Crew

Attainably Adventurous Children

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Thinking of voyaging with Children? Aspiring to voyage offshore? Reading this account by experienced wilderness educators about their ten years tackling the same challenges will smooth your way.

Online Book: Getting Along With Your Crew, Chapter 5 of 6

Crash Testing a Relationship—Part 1

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Going cruising with your partner may sound romantic, and it is. But there are also few activities that are more stressful on a relationship. Colin tells the story of his first tough passage with Lou. One that they took on intentionally to see how they would manage as a team at sea. It's an example that all couples considering the voyaging life should emulate—Crash Test the Relationship before committing everything to a new life on the ocean.

Online Book: Getting Along With Your Crew, Chapter 4 of 6

Briefing New Crew

Safety briefing

Once your crew are safely aboard it’s time to brief them on the boat and life on board. We always believe that this is best carried out once they have had some rest and settled in, as this allows us to go through things methodically—even a simple boat with basic safety equipment can be a [...]

Online Book: Getting Along With Your Crew, Chapter 3 of 6

Crew Briefing Document–Our Sample

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As promised, here is an example of our briefing document. As I outlined in Part II of this series of posts, it comes in two sections, the first two sides being for our guest, the third side to be copied and distributed to family and friends as necessary. Obviously this is only a rough example, [...]

Online Book: Getting Along With Your Crew, Chapter 2 of 6

Preparing For New Crew

Happy crew

Welcoming friends or family to join you on a long leg is something we all look forward to, but in order to make sure that the reality matches the expectation, it pays to plan ahead. Oversights at this stage can lead to delays later, upset good relations, and even compromise safety, so it’s only sensible [...]

Online Book: Getting Along With Your Crew, Chapter 1 of 6

Introduction

Hitchhiker?

For the best part of twenty years I sailed with boats full of people (up to 22 at times), and like most commercial skippers discovered that man management in such circumstances is of vital importance, in terms of safety and harmony aboard. Getting everyone to turn up on time in a remote place, with all [...]

Nobody’s Perfect

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One of the strangest exchanges I have ever had occurred in my days as a sailing instructor. My manager sidled up to me one day and asked, "Do you demonstrate all of the manoeuvres to your students in advance, before asking them to do it?". Thinking this might be some kind of trick question, I [...]

A Reluctant Voyager?

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Lane Finley’s comment on John’s post, A Model T Offshore Voyaging Boat, got me thinking. I agree that some of the reasons women are reluctant to go cruising are those that Lane posits: seasickness, loneliness, inconvenience, discomfort…not to mention separation from children/grandchildren…But I’m wondering if there isn’t more to the issue than that. And, as [...]

Serve Your Apprenticeship

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Offshore sailboat voyaging is a lifestyle that endlessly challenges, exhilarates, stretches, intimidates, and fulfills us. Which is why John and I are committed to encouraging others to take up and remain in this lifestyle. Through this website we have been privileged to encounter, either personally or via email, many aspiring cruisers. A large number are [...]

Finding Crew, Finding A Boat

Two of the more frequent requests we have been receiving lately are how to find crew or find a boat to crew on. So we decided to post what we know about this topic and then open it up for you to add to it. Below is a list of resources we’ve come across. Where [...]

Q&A: On Being A Newbie

Ted, our friend and crew on two extended voyages to the Arctic, had almost no sailing experience before joining us but he was a great crew. An accomplished back country skier, he was able to teach us a little about mountains and has the added advantage for a crew of having a really quick and deeply sick sense of humour.

Question: I'm planning a five-year circumnavigation. While I grew up as a live aboard cruiser, two of my crew have limited sailing experience. We have cruised the Chesapeake Bay extensively together and both are becoming good seamen but neither has been on a blue water passage. Phyllis, I understand that you had little or no [...]

What Happened To Teamwork?

Eleven years ago I met John and started scaling the voyaging learning curve. Since I was starting from scratch, it often seemed to me that the learning curve was vertical. Boat handling and maintenance are only part of the cruising package. Don’t forget learning to live in a small space, dealing with isolation from friends [...]

Question: I have perhaps a total of 40 hours sailing the New England coast. I have been invited by an experienced sailor to sail from Newburyport to Ireland in 2008 on a 32’ boat. My question is, what could I do between now and then to better prepare myself as a useful crew member? Answer: [...]