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Old 31-01-2018, 10:08   #46
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Re: Would you deliver her?

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Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
I second Jim Cate's comments.

Sounds like some things are butt over teakettle here! Skipper's first responsibility is to keep his crew safe. He can't do that except by keeping his ship safe. How can he do that if he - the nominal skipper - doesn't know what he is doing? How can he do that if his psychology is such that he will accept such a responsibility even though he KNOWS that he is not experience enuff to carry it? How can an experienced man - you perhaps - hope to step in and take over from the inexperienced skipper when the poop hits the fan - as it will? We don't normally make heavy weather of it, but the chain of command exists for a reason. At sea, even among civilians, it HAS to be sound - and it HAS to be observed.

Time to reread Wouk's Caine Mutiny. The psychology of such situations is wonderfully depicted there.

Commitment, such as it is, be damned! Best find some other way to get in your sea time.

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I agree and im trying to get it into the supposed captainís mind. But its super hard when they know nothing. Ignorance is bliss they say.

Anyway...Im trying to figure out exactly how i can manage this situation and if its going to be viable from start.

Iíll definitely let you know prior to depart.

Thanks a lot
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Old 31-01-2018, 10:16   #47
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Re: Would you deliver her?

Stay home.
Too many cons,,,, not enough pros.
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Old 31-01-2018, 10:23   #48
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I'd say go for it..
Lots of places to bail along the way.. and if they've not come together before St Vincent.. get him to drop you off at Portimao.
Test out your own crew building abilities.. you'll need em down the line.
In case I missed it.. when is the trip and what's the boat.. mono or cat.. how big.???
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Old 31-01-2018, 10:56   #49
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Re: Would you deliver her?

Upon seeing your reply to me I reread the entire thread, and noted particularly Valhalla's comments. I, too, had felt that there is a confidence issue here. I don't think that has to do with radar or AIS. It sounds, licencing issues disregarded for the moment, as if you don't have confidence in the crew, and, as Jim hinted at with his accustomed sagacity, that you don't have confidence in your ability to command the crew. You say yourself that you are "a young skipper" implying that you are deferring on grounds of age to others.

Is the owner going to be aboard? You are not the owner either de facto, or in the RN sense of the word, i.e. the appointed skipper with a some serious weight behind you to back you up. When things go pear shaped and you as "skipper by consent" give an order, would the actual, inexperienced owner say "Chuck you, Farley - this is MY ship!" and do things his way - for better or for worse?

If you were, by tenable agreement with the owner, the de facto skipper - while not being licensed - and something went wrong through an "act of God" for which no-one aboard could be blamed, could the insurance underwriters refuse to pay out on the grounds that "skipper" didn't have the appropriate licence?

Great caution is called for methinks. How did you come into contact with thse people? Did they come to you, or did you go to them? I would think that how you handle the situation at this time must depend on which of those two is the case.

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Old 31-01-2018, 11:17   #50
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Re: Would you deliver her?

You have several concerns, but to me the biggest is your gut feeling. If I were in your situation and my gut was telling me not to go, I wouldn't go. My reason is that every time I went against my gut, I lived to regret it. On this trip, you may not get the opportunity to live to regret. Good luck to you whichever way you decide to go.
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Old 31-01-2018, 12:18   #51
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Re: Would you deliver her?

AIS/radar are of marginal importance if daylight legs with sharp watch. What does matter is skipper quality and equipment especially engine and safety stuff. Any doubts on thise, PASS.
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Old 31-01-2018, 12:24   #52
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Re: Would you deliver her?

This sounds like a "Should we reef?" question. You know, if you have to ask it, you should have already done it?

If the OP is the most skilled person on the boat, and does not think the rest of the crew is up to his standards, and does not think the boat itself is up to the standards he would prefer to make the trip comfortably, then the answer might be DON'T GO. Listen to the gut feeling that is telling you this is outside your comfort zone.

By all means go outside your comfort zone if there's someone at hand with more experience, or you can do so without substantial risk and gain experience.

Radar is nice, but then wouldn't the alternative be "We wait for clear weather and a daylight crossing" ? It would seem like the crux of things is having less experienced crew, which also means you can never really be comfortable off watch. The answer then might be to go, IF the owner will find and take one substantially more experienced crew, even if that means hiring one. This trip sounds like the owner is trying to put together a free delivery crew--and sometimes that's just not possible. When money gets too tight, one has to start questioning whether that has also affected overall maintenance on the boat.
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Old 31-01-2018, 12:28   #53
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Re: Would you deliver her?

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Originally Posted by where.is.mike View Post
I know...right..?
It feels like a bad idea but im kinda stuck and half compromised.

The only thing in favor is i have time. And that can make all the difference in making good weather passages.

Do you think..?
If it feels like a bad idea, don't go. Trust your instincts.

The Portuguese ports are often closed in bad weather - a rocky, lee shore. Don't count on being able to just duck in, in case of bad weather.

If you don't trust the skipper, don't count on his being "open to your suggestions". The skipper is the skipper - he's responsible, and if things get hairy, he and only he will decide, and if the decision is bad, you'll have to live (or die) with it.
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Old 31-01-2018, 12:38   #54
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If it feels like a bad idea, don't go. Trust your instincts.

The Portuguese ports are often closed in bad weather - a rocky, lee shore. Don't count on being able to just duck in, in case of bad weather.

