What do you look for in novice crew? - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 07-23-2011
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What do you look for in novice crew?

Dh and I are getting invites to crew on J24s, J29s and (favorite) IODs. Dh has more experience racin, I've been stuck on Race Committee boat. I don't want to be a tagalong - perceived or real. I've got an athletic background and am very focused. What are your TOP do's don'ts. What would impress you in a novice crew member, ensure more invites? What would strike her from your list?

Thanks and I'll let you know how early experiences pan out!!

Last edited by thisiswater; 07-23-2011 at 01:09 PM.
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Old 07-23-2011
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Don't pretend to know more than you do. If I get the feeling you're guessing rather than asking you'll not be back.
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Old 07-23-2011
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Omatako has a good point.

For racing, I want to see people with gloves, and who pay attention. Even if you're on the rail chatting needs to stop when something is going on so the afterguard can decide what to do and convey that to the front of the boat. *grin* Seriously, if there is a major evolution (sail change, tack, gybe) or a lot of trimming don't do anything to distract.

If you go below to use the head check on the way down and on the way back up to see if anyone wants anything. The fewer people moving around the better.

Ask about boat culture -- some skippers feed and water/beer all crew and some expect you to bring your own. Make sure you know what is expected of you.

Don't be last aboard and don't be first off. Help get the boat set up and help clean up and put things away.

Ask where to stow your gear. If you don't have foulies don't whine when it rains.

A good skipper will explain decisions to you so you can learn. Good crew will pick the right time to ask.
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Old 07-23-2011
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Lay off the booze till the skipper gives the nod. last guys I had aboard were so sloshed I would have been happier single handed.
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Old 07-23-2011
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Hello,

I race Wednesday night (spinnaker) on a friend's boat. Somehow, he has connections with the local university and we always have a few new college kids aboard. If you are interested in being regular crew, try to learn how a sail boat works. Ask questions about sail trim, boat balance, sail selection, racing rules and strategy, etc. Pay attention to the answers and try to learn. Volunteer to do all crew positions. Help get the boat ready and help clean up. Be on time, have a good attitude, and you will always be welcome.

The skipper of my boat supplies gloves, PFD's, foul weather gear, food and drink.

Barry
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Old 07-24-2011
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Thanks everyone - these are great points. I'd never "guess" about what to do and wouldn't have a drink until afterwards. Thanks for telling me about gloves - have been out in only the most fair weather this summer and on committee boats, so haven't thought of them. This skipper has 2 IODs and seems eager to have others "make use" of the one he doesn't sail as often.* I always feel lucky/honored to be asked to crew and therefore want to provision, dh says the skipper usually owes this to the crew. I'll be asking what we can bring for sure! Dh and I also disagree about this w/r/t drinks at the club afterwards: I feel we should buy once in a while, tho skippers generally say they "have to meet their minimum anyway!" (Take your spouse to dinner is my thought ... not buying drinks for crew who are lucky enough to be out learning and having a great time too!).

*How lucky can a person be?
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