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post #1 of 38 Old 07-17-2006 Thread Starter
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Cool Crew Blues

Well having taken several cruises with as I like to call them cherries this one was kind of a bummer kinda. The crew two young people gyu and gril and a middle aged guy who was way overweight and could not perform his duties like he should have I set sail. I had ask if anyone had any medical problems and no was the anwser. Obesity is a medical problem which forced the work load on the rest of the crew for safety reasons. Also smoking on the night shift was a drag causing me to wake up everytime I smelled smoke. Well shame on me for not saying no. The trip was long 25 days 1200 km and hot as hell June in the Gulf no wind. Meals were split as the young people turned out to be veg heads and so all food prep was usually seperate. No one bought thier own drink stuff and drank my stash like it was gone in a week and a half. No they did not restock the Moutain Dew BUMMER and my green tea we will not even go their. I was strict about people going several miles off corse when I woke from my short two hour naps all 25 days of the cruise. But I was not Captain Bligh or Hook who ever is a nasty skipper.
I got every one back with only some loss of sleep and thats it. In Galviston every one jumped ship while I had gone to the Western Onion since $400.00 came up missing and I had to get a wire. When I got back they were all gone only a couple of notes saying thanks. The notes were somehow very short of appreciation after all the lessons and baby sitting the trip took allot of money and my time. I have usually had my crew throw a little party or a tip was given as thanks. I was left with a boat that took three days for me to clean and $400.00 down and I never got to say a word to anyone. Well life goes on I will check the crew out better next time. Thanks Lisa you managed to organize the jump ship and never said a word to me I was bummed. Hope you have a good life all of you.
P.S. If you read this why would be in order I think. Hell you did not even leave an address or your email.
Is this just me or did this really suck.
Captain Jim
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post #2 of 38 Old 07-18-2006
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An unfortunate, but sad fact of life these days.

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post #3 of 38 Old 07-18-2006
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Clear Expectations

One of the keys to good crew relations, in my limited experience, is to be very clear about your expectations, and to be very selective in choosing your crew. Here is the questionaire I provided to each of the crew I selected (from among many applicants) for a recent delivery:

Do you agree that no payments shall be exchanged, neither from me to you for your services as crew, nor from you to me for your ride on the boat (other than perhaps a share in the cost of provisions, as discussed below)?

Are you willing and able to cover your costs for transportation to and from the boat?

How will you get home from the destination point at the end of the trip, whenever that is?

How will you get to departure point at the beginning of the trip?

Are you willing and able to cover your costs for meals out, and to help contribute to the provisioning of the boat? (For example, we might ask each member of the crew to supply the fixings for a breakfast, a lunch, and a dinner)

Are you willing and able to help share cooking, clean-up, and other chores?

What are your food and drink preferences? (we'll have to plan out a menu sometime soon)

Do you require coffee? (Nothing wrong with that, I'm just not a coffee drinker myself, although I do take tea and hot cocoa...) Perhaps I should ask, would instant coffee be OK?

Do you smoke? (I would ask you not to)

Do you agree not to bring any illegal drugs aboard the boat?

Do you have medical insurance? If so, please share information about your coverage that might be needed in an emergency (perhaps provide a photocopy of your policy card?)

Are you allergic to anything (food, drugs, bees, etc...)? If so, please indicate specific allergies and types of reactions

Are you taking any medications that we should know about? If so, please indicate types, names, amounts, frequencies and reasons for the medications.

Do you have any physical or medical conditions we should know about? (e.g., diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, heart condition, chronic injury, etc...) If so, please explain, including frequency, severity, and treatment.

Please supply the name of an Emergency Contact Person, their relationship to you, and their contact information (e.g., home, work, cell phone numbers, e-mail addresses, etc...)

Have you reviewed the following documents regarding the boat and her condition?
(survey report, follow-up reports on repairs and projects, listings of specifications and equipment)

Do you agree to perform your own inspection of the sailboat prior to departure, notify me if you find any condition which you consider to unacceptably hazardous or dangerous, and refuse to go on the trip if said condition is not corrected to your satisfaction? (This may mean that you'll have to get yourself back home again!)

Do you realize that the sailboat is not a luxury yacht by any stretch of the imagination, as the accommodations are "Spartan" at best and many "amenities" non-existent?

Do you recognize that the proposed sailing trip is intended to get from point A to point B as expeditiously as safely and reasonably possible, and is not intended to be a sightseeing pleasure cruise? (Not that we won't see some sites and have some fun along the way...)

