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Old 15-05-2020, 10:30   #1
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How to pick a Delivery Captain???

Recently, I've contributed to a couple threads where the OP had hired a delivery skipper. I used to be a full-time delivery captain out of San Francisco, though my last delivery was 2004.

Got me thinking - how do you figure out who has real credentials vs a good story? After all, 50% of them are below average, right? As to a referral, many might not know what 'good' looks like.

Obviously, references are a must. But best I could come up with to quickly test a candidates credentials are a couple questions along the lines of
1. Can you send me a copy of your credentials for insurance purposes? My packet included copies of my USCG 100T license, passport/drivers license (redacted), list of trips with significant details (endpoints, dates, distance, vessel description, documentation number, crew, etc.), and a couple letters of recommendation on letterhead. I wasn't cavalier about handing this out, but I wasn't stingy either.

2. Can you send me a copy of recent trip logs sent to the owner? Unless the owner was aboard, I would send a summary of the trip including observations, right down to my personal recommendation on what RPM seemed to be the sweet-spot.
Granted, anyone with a PC can fabricate something like the above, but would seem to be a better vetting process than "How many boats have you delivered?"

Thoughts?

Peter
USCG 100T Master 899414 (ret.)
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Old 15-05-2020, 10:46   #2
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

Sounds like good advice to me. Gets to the actual details that matter, and isn't pushy, or likely to offend anyone.
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Old 15-05-2020, 10:49   #3
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
2. Can you send me a copy of recent trip logs sent to the owner? Unless the owner was aboard, I would send a summary of the trip including observations, right down to my personal recommendation on what RPM seemed to be the sweet-spot. [/INDENT]
Trip logs of this detail are the property of the boat owner, they paid for them. I only generate them on paper (primitive, I know) but I deliver them to the owner with the marked up paper charts for the voyage. I don't keep them.
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Old 15-05-2020, 10:49   #4
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
Recently, I've contributed to a couple threads where the OP had hired a delivery skipper. I used to be a full-time delivery captain out of San Francisco, though my last delivery was 2004.

Got me thinking - how do you figure out who has real credentials vs a good story? After all, 50% of them are below average, right? As to a referral, many might not know what 'good' looks like.

Obviously, references are a must. But best I could come up with to quickly test a candidates credentials are a couple questions along the lines of
1. Can you send me a copy of your credentials for insurance purposes? My packet included copies of my USCG 100T license, passport/drivers license (redacted), list of trips with significant details (endpoints, dates, distance, vessel description, documentation number, crew, etc.), and a couple letters of recommendation on letterhead. I wasn't cavalier about handing this out, but I wasn't stingy either.

2. Can you send me a copy of recent trip logs sent to the owner? Unless the owner was aboard, I would send a summary of the trip including observations, right down to my personal recommendation on what RPM seemed to be the sweet-spot.
Granted, anyone with a PC can fabricate something like the above, but would seem to be a better vetting process than "How many boats have you delivered?"

Thoughts?

Peter
USCG 100T Master 899414 (ret.)


Tickets donít mean anything ..a piece of paper

Personal references from past clients that the captain can complete the task on budget and without damage is critical
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Old 15-05-2020, 11:54   #5
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

Quote:
Originally Posted by slug View Post
Tickets donít mean anything ..a piece of paper

Personal references from past clients that the captain can complete the task on budget and without damage is critical
Agreed. My thinking was that if you made a broad request, an experienced captain would know exactly what to send. Someone without much experience (or a different type of experience) would not know or would take a while to toss together.

It's just so hard to interview someone in a field such as this were so much can be a story. Sure you can ask for references and call folks, but I was thinking there might be some steps before that.

Peter
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Old 15-05-2020, 12:43   #6
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVHarmonie View Post
Trip logs of this detail are the property of the boat owner, they paid for them. I only generate them on paper (primitive, I know) but I deliver them to the owner with the marked up paper charts for the voyage. I don't keep them.
Interesting. This is why it's hard to vet credentials.

Peter
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Old 16-05-2020, 09:16   #7
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

Ask for the names and e mail address or telephone numbers of his last couple of deliveries. A personal reference cannot be beaten.
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Old 16-05-2020, 11:29   #8
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

I've been moving boats, worldwide, for over
40 years now,Power and Sail.
In this time I've yet to damage a clients vessel
or log an Insurance claim.
Most of my deliveries are done Solo, even off
shore trips. I have good coveridge with a top
Insurance company and their recommendation
satisfies the demands of other Brokers.
most of what i find is required by owners and
their concerns is (1) multiple referances
(2) Ins. Coverage, (3) Experiance (4) knowledge
of Boats and their systems, (5) Area knowledge
etc..
Pricing is important but the safety of their
vessel is a priority...
I get calls from "Captains" that spend their
days sitting in Bar's, wanting to know if i
will give them a delivery, sorry, it aint going
to happen. Once years ago, i did, it cost me
about $12k,,never again.
So, priority for a Delivery Captain.
Safety Oriented.
Experianced.
Insured.
Mechanical/Electrical knowledge
And yes, a good sense of humour,, you need
it to deal with some of those owners.
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Old 16-05-2020, 12:03   #9
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

