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Old 13-07-2022, 14:55   #16
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

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Originally Posted by Heydeedee View Post
Thank you all for these prompt responses. I am taking it all in. To clarify I am in a boat partnership now where we both own the boat. As to someone's comment about sailing into slip and not using the engine to get out of a marina, I would like to say that this boat is very new, very expensive, sails in waters where every afternoon is spitting between20 and 30 knots for the spring and summer and is surrounded by many new sailboats. We will use the engine in marinas on this boat. Sailing my 25 foot or 30 foot plastic fantastics over the years in or out of slip in mild conditions without too much tidal cuuent was fine...but a quarter of a million dollars and near double the size and surrounded by luxury yachts in a tight harbor--- not risking it unless its an outside end tie.
That would be problem number 1.

partnership......
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Old 13-07-2022, 15:34   #17
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

Part of the differences here is that both of you own the boat! And the two of you seem to have incompatible style, complicated by your being crew for him.

First off, pee before you go on board. Go aboard mentally prepared for an experience not as peaceful as you have when single handing. When he is skippering, check with him before you do anything on your own initiative. You can always play with the idea that you will buy him out.....


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Originally Posted by Heydeedee View Post
Singlehanded sailing goes like this to me--

Warm up engine, make sure everything is stowed and all cabinets locked, bring up and hank on chosen jib, setup jib sheets, take off mainsail cover, take off compass cover, get out winch handles, make sure halyards run free, put GPS,if using, in cockpit along with sandwich or thermos, use the head, put on lifejacket, put on sunscreen, find sunglasses, plug in and attach tillerpilot, check engine temp and oil pressure, get rid of dock lines to either take or leave except for 1 long spring line, walk my boat out of slip in neutral, hop on board, toot along out of the harbor.
Once out away from traffic put tillerpilot on any clear course I choose, while I take off and stow fenders and springline, then attach main halyard, go back to cockpit, set tillerpilot into wind, hoist up main.

Put engine in neutral, fall off and toot along seeing how it feels...will I needreef? Imho, your reasons for using the engine are good ones; and I think it is safer for you, as well as the other boats in the tight marina.

Actually, I would have decided whether I needed a reef, based on the wind speed when out in the clear air, then put it up with the reef if needed. It only takes a moment to shake out a reef.


Or if I have left a reef in, shake it out? We do not normally leave reefs secured in the main, preferring to east stresses on the cloth, but sometimes, if we're going out again into stronger winds after the over night, we do. In general, we reef around 20 apparent on the wind, and our headsails are on furlers. Will I put up jib? Determine those things and take care of them, cut engine....have a lovely sail and, and reassess course, conditions, amount of sail out as needed throughout the day/night. Reading between the lines, you like to sail easier than your co-owner. You're going to have to work this one out with him.

Doublehanded sailing- Begin to do all the above but crewmate has engine going and asks me to cast us off. Ok.


We cast off, nd crewmate wants one of us to hank on jib and set up the sheets while other takes off mainsail cover and stows away lines and fenders while we autopilot out extremely narrow channel with traffic.

My prejudice again, but no. Electronic pilots fail often. In the marina, skipper hand steers out. But no problem for others to get things ready.

As soon as the channel opens wider crewmate is ready for full sails up. Both of them asap and...please get spinnaker ready just in case.
Within minutes all sails are up but I haven't enjoyed anything.

If you're going to continue with this person, you will need to get him to understand some of how you feel. My opinion is (& sorry if it sounds harsh, but I've done a lot of crewing) is that when it is his turn to skipper, he gets to call the shots.I am thirsty, I have to pee.

Take care of watering and de-watering yourself before you board.

I had to run back and forth for winch handles that were still below, stubbed my toe, got shouted at for something, not that I could hear what was
said, fumbled clumsily with blocks and bowlines and stopper knots at breakneck speed, avoid traffic in the channel under full sail,and where are my sunglasses? My lifejacket? He shouted at you? Perhaps he just wanted to be heard; however, some skippers are screamers. I won't sail with them. Never. There is no reason to set yourself up for verbal abuse. This is supposed to be fun. Why are you "hurrying" so much? Five minutes one way or the other will not make a difference. You get to work at a pace that is comfortable for you. He could ask you to speed up, but if you can't reasonably, then you need to let him know that.

Are you tryinig too hard to please? Just as you prepare carefully for exiting the marina, you have to learn to also, pre-pare yourself. Skippers expect you to be ready.
I go below to take a breather and next thing you know my crewmate insinuates I must not have as much sailing experience as he thought... I have no idea how to respond as I have sailed my own boats as an adult for decades and as a child with my family... and taught my kids too and they sailed collegiate for years and went to nationals. This is clearly something you need to explain. You taught your kids as you wanted them to do. His expectation is that if you are crew you will do as he wants. If you need exceptions to that, then you must state them clearly. *

Anyone else have singlehand versus doublehand woes? I want to be a good team member. And getting defensive won't help. Beginning to think I need actual time lines of who does what when in writing. Not in writing, but necessary to be clear between the two of you.
Here's a little story that happened between my now husband and me, when I was first new crew for him, a long time ago. We were sailing on SF Bay, it was summer and the usual 15-25 westerly was blowing, unbeknownst to me, it was getting stronger.

