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  #21  
Old 10-31-2012
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

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Originally Posted by ccriders View Post
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.
One more thing.... Regardless of how "intelligent" your crew is, don't take anything for granted, until they are truly seasoned sailors. I have seen very intelligent people (with sailing "certifications") do things on the water that defied common sense (one time, almost costing me my boat!). Apparently, because they were simply out of their element.

Last edited by L124C; 10-31-2012 at 02:29 AM.
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  #22  
Old 10-31-2012
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

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Originally Posted by ccriders View Post
.....My crew is very intelligent.......
I had to think about this one for a bit. Other than needing a basic level of cognition, I don't think one's higher level of intelligence has much to do with becoming a good sailor. Being a quick study might bring you up the curve faster, but that's not always a measure of absolute intelligence. Some very smart people take longer for things to make sense.

I think these are traits that make for a good student, but certainly don't have to be world class:
  • Comfortable on the water (less anxiety allows for clearing thinking)
  • Can think well under pressure
  • Fight or flight?.... chooses fight (not literally, just willing to take control and not freeze)
  • Situational awareness (can visualize things they can't see such as wind and location on a chart)
  • Athleticism (at least a basic hand-eye coordination. A klutz doesn't do well)

I think you can train through a few of these, but its harder.

Remember, the original sailors on square riggers, were the bottom of society and fully uneducated and they sailed sailed across oceans. How hard could this be?
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  #23  
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

I find this thread quite fascinating. I talk about this all the time with different things.

There is a time with anything new, where a person has a thought response to any order or situation. When new, the thought process can be slow, for the person is connecting the dots. You ever watched a 15 yr. old drive a car (in the US of course)?

There is some point, that same person starts having learned responses to the same orders or situations. They do not "think" about what they need to do, they already know.

All complicated training has these two facets. Driving a car, flying a plane, sailing a boat, all fall within this realm. Repetition, and calm thinking are the only way to learn these motions/actions.

Please, if you are training someone, remember they may take some time to process the request you put forth. Sometimes they will have brain lock. So don't gybe ho without a lot of future warning, and possibly fiscally moving the individual to keep them safe.

The more information you can pass to the trainee minutes(not seconds) before the needed action the better.

There is much to learn about sailing (boating in general), so it does take time. Don't think someone is not trying because it is taking longer than, you believe, needed. Everyone learns at a different pace, and may take a different approach to be taught.

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Last edited by propellanttech; 10-31-2012 at 08:21 AM.
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

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Originally Posted by jameswilson29 View Post
The British Navy maintained excellent crew discipline through Rhum, sodomy and the lash.
Fixed that for you.
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  #25  
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

I used to teach a motorcycle road racing class always amazed at the various ability to learn. We would cover the gauges to get them to feel the bike slip without the distraction. Same with boats better to watch the sails and feel the boats speed then look to gauges. It's also easier to teach good habits if they are new hard to unteach bad habits.
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Old 11-01-2012
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

When I get new crew aboard for the first time I try to figure out what they are wanting, a boat ride, to help out a bit, or to learn how to handle the boat. ( A sailing club I belong to has a fair supply of potential crew, then there are the sailing meetup lists) They are asked to take the wheel, and given instruction for the task at hand. Most are happy to try tacking the jib, but I don't jibe w/o experienced crew. Before we leave the dock for the first time I tell them they are welcome to learn about anything aboard, what ever they'd like to do.

When I find one who is serious about learning, I have a dockside sailing day, 101. We start on a relatively wind free day and raise and lower each sail, change jibs while one is up, tie in the reef on both main and mizzen. If, after a sail or two, they want to go on to 102 we learn to get the boat in and out of the slip and how to turn it 180° mostly in place. 103 has had only one person to get that far, what we did was to figure out how to fly spinnaker and the mizzen staysail, we've yet to fly the mizzen spinnaker away from dock, though the other two sails have been used while out.

But mine is a 37' boat, and trying to teach anything beyond simple steering and tacking while in motion hasn't worked out very well, but after the two to three hour 101 course, I have someone I can work with out there.

I have had two guests with 'keel boat certification' come aboard. One apparently didn't care for my tub of a boat, the other thinks it is grand. But both were able to be very helpful while underway, knowing the terminology, and maybe every bit as important, the risks. One was also very aware of how little knowledge that certificate actually gave him, I encouraged more courses through Power Squadron or USCG Aux.

As a side note, I have one friend for many years who loves being on the boat and really wants to work the sails, but because of his age, being out of shape and general klutzyness that often results in damage to himself or surroundings, he is forbidden from leaving the cockpit. After much pleading I gave in and went though the 101 run down. Before we even completed the reef tying he resigned the class saying it was too hard for him and thanked me for my good judgement, looking out for his best interest. He is becoming a good helmsman, freeing me to handle the sails.
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

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Originally Posted by Agri View Post
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.
I have to disagree. I may point and say "release ("blow") The traveler" (for example), but I will use the correct term and explain that "Blow" means release, and why they just did it. I don't know what size boat you are sailing on, but when you point to a bank of lines and clam cleats and say "release that line" it simply may not work. Communication is important, and proper terms are essential to communication IMO.

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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 aspect from the equation. Plus if they mess up something its not on your boat.
Again, I disagree. Sailing courses can certainly be beneficial (especially if you know you are an "emotional, excitable, etc." teacher). However, I can't tell you how many "crew" I've had on my boat with multiple certificates (Keel boat, etc.) who were fairly worthless when they boarded. More than once I've been told...."I learned more this afternoon sailing with you than I ever did at Such And Such school of sailing" (and most are reputable schools). Often, they simply don't get the amount of one on one instruction and hands on experience with a school that they do on my boat, which is understandable. In addition, time is money, and it's obvious that several schools issue "diplomas" before the student has a grasp. So, I can assure you, a "degree" in sailing doesn't mean you know how to sail! With all due respect, the fact that you have been sailing for a couple of years and don't know the terms may be evidence of this. In any case, I would certainly refrain from giving advice on teaching until you at least know all the terms! Properly and safely sailing a boat means more than getting it from A to B. Fortunately, lots of wisdom is available from experienced Skippers in this forum. IMO, the trick is to know when to read and when to post (or at least post a question as the OP did).

Last edited by L124C; 11-05-2012 at 01:05 PM.
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  #28  
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

L124c If you look close that was a quote from someone else. I said basically what you did, if you are counting on someone they need to know. I didn't highlight the quote so hard to see where it ends and I start.
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

ccriders did you get a chance to try any of the ideas out? What worked what didn't?
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Re: Training and Developing Crew

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Originally Posted by ctl411 View Post
L124c If you look close that was a quote from someone else. I said basically what you did, if you are counting on someone they need to know. I didn't highlight the quote so hard to see where it ends and I start.
Sorry. I corrected my post. Looks like you deleted the end quote, so the quote from the other member didn't get highlighted. Hence, the confusion.
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Last edited by L124C; 11-05-2012 at 01:14 PM.
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