Inexperienced crew, yes or no?

ean_p

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I wonder why you go as 'skipper ' with all that that entails. Unless you are being paid to skipper the boat then I should describe myself as crew and the owner as skipper.....you are there just as an experienced hand to help with the sailing and advise. The rest is the owners domain......
 

ylop

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I wonder why you go as 'skipper ' with all that that entails. Unless you are being paid to skipper the boat then I should describe myself as crew and the owner as skipper.....you are there just as an experienced hand to help with the sailing and advise. The rest is the owners domain......
I’d say that is the sort of ambiguity that leads to confusion in a crisis. Ultimately someone is calling the shots - there should be no doubt who that is. If the owner is not experienced enough that you would let him make those decisions then you are the skipper anyway!
 

bitbaltic

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You know the old adage that the boat will always tough it out beyond the capability of the crew, and this is essentially true across the ages. What you have here is a totally inexperienced crew (skipper and son) and the boat maybe has some issues. If you wouldn’t take the boat on the passage alone, don’t take it and them. I once turned a boat round on an ocean race when it’s skipper and I agreed the entire crew were a liability. Nothing wrong with the boat or the two of us; but that didn’t actually mitigate the risks.
 
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Mark-1

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I’d say that is the sort of ambiguity that leads to confusion in a crisis. Ultimately someone is calling the shots - there should be no doubt who that is. If the owner is not experienced enough that you would let him make those decisions then you are the skipper anyway!

I would argue that the owner also being skipper completely removes such ambiguity, rather than creates it.
 

Stemar

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I would argue that the owner also being skipper completely removes such ambiguity, rather than creates it.
Until the smelly stuff hits the fan. Even then, it's OK if he defers to the experienced person, but if he insists on being skipper...

I understand that throwing the skipper over the side is still frowned upon, even if that's where you're all going to be if you don't.
 

Mark-1

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Until the smelly stuff hits the fan. Even then, it's OK if he defers to the experienced person, but if he insists on being skipper...

The owner appoints the skipper. So if he wants to "insist on being skipper" he can and will regardless of what was agreed verbally. (As we've already seen - as owner he's bringing his son along and the 'Skipper' hasn't been offered a veto. The 'skipper' is concerned about the boat and engine but the owner isn't rectifying all the concerns.)

Combining the 'skipper' and 'owner' roles completely solves that "ambiguity" problem.

There may be other problems but they won't relate to ambiguity over who has the ultimate say.

As it happens I think this will all be fine in practice. Reasonable people usually get on ok. I'm sure the owner and OP will get on fine and the 15yo lad (after a day or two of sea sickness) will be a strong crew member (strongest?) or at least stay out out of the way.
 
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steveeasy

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Amazing. 4 days and not a single response from the OP.
We’ll probably scared off. It’s a fine line here and we’ve crossed it perhaps.. people want positive feedback and not being told they are not a suitable skipper. We don’t know if people are or are not suitable so we. All based on assumptions.
Steveeasy
 

Snowgoose-1

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We’ll probably scared off. It’s a fine line here and we’ve crossed it perhaps.. people want positive feedback and not being told they are not a suitable skipper. We don’t know if people are or are not suitable so we. All based on assumptions.
Steveeasy
But isn't the point of forums to inflate oneself and deflate as many as possible ? 😁

Being a nobody is actually very liberating.😁

He is probably a very wise bloke.
 

Wansworth

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We’ll probably scared off. It’s a fine line here and we’ve crossed it perhaps.. people want positive feedback and not being told they are not a suitable skipper. We don’t know if people are or are not suitable so we. All based on assumptions.
Steveeasy
Our pearls of wisdom thrown to the wind
But isn't the point of forums to inflate oneself and deflate as many as possible ? 😁

Being a nobody is actually very liberating.😁

He is probably a very wise bloke.
ormaybehe knew the answer
 

ylop

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The owner appoints the skipper. So if he wants to "insist on being skipper" he can and will regardless of what was agreed verbally. (As we've already seen - as owner he's bringing his son along and the 'Skipper' hasn't been offered a veto. The 'skipper' is concerned about the boat and engine but the owner isn't rectifying all the concerns.)

Combining the 'skipper' and 'owner' roles completely solves that "ambiguity" problem.

There may be other problems but they won't relate to ambiguity over who has the ultimate say.

