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Old 04-10-2009, 08:27   #91
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When we used to have races on our lake back in Iowa I had been known to light up the BBQ grill in lighter winds and put some hors d'oeuvres on. Crew liked them and the beer, .
Both Dan and I will race with you anytime!



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Old 04-10-2009, 10:42   #92
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So, as co-captains, who decides when and where to drop the anchor in a crowded anchorage??
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:24   #93
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Its a mutual decision, we talk it over as we look the possibilities over, but the one with the most testosterone usually is deferred to... but if either of us is uncomfortable we keep looking till we find the best solution... then we use 'marriage saver' headsets to insure coordination from the helm and at the bow.
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Old 04-10-2009, 18:04   #94
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Nic is listed as a Master on our registration papers so if anything happens to me she can more easily (in woman hating countires) command the boat..

But I am captain (unless I have a beer, then its her).

I listen to her advice but I make the decisions at sea.

One boat: One captain.
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Old 04-10-2009, 20:51   #95
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-- Humorously, I cannot fathom why any woman would lower herself to be a "Captain" when her normal position is "Admiral". The Admiral is the one who tells the Captain what needs to be done and the Captain does it.
- - More seriously, "co-captains" is bad terminology - better is "alternate captain". There can be only one captain at a time. However if both people are fully trained in all the safety aspects and navigation and handling aspects of the vessel then they qualify as a captain. When on "watch" that person is The Captain. When relieved by the partner then the roles switch and the new person on watch becomes The Captain.
- - In every other area except safety, navigation when on watch, they are partners and jointly make decisions.
- - If the two partners are not fully qualified equally in safety, nav and operation then only one is The Captain and the other is the First Mate. BUT - it is a very stupid Captain that does not solicit, expect input and listen to the other crewmate during a potential "situation." The Captain is responsible for making the decision but that also means getting information from the crew as to options, and potential complications before making the decision (time permitting). This is called "crew resource management (CRM)" and is now a required procedure in major airline operation.
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Old 31-01-2010, 14:14   #96
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My wife and I have been cruising our Mason 63 continuosly since 2005. When we started this adventure neither of us really knew anything about sailing. Now, 15000 miles later we are still learning every day. Early on we would have " disagreements " over the general decisions of the day. In most cases it was solved amicably but we did have some " strong disagreements. Then one day we came upon the system we have now used for years which is odd and even. On odd numbered days I am captain and on even days she is. It works great ! We discuss everything but every so often it just needs a decision, and the captain makes it.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:22   #97
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Lots of interesting stuff, where the issue of boat handling is so tied up with the issue of your marriage. We see soooo much gender stereotyping in the cruising world, and one reason we know it's out there is cos so many cruising women come and talk to us (as two women) about how we work it out. We don't have the gender stereotypes to fall back on!

Not that we haven't had our debates/discussions/rows of course, but some of it we have managed to get sorted.

Our model is that one of us is skipper (Sarah) cos she knows more about sailing, and going cruising was her idea, and she's the bossy one. But Pip does all the engine work and almost all tool-requiring maintenance (except rigging and stuff up the mast) cos she's much better at it. Sarah does nav and weather, Pip does safety. Pip hates jumping off the bows for a Med mooring so she handles RG in marinas. But she does the anchor handling when it's an anchorage. Both of us cook. We can swap roles if we need to. We know this division confuses some cos the traditional skipper is the one who does the engine stuff, right? Not on RG!

But it is absolutely true that Pip makes the overall destination decisions. A wise friend said to Sarah that the one who *really* wanted to go, has to go whether the other partner chooses. That was good advice.

Final point - a lot of emergencies have less need of a 'captain' to yell orders if there's been a lot of practice. We do not practice as much as we should perhaps, but it's certainly made all the difference to managing various tight and frightening moments that we both absolutely knew what to do!
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:42   #98
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Re-reading through this thread this morning - I posted some time back, last year.

Now, we've sailed a long way, mostly in lakes, but in crowded areas with rude and obnoxious people pushing power boats at high speeds in front of us, while guzzling beer at the wheel.

Somewhere in all of this, and a couple of rough nights out with storms our "Co-Captain" habit went away.

Now I'm the skipper of the ship and she's the First Mate. Period. Unless she's driving the boat and putting us into an anchorage - she's in charge and I do the deck work. For anything else, consulting with authorities to making decisions aboard - for the most part it's on me.

We're doing a trip to BVI in a couple months and we have a crew of five including myself. I'm the skipper, period. The crew has agreed that I'm in charge and to "blame" if something goes wrong.

