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  #1  
Old 11-12-2009
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Listen to your Captian ?

Should you always listen to your Captian ? I am not talking about life and death (every man for him self). I am talking if you know the captian is about to make a mistake but insist on doing thing his way. Here are a few of my experiances.
1. Small craft warning and we where two newbies I suggested we motor out and give us room to set the sail. Captian said no will be fine " go set jib". Next thing I know where headed straight at a peir. Captian yells " take down the sail" I agreed so no argument. We still hit the peir after that we just motored for a while and whent back to the slip. When everything was tied up he asked if should have put the swing keel down . I was more mad I didn't take charge?
2. Towing my boat from Oxford to Rhode river. I questioned my brothers Navigation skill but he convinced me after 20 yrs. out here on the bay he knew where he was. Well we came in on a bouy 2.5 flashing green instead of 2.5 flashing red. Guess what my sail boat slammed into a shoal at 10 knts. almost dragging us under. We made it to herrington harbor (only of by 10 NM ). I agian was more mad at myself for not taking over Navigation.

So when your out on another persons boat do you just suggest then shut up?


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Old 11-12-2009
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You should always check to see if the Captain you have on board is qualified to work on a boat... He might just be a captain of a Mattel toy boat.
Also with Small craft warnings flying, You should have cancelled for another day.
Suggestions do work with some people, but there are those whose pride can't handle suggestions from anybody. So you need to determine what kind of a personality does he/she have.
Three days of sailing lessons may only qualify that captain to handle an 8' sabot.
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I did suggest cancelling another reason I should have listened to myself.
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Old 11-12-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lapworth View Post
Should you always listen to your Captian ? I am not talking about life and death (every man for him self). I am talking if you know the captian is about to make a mistake but insist on doing thing his way.

So when your out on another persons boat do you just suggest then shut up

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Lapworth, Hi, That's a good question. If it's his boat, I'd be a bit less concerned, because your call in the heat of the moment, could be misunderstood. You can expect some bad judgement from a newbe sailor, as his reactions to situations have not become automatic yet. I'd suggest, you just talk to your captain before you possibly risk your life about how to handle these situations. Try to be tactful, although that is one of those traits I'm not very good at.

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Old 11-12-2009
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In the aviation industry we have a thing called CRM (Cockpit Resource Management) which was started by the airlines in the early 80's. The then theory was the crew as a whole was smarter then one person. Of course the one person was in charge and he/she signed his/her name on the blame line when taking the aircraft. Knowing this the Captain would accept input and sometimes solicit input from the crew before any major decision and it works. I was in the Army then and we picked it up and we had great success. Since then I have been in the airlines and other positions and have seen it grow and change according to necessity.
I went to the Merchant Marine Academy for a total unrelated class (COMSEC of all things) and found they were teaching BRM. I took a boat simulator trip and saw it in action and I saw many similar things between the flight deck and bridge.
Sooo after almost 30 years I will say this about that. A captain will set the mood of the trip almost immediately and a good one will listen to your ideas no matter how ridiculous. However it is your job to be tactful on when, where and how you give your advice.
I hope this help a little.

Jerry
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Last edited by jerryrlitton; 11-12-2009 at 09:21 AM. Reason: I want to
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Thanks Jerry you have good points but some of my situations go like this.
Me and my brother towing a sailboat at dusk.

Me " Hey we need to hang a left after Tilghman to go up the Choptank. "
Bro " We have to take it wide it shoals pretty far. "

45 min. later

Me " Well the charts show if we pass Sharp Isl. we passed the Choptank"
Bro " Oops ! guess we should head back"

Now should I Insist he make a left or just sit back have a beer and wait.
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Old 11-12-2009
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Well, if the situation calls for some scraped paint and a little pride I would then go for the beer. If it is a little more serious I would tell him that I have to insist and this is why...Still trying to be tactful of course.

Jerry
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I usually grab a beer and come home a day late.
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you need find a way to drop a hint and then let him think it was his idea in the first place, also works with the boss (usually)
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Old 11-12-2009
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I like the BRM approach. In the case of your brother - he's no captain...he's your brother (even if he's a captain)! And you should now hold this over his head forever more. That's what brothers do.

Seriously, if you're worried about something and you have experience, why not say something? Especially if the people you're sailing with aren't licensed captains? I think BRM is far more important in those cases than some perceived rank. If some dude gets miffed, he'll never invite you onto his boat again. Of course, if it's stuck under a pier...no big loss.

On the flip side, a "captain" should know his limits. The minute CharlieCobra stepped onto my boat - I listened and learned as crew. He was the captain - not me, even though it was my boat. He had the skillz - I didn't. (Of course that's true with about 90% of the people that step onto my boat). Some perceived notion of rank doesn't matter.

On the other side of it, when I sailed with Bubb - I kept my mouth shut as a crew member and learned. If I thought something, I asked him about it. He was very cool about it all and would ask for input - just to teach me.

Anyone that knows me knows I'm a huge fan of tact. But at some point it can get a little silly...and dangerous.
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Last edited by smackdaddy; 11-12-2009 at 10:56 AM.
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