Quote:
Originally Posted by mindsofman View Post
I've been moving boats, worldwide, for over
40 years now,Power and Sail.
In this time I've yet to damage a clients vessel
or log an Insurance claim.
Most of my deliveries are done Solo, even off
shore trips. I have good coveridge with a top
Insurance company and their recommendation
satisfies the demands of other Brokers.
most of what i find is required by owners and
their concerns is (1) multiple referances
(2) Ins. Coverage, (3) Experiance (4) knowledge
of Boats and their systems, (5) Area knowledge
etc..
Pricing is important but the safety of their
vessel is a priority...
I get calls from "Captains" that spend their
days sitting in Bar's, wanting to know if i
will give them a delivery, sorry, it aint going
to happen. Once years ago, i did, it cost me
about $12k,,never again.
So, priority for a Delivery Captain.
Safety Oriented.
Experianced.
Insured.
Mechanical/Electrical knowledge
And yes, a good sense of humour,, you need
it to deal with some of those owners.
I had my story too about miles and days at sea etc. My question though is how does someone validate the claim?

BTW mindofmen, what type of insurance do you carry? When I was delivering, I carried no insurance except a general E&O policy that sounded lofty but in reality covered very little. Curious to know what has changed in the 16 years since I was delivering.
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Old 16-05-2020, 13:05   #10
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

Quote:
Originally Posted by mindsofman View Post
I've been moving boats, worldwide, for over40 years now,Power and Sail.
...........snip..........
And yes, a good sense of humour,, you need
it to deal with some of those owners.
And the reverse is also true.

Iíve only needed a delivery twice; once for my Condor 40í trimaran from Tampa to Baltimore because another pair of hands were necessary on that boat, and for our recent ďretirementĒ purchase because I shattered my ankle a couple of weeks before my estimated departure.

After weeding out one alcoholic (reportedly), and another who wanted to dictate everything, including the brand of vest, harness and crotch strap we each had to wear, I chose a recommendation from Just Catamarans based on experience, relaxed attitude, a no-nonsense approach to the job and a sense of humor. Iím glad I waited, as I see the boatís AIS location passing Virginia Beach on its way up the bay. 😀

Present yourself as you wish to be seen and ask yourself if thatís the kind of person youíd want to sail with or entrust your boat to.
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Old 16-05-2020, 15:18   #11
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

Quote:
Originally Posted by mvweebles View Post
I had my story too about miles and days at sea etc. My question though is how does someone validate the claim?

BTW mindofmen, what type of insurance do you carry? When I was delivering, I carried no insurance except a general E&O policy that sounded lofty but in reality covered very little. Curious to know what has changed in the 16 years since I was delivering.
I have a large liability coverage with
Pantaeneus.
Rates with them vary,, Age, Experiance, claims
etc.
I also have Commercial cover with SEA TOW,
wouldn't be without it.
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Old 16-05-2020, 15:39   #12
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

Quote:
Originally Posted by mindsofman View Post
I have a large liability coverage with
Pantaeneus.
Rates with them vary,, Age, Experiance, claims
etc.
I also have Commercial cover with SEA TOW,
wouldn't be without it.
Who cares

If you drive the boat hard , soak the interior, bang up
The varnish , trash out sails ... the insurance company never knows

Only the owner does
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Old 16-05-2020, 17:34   #13
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

Quote:
Originally Posted by mindsofman View Post
I have a large liability coverage with
Pantaeneus.
Rates with them vary,, Age, Experiance, claims
etc.
I also have Commercial cover with SEA TOW,
wouldn't be without it.
This makes no sense to me - a delivery captain insuring a customers boat (as if he has an insurable interest) and providing sea tow; and I seem to recall first post said offshore deliveries are mostly single handed.

Doesn't have the ring of truth to my ears, even if there are references which I'm guessing there are.

Peter
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Old 16-05-2020, 18:14   #14
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

What insurance co. will provide coverage for a single-handed delivery? It's hard enough to get coverage to single-hand your own vessel. And what boat owner says "Sure, take the boat by yourself", unless he is a good friend that knows his experience.
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Old 16-05-2020, 18:29   #15
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Re: How to pick a Delivery Captain???

I think delivery captains are the most knowledgeable sailors on the planet. While most of us, no matter how long we've been sailing, have experience with a few boats, a delivery captain has experience on lots of boats. The last one I hired, a 28 year old, who had delivered 25 boats in the past three years will know more about boats than I've learned in my 45 years of sailing. Finding a good delivery captain, to me anyway, is one of the easiest things to do in sailing. In my area, the majority of deliveries are contracted by the major brokerage offices. Ask them for their delivery skippers. If a delivery quote is less expensive than the going rate I can almost guarantee you are getting either a lousy captain or a newbie (nothing wrong with a newbie but learn on someone else boat)
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