My wife has become our provisioner and planner for some aspects of the trip. Everything else, including ensuring our travel mates have their proper paperwork is on me.

This is not unlike what I used to do in the military when traveling either - in fact, every aspect of preparing and planning the trip right down to figuring out the exact penny it will cost and how much is left over from the fund at the end has been put on me, exactly as it was a military planner with people to look after.

So - I'm happy with it, and actually am in my element. Making decisions to protect the crew have always been a part of my professional job and career - and easily, VERY easily translate over to this aspect of "Skipper" or "Captain".

I'll eventually EARN the title Captain - but for now, they call me Skipper and mean it.

(I am still a novice at this stuff - but honestly, after sailing for the last year and counting up my time, the experience I've gotten both from others showing me, and me doing it, I'm happy with the learning experience. Whatever it takes to be a responsible, effective, and safe leader is fine with me.)
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Old 05-02-2010, 15:25   #99
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Sorry---- no such thing as Co Captain --- one boat one Captain. More than one person giving orders/instructions invites confusion and disaster.
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Old 05-02-2010, 17:35   #100
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now that's an interesting logic

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Sorry---- no such thing as Co Captain --- one boat one Captain. More than one person giving orders/instructions invites confusion and disaster.
As I understand the argument posited here, there needs to be a single captain because only one person should be giving orders.

Imagine, however, a boat that runs smoothly without there ever being a need for one person to order another around. Instead of "I command you to take the wheel" the non-order version might be, "Sweetie, could you mind the helm awhile?"

Our boat functions nicely without a captain precisely because neither of the co-owners feel the need to bark orders at each other. Confusion and disaster? So far we've sailed this way for 32 years without encountering either.
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Old 05-02-2010, 17:48   #101
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Having someone in the role of captain doesn't mean "barking orders" unless it's Captain Hahab.
In my Navy years there wasn't any 'barking' once out of bootcamp.
In the business world a sign of a poorly run company is management feeling like they've got to 'bark orders' to achieve success.
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Old 05-02-2010, 18:00   #102
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32 years without a boat related disagreemnnt-------------- surrrrrrrrrrrre. With only two shouldn't be a problem, each should know the other well enough to anticipate the other.
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Old 05-02-2010, 18:05   #103
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check the original claim

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32 years without a boat related disagreemnnt-------------- surrrrrrrrrrrre. With only two shouldn't be a problem, each should know the other well enough to anticipate the other.
I never claimed to go 32 years without a disagreement. We sometimes fail to achieve consensus on whether it's worthwhile to hoist the spinnaker. What I said was that we've gone 32 years without "confusion and disaster."

The point here is fairly straightforward. If you don't order each other around when you're off the boat, but then you feel entitled to order your spouse around once you're on the boat, your spouse is more likely to avoid spending time on the boat.

I don't know how many times I've had other gents express envy that my wife is so much more into sailing than their wives are. But the reason is quite simple, she doesn't have to assume to a second-class status while aboard our boat.

She and I will be sailing this weekend, by the way, while the rest of you are watching a silly football game on the telly. Eat your hearts out, Captains.
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:12   #104
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As with all languages there are certain usages that conflict with tradition and legal language. True a vessel can only have one Captain - at a time. But the idea is that the Captain is part of a CREW. And as such each member of the crew is responsible and essential in working with and advising the Captain.
When checking in to a foreign country they want "The Captain" to do the formalities - lots of these places are not up-to-date on the gender revolution stuff. They still operate on the old traditional rules.
A better choice of words might be "Two Captains" which also happens to be a the name of a famous cruising couple's website. But on the legal side another thread somewhere put up an interesting aspect involving be able to move, dispose, or return a vessel to the home country if the check-in Captain dies. There is a legal form that is internationally recognized as enabling the surviving undeclared Captain to take over the vessel and check-out without lengthy legal hassles.
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Old 06-02-2010, 13:08   #105
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Gosh, i think there are probably as many arrangements as there are couples. If it works, it works. In an emergency, people usually "take" responsibility so there might easily a captain for one part of a trip, another for another part and so on. One of the emergencies could easily be the other one is injured, of course.

On small boats, the owner is the ultimate shot-caller. If there's someone else as skipper then owner has but one call - to fire the skipper, who then leaves te boat - but this is usually for larger pleasure boats.

If you are joint owners it's gonna be difficult to be anything other than joint (ish) skippers, but each leading at whatever task is to hand from cooking and cleaning to sail trimming and diesel maintenance. Could be male or female in any of the above imho. I'm usually the best person at cleaning, but if I'm incapacitated, well, then it's obviously important that she takes over...
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