Is it me, or does evry skipper yell? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 07-14-2008
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Is it me, or does evry skipper yell?

I have crewed on lot's of boats aside form my own; three different racing ones. Each skipper accepts "green" crew and even folks that haven't raced or even sailed alot.

I tell them I have sailing experience, which I do, and that I would be happy to help in any way I can. If I am given a job, I do to the best of my ability as fast as I can. Problem arises when I don't do it a) either well enough or b) fast enough. The skippers start yelling and if it doesn't go quick enough for them, yell louder and faster.

I was on one boat where I was was mast and sewer. My job was to hoist the spinny and take the spinny into the hole when it came down. On the first set, I couldn't get the damn thing up fast enough for the skipper, so he's yelling louder and with more trucker language. Turns out that my gloves are slipping on his new, very slippery, thin halyard. Didn't matter, I wasn't doing it fast enough. Next set I took my gloves off, a little better, but unknown to me the spinny was coming up twisted. This guy (skipper) is telling me to hoist faster, the bowman is yelling at me to stop hoisting, what a communication mess. I was fed up and we had only been racing for 30 minutes in the first of two races. We mutually parted, each not liking the other.

Over the weekend I was on another boat, the skipper was pretty cool for the most part, and actually had me at the helm for the start of the second race and the first upwind leg. We were in very light air and his boat handles way different than mine as far as helm sensitivity. After 10 minutes of telling me head off, head up, head off, no so much, too much, your not paying attention to your telltales, etc. I finally said it would be best if he took over. He had the more greener sailor setting the pole and jibbing the spinnaker, but he sure didn't make it sound like this guy was doing anything right. Afterwards he said I (we) did very well for the first time on that type of boat and was tickled that he found crew that actually had sailing experience. Where was the positive feedback during the race?

These skippers have to accept that fact that they aren't Pro Sailors and mostly racing beer can races. Since they're getting free, and mostly novice crew, they should expect nothing except folks that are interested in sailing, learning, and having fun. Bonus if the person has racing experience.

I have my own boat and I never yell at my crew. If something goes wrong, we deal with it, but I never yell at anyone. I don't race on my own boat, but if I did, no yelling.

Hell, if I want a half day of being yelled at, I go to work. The goal of sailing is peace and quiet and to have fun.

Rant over.
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2008
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Crew on different boats until you find a captain who isn't an arrogant idiot.
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Old 07-14-2008
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That's a fair comment..

Some skippers have pretty large egos and/or are so used to holding it all in whilst getting yelled at at work that the chance to go out for a race and yell at the wind, other boats, the crew... helps them unload.

As a kid sailing in 2-up Sabots, I'll never forget once race when, on the final leg to the finish line, my crew jumped overboard and swam ashore. I still won the race - but was it worth it?? No. It never happened again, but I'm sure everyone here has been on racing yachts where the skipper was the slowest part of the boat.

Unfortunately, leadership ability and coaching skills are not something that everyone inherits at birth. My advice? Pick another boat - maybe the one that was in front of him on the last race!
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Old 07-14-2008
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I only yell at myself or inanimate objects, not other people. Well, maybe in my mind I yell at them, but not out loud
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Old 07-14-2008
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And yet he's singlehanding the boat....
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Originally Posted by PBzeer View Post
I only yell at myself or inanimate objects, not other people. Well, maybe in my mind I yell at them, but not out loud
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 07-14-2008
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These are the same "A" types at Soccer ( or any sport for that matter ) Hollering at the refs for making calls, hollering at there own kids and other kids, and interfering with even the coach doing his job...calling plays from the side lines..

They are also hollering in a McDonald's line if their order takes more then 47 seconds..Know wonder they are always looking for crew...

Some times ligament stern encouragement to speed someone up is needed if its a safty issue for the boat or others involved...but this should be explained ahead of time so a person dosent take it personal....I sometimes find yellers are making up for their own lack of self confidance in their own skills some of the time...and others are just plain good and arnt happy not having equal qualified crew aboard and yell out of frustration.
As the old saying goes you can please some of the people some of the times but not all the people all of the time..Nothing wrong with walking away like you did.

I have to learn to bite my tong more often and its a personal problum for me too...I could not be a coach of any sport..I dont have the patients to instruct through the clumsy learning stages...I would want to coach a team who dosent need a coach...Im one of thoes terrible "A" personalities as far as that goes too I afraid..

I have mellowed out considerably with age and can now laugh more at things that would have burned me.. I value people more then I use too is the reason.
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Old 07-14-2008
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Growing up in a Italian American household, yelling was a way of life. So I will answer now, as I always have "who's yelling"?
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Old 07-14-2008
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I've raced on a lot of boats over the last 30 years. The best boats - most wins, most fun, most stable crews - had skippers who didn't yell. It isn't about volume, it's about the emotional content and tone of voice.

If there is yelling on the boat (and it may not come from the skipper) I don't go back.

sail fast, dave
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Old 07-14-2008
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Now you know why those skippers need crew!

Life's too short.
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Old 07-14-2008
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I only yell when the crew does not immediately respond to the captains' orders! (She thinks that as Admiral she outranks me!)
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