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Frogwatch 04-11-2011 11:53 AM

Good crew and bad crew
I've sailed with all kinds, most of em not worth having aboard. Even my own kids are not exactly self sufficient enough to be good crew. My wife was so needy and wanted to be taught something for the 15th time that she was completely unreliable to the point of actually being a danger aboard.
My most recent experience with crew was amazing though, 3 guys (plus me) all extremely self sufficient who got along well for 10 days aboard a 28' boat. I would have thought this impossible. Only one of em knew how to sail but all are "cavers" so tend to be very self reliant and amenable to uncomfortable conditions. At one point, in heavy chop while I was napping, the tiller delaminated. They dug out the tools and found some big clamps and clamped it together and never told me anything till I asked about it when I came out. When it came time to anchor, I explained the ideas behind it all, "make sure the rope runs freely and then lower it to the bottom and I allow her to pull back to dig it in etc." As they were all experts with extreme amounts of rope, there was never any issue of tangled rode and it went so smoothly I was astonished and pleased. All of em immediately understand navigation and would on their own correct the course for compass deviation calling "corrected course" to whoever was plotting.
Am not sure what led to this great experience except I had done a few caving trips with all of em so I knew them to be competent under stress or crappy conditions.

tdw 04-11-2011 06:21 PM

Good crew, bad crew ? or Good Skipper Bad Skipper ?

Maybe you need to give yourself a good looking at. I wonder whether or not your family's failure to take any of this in might indicate that you are rubbish as a teacher. Fine, you get a bunch of good old boys who may not know much about sailing but have a good understanding of lines etc and all goes well but when you are left with a totally inexperienced crew you fail to get your message through.

Maybe, if they are still interested in sailing, you should send your wife and kids off to a sailing school.

(I say all that, not to be spiteful but as someone who was utterly apalling in my ability to get the message through to my crew. I am in no way suggesting I'm now perfect but I do hope that realising at least some of my faults has meant an improvement in my performance over time. )

Frogwatch 04-11-2011 10:00 PM

I admit to being a poor teacher. Teaching is not my job. IF someone wants to sail then learning some basics is their job.

solman55 04-11-2011 10:18 PM

The problem is it is not their "job" to learn the basics. It is your job to put them in a good learning environment, no yelling, assuming they know anything about boating, etc. I am not a great teacher but I found that being patient is very important. I took a class recently to get official certification, any way the guy was very nice and understanding to everyone understanding that most people did not have any knowledge of boating which is what you have to assume. With family you need to be even more careful, because you live with them and it is often easier to be unintentionally mean to them. For example if you take anyone sailing family included you have to know that even though they want to sail it does not mean they know the basics as the question is what is the basics? For each person that is different. Just something to think about. Although it is nice to have people that are self sufficient but not everyone has the mechanical knowledge that is needed to be that way.

tdw 04-11-2011 11:47 PM


Originally Posted by Frogwatch (Post 719374)
I admit to being a poor teacher. Teaching is not my job. IF someone wants to sail then learning some basics is their job.

Maybe not but do you or do you not want your wife and kids to take part ?

If not then cool, to hell with them but if yes then you need to work your way around the problems.

Reality is that you are the skipper and part of the skipper's role is to educate the crew.

captainkj 04-17-2011 05:26 PM

maybe the wife and kids should by there own sailboat and learn to sail,, THEN go sailing with you,,,,, take a breath, spend a little time with the family, you might not be a good teacher but you can learn to be,,, some people take more time to learn than others

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