Single females answering crew ads.
Never assume, when signing up to travel alone with an unknown male, that he is NOT going to hit on you.
I've seen it from the BVI to Baja... same story... she's so shocked that he came onto her like that/the ad didn't say anything about a "companion"/I only expected to be crew/etc. etc.
You don't have to assume the worst of men, just please don't act so surprised.
If a similar thread has been posted before, I apologize.
Sometimes, you just need to ask
Yeah, it's really awkward, but sometimes it's just best to ask upfront or even state upfront. "If 'companionship' is expected, I'm not onboard." I've managed to clear things up pretty early on with that. So far, the guys who don't expect will reassure, those who do -- just don't write back. That's been my experience.
I don't often post to herSailnet (I'm not a 'her') but this pushes my buttons.
I've had more than one lady show up to crew expecting to be coddled and catered to. While I've certainly had some fantastic female crew those that expect something for nothing (I'm not talking about sex - I'm talking about pulling one's own weight) are a significant portion of the respondees to calls for crew.
When I go back over my records for crew on my boat and on deliveries, the proportion of no-shows and drop-outs among women is much higher than among men.
I like to think I'm an equal opportunity sort of person, but the numbers are becoming overwhelming.
I guess communication is the key here. And do some vetting before getting on a boat with a stranger. Dating on a boat is going to be a little awkward no matter what, because there is no escape, (and long hours at sea can make anyones social skills rusty). There are plenty of opportunities for miscommunication, 1. She thinks I provide decoration/companionship he can do the work. 2. He thinks here a a female that is here for a "ride". 3. I may be looking but your not "it".
Unfortionately social rules make this topic a cat and mouse game from the beginning, thats half the fun. Being up front and firm if no relationship is desired is the best policy, (these days either sex), ... if you are interested continue being coy. But on the other hand why would any self respecting adult want to spend months alone in a small floating box with someone you didn't like???
I have written quite a few things on this in the past (in the many crew wanted threads).
I pesonally do not think I would ever jump on a boat and sail for weeks at a time with someone I did not know and a boat I did not know. Man or not... woman or not. I do not mind helping friends move boats. Never have. THe opposite is true too. But there are 'friends' that I have that I would NOT want to be stuck on a boat for more than 24 hours with. I am picky about who I put on board or sail with.
You know, I think women (and men) get this idea of throwing off the lines, beautiful skies, the wind is blowing, nice calm seas as you sail into the sunset. A little Marley and Buffett on the speakers... etc. Well, it is like that some. And when coastal, it is like that a lot (because you can choose when you leave). But once you get offshore, then the rules change completely.
You are probably sleep deprived. Someone is very likely getting sea sick. Cooking even simple meals becomes a chore and cooking more elaborate meals is a joke. You probably are not getting to shower (water supply, power, and the simple heeling) and struggle to make basic hygenie. You are often cold at night (and likely damp from salt moisture) or hot during the day. And the above conditions are based upon good weather. Everything really goes to pot in a storm or bad sea state.
With the REALISTIC above conditions in mind, I cannot imagine shipping off with someone I did not know. And I really cannot imagine being a woman and shipping off with a man in the above conditions. Now you add onto that the reality of whether you really can trust him. Because your cell phone is dead within hours of leaving shore and your VHF is dead within hours of that. You now have no way to get off that boat and no real way to call for a speedy rescue (if you could even call at all). That rescue could be days (or much more) out if at all. The reality is that something could happen to you and I bet no one would ever really know. Even if they did, how would they prove it??
With all of this, it seems like I am painting a very bad picture and everyone wonders why they would go offshore or cruising at all. Well - it is because of the destinations. And to be honest, there are some very relaxing and enjoyable moments when offshore too. The sky and stars are gorgeous. You can be hundreds of miles out and get met by Dolphins. The exctiement of catching a fish. And the reality that you really have gotten away from civilization and are on your own. It can be very calming... it can also be very nerve racking.
I bet some of the delivery captains here could tell some incredible stories. But it is a bit different for them too because that is their 'job'. Inviting someone on my boat to go lond distance sailing without really knowing them is probably not something I would ever do. But I am curious as to what others that have done it and been offshore feel about it? I am just giving my thoughts.
