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Old 11-04-2010, 13:47   #1
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Taking a Friend Along Who Has 'Lots of Experience'

I've taken out 2 different friends at different times who told me that they sailed a lot.
Keep your friendship, but try to "test" them..somehow. The first time my friend (#1) took the helm and completely let the boat off course and jibed, in serious wind conditions. Almost taking his dad's head off. (The boom just took off the Dad's hat...Luckily). Next time (friend #2) left the dock lines LOOSE on the foredeck when leaving and heading into the 6-10 foot swells. One line washed overboard,I think,.. the other found the prop . My fault as the skipper.. I didn't watch their moves, but it turned out neither could have sailed alone, let alone hold a course. Mea culpa. I should have double checked. Next time a friend says Oh yeah..I sailed a lot...I'll check...Twice..maybe 3 times
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Old 11-04-2010, 13:54   #2
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Old 11-04-2010, 13:56   #3
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In my monohull days, I turned the tiller over to a friend so that he could sail. There was a ship's channel buoy not far away, and I pointed it out so that he would not run into it. Unfortunately, like a moth drawn to the flame he sailed right toward it and ran into it. I don't believe he did it on purpose, but it was hard to understand how he could run into a buoy that was in plain sight.

Since that time, I don't turn the helm over to rookies near any potential obstacles/targets. Even offshore, I watch them like a hawk.
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Old 11-04-2010, 14:18   #4
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My philosophy is to to assume new crew know nothing, regardless of what they say. I feel I'm responsible and any help they give is welcome. In perhaps 15 new crew, I've never been disappointed in their sailing abilities. Attitude is another story.

I purposely did my first cruise to the Bahamas solo just so I knew I'd never be reliant on the abilities or knowledge of untested crew.
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Old 11-04-2010, 15:23   #5
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Full of crap

I invited one guy I was kinda friends with to go sailing. He was going to bring his hit girlfriend and a bunch of her hottie buddies. So after I blew a few hundg on cheese wine crackers soprasatta, the whole deal he shows up with just his one girly. Then while I'm basically giving this guy and his date a free vacation day he starts yelling out jibe ho and all this other bs sailing terminology to me, trying to impress this girl. Meanwhile I've done some ocean sailing, Antigua race week a few times and a few others. I knew he grew up as a member of one of the local yacht clubs but I had no idea what kind of experiance he had. Anyway I couldn't take it anymore so I called him up by the bow not to embarrass him in front of his girl. I told him if he said jibe ho one more time I was going to throw his f-ing ass overboard. He finally shut up. Anyway it became apparrant that he probably never sailed out of our local bat sound etc. and just talked a big game. I have found that a lot of these professional yacht club sailors are full of crap and have never been anywhere, but they love using all the terms. I had one guy on my boat on my way to Newport who talked a lot of crap. The weather got really nasty and he looked like he was going to crap in his pants. His wife was asking how I could be so calm. I just remember telling her this isn't anything. Mr. yachtty looked like a real pussy. lol If half of these guys were ever in the real crap when you cant see the next wave crest they would be on the radio calling the Coast Gaurd. I never believe anyone anymore until I see how that act on board. Your almost better off with someone who knows nothing, because at least they will follow direction and not act like they know better then you on your own boat.
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Old 11-04-2010, 15:28   #6
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Maybe it's just me, but I think most of my friends are smarter than these.
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Old 11-04-2010, 15:29   #7
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I turned the helm over to myself once, and went aground for the next 6 hours! I basically always assume I don't know what I'm doing. Sometimes yell so much at myself in my mind that I cry inside my skull.
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Old 11-04-2010, 15:45   #8
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I remember my first "navigator." It was my first interisland sail on my boat. Our watches were 4 hours long and all we had to do was try to keep our compass course and log in what we actually were steering at each hour so we wouldn't be too lost when the sun came up. Uncle Tom was brought along as navigator since he'd been out a few times on other folks boats and did the interisland cruise. Needless to say we got up the next morning and were totally lost. Vog from the volcano had obscured the islands completely and we didn't have any idea where we were since no one really logged their course. We made it to Lahaina on Maui but only after motoring and searching for Molokai for more hours than I wanted to.
I learned as skipper/owner of your boat that you are totally responsible even if your crew volunteers to be in charge of other aspects of the cruise.
Now when folks tell me they have lots of sailing experience I "trust but verify."
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Old 11-04-2010, 15:55   #9
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Took the helm of a friends 30CD (mind you, I won a 30CD, I taught sailing in a 30CD K!! ) Anyways, we were running down wind in some heavy seas and the first 30 sec after taking the helm I nearly jibed her twice. Now everyone aboard is looking at this girl (me) who is supposed to have 20,000 ocean miles ( I am bit rusty - so sue me) writing her initials in the water. So don't be hard on em, sometimes it takes a moment to get the feel for a boat.

