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Let me defend older skippers everywhere. I race a 38 foot updated IOR boat. I have been racing since 1970. I have mobility problems but can get to the helm but not run around the boat.  I am willing to teach younger crew members to sail. I hear on the docks that I yell at them Lets examine that. As we get ready to leave the dock, I am back at the helm and the crew is all over the boat. I am teaching.  I have to say things like, "do not run the genoa sheets under the life lines and inside of the shrouds". of course I could shut up and let them do that but things get messy in a hurry. I similarly try to tell them not to run the spinnaker sheets through the bow pulpit. Nasty result that one.

This constant instruction (please wrap the lines clockwise around the winch, both port and starboard. Oh, port is over here and starboard is over there.)

I had one young lady who assumed that she knew and understood far more than she did. I recall two outstanding moves she made. The first time when were sailing in about 20 knots of breeze and I asked her to ease the main sheet and she blew the main halyard.  One experienced racer who was on the foredeck with her during another race told her she was going to kill someone.  Her crowning moment came after a sail as we were heading in to the harbor. She was curling up spare lines. Suddenly the main boom started swaying wildly side to side. She had disconnected the main sheet and was stuffing it in the sheet bag on the cabin side.

My point is, I do not yell at the crew. I issue commands and instructions. Since the person I am talking to is often 35 feet away, I speak loudly rather than whisper.

I think the problem is the modern generation resent being told what to do by anyone.

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13 minutes ago, Joe Olson 30 said:

I think the problem is the modern generation resent being told what to do by anyone.

I don't know any generation that likes being 'told' what to do.  

You're barking in a loud voice, not encouraging members of what is your team.  On a 38' boat, people have set assignments for a given race.  Trim main, port side genoa/spin trim, starboard side genoa/spin, pit, foreguy, etc.  There has to be someone on board who knows what they're doing, why not have them show new/inexperienced crew by demonstrating the port side and then supervising them doing the starboard side.  Have them go through the various controls and their proper names with specific emphasis to the person who will be responsible for that job. 

Do you give praise when a job is done correctly?  Building new crew and have them gain confidence is a nurturing process.  Do you analyze each race in a quiet voice on the way back to harbor?  What went right/wrong, what to do differently the next time.  And if you're having to micromanage every little detail regarding sail control, I can only imagine how your driving is doing.

You need to reinvent your approach because I can assure you no one (including yourself) is having much fun.  

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59 minutes ago, Snaggletooth said:

Curlling up liines?

I think that's a winter sport where you see how far you can make it glide across the ice. Sort of like the up-north version of heaving a monkey's fist

FB- Doug

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4 hours ago, Joe Olson 30 said:

Let me defend older skippers everywhere. I race a 38 foot updated IOR boat. I have been racing since 1970. I have mobility problems but can get to the helm but not run around the boat.  I am willing to teach younger crew members to sail. I hear on the docks that I yell at them Lets examine that. As we get ready to leave the dock, I am back at the helm and the crew is all over the boat. I am teaching.  I have to say things like, "do not run the genoa sheets under the life lines and inside of the shrouds". of course I could shut up and let them do that but things get messy in a hurry. I similarly try to tell them not to run the spinnaker sheets through the bow pulpit. Nasty result that one.

This constant instruction (please wrap the lines clockwise around the winch, both port and starboard. Oh, port is over here and starboard is over there.)

I had one young lady who assumed that she knew and understood far more than she did. I recall two outstanding moves she made. The first time when were sailing in about 20 knots of breeze and I asked her to ease the main sheet and she blew the main halyard.  One experienced racer who was on the foredeck with her during another race told her she was going to kill someone.  Her crowning moment came after a sail as we were heading in to the harbor. She was curling up spare lines. Suddenly the main boom started swaying wildly side to side. She had disconnected the main sheet and was stuffing it in the sheet bag on the cabin side.

My point is, I do not yell at the crew. I issue commands and instructions. Since the person I am talking to is often 35 feet away, I speak loudly rather than whisper.

I think the problem is the modern generation resent being told what to do by anyone.