As it happens I think this will all be fine in practice. Reasonable people usually get on ok. I'm sure the owner and OP will get on fine and the 15yo lad (after a day or two of sea sickness) will be a strong crew member (strongest?) or at least stay out out of the way.
If it all goes well it will be fine, but when things start to go wrong I think the situation you describe is exactly the phenomenon I was thinking of. There was a great article on how it pans out in mountaineering, but I can't remember the right search terms to find it again. In essence the psychology is, a group is undertaking a moderately risky activity. The most experienced person doesn't think they are in charge; they assume the less experienced people will speak up if they are concerned and so say nothing as the risks develop. The less experienced people assume that if things were as bad as they feel then the experienced people would already have spoken up, so think its beginners nerves. Everyone is actually worried but nobody wants to be the one who intervenes as they all though it was someone else's role. The dynamics get even more complex if one is in paid to be there, or has previously been paid/formally led them, or in this case owns the boat etc.
 

Buck Turgidson

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If it all goes well it will be fine, but when things start to go wrong I think the situation you describe is exactly the phenomenon I was thinking of. There was a great article on how it pans out in mountaineering, but I can't remember the right search terms to find it again. In essence the psychology is, a group is undertaking a moderately risky activity. The most experienced person doesn't think they are in charge; they assume the less experienced people will speak up if they are concerned and so say nothing as the risks develop. The less experienced people assume that if things were as bad as they feel then the experienced people would already have spoken up, so think its beginners nerves. Everyone is actually worried but nobody wants to be the one who intervenes as they all though it was someone else's role. The dynamics get even more complex if one is in paid to be there, or has previously been paid/formally led them, or in this case owns the boat etc.
Risky shift.
 

ylop

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Risky shift.
Ah thanks. That and "Group Polariszation" is what I was looking for, for those interested:

MOUNTAINEERING
https://www.avalancheassociation.ca...e-the-Implications-for-Outdoor-Recreationists

FLYING
https://mro-ns.massey.ac.nz/bitstre...013 Gilbey and Lee.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

They are well worth a read and considering how they apply on your boat (lots of husband and wife situations where the wife is expecting the husband to make the call and the husband is thinking if she's not worried then I don't need to be!).
 

Fr J Hackett

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I'm in a dilemma. I've agreed to skipper an inexperienced relative's boat from Coruña to Portimao. The boat has been refurbished up to a point and has been delivered from Gosport to Coruña two weeks ago. We now have a decent weather window after the last storm but the owner wants to take his 15 year old son who has absolutely no experience along. The boat is a good one, a 1983 Jeanneau Sunshine 36 but there are problems. The engine is the original 40 year old Volvo, the rig looks ok but is in need of replacement due to age and the coachroof windows are held in place with tape because the man who fitted them just Sikaflexed them in place instead of using VHB tape as instructed. So, I'm opposed to taking a young boy on a 600 m trip which will keep us far offshore, about 60m, because of the very real threat of Orcas. I don't really trust the engine as well. What should I do? I'm trying to help but the ultimate responsability lies with me, or am I wrong?
For me apart from “refurbished to a point “ and the point and workmanship seems poorly defined vis the windows, is the lads inexperience on a yacht. Has he got the stomach for it as if he succumbs to mal de mare it’s going to give you problems. Normally we would work through it drink fluids and get passed it but his father might want to stop so he can recover, rinse and repeat. In any case the lad could end up miserable and put off sailing for life. Discuss it with his farther in those terms and take it from there, his lack of practical experience shouldn’t be a problem it could be quite rewarding for him.
 

Frogmogman

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About 20 years ago one of my friends, who had virtually no sailing experience, bought a new Oceanis 311 at the Paris boat show, the boat being delivered to Cherbourg in the spring.

He asked me to help him sail it down to Trebeurden in North Brittany, where he had secured a berth. I agreed, on condition that we took the boat out for a couple of shake-down sails from Cherbourg, so I could instruct him and his wife on safety and the rudiments of sailing, and also identify any snagging issues to be addressed by the yard before our departure.

What became clear on the two long weekends we did in preparation was that while his wife was happy enough pootling around for a couple of hours, she was not up for the trip. So, she stayed behind, and I invited one of my mates along. We had a very enjoyable sail down there. I was very glad to have left his missus ashore, and to have enlisted a competent hand.

The boat’s owner then learned to sail and progressed quite quickly to a Jeanneau 43.

The point of my rambling is before heading off on a trip in an untested boat with an inexperienced crew, take the time to have a shake down beforehand.
 
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