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Old 02-20-2008, 03:21 PM   #21
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I really like this topic!

... no more captains on the ocean...

Now I imagine a big cruise ship, let's say between the caribbean islands, the first day out, and all passengers appear nicely dressed for the master's dinner (former captain's dinner)...


skipper of the sailboat


If you have the time, you alwas have the right winds.

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I've Contributed to the Cruisers Wiki: Germany, Background, Cruising/Sailing the German Bight
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Old 03-05-2008, 06:51 PM   #22
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It has been my experience that the most satisfying title is the one bestowed upon you by others.

Unfortunately, by reason of name (like Kirk I am known as "Captain Morgan" in any bar I happen to venture into, regardless of oceanic proximity.

I too have always liked the term Skipper when commanding a vessel.


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Old 03-06-2008, 02:09 AM   #23
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Back in the not too distant past when I had the day job I would never dream of calling myself 'Captain' its a bit like calling yourself 'Mister' as in 'Hello I'm Mister Bayting' ...it should be bloody obvious that you are a mister unless you are a cross dresser. Normally when people ask what I did in my previous life I will say shipmaster but if dealing with dirtdwellers I may say ship's captain.

Nor would I sign myself on any document as Captain xxxx or xxxx, Captain.

Always signed as xxxx, Master

However common usage does see Captain used as a form of address, both by the washed and the great unwashed. Harbour control uses it on VHF, customs and agents etc use it and it is even used at meetings of the Honourable Company of Master Mariners. I have no problem with any of that . I do have a problem with 2nd mates going into shore jobs with brand new masters tickets and calling themselves Captain and an ever bigger problem with Master Vs calling themselves Master Mariners... plonkers!


Master under God,

of the good ship 'Hardship'
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Old 03-14-2008, 01:51 PM   #24
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The Washington Post reports this morning that it is illegal in Germany to use the title "Doctor" there unless you have earned your MD or PhD in Germany. Could there be similar "Captain" laws out there somewhere?
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:26 PM   #25
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I think the Post may well be wrong there as there is a European agreement regarding education and training whereby a degree or other standard of training earned in one EU country is automatically valid in another.

On the other hand, Germany is absolutely right to clamp down on those calling themselves doctors with neither an MD, PhD or DD. But, in Portugal, anyone who has more than a modicum of higher studies is, I believe, given the title "Doctor". I know when I was running training courses in maritime surveillance in Angola (ex Portuguese colony) everyone called me doctor and, although I have other professional qualifications, I am cannot by any stretch of the imagination be deemed to be a "doctor".

Funny old world isn't it?

Aye // Stephen
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Old 03-15-2008, 12:47 AM   #26
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Right you are, Stephen, as usual, and the Post does make mention of the European exception. But even those with a genuine MD or a PhD from anywhere else (Canada, US, Japan) are subject to criminal prosecution if they call themselves "doctor". It's called "title abuse" and is worth a year in jail and a fine, though that is unlikely.

Anyway, I just thought it was amusing after all the talk about the title of "Captain". And it is, as you say, a funny old world.

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Old 03-15-2008, 09:41 AM   #27
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Bit much though not accepting degrees and accreditation from other countries with document high educational standards. On the other hand, I suppose one could still put PhD, MD, LLB, or whatever combination of alphabet soup one has after one's name, with impunity - just as long as one does not prefix the name with the word "Doctor"

Now if everyone calling themselves captain without the appropriate certificate of competence was to get a year behind bars then the oceans would be pretty empty for a while.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 03-15-2008, 10:57 AM   #28
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If Only Neddy was here :- http://goons.adamwaltemire.com/scripts/under.txt

"Neddy: Stop! (stops immediately) I haven't joined yet! It had been a pleasant

journey in a first-class railway coach marked H-Verks 40-ons and one

Charley. And now here I was in the legion recruiting centre at

Marseilles. I was just reading the second wall when the door opened


Major: Oooh! Moulin Rouge, Foli Bijou and other naughty French words. So

you want to join the legion, ey?

