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Old 04-30-2007, 02:59 PM   #1
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This discussion topic is long overdue on this board particularly as we have a very busy crewfinder on the forum. With so many potential crew visiting here it is good for them to learn by reading the posts directly from active cruisers as to what attributes make GOOD and BAD crew aboard a cruising yacht.

Two questions for cruisers: (not charterers)
  1. What, in your mind, would be the attributes of a GOOD crewmember on YOUR boat? Good experiences?
  2. What makes a BAD crewmember on YOUR boat? What is your experience of a "crew from hell"? (No names please - they will be deleted)
Likewise for crew: (in your crewing experience)
  • A] What in your mind makes a GOOD owner/skipper? Good experiences? (no names please)
  • B] What makes a crewing experience a BAD one? What is your experience of a "skipper from hell"? (No names please)
Both cruisers and potential crew can learn much from this thread.

This topic is not intended to discuss issues about "cost-sharing", etc., it is all about ATTRIBUTES of crew/cruisers.



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Old 04-30-2007, 03:42 PM   #2
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My best and worse cases!

1. Many years ago I sailed with a guy who was very knowledgable, a god listener and absolutely honest. Yes, he was a good crew but what was remarkable about him was not the fact that he was noticed when he was on board but that he was missed when he was not. All the little jobs which he did as a matter of course, without special instructions or fuss were suddenly not done.

He was a great crew - almost unnoticed when aboard and sorely missed when not aboard.

2. Worst case was a guy in his med-thirties who was an absolute nutcase. A thief and an arsenist. He even tried to set fire to the boat! God save us from such people




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Old 05-05-2007, 03:47 PM   #3
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1) Good crew on a passage:

Experience is not important, though the knowledge that he/she does not get uncontrolably seasick would be good.
  • * For me, my crew must first and foremost be good, interesting company.

    * Must respect my boat - must understand that my boat is my home.

    * Be ultra tidy.

    * Be eager to learn about sailing and everything on board - my way.

    * Do as I say at all times.

    * Must take notes on where all safety equipment is located (and how to use it) and through-hull fittings.

    * Be diligent about any duties as set and do them with a smile.

    * Asks to do more than is expected.

    * Understands that the boat comes first, "play" later.
The bonus would be if he/she was a Gourmet chef and had a fetish about cleaning the bilges and the heads.

2) Bad crew:
  • * Believes he/she knows more than I.

    * Is constantly seasick.

    * Thinks that the crewing experience is first and foremost a "holiday" experience.

    * Wants to read and/or listen to music while on watch.

    * Sulks! Sulks! Sulks!
If someone arrives on the dockside with a guitar and a "Ghetto Blaster" they are NOT welcome aboard.


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Old 05-06-2007, 07:06 PM   #4
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:37 PM   #5
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Our only crew experience was from Ecuador to the Gambier Islands in French Polynesia. A young fellow who wanted to surf around the world. He had never sailed before, but he had worked on shrimp trawlers in the Gulf of Mexico during his summer vacations. He told Peter "you are the captain and I have to do everything that you tell me to, and anything you don't want to do."

He was immaculately clean, did all the dishes, and cheerfully stood the midnight to 3 am watch. He was also invariably pleasant, and did do everything that Peter wanted him to do. the immaculately clean was really appreciated.
In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

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Old 05-07-2007, 06:53 AM   #6
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First....No offense intended here but I'm glad I'm not on Lighthouse's boat. I would hate to be onboard his boat.

Cleaning...Best crew will never ask, just perform what's necessary. While they are aboard it's their home also. Treat it like that and there's no problems.

Decisions... I WANT crew to question critical decisions or to help make them. Their perspective may be considerably different then mine and it helps to have different input. I never met anyone who was always correct, but I have met a lot of unfortunates who thought they were...often they are proven wrong with disasterous results. The crew has a brain. I want to use that too. Their life is also at risk. Often their eyes and comprehension of details is better, or different, then mine. I want that information. It makes me a better skipper. Crew are plank owners when aboard and have just as much concern about the boat as I do. If they don't have this concern then they aren't on board.

If the crew stands a watch and wants to read a book or listen to music then why not? As long as they are meeting the requirements of keeping the boat safe then it's fine. It may even help keep them awake. I have no interest in controlling their lives. We are talking adults here aren't we? I encourage them to have their friends come out for a visit also. Remember they are plank owners when on board and should be able to have the same courtesies as I. Everyone has a stake in the boat.

I have a boat manual that lists (with diagrams) all safety equipment, basic boat operation and other pertinent stuff. We go through the boat before setting sail and constantly talk about things while underway. This year my crew is the same as last year and she wants to learn to skipper the boat. She's the acting captain for manuevering under motors (docking and anchoring), soon sailing, and will make a fine captain...all the practice necessary for as long as it takes. I take the crew's role and I like it! If anything happens to me then she'll be able to sail the boat....alone. I fall overboard and she'll pick me up...no doubts because she's comfortable in manuevering the boat. She learning weather, routing, and communications. Great stuff!

Basically bad crew is anyone who doesn't feel like a plank owner, either through my fault or theirs. If the boat has no meaning to them, other then travel or an oppurtunity to steal, then it's the wrong boat and the wrong skipper. A low life will never feel as being part of any boat.

JMO...sorry about the length of the reply.

A`ohe `ulu e loa`a i ka pokole o ka lou.

No breadfruit can be reached when the picking stick is too short.
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