No, the problem is that you lack leadership qualities.

Think for a second, I'm sure when you were younger you just loved being bossed around by grumpy old farts.

You say you are "teaching" crew but the fact that you complain they are constantly making mistakes and need constant "instruction" show that they are not really learning well. AXIOM- If they're not learning, you're not teaching! The fault goes both ways.

Some suggestions- Let them make some mistakes, just keep them from breaking gear or causing injury. Mistakes will teach them a lot, fast.

Don't tell, ask. When you see a crew reeving sheets wrong, instead of bitching at them to do it over and giving detailed instructions on how to do it right, just stop them for a moment and ask "Is that going to come out right?" Let them figure it out, or let a crewman who -has- done it right show them (this is kinda like delegating... a key leadership skill).

Challenge yourself physically to get around the deck, while still at the dock, and put your own hand on some of the lines. Troops don't respect a general who never visits the trenches.

"I issue commands and instructions" frankly you sound like a dick that nobody wants to sail with twice. But seriously, you need to rethink the whole task of skippering a big boat, and raise your leadership game a bit. You would probably enjoy it more yourself, unless you really are the type that enjoys being a dick.

FB- Doug

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The yelling part comes when the newbie is assigned the Pit position where all the "ropes" are.

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I'm not yelling, I'm speaking clearly and distinctly.

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When the boat is pinned on its side and the boom is in the water, threatening to snap, do you politely ask?

Most of the time, a skipper can be polite and encouraging, but when shit goes badly wrong, sometimes you have to issue a firm command to save the rig or prevent an injury.

I agree that the OP sounds gruff but I also agree that there are precious snowflakes out there that don't want to learn and to whom even the most polite request sounds like barking.

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Don't sweat it too much. Sounds like your doing it right. Especially if you have mobility issues and can't be up there to show them the way things are set up.

My Dad shanghai'd me from a quiet C&C 36' when I was 14. He was a yelling asshole in a 23' one design for another 24. He couldn't help himself. I finally got the motivation and skills to call the shots and get us across the line first almost  EVERY time just to get him to shut the F up. It was great for me as I can sail really well now. I choose to not race anymore because we always won and it sucked not seeing someone else enjoy the smell of victory.

My brother took over the boat when Dad retired and he was a yeller as well. He learned it from Dad because he's a very sort spoken person otherwise. 

Me, I make it fun for everyone on the boat and the "yelling" like you do is followed up with humor and self deprecation so the crew knows it's all for fun and not for the captain's glory

In the end, you don't even have to take people out, you're just being nice and the docksiders should try to do what your doing before THEY mouth off. 

Or, they could all pitch in and get you that secret service earpiece and lapel mic to communicate covertly 

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15 minutes ago, Ajax said:

When the boat is pinned on its side and the boom is in the water, threatening to snap, do you politely ask?

Most of the time, a skipper can be polite and encouraging, but when shit goes badly wrong, sometimes you have to issue a firm command to save the rig or prevent an injury.

I agree that the OP sounds gruff but I also agree that there are precious snowflakes out there that don't want to learn and to whom even the most polite request sounds like barking.

If he's not getting the results he wants (in terms of crew ability, not necessarily race results) then who is responsible?

The skipper.

If he's not getting results, then doing the same thing and blaming the crew louder is not going to help, is it?

"Polite and encouraging" need not necessarily be wimpy, and when shit hits the fan then firm leadership absolutely includes a very loud, very commanding manner is what saves the ship. Absolutely true... it's also absolutely true that many a bad situation can be avoided with better leadership BEFORE the shit hits the fan.

It's a question of what you want. Most people do not exert better leadership because it takes work and effort and time and that's just to learn how. The Navy taught me a great deal about leadership (although at the time I didn't realize how much) and how to get fucking results, and that results are what fucking count!

If you wanna sit around a bitch, I'm down with that too.

BTW I have in fact walked this walk, having trained crew for almost every boat racing on our river these days; and raced my own boat with almost entirely newbies for years.

