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Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Limits of Captains authority

OK, so what if the crew refuses to do something or they are incompetent/unable to follow orders, what does the captain do then? (And this, above the others, absolutely applies to #3!) Walk the plank? Scream? Take them back to port? Dock them a beer until they comply? You're missing some fer instance variables in your question. Most boats are recreation and "the rules" should to be established for each boat before anyone sets foot onboard. That said, most people are generally overly eager to help. The problem arises when the captain is pushing the boat and its crew to the very limits of their capabilities (and hopefully not over) because of a race. That's when everything changes. I sailed with one captain who said the first rule on his boat was all about safety. As soon as the gun went off, that rule fell off the stern rail and was never seen again.
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