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  #1  
Old 07-25-2011
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Crew Etiquette

Looking for some feedback...

This past weekend I was scheduled to crew on sunday at a large regatta, having arrived a day earlier I inquired @ the registration table as to any boats looking for crew. They directed me to a 40.7 (nice boat, my first time on one) that was missing most of their regulars. I was assigned to trimming the headsail and in a race lost a winch handle overboard (in my defense it was during a last second ducking of a starboard where I had to scramble down from the high side rail ).

My question is what would be considered the proper etiquette in this situation?
Should I be expected to replace it...Should I offer with the expectation that the offer be accepted...offer with the expectation it be declined...should the skipper/owner release me from the liability by for example saying don't worry about it these things happen???

Feedback would be appreciated as I'm fairly new to the racing scene.

I've found who I'm pretty sure to be the owner on line and would like
to move expeditiously.

Thanks
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Old 07-25-2011
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Offer to replace it (and be ready to). However, the owner will probably decline.
I had a crew drop 2 handles overboard in the same race. After the second one I told him to replace it. 2 in one day is not cool, it's careless. I'm not careless with my crew's lives or equipment they bring, no sense to go throwing my stuff over the side.

I still race with him, and he's a good guy, and I certainly appreciated him replacing the handle. I also like having him on board. It's a case by case thing. Since you were a stand-in crew, I'd at least offer. You were the one that dropped it!
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  #3  
Old 07-25-2011
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Apologize and offer to replace with the expectation that the skipper will accept.

Things happen quickly in racing and you have to be prepared. Dropping the handle was your fault and you should take responsibility for it.
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Old 07-25-2011
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you are a substitute crew member, you were doing him a favour by being on the boat and you didn't cause the emergency ducking situation. you were doing your best to be part of the solution. I don't think you should feel obliged to replace it BUT then again it depends how much you value your reputation and whether you want to sail on his yacht or anybody elses yacht again! If you are after a permanent position on a boat then you need a good reputation, so don't make a fuss, offer to replace the handle. If he's a decent skipper he will refuse your offer - his lack of foresight caused that emergency ducking under another yacht that led to panic stations and the handle falling over board.

handles are very expensive. maybe the owner is insured.

Last edited by bobbylockes; 07-25-2011 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 07-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbylockes View Post
you are a substitute crew member, you were doing him a favour by being on the boat and you didn't cause the emergency ducking situation. you were doing your best to be part of the solution. I don't think you should feel obliged to replace it BUT then again it depends how much you value your reputation and whether you want to sail on his yacht or anybody elses yacht again! If you are after a permanent position on a boat then you need a good reputation, so don't make a fuss, offer to replace the handle. If he's a decent skipper he will refuse your offer - his lack of foresight caused that emergency ducking under another yacht that led to panic stations and the handle falling over board.
Right answer, wrong reason. Don't pretend to be someone you are not by artificially boosting your reputation. If you were out for a daysail that would be different but you were racing. Replace the handle because you know it is the right thing to do.

And I have been in plenty of emergency ducking situations that were not caused by lack of foresight. You are moving fast in close quarters and some people do not always play by the rules requiring quick maneuvers.

I have broken things on other folks boats and I always offer to replace. I broke it, I take responsibility. Period.

If he is a nice guy he may refuse or offer to split.
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Last edited by Tim R.; 07-25-2011 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 07-25-2011
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Do the right thing. Find the boat owner and send him a check. Crossing and ducking is all part of racing. Just because the helmsman dose a crash tack, doesn’t mean everybody is excused from hanging onto handles. Out here in Cali, “he who drops it, buys it”. I’m surprised no one mentioned it when you were helping put the boat away. Look at it from the perspective if you were the boat owner, Someone deep six’s a winch handle on your boat – wouldn’t you want him to pay for it?
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Old 07-25-2011
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I would buy the owner a drink at the first opportunity, apologize for the loss, and ask him what kind of handle he wanted. If he has any class at all he will accept the drink and decline the handle. If he accepts the offer of the handle you buy it for him.

I've paid for much more expensive losses on my boat than a winch handle.
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Old 07-25-2011
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I'm sailing in a regatta this weekend. My friend has a classic yacht and one hand-made bronze handle with the name of the yacht engraved in it.
He said only yesterday he doesn't use it himself for risk of losing it. I'll be pulling in the jib sheet with my hands before the wind fills the sail. I wont be using the handle. I can't afford too!!!
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Old 07-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
I would buy the owner a drink at the first opportunity, apologize for the loss, and ask him what kind of handle he wanted. If he has any class at all he will accept the drink and decline the handle. If he accepts the offer of the handle you buy it for him.

I've paid for much more expensive losses on my boat than a winch handle.
If I were the captain/owner, my crew breaks or drops something, I would never ask him to pay for it. It is an accident, sh*t happens. An apology is good enough for me.
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Old 07-25-2011
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If I dropped the handle on someone else's boat, I would happily and quickly buy a replacement. Only discussion with the skipper would be about if he wanted an identical handle, or something equivalent.

If my crew dropped a handle on my boat, I would politely decline, but appreciate the offer. I would do my best to put the crew at ease that it was OK, and that mistakes happen. I would observe carefully to see if the crew was satisfied with that response, if not, and they insist, I would reluctantly allow them to compensate in some way up to the value of the handle.

Easy, really. Only hard part is being a careful observer.
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