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Old 15-01-2008, 05:14   #1
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Another stupid question

I'm really new to this " Admirals & Mates " thing , and i dont even really know how to sail yet. All I really know about captain and stuff , is from pirate movies , lol

Would someone be so kind as to explain ?
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Old 15-01-2008, 06:06   #2
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When my wife and I sail I am clearly the Captain and she will admit it to any one. She however is the Admiral. The Admiral may also be addressed as "First Mate" or "Best Mate" depending on the circumstances. You really won't get far as a captain if the Admiral in unhappy.

The subject of all this has an entire forum section devoted to the pursuit of better crew relations. The good news is learning to sail is a lot easier.
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Old 15-01-2008, 06:13   #3
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Oh , thanks !
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Old 15-01-2008, 06:15   #4
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Terms of Endearment

Not everyone will agree with me but for 90% of the cruisers we know...
Admiral is usually the wife/female onboard, a play on rank
Mate is usually another person onboard.
Captain is usually the husband/male onboard.

I am fully aware of the technical meanings but we're just casual approximations anyway...

We tend to have revolving terms based on what job we're presently doing... bilge monkey, galey slave, Watchmaster... we have eschewed the technical for the comical.

By the way...the person calling in the VHF is always Captain, Cap, Skipper, etc. I've never heard anyone use these gender-based terms on any transmission in the US
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Old 15-01-2008, 06:21   #5
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We tend to have revolving terms based on what job we're presently doing... bilge monkey, galley slave, Watchmaster... we have eschewed the technical for the comical.
It's nice to have other personalities for completing the less glamorous chores. Changing of hats is often enough to maintain some sense of humor if not dignity. There is a lot that needs to be done and sorting all that out is not so easy. Humor adds the grease that makes it a bit easier.
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Old 15-01-2008, 06:26   #6
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Thanks guys , you both helped me a lot ,
no doubt "Captain" is a title most of us like , aye ?
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Old 15-01-2008, 06:27   #7
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The admiral thing makes sense if you have experience with the real Navy as well. A captain is in charge of his vessel, absolutely, without exception. However, that command is given by an admiral, for execution of an admiral's orders.

In short, the power you have as a skipper (captain is a legal term; you have to have a license) is only there for you to be capable of performing a task (operating your ship safely and in execution of whatever orders the owner of the vessel has given you). Power of your ship and crew is neccesity, not a job perk.
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Old 15-01-2008, 06:32   #8
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Thanks guys , you both helped me a lot ,
no doubt "Captain" is a title most of us like , aye ?
If you call yourself captain, people are going to think you are a licensed captain. USCG Licensing

It's not a term to throw around loosely. I think the term changes depending upon country, but if you are in charge of a vessel and not a licensed captain, the Navy and Coast Guard will refer to you as "skipper".

On that note, it's a good idea to get your captain's license if you intend to do a lot of sailing and want to increase your skills. It doesn't cost much to take the classes, and there's a wealth of knowledge in there. A little intimidating to be sure, and a captain's license doesn't necassarily mean you're a good sailor, but however good you are, a captain's license will only make you better.

I have a mug sitting infront of me that says "captain" on it, and it's the one I use every day. But I leave it on this boat, and wouldn't take it to another person's boat. Also, I wouldn't take it out in public as it is confusing, and a little arrogant (imho).
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Old 15-01-2008, 06:50   #9
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Oh wow , didn't know there was so much to this .
I think i'll seriously consider taking classes now

Thanks , L.S.
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Old 21-01-2008, 00:19   #10
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I respect the title Captain so much that I capitalize it.
My wife and I don't bother with titles out on the water, she has the helm (it makes her happy) and I take care of the rest.
Ok, I'll take the wheel when nature beckons her.
She's just so happy when we're heeled over and her and the mast form an X.
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Old 21-01-2008, 00:45   #11
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Rebel Heart is correct that "captain" is somewhat of a reserved word for licensed captains. I don't use the word. I use the word Skipper predominantly.

When completing international manifests the other word you will hear is "Master" This is the belly button legally responsible to import the boat and the crew.
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Old 21-01-2008, 02:01   #12
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Rebel Heart is correct that "captain" is somewhat of a reserved word for licensed captains. .
Here in Australia we have a bit of an odd culture. If we called a yachtsman "Captain" it would be the same as calling him a wanker. "Look at Captain Jack swaggering down the dock with his peaked cap from the Chandlers". Yep. It won't wash here at all.

I do remember crewing on a yacht in the Med and had a memorable 2 weeks (not) in Pt Said, Egypt and for some reason to the Egyptians I look like a captain! And they would always look to me to ask question: "Captain do you need..." etc. Well the real owner (who was a wanker) was totally pissed off at that! He wanted people to think he was the captian and wanted people to call him "Captain"! Obviously the Egyptians worked him out quick-smart!
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Old 21-01-2008, 04:20   #13
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..spot on ...here in OZ... (is it the same for NZ?) ...Captain has .....well other meanings...here skipper is used. A REAL captain ,that is some one who is in charge of a "seriously" big boat is addressed, with respect, by that handle (or the master). Smaller boats including fishing boats and other commercial skippers shun "captain". ...with one exception ...some short hop tourist boat operators capitalize on it for international visitors :: they have gold braid, jaunty caps with anchors on them and are wankers.......
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Old 21-01-2008, 06:42   #14
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If you need to use a title….then you really don’t know who you are
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Old 21-01-2008, 07:29   #15
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Rebel Heart is absolutely correct. Getting your Captain's License is always a good goal to aim for.

However, as how other fun replies to this topic stated, my case is the same. My wife, she's the admiral! She wanted a bigger boat...we got one. She wants to anchor off another night? Done! She wants a boat we can live on someday! Will do. (God, I married the right woman!!) Even though I'm the "captain", in relation to shipboard duties, she contributes equally, but if you've been married long enough...if the woman is happy...YOU are happy! LoL

Being a Navy veteran myself, I've never seen the admiral take the wheel of an aircraft carrier while on the bridge, it's the capt'n 'n his crew who receive those orders.

But all in all, good fun topic!
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