Join Date: Oct 2007
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Re: Training and Developing Crew
I designate a outing as a training sail. There is a channel in the middle of the bay with markers about an eighth mile apart. We go out to the markers and start circling the markers changing directions occasionally, while they trim the sails. The first time, I work pit, to demonstrate. When they are comfortable and consistent doing doing circles, we start doing figure eights. Even with moderate wind, the figure eight keeps them on their toes and most learn quickly. Believe me, after hour of this, they will know what the Main sheet, Jib sheets and Vang are, where they live and how to use them! If I am training more than one crew, I'll have one at the Helm (closely supervised of course), and one working Pit, as I want everyone to be able to do everything. I also believe that you will perform better at a given position (I.E., Pit) if you have experienced the other positions on the boat (I.E., Helm).
I personally learn through mussel memory which requires repetition. Once I get it, I've got it. On a day sail when you make a Tack or Jibe every half hour (for example), and stay trimmed on the same course in between, the repetition simply isn't there.
This method has worked well for me, though....I've had a few "crew" that were apparently intimidated by the fairly intense session and didn't return. However, if they can't do figure eights under your supervision for an hour, how interested in sailing are they, and do you want them in charge of your boat (and you!) if you happened to go overboard or were disabled?
Last edited by L124C; 10-30-2012 at 02:36 PM.