Are you willing and able to stand watch on a rotating schedule around the clock, sailing the boat including steering, sail handling, and other chores as necessary?

Do you acknowledge that you understand the nature of this sailing trip, that you are in good health and proper physical condition to participate in this activity?

Have you taken all necessary steps to ensure that you are adequately prepared and appropriately equipped for all possible contingencies, including foul weather gear, sea boots, personal safety equipment, and anti-seasickness medicines such as suggested in the attached document or that a prudent seaman would consider advisable?

Do you fully understand that sailing involves risks and dangers of serious bodily injury, including permanent disability, paralysis, or death (including the possibility of complete loss at sea, never to be recovered)?

FWIW, I will probably ask everybody to sign a liability waiver at some point before we cast off, something like the following:

Risks and Dangers of Sailing

Sailing is an activity that has an inherent risk of damage and injury, including permanent disability, paralysis, or death (including complete loss at sea). Participants in this sailing trip are participating entirely at their own risk. The boat owner, person-in-charge, watch leaders, and other crew will not be responsible for injury to any participant, including death, nor for damages to any participant's property, sustained as a result of participation in this trip. By participating in this trip, each participant agrees to release the boat owner, person-in-charge, watch leaders and other crew from any and all liability associated with such person's participation in this event to the fullest extent permitted by law.


1. For your own safety, and for the good of the ship as a whole, please wear a life-jacket and harness clipped to jacklines or other strongpoints, when alone on deck, or when on deck and the yacht is reefed, the wind is over 25 knots, the seas higher than 4 feet, or the visibility is less than one mile, and at night. You should bring your own inflatable PFD with integral harness, equipped with tether, strobe light and whistle (see attached recommendations). You should bring at least one spare CO2 cylinder and actuator to fit your make and model of PFD.

2. The weather may not always be warm and sunny. For your safety, as well as your comfort, you will need to bring Foul Weather Gear including jacket, pants (bib overalls preferable), and boots. This should be proper marine gear, with retro-reflective patches, high-visibility colors, good hood, and non-skid soles.

3. The seas may not always be smooth. For your comfort, as well as your safety, please bring (and use, as necessary) whatever anti-seasickness treatment is most effective for you (some of which may require a prescription from a doctor, e.g. scopolamine patches). Some recommendations are given in the attached document.
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post #4 of 38 Old 07-18-2006
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Sounds like a royal bunch of spoiled brats...which seems to be more and more the case with some of the youths I've seen today...where a sense of entitlement is something they think they deserve. The older man had no such excuse....he's just a bastard.

I think that is why it is very important to get good referrals and references for any one that you have as crew for a long passage.


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post #5 of 38 Old 07-18-2006
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Thats a rough go and while you are justified in your complaints, your not being as open (mistakenly) as maybe you should have been with the crew likely made it miserable for them as well, hence the abandon ship.

It sounds to me that they were all ill prepared and likely expected that you would provide for them what they would need while "helping" on the passage and when they found out that you were expecting them to provide for themselves to some degree, I'm sure it became difficult for all involved. Sounds like they were expecting a pleasure cruise.

Since you indicate that you've done this before consider that you've been lucky up to this passage in not having to deal with similar yahoos to this crew. Chalk it up as a mistake, learn and move on. You'll do it differently next time I'm sure.

Catamount seems to have a good "filtering" process, I'm not sure there is a stone that's been left un-turned with that questionnaire.
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post #6 of 38 Old 07-18-2006 Thread Starter
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I Captain

Thank You all for responding to this post. I have to say I was maybe not clear enough on the fact that it was not a pleasure cruise. The crew was not experienced at all which I was aware of but I was led to believe they had been studying sailing and had taken some ASE training which was not the case. If they had taken any training they did not pass the course. Well like some have said younger people have a diffrent outlook as to what they should get fromany thing they do. I tried to teach them along the way some of my old values which are a little outdated I am sure. I really liked all of them as people but they have a very long way to go as far as becoming cruising sailors. So I hope they read this and at some point contact me and explain some of the lack of respect that I feel I was lacking in. Maybe that was not it at all I just don't know what they thought. Like I said I was heading back to the marina after walking about three miles in the Texas heat to get the wire transfer when they passed in a taxie cab and that was that.
Old salts like me maybe expect to much from young people today, thats why my son's did not come along they know the Captain is an old bugger.
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post #7 of 38 Old 07-18-2006
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Yeah, that does suck.
It's not just youger people with the sh*#ty attitude these days though, it is prevelant throughout our society regardless of age, sex, nationality or religion. It's too bad and unfortunately it perpetuates itself. I think the root of it is that people have become fearful of discussing issues face to face. Sure there are plenty who will get up in your face and wag a finger and scream and yell and kick and cry like all the idiots on the morning talk shows (thanks Donahue for starting that and all the other as#holes who copied) but so few are willing to say what is on their mind in a constructive manner with the intent of finding a positive resolution.

