the seacocks broke and the boat started flooding. I got a call from the marina telling me to get down there on the double and when I arrived a few minutes later there was about 2ft of water in her, almost up to the top of the berths.
Any higher and it would have woken the delivery crew up as they were all onboard and fast asleep, they had gone out late and got so drunk they couldn't wake up. When they did they had no idea where they were.
I'm not sure if closing the seacocks, as I had requested, would have made a difference but I had to throw many things away.
I think alcohol causes dangerous situations, I've yet to meet a sailor who knows when he's had enough...!
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Old 24-09-2012, 14:18   #12
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Re: Using a Delivery Skipper / Crew - Tips & Advice (and Horror Stories!)

I did deliveries for several years up and down the West Coast, 3 from Hawaii and a few in the Atlantic, and most of the time I never met the owners other than over the phone and mailing contracts back and forth. Even with the owners I did meet, it was more often away from the boat because the boat was someplace else.

The 2 exceptions where I actually met the owners at the boat, they were brand new to the boat, and I spent a few hours teaching them about there new purchase.

After around 15,000 miles of deliveries the only damage I remember was buggering up a halyard on the way from Hawaii, but the next day I saved his nice Perkins diesel from destruction when it filled up with salt water from a faulty exhaust system. The owner didn't understand why I insisted on a full case of oil to be on board plus a filter and a half dozen fuel filters. When we arrived and I told him what had happened he realized why I wanted a lot of extras to be on board.

One of the most important skills of a delivery skipper is the ability to fix, repair, jury rig all of the small and sometimes large things that go wrong on any boat. All boats have things fail and the less the boat has been sailed recently, the more things seem to go wrong.

As a last note, one owner I will never forget ,met us an hour or so after we pulled in from Hawaii. The last three days had been cold wet and foggy, and I was dog tired. I was just starting to wash the sails when he arrived and said not to worry about that, he would take them home and do them. Right then I could have kissed him. It was such a relief to not have to do that. That owner was a highly experianced sailor and knew how tired we were.

Grant. (200 ton Master, Oceans Sail, 500 ton Mate , Oceans. all expired)
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Old 24-09-2012, 14:30   #13
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Re: Using a Delivery Skipper / Crew - Tips & Advice (and Horror Stories!)

some owners are a joy to work for,with well maintained boats,reasonable with finances ,just short on time or experiance.

others can be a nightmare,who consider that a boat that has been sitting for 2-4 years,had very little maintanance,and been out on a day sail,during the buying process,is suddenly ready for an offshore passage!

generally the nightmare owner is under the misconception,that because they paid so much money for the boat,that all it needs is a quick lick of paint,and the work of a couple of numptys from the yard who can fix/bodge all the things that it failed its survey on ,then it is ready for you to deliver,but quibble about money when a week later you are still unable to leave because the boat is a death trap!
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Old 24-09-2012, 14:41   #14
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Re: Using a Delivery Skipper / Crew - Tips & Advice (and Horror Stories!)

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some owners are a joy to work for,with well maintained boats,reasonable with finances ,just short on time or experiance.
Totally true! In younger days I would often volunteer to help deliver the boat home after a race. It's really how I learned to helm a big boat, because I'd be a winch grinder all the way outbound but I'd get as much wheel time as I wanted bringing the boat home.

A lot of fun until I crewed for someone who, right before we departed, instructed us to motor all the way home because "diesel costs less than new sails."

Last time I ever crewed or delivered for that jerk! I understand not wanting crew to use the best sails for a delivery, but at least have the decency to put some working sails on the boat.
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Old 24-09-2012, 14:51   #15
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Re: Using a Delivery Skipper / Crew - Tips & Advice (and Horror Stories!)

Most of the boats I see after Hawaii/Mexico/West Coast US races, all have delivery mainsails. Short hoist, short foot- dacron. Bigger the program the more delivery sails on board. We shipped delivery main and jib to Hawaii last years TransPac and this year's Cabo race. Will do again 2013. Also shipped dodger, bimini, fuel containers and 110v drill and drill pump to syphon. Great owner with deep pockets to make the delivery a good one.
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