Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: SoCal USA
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Re: Crew, Captain and Owner Feedback
I sailed as crew on several sailing yachts for several years overseas (middle east, mediterranean, europe etc.) For a while was first mate on a 130 foot circa 1800's gaff rig ketch (no winches!)
Our charter guests never knew **** about sailing and that was ok. On the other hand one french yacht (38 foot steel sloop) we sailed from Syria back to France had the best put together crew and the most weirded out owner. He insisted on sailing nude after a few days at sea (who knew!) and would always inevitable have his junk accidentally swingin in your face while trimming a sail or some such. Yuck. He was so grumpy and abusive that one night in Sicily, us crew were all out and got together and decided we all had the same idea to leave ship. We all gathered our stuff and left him while he was out. We laughed hard. What a surprise he must have had when he returned to see all our gear gone.
One skipper insisted on finding people in Gibraltar to pay for crew priviledge on a passage across the Atlantic. He found one person with no experience and one really weird depressed dude. Well, the newbie had such horrible sea sickness we thought he might pass away after he did not eat for several days. He was absolutely horribly sick for the entire three weeks. When we landed in Martinique he didn't even say goodbye and was never seen again. Oh, and that owner was an ******* to boot. Insisted on using his incorrect sextant sightings and plots while mine were spot on. His track actually went aft of our actual track by 200 miles but he insisted it was good.
I think finding pick up crew is fine. I still have friends I met as crew from 25 years ago. Just use logic and interview them face to face. Use your intuition. You subconciously know when someone is untruthful. It's always fun to find out about new people and their talents over a long voyage. Some are amazing cooks or have other interesting talents. And when you get crew from another culture you learn about their society.
I plan on singlehanding ocean crossings and several long trips. I will take on a crew if the circumstances present themselves. On extended passages along a coastline with heavy traffic and fishing fleets I think the need for crew outweighs the drawbacks.