The best you can do is make sure you learn from the experience and don't let it happen to you again.
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post #8 of 38 Old 07-18-2006
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Communicating Clear Expectations

Originally Posted by BADG
Catamount seems to have a good "filtering" process, I'm not sure there is a stone that's been left un-turned with that questionnaire.
I should add that I gave prospective crew my questionaire only after I had already screened applicants on the basis of their enthusiasm for the trip and their potential to compliment the other crew that I already had signed on (and with whom I was already very familiar). Prior experience with offshore sailing was not really a criterion for these positions on the crew, but at least some experience day sailing or coastal cruising was a pre-requisite.

In the weeks leading up to our departure, I kept the entire crew (and their spouses) well informed about (and involved in) the planning and preparation for the voyage with regular e-mails. I wanted to make sure everyone knew what they were getting themselves into, what would be expected of them, and in turn what they could expect of me.

It all worked out very well. We had six guys ranging in age from 23 to 74, sailing a cramped leaky 34-footer from the mid-atlantic up to new england, offshore through a gale and other trials and tribulations, and we were all still smiling at the end of it. Of course, our trip was only a week long -- not 25 days!


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post #9 of 38 Old 07-18-2006
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first part of my crew agreement


345 New York Avenue

Huntington, New York 11743 USA


August 24, 2005

Dear Elliott,

I am enclosing a copy of the Crew Agreement covering your participation as a crew aboard Kimberlite. This is the standard crew agreement from Offshore Passage Opportunities.

I know it appears rather legalistic, but it in fact covers everything we spoke about. Having an understanding in writing is prudent for all concerned.

I would be grateful if you would complete it, have it notarized, and send it back to me at your earliest convenience. Please note each page needs to be initialized where indicated. I will complete my parts and send you back a copy for your records.

Please complete the medical sections on page 2, complete the crew details on page 3 and provide two copies of your passport as requested, along with two copies of your airline ticket. Then sign and date the agreement on page 4, have it notarized where indicated and return it to me. You are also expected to spend one day on Kimberlite after we arrive in New York to do clean-up after the trip, so please plan your departure accordingly.

I am sure you understand the need for such an agreement. It helps clarify the situation and is fairly standard information for international ocean passages of this nature. Here we have the information organized in written form for all to agree upon and be witness.


Eric M. Freedman

Crew Agreement

YACHT: Kimberlite (hear after referred to as “the Yacht”)



TO: Huntington, New York

This agreement is designed to anticipate problems that might occur while aboard, both at sea or coastal cruising, and thus, avoid them. It is designed to protect both the skipper/owner and those who join him. To facilitate inquiries, should anything go wrong, a copy will be sent to the skipper’s representative before departure; and I suggest that you send a copy to someone you deem appropriate. It is wise to inform someone at home of your plans.

Crewing on Kimberlite works best when all are considered equals. You will be consulted, when appropriate, as part of decision-making, but you must be also willing to share all work, difficulties and dangers. In completing this agreement YOU TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR DECISION TO JOIN, and agree that you are willing to accept all that may come your way. There have been no inducements or promises or consideration that is not fully described in this agreement.

The skipper hereby declares his belief that the boat is properly equipped and prepared for the planned voyage, and that he is fully competent to manage, alone or with crew. He invites the crew to test this statement in any way they wish – by their own inquiries and judgment, or with the help of others. When you sign this you agree that you have full investigated and found that the boat is properly equipped and that the skipper is capable, fit and competent. You understand and agree that I am the Captain and you must obey all lawful orders.

The boat has a well-equipped medical kit, and a powerful radio with which emergency help may be obtained. However, you must take full responsibility for any current or past medical conditions that may occur, or any medical or health problems that may occur during or as a result of this trip. Make sure that you have ample medication for at least twice as long as the expected passage. You must inform the skipper of any potentially serious conditions that could affect safety at sea. Give details below of any known drug allergies, conditions that might recur, and current medications(s):
(mark “NONE” if none) :

Medical insurance may help save your life.

