Originally Posted by arleen
Just my humble .02 worth.....
• he's going to expect that you know what you're doing
• make sure you have all of his references
• as seagypsy mentioned, have everything understood --- all the intimate details included
• if he isn't gay
, remember that he will always see you as a woman....close quarters, a few laughs, and possibly a little alcohol lead to all sorts of situations....and remember, the opposite holds true too.....you might think he's hot!
I won't argue that any of this is bad advice. It's certainly not, but I'll also offer a slightly different perspective on a couple of the points from the inside of a mind of a captain that sometimes finds crew, (but is not looking for anyone here):
"He's going to expect you know what you're doing" - I'm sure many captains are this way. I personally never expect new people to know anything. (Actually, I often prefer it when they don't. It's easer to teach, than it is to unteach and then teach.) I do expect people to be willing to learn and help out. To me compatibility and an ability to live on a boat is much more important than any sailing skills. Skills are easy to teach. Living aboard
and compatibility are not.- My point is don't feel you can't crew just because you don't know what you are doing. There are many captains who don't care and might even appreciate that.
"references and credentials" -
References - I certainly think people should ask for these if they feel it's important but find some of the assumptions related to these or need for them can be interesting. A true story: A couple years ago, a friend of a friend wanted to learn to sail. I offered. (through the friend) She knew about me through her friends, (basically reference) and knew who I was, though not personally. Apparently she wasn't comfortable so instead she signed up for a class which she had to wait weeks for and felt fine doing so without checking any references, credentials or even knowing who the instructor was. Guess who the instructor was.- me.
I do often get requests for a reference when I have crew join me and provide them willingly. (Whether my references are available or off sailing somewhere is another story.) Now in terms of compatibility, it may give you some insights to talk with someone who has sailed with me, but to make decisions about your safety
based on one person whom I've provided.... come on now. Anyone can find someone who will say they are not a threat. Anyone can find one person they didn't try to take advantage of. I'm happy to provide references to people who want to join me if that is what gets things to happen, but that some people use this as their primary means to decide compatibility or safety
, absolutely befuddles me. That people so readily blindly sign up for such things with no care for this at all in some situations, but then in similar situations can never have enough, befuddles me even more. (Though I must admit, I'm easily befuddled. Sometimes the ease at which I become befuddled even befuddles me.)
Credentials: A few years ago, I became an ASA bareboat
instructor. Its something that seems to put many potential crew (especially women) more at ease. Does having ASA
credentials mean I'm more qualified to take people out than I was the year previously? Does it mean I'm safer? Does it mean I'm less likely to harm someone? Does it mean my romantic or other intentions are any different? Does it mean I stop seeing you as a woman? Has the ASA done a background check on me that should fill you with confidence? The answer to all these is no. All it means is I've passed some ASA tests and I have a piece of paper to prove it. I'll admit, I say this to prospective crew because I know it makes them more at ease, but the reality is it means little. The fact I have taken people out frequently, am used to getting along with a variety of people of all abilities means something, but is unrelated to any credentials I have. You'll find the nature of these experiences out by talking to me, not through any credentials I have.
Odds are I'll never sail with anyone reading this here, so I personally gain nothing by saying these things and getting anyone to look at these issues differently. I point them out from the other side, to help put them in perspective and so people don't have a false sense of security
by relying on primarily on them. Spending time to objectively look at compatibility and safety is a good thing to do. Check references and credentials if you feel this helps you to this end, but be careful in relying on them as your primary source of decision making regarding competence, compatibility or especially safety. Good communication, common sense and your gut feelings are so important to knowing what you are getting into.