Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Auckland New Zealand
Thanked 33 Times in 30 Posts
Rep Power: 12
I have used crew on two voyages. Once a guy with sailing experience delivering boats and the other with a young girl (23) who had hardly been on a sailing boat before. The one qualifying statement about the girl is that we have known her all her life but that is academic to this comment.
The guy "knew it all" and was constantly interfering with the running of the ship in ways that he was not invited, making poor decisions when on watch alone and generally was a PITA. We got rid of him at our earliest opportunity.
The girl by contrast knew nothing and made no pretences of knowing anything. She did exactly what she was told to do, nothing added, nothing omitted. When on a night watch alone, she would call me if anything happened that was out of the ordinary. A light on the horizon, a wind shift, unusual noises, anything. She never made bad decisions because she never made any decisions. Only by the time we got to the end of the voyage was she making some decisions but they were based on what she learned from us so in our view she always got them right.
I spoke to a very seasoned voyager years ago and he said that he only ever uses younger (because they're generally fitter and stronger) ladies who know nothing of sailing because that way his extensive sailing experience is never challenged.
My second experience was exactly that and I'll never have a male stranger on my boat as crew again. Ever.
So it's unfair to suggest that we choose younger ladies for reasons that are frivolous or dishonarable.