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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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Old 07-20-2010
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What do you tell guest?

Please share with us what you do.

My wife and I have been sailing for a year. We will be taking some family on our sailboat and would like to give them some instructions on what to do and what to expect. This will be the first time we have sailed with more than 3. There will be a total of 8 on a Catalina 30.
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Old 07-20-2010
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One of the distaff liveaboards who posts here regularly, Eryka or Melrna or Denise, posted their standard safety lecture a year or so ago. It was a good one.
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Old 07-20-2010
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Here's a good discussion:

What do you tell 1st timers on your boat
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Old 07-20-2010
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In the past when guest came aboard. Some vocalized thier fears. I told them there's nothing to fear until you see fear on my face. Then it's every man, woman, child, and pet for themselves. ........i2f
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Old 07-20-2010
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imagine.... you just conjured up images of costanza running down everyone in sight to get out of the theater.... lol

one thing i tell guests (and D30 may have covered it) is if you dont know what line i am asking you to pull on/release/loosen etc, ask before you go yanking on what you think i meant.
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Old 07-20-2010
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If the most you have ever had on your boat before is 3 and now you are going to try 8 with 6 of them being non sailors you are likely going to have your hands full. I would humbly suggest that having sailed for only a year maybe this is biting off a little more than you really want to chew.

Its your job to not only keep them safe but to entertain them also, making sure they have some enjoyment. When we have more than a couple guests on our 39' boat I do not want them all to be newbies, too much worry and hassle, but that is just us.

I do like to keep non sailors in the cockpit, where I can keep an eye on them. That might be hard to do for you if you have 8 people total. Non sailors are more likely to trip over fairleads, lines, winches, blocks etc when going forward, make sure your first aid kit is ready for minor scrapes and cuts. If they do go forward I would make sure they have a pfd on.

I think it was Eryka that had the great guest primer.

let us know how it works out
michael
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Old 07-20-2010
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If only I had read the Eryka thread before the weekend
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Old 07-20-2010
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Rotate each of the guests at the helm for a short while. Have each of the other guests man a jib sheet or the mainsail sheet and constantly have them trim the sails. While it will be somewhat tiring for you to captain the boat by providing non-aggresive instructions to your crew, your crew will never forget the great time they had "sailing".

The best time I ever had sailing was when I never had a chance to sail. My "crew" worked their butts off, and had a great time. I helped, advised, and was able to assist should a situation arise. The only time I had a problem was when I kept instructing the guest at the helm on how to read the tell-tales. Finally, I had to ask; "what are you, color blind?" You guessed it, the answer was "yes".

Eric
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Old 07-20-2010
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How to use the head is very important. I wrap up my overview with something to the effect of "if you clog it I will stand in the doorway and dispense tools and advice."
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Old 07-21-2010
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EIGHT on a C30? Do you have enough PFDs to be legal for that?

What, lots of young kids in the mix, or are you planning to stow a few below deck all day?

It just seems like a handfull. What to tell them depends an awful lot of what their backgrounds are and what your intents are.

I'd say, first, make sure there is plenty to drink, plenty of sunblock, plenty of hats, plenty of seasickness meds. Then remind them to puke over the lee rail if they must. And that a sailboat is very much a machine, to keep hair, earrings, and fingers out of the moving parts. To ASK if they have a question, like "Can I throw this in the toilet?" and make sure they all know what not to use the head for. (Might be worth posting some instructions inside the head door, I've never heard anyone complain about seeing those.)

After that...if you have enough sailors on the boat, you don't need to tell them anything except "stay on the boat" and "the boom really does want to kill you, try to outsmart it". A fast rundown on how to use the VHF--and not to play with it, or how to use the engine and helm....and then the rest is mainly a question of who is interested in what.
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