List details of your medical insurance, if any and all contact details:

Apart from spoiling your trip and making it harder for others aboard, seasickness can be dangerous, even fatal. Unless you know from extensive experience, that you will not be affected, you must have and be willing to use reputable seasickness treatment. This is your responsibility.

When you enter another country you need to have a passport and visa, and might have to prove you can get yourself out of the country (other than by yacht) to another country to which you have full right of entry. The simplest way is to have an air ticket, or to carry sufficient cash to cover one. Credit cards are of no use in some countries. You are responsible for this and you understand that you may be asked to furnish proof to the skipper on boarding, and deposit with him your passport, air ticket or cash in lieu.
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post #10 of 38 Old 07-18-2006
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second part of crew agreement

You understand that should you leave the yacht, for whatever reason, at a port other than that to which you had agreed in this agreement, you will be responsible for all your own travel and related costs. You also understand and agree that if you are asked to leave the yacht for reasons of lack of competence, inappropriate behavior, crew incompatibility, illness, or the inability to carry out tasks, which, in skipper’s opinion, is endangering the safe operation of the yacht, you will also be responsible for all your own repatriation costs. However, in this event, the Skipper will take all reasonable measures to disembark you at a suitable port along the intended route, from which you can arrange your travel home.

Keeping a cruising boat in safe condition requires work on repairs and maintenance, and this is an obligation to be shared by all aboard. Good crew looks for ways to help, and taking part will make you feel involved. As a guide you should be willing to put in about a half hour a day, plus half a day per week, on maintenance or and repair to the boat. This does not include domestic work, in which you will also be required to share. You will also be required to spend one full day upon arrival in Huntington cleaning and doing boat maintenance. We may also work together for one day prior to departure in each port to put the boat into “excellent condition.”

You will be required to pay your personal land based expenses such as restaurants and lodging, your transportation costs to and from the boat, and your flight to St Martin, plus any special provisions you need.

Provide two (2) copies of the issue page(s) of your passport, and provide information from the passport:
Issue Place
Date of issue Expiration date

Home address
Next of kin name

Alternate contact


I have completed the above details fully and honestly, and have volunteered any further information am aware of that may affect the safe enjoyment of the proposed voyage by all aboard. I do not have any illegal drugs or weapons in my possession, and will(initial crew)(initial skipper) immediately inform the skipper if I become aware of any on board, or anyone trying to bring such items aboard. I declare, by written statement on this agreement, details of any convictions, in any country, for the involvement with illegal drugs or weapons. I will not carry any packages for any third party on the boat without first requesting permission from the skipper. I accept that the skipper may change his plans, and will not hold him responsible for transportation to the original destination, should that not be reached by Kimberlite.

I will make myself familiar with the location and operation of all safety equipment aboard the boat. I will seek to learn all aspects of seamanship by reading appropriate manuals and book aboard, and by asking help form the skipper and others. The responsibility is fully mine to learn and to ask to be taught any skills that I need for safe operation of the boat. If there is anything happening aboard the boat about which I am uncomfortable, I will discuss it with those concerned as soon as possible in order to avoid irreversible resentments that may spoil the atmosphere for all aboard. If the skipper is held responsible for bailing me out of trouble if I transgress local laws and customs, I agree to fully reimburse any cost incurred; and to compensate him for the time lost for every day of delay my action may cause. I take full responsibility for any requirements and cost relating for my entry and exit in countries to be visited by the boat. I agree to share all work aboard, and obey all orders given to me relating to the safe conduct of the boat, at all times.

I am aware that there are risks that I will face in this voyage, and take full responsibility or my decision to join the crew.

I, or my heirs, next of kin, legal representative, successors and assigns, and in consideration of the acceptance as a crewmember of the yacht Kimberlite, do hereby waive any and all claims which I may have against Eric M. Freedman, or any other duly qualified and authorized captain appointed by him, arising out of, or in any way connected with, my participation as a members of the crew of the yacht, and understand and agree that, as a member of the crew of said yacht, I have no recourse or claims of any kind against Eric M. Freedman, and shall hold him harmless against all consequences of my participation as a crew member aboard the yacht.

This agreement shall be governed by the Laws of the State of New York, United States of America.



Dated at:thisday of, 2005.

State of


County of

On this day personally appeared before me to me known to be the individual described in and who executed the within and foregoing instrument, and acknowledge that he/she signed the same as his/her free and voluntary act and deed, for the uses and purposes therein described Given under hand and the official seal the
day of, 2005.

Notary Public for the State of

Residing at

My commission expires

(Notary Seal)
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