Jim (an experienced singlehander at the time) called me to helm, while he set up a light air sail called a "jennaker", a radial cut sail for downwind work, somewhere between a Code 0 and an assymetrical kite now. I steer, watching the traffic, and I hear him say, "turn down". "No," says I. "Turn down," he repeats. "No!" and yet again, "Turn down!!!" "NO!" He was annoyed when he came back to the cockpit, but from there he could see why. There was a car carrier in the way, and it was unsafe, as yet, to turn down. Obviously, I should have said, "No, have to wait for traffic." I was expecting him to trust a new, unproven, crew without an explanation because I felt that I knew what I was doing. And I hadn't come to grips at all, yet, with what [at that time a variety of skippers] needed from me. It must be obvious to everyone here that it was my expectation that was wrong. [For the curious, we have both learned better communication since then.]

If you and the person in question here are going to doublehand, you both need to think what will make you the best team, and you should both also singlehand the boat so that he gains a better understanding of your needs. And if you can't perform as partners, then the partnership will break up.

If you treat your partner like a child (your last crew), he isn't going to like it very well. You guys will have to treat each other and yourselves like reasonable, responsible adults

If you're an independent soul, it is hard to subsume yourself to someone else; however, he may well feel the same as you, and you're going to need to negotiate for what you want. DO THIS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, DO NOT PUT IT OFF, because he will think all is well, unless you do.



Ann [You can check my profile for my sailing experience up to joining CF.]
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Old 13-07-2022, 16:52   #18
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

Developing an effective, highly functional team requires that the team members have a shared background of experience. There has to be something unifying the team. For example, maybe you both take the same course work to advance your mariner knowledge. This would give you the same background experience upon which to build your team.

Another idea....Work together to standardize launching procedure (i.e. remove all slack lines, Hank on jib, check engine oil, turn on instruments, start engine, steam out of the marina and channel then hoist sail when clear of traffic). These are things the two of you could work on together and develop your own shared background experience for your boat. Another is to work on a boat manual. These are all ways to build your team even before you start sailing.

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Old 13-07-2022, 21:05   #19
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

I know a lot of single handers over the yrs. Mostly my generation (70/80's)
We primarily do NOT like other company on boat but often travel A to B on own boats.
Together. It's just a mental attitude
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Old 13-07-2022, 21:32   #20
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

Forget all the bollocks about who is in charge or who the captain is.

You have a new boat and new partner.

If you are going to make this work so you both enjoy it.

Your going to have to communicate with your partner and tell them what you are comfortable with and more importantly what you are not comfortable with.

This might just be an easy discussion if you are nice and polite about it.
Tell them what your concerns and what made you uncomfortable about your last trip,
Make suggestions about what to change.

Be open to hearing what their position is.

If you find you canít communicate and enjoy this together. It may be long term problem.

Itís about developing trust.

When you learn to communicate and understand each other you will begin to trust each other.

I teach something called crew resource managements
Itís really about effective communication. So you can work effectively as a team. By helping each other to achieve your goals. This requires a commitment to both speak up about what you see and to listen to the information you are given.

Start by thinking aloud. Openly talk about what your plan is and what you are doing. Ask for and welcome your partnerís input.
When your partner had the helm ask for the same from him or her.

People write whole books and thesis on this stuff but it all comes down to developing trust and effective communication.

Above all have fun
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Old 14-07-2022, 00:12   #21
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

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Originally Posted by Heydeedee View Post
To clarify I am in a boat partnership now where we both own the boat.
One boat I was on was owned by three owners. They took it in turns to be skipper - a month at a time.
When they werenít skipper, they were just crew.

Note that theyíd been sailing for a while before I joined them so had worked out how they were going to do things before I got there.
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Old 14-07-2022, 00:15   #22
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

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Forget all the bollocks about who is in charge or who the captain is.
Sorry, but there can only be one skipper and it has to be clear who that is. Having two on board making their own decisions leads to confusion, strife and occasionally disaster.
It doesn't have to be the same one all the time, but before departure, you need to decide who is the skipper of the day and act accordingly.
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Old 14-07-2022, 00:54   #23
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

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Sorry, but there can only be one skipper and it has to be clear who that is. Having two on board making their own decisions leads to confusion, strife and occasionally disaster.
It doesn't have to be the same one all the time, but before departure, you need to decide who is the skipper of the day and act accordingly.
No apology required,
You just missed the point apparently I didn’t explain it well enough. My bad.

It sounds easy and simple but it’s not. Many Many highLy experienced professionals have a hard time grasping it. Particularly if they were not trained to act this way earlier by the skippers, mates, officers masters, captains or pilots they learned from.

You can still be the skipper without making a big deal about it. If you communicate effectively. In fact it makes it much easier if you are open to assistance. Particularly when your crew trusts your ability and judgment because you explain your decisions or actions ahead of time and make a point of placing value in their judgment and impute.