If you don't trust the skipper, don't count on his being "open to your suggestions". The skipper is the skipper - he's responsible, and if things get hairy, he and only he will decide, and if the decision is bad, you'll have to live (or die) with it.
This is true.. a German sail training boat came to grief at my local port Figuiera da Foz a few years back.. he had five crew he was 'instructing' on their passage North.
He was advised not to try the entry but did so anyway..
The boat was rolled coming over the bar and he died and two crew were injured.. all ended up in the water..
During the rescue one of the Policia Maritimo ribs that went out to save them was capsized and a policeman also drowned as a result.. once past Lisbon things get tricky and intelligence combined with experience is essential winter sailing this coast.. Gung Ho is not.
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Old 31-01-2018, 12:50   #55
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Would you deliver her?

A lot of people are telling you how to do it if you do it, and thatís fine. The issue is whether you should do it or not.

Regarding the crew, if they were described to you as inexperienced and you have not sailed with them, I would pass unless your willing to take them as mere passengers.

A number of years ago I was bringing a boat back from Bermuda with a crew member who had limited experience with larger waves and a wheeled boat. We were cooking downwind at a good pace, surfing down waves when his turn at the helm came up. He seemed comfortable but suddenly the boat was yawing back and forth pretty precariously and he was furiously spinning the wheel, madly overcorrecting back and forth and we were flirting with a broach. Calmed him down and settled the boat and crisis averted. He was great after that but it was a problem born out of inexperience, not lack of knowledge.

My point is itís the little things that your crew does not know, and which you donít know that they donít know, that can get you into trouble.

If youíd do the trip solo and are willing to micromanage the crew, go for it. If not, youíre at risk.
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Old 31-01-2018, 13:46   #56
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Re: Would you deliver her?

Once upon a time, I did the Bermuda Race with only one other experienced sailor (he was really, really good) on board. We totaled 5 in crew. The captain and the other 2 were fairly new at this. We had a number of mishaps, mostly due to the captain, which I intend to never repeat. Safe passage comes from two things. A well equippted and cared for vessel, and a good crew. You can cope with everything else. Although the 2 inexperienced crew tried hard, when the chips were down, and things broke etc. there was no substitute for knowing what to do without asking.
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Old 31-01-2018, 14:57   #57
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Re: Would you deliver her?

There are old sailors. There are bold sailors. But few old, bold sailors.
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Old 31-01-2018, 15:17   #58
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Re: Would you deliver her?

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Originally Posted by where.is.mike View Post
Thanks for the reply!!

Youíre right, i am concerned and a bit scared.

The more experienced i get, the more i worry about people that have no experience on board. I have skippered before and i take it as a serious commitment. Besides, and even with easy bailouts along my way up the west coast, i think big sea state can impose a challenge to be reckoned.

I would trust myself to sail a boat across singlehanded. But this time around...I donít know the boat and her history, I donít know my crew but i know theyíre green, I donít have any recognizable authority on board and, although it may sound stupid...it feels like they really have no clue about sailing.

Im playing it out with ease trying to access the risk against the fact that i have a lot of time and can plan for good weather windows.

I have a number of ďconsĒ for this passage but its a very good opportunity for me and im looking for all the best ways to reduce the risk and decide if itís worth it.
As I read this you are telling us that you are going to deliver a boat with no real Captain and a bunch of people who know nothing about sailing. Sounds like a really bad idea to me. On top of that, there is so much information being left out here. No bueno.
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Old 31-01-2018, 15:34   #59
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Re: Would you deliver her?

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I agree and im trying to get it into the supposed captainís mind. But its super hard when they know nothing. Ignorance is bliss they say.

Anyway...Im trying to figure out exactly how i can manage this situation and if its going to be viable from start.

Iíll definitely let you know prior to depart.

Thanks a lot
This comment makes me really question your judgement. ďGet into the Captains mindĒ ? Wowee !
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Old 31-01-2018, 16:16   #60
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Re: Would you deliver her?

WIM, this thread has been especially good IMO, and you have received considerable advice from some experienced and competent sailors. As usual, that advice ranges from go to no go, and leaves (as always) the final decision up to you.

The detailed advice from Boatie was especially good. He's a very experienced sailor in the region in question, and also experienced in dealing with recalcitrant boats and crews. From long observation of his exploits, and from conversations with folks who know him personally, I believe that besides being a good sailor, he has a pretty forceful personality (don't deny it, Phil!). I have no knowledge of you and your abilities in interpersonal relations, but when Phil tells you that it will be a good test of your crew building skills, well, I think that is worth some consideration. In short, are you comfortable with the idea of forcing the green crew into shape, especially if you encounter rougher wx than anticipated and the crew is literally green (with mal de mer)? The outcome of the voyage may depend upon that skill set more than your sailing abilities.

From my own point of view... I'm a decent sailor and I would be ok with the passage (other than a strong aversion to being cold), assuming that the vessel passed my own survey. But I have little experience with the aforementioned crew building, and I'd not be at all happy with the situation that you describe. I know that I don't like forcing my ideas on others or insisting that they do some task when they don't want to... obviously I'd be a bad choice to take your place, and I'd not do it.

So, pay attention to you instincts, evaluate how you would interact with the crew or owner if aboard, and don't get railroaded into a place you should not be.

Oh... do let us know what you decide!

Jim
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