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ScottUK 08-05-2010 01:28 AM

Blue water skipper and crew
I have read a lot of threads about blue water boats such as the recent one on worthiness. I have seen numerous answers stating the most important factor is the skipper and crew but never discuss what factors these people should possess. I would be interested in definitions of these characteristics.

Thanks in advance!

WanderingStar 08-05-2010 08:04 AM

Experience, composure, ability, knowledge, good nature. That's what I sought in a crew.

FSMike 08-05-2010 09:12 AM


sailingdog 08-05-2010 09:23 AM

Along with experience, composure, ability, knowledge and good nature, I'd recommend having an open mind and being flexible mentally. Often, there are good solutions to problems that come from thinking outside the box.

ScottUK 08-05-2010 09:56 AM

Cheers for the replies so far. I think, except for experience, the term ability would be a catch all trait that includes the others. Maybe if experience could be defined in more detail.

I know of some folks with thousands and thousands of miles and/or a high level of certification that I would not trust as a skipper or crew of a boat while I know people who I would trust almost immediately even with a minimum of experience.

I have read about 'bumfuzzle' and they were derided for not being experienced enough. Obviously they had the ability but not experience. However they now probably have more experience then most of the naysayers.

Jeff_H 08-05-2010 11:00 AM

Some of the things that I would want a crew to know inside and out before setting off voyaging would be- Boat handling, Sail trim,Rules of the road, Weather, Routing, Boat husbandry, repair and maintenance,Diesel/ gas engine maintenance and repair, First aid, Heavy weather tactics<O:p</O:p,Legal restrictions on leaving and entering foreign countries,Navigation, (Celestial, piloting, dead reckoning and electronic),Provisioning, Radio operations,Safe and dangerous fish to eat,Sail trim, Emergency and Survival skills.

But beyond that some people have a natural aptitude for handling themselves and those around them offshore. They have an ability to enjoy the good parts and uncomplaningly deal with the less than wonderful. They can live without sleep and warm food. They can quickly grasp and size up all aspects of sailing a boat at sea. While experience helps most folks, there are people for whom no amount of experience will make them a good skipper or member of an offshore crew. If you are one of these folk, its okay. That is what daysailing and coastal cruising was invented for.


zz4gta 08-05-2010 11:53 AM

Not complaining. Sail trim, navigation, basic cooking, basic boat repair, jury rigging, storm tactics, dealing with problems by offering solutions not just stating "we're screwed!" and falling to pieces.

ScottUK 08-05-2010 11:53 AM

Thanks Jeff

Your list is quite inclusive and I would say most of them are applicable to coastal cruising too. I would also say that nobody knows everything and so having good reference material aboard is a key component.

Though I have yet to cross an ocean, having done just a few 300-500nm offshore trips, I have read from circumnavigators their biggest concern is close to shore.

sailingdog 08-05-2010 12:53 PM


Originally Posted by ScottUK (Post 629099)
...I have read from circumnavigators their biggest concern is close to shore.

Yes, because that is where the hard rocky things are... :D

ScottUK 08-05-2010 01:34 PM

and coral reefs, crab pots, fishing nets and tidal gates to name a few!

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