Experiences with Inexperienced Crew
A few notes on my experiences with untrained/newbie crew.
- Always remember what is second nature to me is new to them and needs instructions and follow-up.
- Require follow-up to ensure tasks completed and completed successfully. especially important in stressful situations like docking in high winds.
- We had team meetings before events like docking, locking and anchoring, but found I needed more detail on the alternatives. For example, I detailed roles, sequence and lines need to dock in high winds, but should have added the work to run extra lines and we were secure.
- Important to meet crew beforehand and of having shakedown cruises. The longer the cruise the more important it is to ensure everyone is compatible.
- Follow your inner voice. If you have concerns about a crewmember, listen to them. Sometimes you need crew, but have a convern; you do not need crew that bad! Better now than later.
- Having to keep an eye on them all the times and worry about the results of their mistakes, adds greatly but often unnoticed to a captain's stress. For example watch out for their position on deck and dangers of a boom and jibbing when sailing downwind.
- Important to have systems and a place for everything. For example, the boathook is always ...... Follow-up to ensure everything is in it's place.
- The more systematic and consistent storage and labeling the better.
- Had good moral and support from involving everyone in decision making. Like is it time to call it quits and get in harbour? Have we sailed enough today?