By doing so it will actually increase your authority not diminish it.

The OP indicated they are equal partners in the ownership of a nice new to them boat.
By far the easier to way establish who is the skipper by working together to establish mutual trust.
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Old 14-07-2022, 02:37   #24
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heydeedee View Post
Thank you all for these prompt responses. I am taking it all in. To clarify I am in a boat partnership now where we both own the boat. As to someone's comment about sailing into slip and not using the engine to get out of a marina, I would like to say that this boat is very new, very expensive, sails in waters where every afternoon is spitting between20 and 30 knots for the spring and summer and is surrounded by many new sailboats. We will use the engine in marinas on this boat. Sailing my 25 foot or 30 foot plastic fantastics over the years in or out of slip in mild conditions without too much tidal cuuent was fine...but a quarter of a million dollars and near double the size and surrounded by luxury yachts in a tight harbor--- not risking it unless its an outside end tie.
It sounds like a difference in experience and confidence combined with poor communication. How much experience do you have verses your boat partner?

Assuming you're equal partners, your original post could have been written by someone complaining about their less experienced spouse who suffers from lack of confidence and patience.

If this 50'+ boat is new to both of you, experience should help with lack of confidence. In the mean time it's like any other partnership where you either have to learn how to work together or set clear rules and boundaries
.
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Old 14-07-2022, 05:30   #25
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

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No apology required,
You just missed the point apparently I didnít explain it well enough. My bad.

.........

You can still be the skipper without making a big deal about it. If you communicate effectively. In fact it makes it much easier if you are open to assistance. Particularly when your crew trusts your ability and judgment because you explain your decisions or actions ahead of time and make a point of placing value in their judgment and impute.

............
If you were referring to my post, I think you missed my point.

While I phrased it as a formal process, no there doesn't need to be a bosun with a whistle and cat-o-nine-tails ready to hand out lashes if someone doesn't jump when the Captain gives an order.

It can be a simple discussion of what needs to be done and who is taking the lead but since the OP indicated they are having difficulty establishing how to do things and who's in charge, taking the formality up a notch is likely to be beneficial.

While we know people who go so far as to have laminated checklists, we've informally determined who does what... 9 out of 10 times when there's an issue, it's when we didn't follow process.
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Old 14-07-2022, 21:12   #26
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

I think I will talk to my boat partner about me arriving at the boat first to prep things and take care of stuff I like to have done prior to casting off. I will check forecast and let them know what headsail I am planning to put on deck and let them know I am open to any reasonable differing opinion.
When they arrive, maybe they won't just be throwing on the engine and untying and we can actually talk about a common sailing goal and/or course for the afternoon...and then, with all the things I like to have complete prior to leaving the dock all done, and a common goal in mind, I can rise to the new pace and style I have bought into. And maybe they will relax a bit more!

BTW, both of us owners have incredibly similar but totally separate, (as we only met some years ago) experience.

-we both sailied cruising style with our families as children
- windsurfed and sailed hobie cats and dinghies in our teens,
-both of us have crewed on other people's race boats for decades and still do
- Both of us have helped deliver boats.
-Both of us were the sole owners of two or more racer/cruisers and cruised singlehanded up and down the california and Mexican coast for a dozen years or more
-We both have various ASA and auxiliary USCG course completions from over the years

Our differences?
- I am 5 foot nothing and less than a buck twenty and worked as an assistant harbormaster.

-THEY are built like they were born to grace the covers of athletic magazines and they made their living as a professional windsurfer and big wave rider. Very intense and competitive and disciplined.

I think we could both benefit from aiming to be more like the other and learn a lot by adjusting our pace and style. I could do to behave more competitively and move faster and they could do with easing back a little.

I appreciate all the feedback.
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Old 18-07-2022, 09:10   #27
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

He is captain do what he says.

When we were cruising whomever was on watch is the captain.
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Old 18-07-2022, 11:08   #28
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

Optyions:

1) Only sail with you as skipper.
2) Sail with another person as skipper, but with them accepting that you are not his slave and that before casting off, you both agree WITH casting off. i.e. you, and they agree that the ship and crew are ready TO cast off.
As in most aspects of life, I am used to being the nearest thing to an expert that is available. I do most things by instinct first, then education.
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Old 18-07-2022, 15:43   #29
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

That works when you have time to discuss it. Most of the time you will with good planning. There will be times when instant decision will have to be made. That is why there is a captain
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Old 18-07-2022, 15:52   #30
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Re: How can a singlehander become good crew?

This is a fun topic. In short, it probably depends if you have over handed experience prior to or in conjunction with singlehanding.

Singlehanding is doing everything. Itís much higher stakes and one thing need only go wrong.

Hey I gave it up. I did enough.

So it makes you a control freak. A gear freak. A safety freak. Maybe less fun to sail with but a crack in an emergency.

Who would you rather sail with Mary Ann and the Professor ( no offense) or Gilligan and the skipper.
Check my Gillianís Island reference- I am new to this).
Depends.
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