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  #11  
Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Limits of Captains authority

Can I assume this discussion is relating only to recreational sailboats and not when there is a Licensed Captain in charge?
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  #12  
Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Limits of Captains authority

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
I don't expect anyone to do anything that I couldn't or wouldn't do myself.
In reality, all I ever ask of my guests is to hold this, pull that or grab something from below. Wait, that sounded bad.
Hard and fast rules are so difficult....

If I am an older "captain" I might very well ask younger crew to do things that would be difficult for me. Of course, I wouldn't leave the dock if that had not been sorted out first.

And really there are 2 sorts of sailing: trips with family and guests during which they are invited to help but captain can single hand if he wishes or needs to, and passages or races where team work in vigorous conditions is expected and some notion of chain of command is really needed. Two totally different concepts.
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  #13  
Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Limits of Captains authority

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"3. Sex has to be consensual between adults."
Oh, I see. You're going to pretend the sheep have no say in the matter?
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Old 08-07-2013
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Re: Limits of Captains authority

Once had crew that couldn't stand watch properly. First night fell asleep, nearly getting us run down. Second night, couldn't recognize a collision course, nearly getting us run down. He was relieved of all watch duty. Captain (licensed)and I took over all watches, no more near collisions.

One authority captains don't have: to make an incompetent crew competent.
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Old 08-08-2013
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Re: Limits of Captains authority

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yamsailor View Post
Can I assume this discussion is relating only to recreational sailboats and not when there is a Licensed Captain in charge?
A "licensed" captain means nothing. The 'legality' to wear a funny little hat after you get a captains 'license' occurs in only one country, as far as I know: the USA.


As Sabreman said:
Quote:
Unless crew are in the military or employed by the ship with the captain as the supervisor, then in all other cases, "crew" are guests of the vessel. As such, the "captain" can't make them do anything. He can ask, plead, cajole or anything else, but the guests are free to do as they please.

The captain title is a courtesy but my legal authority is limited. While I am responsible for my guests safety, I can't make them do anything.
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Re: Limits of Captains authority

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Originally Posted by MarkofSeaLife View Post
I think Sabreman is spot on.


BTW re the sex. I'm not into spanking. Well, not on watch anyway.
What about flogging? That has a tradition at sea!
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Old 08-08-2013
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Re: Limits of Captains authority

Here's where I think people get themselves all knotted up. For a boat to operate effectively, there needs to be some sort of understood and agreed upon leadership. There are many decisions to make underway and someone has to make them. If the boat wants to do them all like a commune, go ahead. Although, its well known that is time consuming and you may not always be given the time. The important issue is that everyone understands and agrees how decisions will be made, which could change underway or at each watch. Not knowing or agreeing to leadership is a recipe for disaster.

There is also someone aboard who will be considered responsible for the boats actions in the event any liability is incurred or laws broken. This is very specific by jurisdiction.

However, the idea of there being a Captain aboard a recreational vessel that has inherent authority over subordinates is silly. I will extend that to a boat in a race, without professional paid crew. Leadership needs to be understood and agreed to. In many cases, the owner does not default to leader for a given passage. The owner can refuse to allow his property to leave the dock, but crew must agree to leadership.
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Re: Limits of Captains authority

Maybe the confusion in the USA is because they think the license to drive a boat makes them a "Captain"?

What does the actual license say?


In the rest of the world the word 'captain' is never used in the license to drive a boat.

[Aditional info]
I've just checked the net and in the USA there is no such thing, that I can find, that makes one a Captain.

The most common is the 6-pack license:

Quote:
Uninspected Passenger Vessel
Generally, operations that carry 6 or fewer passengers for hire are referred to as Uninspected Passenger Vessels (UPV), 6 Passenger (pax), or 6 Pack operations. .... the vessel operator must hold an Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) license issued by the Coast Guard.
So that person is not a Captain, merely a vessel Operator.
If there is another type of license often used then lets have a look at it

[More additional]
I see how there can be misrepresentation when websites doing the exam call it a captains license:
http://www.boaterexam.com/usa/captainslicense/

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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 08-08-2013 at 08:43 AM.
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Re: Limits of Captains authority

Quote:
understood and agreed upon leadership
Agreed, it is not a legal authority, rather a consensual one based on respect. Big difference.

For recreational boaters, I think the whole "captain" thing is silly and probably an artifact of people watching too many movies. Personally, I don't use the term when referring to myself and am uncomfortable when someone calls me by the term. It's like calling oneself an "expert", its quite presumptuous.
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Re: Limits of Captains authority

Mark,

The word Captain is absolutely a colloquialism in the US. Even the USCG uses it to address whomever calls them on the radio. They don't even ask if they are the leader, let alone actually a licensed Captain. It's just a nicety.

The real can of worms here is that there is absolutely no license, permit or otherwise required to skipper a boat here. Some require a safety course, which you need to be able to read and write at the third grade level to pass. It's probably based on our roots in freedom and will likely stay this way for some time. There is a good argument for someone aboard to have demonstrated some higher level of competence.
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