My best friend and I went out for a girls night sail. It was blowing like stink and my friend Suasan was a bit unsure. Being the intrepid sailor (read stupid) I went out anyways. During the heavy weather I needed her to take the helm. She makes a B line for the line of shrimp boats along the shore less than 100 feet away. I cannot to this day figure out where she was going, God bless her, we had open water 300 degrees and she steers for the big shrimp boats and land. People do funny things, hopefully it is not while steering your boat.
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Old 11-04-2010, 18:28   #10
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Just thought I would put a bit of a plug in for the opposite experience, too. I have a friend who I've known for many years, although not all that closely for most of that time. Then, on a lark one day I call him up and ask him if he would like to go out, just for a bit of a day sail. He accepted and we met at the boat, with me figuring I'd be doing most of the work, decision-making, etc.

Well, he surprised me with all sorts of things. First, he knew his knots. He asked how I liked the dock lines to be stowed. I didn't have to ask him to remove them after we shoved off, he just knew. So, we get out of the marina, get the sails up and he's like a natural. He had already looked over the charts, had sketched some ideas down and had already looked over the weather. I comment to him that he seemed so comfortable on the boat. That's when he told me about having been a former PT boat and destroyer escort skipper, having left the Navy as a full Lt many years prior. We had known each other for about 15 years by this point, but I hadn't known that about him.

After having a very nice day, we start to head in and he asks to take the helm coming into the marina. We were on a 35-foot cat and I must admit I was a bit skeptical, but thought, "well, I'll stay close, just in case." Well, he had a touch with that boat that was just jaw-droppingly excellent. Locked the rudders without asking, using the engines with a fine, deft accuracy. As sweet as could be, like he was born on her.

Since then, we've taken a number of trips together. We've become ever closer to the point where I now count him as my best friend. The great thing about this, too, is that he has taught me a great deal. After all, he took lots of courses in navigation and, of course, had lots of experience.

So, sometimes you might be pleasantly surprised. I certainly was, and have benefited greatly from it.

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Old 12-04-2010, 11:58   #11
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I once had a hanger-on guest that wiggled his way aboard due to his wife and another lady going sailing for a few days. Was not what any of us wanted but it "happened".

Leaving the first port he starts shouting " Red Right.... Red Right..... Red Right.... I was helmsman in the Navy it is Red Right" We were Leaving Port......

Things got worse....... and for some reason it is illegal to maroon a moron at a foreign port.... that just sucks!
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Old 12-04-2010, 12:33   #12
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A year back I bought a boat in Seattle and needed to get it to Bellingham. Being brand new to a 40 ft boat, I knew I needed help. I sent out a few messages on CF. One of the locals from Canada came down and helped me. Paid him for the trip- should have paid him more. Knew what he was doing, knew the water and loved sailing the boat.
Maybe I was just lucky...but it was a great experience.
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Old 13-04-2010, 00:04   #13
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The two most dangerous things one can do on a yacht are:
1. Take on unknown crew.
2. Go as crew on an unknown boat.


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Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II, lying Port Cygnet Tasmania once again.
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Old 13-04-2010, 01:02   #14
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Be careful with the Aussies..

Aussies always lie about their experience.

I invited this guy Mark out on my boat. He totally sucked.

Maybe next time around the planet he'll know what he's doing...
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Old 13-04-2010, 01:44   #15
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And what about Aussie Elf's; I understand they make up for the Mark's of the world
All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangereous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. T.E. Lawrence
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