FB- Doug

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Dear Joe - 

For a good skipper tutorial, check out how Bill Frickers interacted with his crew in the 1970 America's Cup. Charlie Morgan is featured too, but he's not quite as smooth as Frickers. No yelling. 

 

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after the fifth time of saying, open the clutch for the  white with green fleck halyard that your left hand is holding..... no not the red line, NOOO not the blue line, oh shit that's the main halyard,and please not the green line or we'll all die, not the tan line......  BUT THE FUCKING WHITE LINE WITH GREEN FLECK  they got the message. ;-)

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You know is then mandatory to re rig the boat so that these aren't right don't you.

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I use to teach motorcycle riding in the 90's.  The Motorcycle SafetyFoundation course was written by a former military train course instructor.  Everything was taught by command.  The course worked well for most people but as time went one some people did not like being told what to do.  I think it was a generational thing.  There were some people that deferred to authority and some people question authority.  In the 2000's the course was re-written to make instuction more of a trip of self discovery.  No more commands.  Instructors initially thought they were more like cheer leaders in the new program and fearful it would be a disaster.  As it turned out, the new program worked well.  I think you need to know your audience - and unless your crew knows and trusts you, it is unlikely in this age that they will respond well to commands being yelled and being berated.

The other thing I have notice is that if you tell someone how to do something, then you are responsible for the result.  If you tell someone what result you want, then they have to take responsiblity for the process and how it turns out.  An example is how to run spin sheets.  You can tell them how to do it or tell them what the result needs to be be - which makes them think about how to do it.

 

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28 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

nm201.jpg

 

 

$6.76 at APS

Yeah....but his crew has to put the labels in the proper place

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3 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

I'm not yelling, I'm speaking clearly and distinctly.

I always find the use of "enthusiastic verbal encouragement" to be an excellent crew motivation technique.  It also works for employees and children.

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5 minutes ago, Team Subterfuge said:

.........  ...   ...   ...

The other thing I have notice is that if you tell someone how to do something, then you are responsible for the result.  If you tell someone what result you want, then they have to take responsiblity for the process and how it turns out.  An example is how to run spin sheets.  You can tell them how to do it or tell them what the result needs to be be - which makes them think about how to do it.

 

WINNER WINNER Chicken Dinner !!

FB- Doug

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4 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

nm201.jpg

 

 

$6.76 at APS

Those just are just tools meant to delete all the fun and mayhem.

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5 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

Dear Joe - 

For a good skipper tutorial, check out how Bill Frickers interacted with his crew in the 1970 America's Cup. Charlie Morgan is featured too, but he's not quite as smooth as Frickers. No yelling. 

 

Hadn't seen this vid before - brilliant insight into the AC and how far we've come. As an Aussie, loved watching Gentleman Jim and his crew....there's even a brief shot of a very young John Bertrand as Port trimmer.....and yes, the approach of Bill Fricker is exemplary !

 

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I assume the inside concentric wheel is a trim tab control,  but where is that tab? Rudder trailing edge?

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If you are teaching someone which way the sheet goes around the winch during a race then you have no business being out on the race course.  Basics like that need to be taught when there is the time to allow them to fuck it up.  There is too much pressure during a race to expect someone that new to sailing to get anything out of what you are saying.  Take the time to teach on a weekend, or other weeknight.  Take a season to properly train enough crew to run the boat, and then race.  I find the best method to bring new inexperienced crew on, is to have enough space to have them sit on the rail for awhile.  

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1 hour ago, silent bob said:

No, you need useful labels:

IMG_0730.JPG

Close.  But, once something is fucked, it cannot be unfucked.  One can move on from being fucked, one can can sometimes even recover from being fucked. But, once fucked it cannot be unfucked.  Here endeth the fucking lesson!

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32 minutes ago, jacksparrow said:

 I find the best method to bring new inexperienced crew on, is to have enough space to have them sit on the rail for awhile

I find it best to pair them up with someone experienced so that they learn a position. At the beginning of a race this might be watching from the rail, at the end it could be doing the job.

I try not to have more than about one third inexperienced crew. I don't think it works for the skipper to be telling everyone on the boat what to do.  It sounds like that is the experience being shared here. 

