Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere in the Windward or Leeward Islands
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Re: Training and Developing Crew
I would suggest a small handbook called "Royces Sailing Illustrated". It is a fun and informative book which I have used for over 50 years teaching many people to sail, including my present girlfriend, whose first sailing experience was Newport, RI to the Caribbean, via Bermuda.
The easiest way learn the feel of sailing is in a very small, self bailing boat like a sunfish. The "student" must sail something that responds quickly to each slight change in wind angle, sheet adjustment, etc. Even tipping over numerous times is of great value, and cooling, on a hot summer's day.
No matter how much sailing one does on a larger boat, it's very hard to learn more than an understanding the mechanics, as the response to each action is generally not direct enough to be felt, as it is on a small boat.
On your boat, always discuss what you are planning to do in advance, like leaving the slip, putting up the main/jib, etc. Make sure your crew (friend?) knows exactly what you expect from them for each maneuver. It's not half as bad having to make a second (or third) pass at a dock as it would be going back to sailing alone.
Patience is of absolute importance, especially with someone you are emotionally involved with. Be nice, and supportive. Anything that goes wrong is of course YOUR fault, after all, you ARE the captain, right? And don't yell, ever.
Wives are easily replaced, but a good crew is certainly not!