Neddy: I gazed at the legion officer, his skin was burnt fiery red by the hot

Algerian brandy. On his breast was a coloured ribbon on which

dangled a penny

Major: We can't all have medals, you know. Now, my lad, a few questions:


Neddy: Ned Seagoon

Major Ned S E A G O O O O doubleO N

Neddy: Oui, mon capitain

Major: Oh, you're German!

Neddy: No, I'm a true Britisher

Major: Well that's a novelty. You speak French?

Neddy: Oui, mon capitain je parle francais dans le legion

Major: Well you'll just have to learn it, same as I did. now for the jackpot

question: have you any money or valuables on you?

Neddy: About £5

Major: Oh, there'll be joy-bells in the NAAFI tonight! Hand it over

Neddy: But, I mean, look here -

Major: It will be returned to you on your demob. Off you go, first door on the


Neddy: This door?

Major: That's the one

Neddy: Thank you "

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Old 03-15-2008, 03:00 PM   #29
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But if there ever was a true captain it was Parahandy, skipper of the Clyfe puffer the Vital Spark.

Parahandy (down the voice tube to the engine room): Stop d' engines

Engineer (up the voice tube): We are stopped

Parahandy (down the aforementioned voice tube): Well stop them some more then.

They don't make skippers like that anymore

Aye // Stephen
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:19 PM   #30
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they called me otter man in high school. "joe soap otter man"
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Old 03-22-2008, 01:25 PM   #31
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could still put PhD, MD, LLB, or whatever combination of alphabet soup one has after one's name, with impunity - just as long as one does not prefix the name with the word "Doctor"
My brother-in-law, at his high school reunion, was talking with a former classmate who was an MD, and called him by his first name. He replied, "I prefer to be addressed as "Dr. [pompous a**]"".

Quick-witted b-i-l replied, "I prefer "your majesty" myself, but I ain't hearing that, neither."
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".

MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

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Old 03-24-2008, 12:00 AM   #32
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Call me whatever you like... just not late for dinner!

Love to Live - Live to Love,

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Old 04-08-2008, 08:04 PM   #33
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The "Captain" title is only annoying to me. Somewhat akin to the annoyance of a teenager with his pants halfway down his backside showing off his underwear. But to truly rise my ire, mention the title "Engineer". I have a PE (Professional Engineer) License (which is not given out for good behavior) and I get a little chapped over ever Tom, Dick and Harry who likes the title of "Engineer". Facilities Engineer, Sanitation Engineer, Maintenance Engineer, et al. That title is far more abused than "Captain".

Every time someone uses it I politely smile and ask "And in which state did you get your license?"

I have occasionally been referred to as "Doctor" in third world countries where the whole concept of the levels of higher education are foreign to them. It's used as a sign of respect to someone with much higher education in comparison to the local community standard. I take no offense, but only having a Masters Degree, would never consider using the title to describe myself, even to a local indigenous farmer who would never know the difference.

I suppose if I had a Masters Ticket, the "Captain" title would chaf as much as the "Engineer" title.

"Jeff", "Mr Hudson" (if you're 12 or under) and "Hey You!" probably works as well as anything.

"Last week I coon't evin spell "En-ganear", now I are one...."

On a somewhat related side note... My father was a Lt. Commander in WWII and in command of a PT boat in the Solomons. His crew addressed him as "Skipper". Don't know if that was an official navy moniker or just what the crew felt comfortable with. Calling someone "Captain" in the navy is no laughing matter. If I could be as good a mariner on my best day as he was on his worst, I would consider myself happy.
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Old 06-08-2021, 07:27 AM   #34
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You said right.
Awesome to hear
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:20 AM   #35
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I’ve enjoyed reading this thread. It reminded me of the first time I chartered a boat down in Charlotte Sound, Florida, a few years after we had emigrated to the US from England, where I had lived aboard sailing the Med’ for seven years and never once been addressed as “captain”, or even thought myself as one. It was only a 30’ footer for my wife and I for a few days. When we arrived at the dock, the fellow who was to show us “the ropes” called me “Captain” and I looked over my shoulder to see who he was talking to. Then it dawned on me, it was me!
I’ve never been so proud in all my life…

Who would be mad enough to convert a perfectly good ketch to a Brigantine? Find out at https://www.schooner-britannia.com
Including items for sale.
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