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On board conflicts
I have done a number of charters. I can tell you that chartering with different people is like taking pot luck. Sometimes everything works out so well, you get the feeling that it will always be harmonious.
As a woman, I find it hard to be a "good" skipper sometimes; particularily with inexperienced persons. By "good" I mean being nice and likeable. It seems that male inexperienced sailors have the biggest problems accepting "commands" from a woman. I never know why this is such an issue, but some men like to disguise their ignorance with macho braveur.
It is an interesting pyschological game, to which I have yet to find the optimum solution. If I give a male inexperienced person an instruction for an assignment he understands and is familiar with, and this instruction is vital for safety purposes, I do not like to discuss this until time has run out, and the situation cannot be saved. Either I have to raise my voice, or usually I have to do the job myself. In either case, I am thus regarded as the bitchy she-captain who has hormone problems.
I have oftened asked myself, if this problem lies in my voice, or the manner in which I have explained something, or my impatience, maybe. Then I tend to disagree that the problem lies within my person, since when I sail with people who have even a little experience, these persons can recognize, say potential dangers, that I also see. I have no problems with inexperienced women.
Perhaps it lies in the age-old chauvanistic adige, "men speak and women prattle". Some men will not accept instruction from women; there is a psychological barrier. It is a potentially big problem for longer cruises, because it can border on mutany.
I have tried a pyschological trick, that has marginal results, and sometimes I apply if time allows. I tell the man: "We have 30 seconds to save this or that situation, if you have a better solution, tell it to me in 5 words or less! If not, do what I say or get out of the way!" This trick has two advantages: The man has to shut up and think for a moment, and either can blurt out his answer, if he truly has a better idea, or his still occuppied with the puzzle you just gave him, while I remedy the situation alone.
I think if men are skippers and women are mates, it works out a little smoother, because women can accept expertise from either gender. The other way around gives us in this day and age competence conflicts.
I know of several women skippers, who hate the word "skipper". They call themselves boat organisers or managers, so that their male companions are not embarassed or challanged, by admitting "yah, the girl''s the big boss". The only harmonious type of sailing relationship I know of is equal partnerships on board, say like Sue & Larry. I don''t imagine they have squabbles all the time. I suppose that one of the ways of avoiding conflicts, is choosing your shipmates that have near equal experience. That, at least, may help avoid the needless arguements.
I look forward to reading your book in the future. Wishing you luck would be out of place, as you may see, the interest is overwhelming, and I am sure it will be an absolute success!