And the "Dredging up long-deceased, controversial threads" Award goes to...Oh2Sail!
Anyone who accepts an unvetted crew member (male or female) for a passage or a delivery deserves what they get as far as I'm concerned. This ain't the U.S. Navy. There are no regulations, no UCMJ, and you can't throw someone overboard like it's the year 1652 anymore.
The same goes for any potential crew who doesn't vet their potential skipper. These days, any moron can own a boat (obviously, because I'm here.), that doesn't mean that they have a tinker's clue about what they're doing. It's not blasphemy to ask a skipper what his experience and credentials are.
Here's a simple formula that might help out: If you are a female, the odds that you are going to be pressured for "companionship" are inversely proportional to the total number of crew onboard.
In otherwords, if you're the only crew, you're likely there for companionship. If you're amongst several, the odds are better that you're there for your actual sailing skill.
I've been very fortunate. On the race boat that I crew on, half the damn crew was female, and they were AWESOME! Great sense of humor, and good sailors the lot of them. They all have my respect, and they taught me a lot. God love 'em all.
Now that I'm racing my own boat, I have one female, and as Lapworth will attest, she also gets along well, and pulls her load. She doesn't complain and will perform any task. She even brings good beer.
I find that a little respect goes a long way.
I'm quite confused about what pushed your buttons. This post had to do with male skippers expecting sex of female crew members... there's nothing even implied about female crew expecting coddling from male skippers or females being irresponsible.
In fact, I was saying, Women, be responsible, and simply ask upfront if it appears the skipper might be expecting sex -- before you step on the boat.
As a woman looking to crew (and I crew like "one of the guys" ) I'm certainly disappointed to hear you've had bad experiences with women crew. But what in my post pushed your "women make bad crew" buttons?
I took on an unknown crew member from CF. A 2 day delivery from Miami to Green Cove Springs Fl. He was a member with few posts, so there was little known about him. He told me he was looking to buy a cat, but no experience with cats. We passed mail back, and forth about ourselves. Finally I asked for a picture as proof of his health. I didn't want a 400lb person coming aboard that couldn't perform their duties.
He turned out to be extremely helpful, intelligent, a good cook, and a heck of a nice human being. Normally I would single-hand, but the east coast of Florida is very busy with huge traffic. He could've turned out to be just the opposite, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I would not be afraid to pull into a port early, and force a person off my boat. Physically if need be.
As far as a woman accepting a crew position for a man when it's only 2 of them. That is a dangerous situation, and if being hit on is all that happens consider yourself lucky. The world is a dangerous place. Unfortunately most men have a tendency to think with the little brain. If a woman hits her twenties, and doesn't understand that already. Then she must be wearing blinders.:confused:
How many times has a man come on here, and in his first post ask for companionship. He's not looking for a female friend to go shopping with:laugher . Of course credit must be given to the many posters here that usually just ridicule the person to no end........i2f
Only a little derail....
Timely thread, since I just logged on intending to rant about unwanted advances from male crew. I have a small boat, and I dry-sail: it's possible to single-hand but launching really requires two people, as does racing. I keep the boat at a club, and I sail with a lot of different guys. Most of them are married, but almost none of the other women sail. So I know these guys, I hang out with them and their wives at the club on weekends, and STILL when they sail with me I get propositioned, about once every few weeks. Maybe there's something about being on the water that makes them stupid? I just can't figure it out. I don't dress suggestively, I don't flirt -- and I'm middle-aged, for crying out loud. The whole situation is so stupidly....ADOLESCENT, and it's spoiling my fun, to the point that I'm thinking about selling my boat and getting a d*mn kayak instead.
(End of rant.)
Short of posting a notice on the boat that says "No, I DON'T want to sleep with you!" I am at my wits' end. Any suggestions, ladies?
Sounds like you need to entice some other ladies to sail? You can always look them in the eye, and ask if they want you to share this behaviour with their wives. Word will will float like sand in a dust storm amongst the dummies, and they will quit..........i2f
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