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Old 10-25-2012
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

[QUOTE=Agri;938403]I don't really see the point in trying to force someone go learn all the vocab right up front. I've only been sailing for a couple of years and still don't know many of the correct terms, yet still manage to get the boat where I want to go. (I do know what the mainsheet is). Almost everyone I've sailed with to date has zero experience as well. When I want them to do something I just point at it and say "pull in that rope", "let out that line", ect... Terminology is irrelevant as long as they are doing the write action, as time goes on they will learn what your talking about. While they are performing the action you could then inform them what the name of the line is and next time they might have less of a dumb look on their face.

Another suggestion is get them to take a sailing course. They will learn a lot faster that way then being trained by you, for the simple reason that it removes the emotional asspect from the equation. Plus if they mess up something its not on your boat.

Depends on if you are counting on them as crew. Someone can get hurt if they don't understand. On my boat I tell people you can do as much as you want or nothing but I need to no this ahead of time not when I need something done. I solo my boat all the time so I don't need help but if I think I have it and don't that could lead to problems.
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Old 10-25-2012
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

Hey - give them Captain Ron to watch!

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Old 10-25-2012
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

The British Navy maintained excellent crew discipline through keel hauling, lashes and withholding of rations.
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Old 10-25-2012
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

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Old 10-26-2012
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

Originally Posted by nolatom View Post
We all learn through repetition. In a pinch, go generic--"the line that lets the boom out, yeah THAT one"... Then return to proper jargon when things are calmer.
I like this approach. It gets the point across, yet also teaches the proper terminology. It may also help as previously mentioned to label more items, and to purchase the Sailing for Dummies book, since it is an easy read and a non-threatening approach to learning.
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Old 10-26-2012
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

There are only three sheets on a sloop rigged sailboat: The main sheet, and two jib sheets.

If you want them to learn, and more importantly if they want to learn, simply go out sailing for a day and lay in about 20 or 30 tacks...upwind, and then do a bunch of gybes...
Let your crew person do all the line work..while you just call the manuevers.
Leave the traveler centered...and add that to the next trip out.

I wouldn't go into anything else...topping lifts, outhauls, downhauls or cunninghams or anything else....until they know how to tack and gybe.

It might help if you explain the points of sail...and what you're doing beforehand...but..if they are interested they should be reading.
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Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

I have taken many out and try to give them some hands on learning rather than just a passive boat ride.
Some have been very bright and keen to learn and take up sailing. Some enthusiastic but not the other things. Some it is just an interesting day out.
There actually is quite a bit to learn, using a tiller automatically ie reliably seems to take quite a while, let alone sail trim and watching other traffic and planning ahead.
Freezing and the brain going non operative when asked to do something is very common. Consequently I have found that one always needs to be watchful, and while explaining what needs to be done and checking out that it is understood helps at times as does practice there are times eg docking etc where it is best to do it oneself.
With a regular crew I suspect it is helpful to master one task at a time - there is a saying that it takes doing it about 30 times. So repetition of a limited range of ideas is helpful
Some are keen to learn and will do some reading etc, but I suspect many are not. But it sure makes life easier to have someone reliable competent and agile.
On the plus side I have nearly always enjoyed the pleasure most gain, but am not so sure the constant vigilance is relaxing.
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Old 10-27-2012
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

Thanks everyone for your comments. My crew is very intelligent and really wants to learn to sail. I think there has been too much reading in the past and am not sure that I can recommend that course.
I don't use a dataphone so I don't know, but is there an app for basic sail instruction?
I found an online program which I will recommend once I have time to check it out; part of the USASailing site.
Well, I guess if want to develop this crew I will need to be patient, repetitive, simplistic, progressive, cautious and flexible.
Thnaks to all.
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Old 10-30-2012
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

I designate a outing as a training sail. There is a channel in the middle of the bay with markers about an eighth mile apart. We go out to the markers and start circling the markers changing directions occasionally, while they trim the sails. The first time, I work pit, to demonstrate. When they are comfortable and consistent doing doing circles, we start doing figure eights. Even with moderate wind, the figure eight keeps them on their toes and most learn quickly. Believe me, after hour of this, they will know what the Main sheet, Jib sheets and Vang are, where they live and how to use them! If I am training more than one crew, I'll have one at the Helm (closely supervised of course), and one working Pit, as I want everyone to be able to do everything. I also believe that you will perform better at a given position (I.E., Pit) if you have experienced the other positions on the boat (I.E., Helm).
I personally learn through mussel memory which requires repetition. Once I get it, I've got it. On a day sail when you make a Tack or Jibe every half hour (for example), and stay trimmed on the same course in between, the repetition simply isn't there.
This method has worked well for me, though....I've had a few "crew" that were apparently intimidated by the fairly intense session and didn't return. However, if they can't do figure eights under your supervision for an hour, how interested in sailing are they, and do you want them in charge of your boat (and you!) if you happened to go overboard or were disabled?
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Last edited by L124C; 10-30-2012 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 10-30-2012
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

I would suggest a small handbook called "Royces Sailing Illustrated". It is a fun and informative book which I have used for over 50 years teaching many people to sail, including my present girlfriend, whose first sailing experience was Newport, RI to the Caribbean, via Bermuda.
The easiest way learn the feel of sailing is in a very small, self bailing boat like a sunfish. The "student" must sail something that responds quickly to each slight change in wind angle, sheet adjustment, etc. Even tipping over numerous times is of great value, and cooling, on a hot summer's day.
No matter how much sailing one does on a larger boat, it's very hard to learn more than an understanding the mechanics, as the response to each action is generally not direct enough to be felt, as it is on a small boat.
On your boat, always discuss what you are planning to do in advance, like leaving the slip, putting up the main/jib, etc. Make sure your crew (friend?) knows exactly what you expect from them for each maneuver. It's not half as bad having to make a second (or third) pass at a dock as it would be going back to sailing alone.
Patience is of absolute importance, especially with someone you are emotionally involved with. Be nice, and supportive. Anything that goes wrong is of course YOUR fault, after all, you ARE the captain, right? And don't yell, ever.
Wives are easily replaced, but a good crew is certainly not!
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