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Re: Crew, Captain and Owner Feedback
This thread has been interesting reading. There are risks picking up crew as well as crewing for a not all there skipper. The AST story was something that grabs your attention.
As the one gentleman pointed out a contract and there were those of you that took exception to that. Regardless of what you call it a written agreement that's discussed agreed-upon and signed by all parties is important. It's easy to forget or did remember definitely what was discussed in the past and that piece of paper is great to refer to later.
I used to get my sailing fix (before I own my own boat) by helping friends move their boats primarily between Alaska and the lower 48. Some trips from British Columbia to Mexico and back. I was fortunate that I had a job that gave me the time to do these trips. I would do this for expenses, airfare groceries. Over time, other people that weren't friends or acquaintances were coming to me for the same services. One individual needed his boat moved from Bellingham, Washington to Seldovia AK. This person was heavy into electronics. He told me about GPS and a program from map tech where you could have charts on the computer. I was really intrigued. We made an agreement that I would skipper his boat and would not be forced to meet a schedule and safety would prevail. If we could not complete the trip and what time we had, we would dock the boat, I would fly back so I could go to work and would come back and complete the trip when I was off.
He went to the boat about 3 weeks prior to the trip started getting things ready. He had his new electronic gadgets all set up, but in neglected things like running the lines, getting the sales out of the bags or any those minor things. It should of told me something. I arrived with a full set of tools, 32 old black-and-white copies of British Columbia charts as he had told me he had charts for Alaska. It took 4 days of work just getting the boat ready to leave with a long list of stuff to be worked on when time allowed.
We went to the grocery store to provision for the trip. At the checkout counter his credit card was denied so I forked mine over (clue number 2). We pulled out of the slip with him at the helm to go to the fuel dock. There was well over 100 foot of dock space without another vessel there. It took him 15 minutes to get close enough that I could throw line to the fuel hand. His credit card worked this time. We had to motorways till we finally picked up a little bit of a breeze and put sales up to see how the vessel handled.
He had pretty well turned over handling the vessel, route planning to me. I would take the waypoints off the laptop (a 486 computer) write them down, and he would enter them into the GPS. Periodically he would take a turn at the helm as the autopilot was nonfunctional. He was always asking me where we were going to stop what was it like, and when we get there. He was spend hours lying in his birth reading the sci-fi novel.
It appeared the problem with the autopilot was that the Gyro needed to sit in mineral oil, and there wasn't enough mineral oil for it to function. We picked up some mineral oil in a pharmacy/drugstore in new Bella. The autopilot when 1st turned on would go nuts, but would settle down and hold decent course. This allowed me to work on other things while he was keeping watch for a couple hours in the cockpit.
Somewhere in the Grenville channel checking the engine oil it was low, 1 quart. I went to get oil out of one of the gallon containers and discovered it wasn't oil but diesel that are been drained out of the fuel filters. Before leaving Bellingham I had made a request that he get enough oil for 2 complete oil changes, as well as other things. We did not have a spare quart of oil on board.
Exiting the Grenville channel we picked up a nice breeze and opted to continue to Ketchikan rather than stop in Prince Rupert. I checked the oil at the fuel dock and we were down 1 1/2 quarts. He only wanted to buy 2 quarts. I requested that he obtained the fluids on my list that I'd given him in Bellingham. Also that he take a shower. He said sponge baths were okay with him. I let him know there were not okay with me, and he needed a shower. This was not something he wanted to do so. I said fine. I would catch the next flight out and he would be on his own.
I discovered that he only had two charts of Alaska, one that covered Kodiak to Seattle and the other one. A detailed chart of Sitka, but his map tech charts should be there a CD any day. He wasn't willing to purchase any paper charts. This was the last straw. I opted to fly back home to go to work. He did not have a flashlight on the boat. Very few tools and his only coat consisted of a light polar fleece jacket. I left my tools, coat, float coat, rain gear and a few charts of Alaska that had been mixed in with my British Columbia charts.
About 9 months later I was able to get a hold of him. He wanted to keep what I had left him for payment, for what I owed him. He told me several other friends have helped him finally get to Seldovia. One had been an idiot because he failed to take off the stern line when he drove away from the dock and ripped the stern cleat out. I was out 5 airplane tickets, grocery expenses and several hundred dollars worth of personal equipment that I've left him because he needed it. We had a verbal agreement that was remembered differently. My mistake.
On another occasion, the owner was not going to be available for the trip and I needed to find crew. One individual can do me with an impressive resume. He was intelligent, articulate, and seemed to be too good to be true. His 1st name was Joe and do a little research and found out there was also a Joshua and a Joseph with the same last name that have multiple felony convictions in all of these guys have the same birthday. Not the kind of guy you want to have crewing with you in the middle of nowhere.
I have skippered friends vessels in one was the best trip I have ever had and that was because of the quality of the owner of the boat. He was an exceptional man that I was fortunate enough to get to know.
There are probably better ways now than there were in the past to determine if you want that person to skipper your vessel or crew for you. Be cautious.
NJ Before Dirt
Last edited by NJ Mc Call; 11-20-2015 at 04:28 PM.
Reason: Soory for rambling