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I learned how to sail in a very similar situation. 32ft high end last generation ior that we completely updated then we built a custom 40 footer. The Skipper is one of the best sailors I've ever met. He taught a compete crew of my dinghy racing friends ages 16-17 plus one adult. I only heard him yell once in the 10 years I raced with him. One of the young guys in the first couple of seasons let the guy go in 25 knots and it smashed the 7075 Al forestay track. He thought it was going to snap if it got hit again and drop the rig. Seriously, once in 10 years. The norm was a calm cool collected guy having a conversation with his crew. "Let's pretrim the mainsheet before the gybe, please release the running backstay, we need another inch on the main/jib. Its time to get the pole up, make sure you clip the bag on lifeline."

We were all young guys who defied most adults as a matter of principle. He respected our desire to learn, and we respected his experience and teaching ability. He end up being my sailing mentor and best friends.

I coach juniors in a learn-to-sail program as well as our racing program. The kids & parents understand that I am loud on the water because its blowing 15-20 knots and I'm in a rib and the kids are in little dinghy's. Once again I respect them and they respect me. They know I am talking loudly and not yelling. I remind them most times before we go out on windy days that I will be loud.

I also believe its not what you say, its how you say it. Volume is not the problem unless you are litterly yelling when everyone else is talking.  

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9 hours ago, AJ Oliver said:

For a good skipper tutorial, check out how Bill Frickers interacted with his crew in the 1970 America's Cup. Charlie Morgan is featured too, but he's not quite as smooth as Frickers. No yelling.

Ficker.

Bill Ficker.

 

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This doesn't have anything to do with young and old.  Lots of young'n's yell.  There's a difference between communicating and yelling - this is lost on a lot of people.

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I'm a yeller. Just can't help it. I'm also a sarcastic asshole - ask anyone.

Which is a problem because good crew clear off pretty quick when you yell. So I have to shut up or I end up alone a lot of the time, which is not fun. 

The trick is have someone that you trust on the boat who is also not an asshole and has some amount of tact and diplomacy - and when you really need to bark instructions, tell that guy instead and have them instruct the crew to hop to it and and pull the kite out of the water or untangle a newbie's dick from the tack clutch etc.

This works famously, because eventually the crap crew becomes good. Better yet, they don't fuck off en mass two days into a four day regatta. Less yelling is needed, so less communication happens, and you end up in a happy place. 

Racing is very Zen if you're not all pissed off all the time - a completely different experience.

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I crew regularly with the current Ventura Co. high point champion.  I have never heard him yell.  I haven't even seen him get upset, even in some very intense moments in the thick of a race.  He is a joy to sail with and we win very often.  He always remains cool, calm, and soft-spoken.  Racing is always fun on his boat (except if it is a drifter which isn't fun on any boat).  My point is:  the most successful skippers don't need to yell, ever.  A crew is much more likely to operate smoothly when things are calm, even under pressure, and they respect their skipper.

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Thanks guys. I should mention that I am most known for being funny. I am a business professor emeritus so have taught this and that. I agree crew respect skippers who get in the trenches but I cannot leave the helm because I am handicapped. I sit on the dock in my scooter near the bow and direct the rigging of the boat from a spot close to the bow. I have won a lot of trophies over the years in a Cal 25, Olson 30 and Catalina 38. I started in this game on the foredeck on boats from an Ericson 32 to Sirena, a schooner 89 feet on deck.

This year I had one race with an experienced crew member and we won in a 16 boat fleet. Since I am confined to the helm I like to appoint a crew member as sailing master and communicate with him or her and have the sailing master direct the crew. I am older than dirt so perhaps that is it but the crew I get these days need to be told how to wrap a winch. I try to stay off the race course unless I have someone with experience.

I misspoke about curling the line. I guess I meant to say coiling but I try to instruct them to flake it. I guess I was referring to my toes curling when I watch someone take my $2/foot sheets and force them into a perfect tight climbing rope coil.  I guess the real truth is that I am too old and too crippled for this game.

I have been teaching folks this and that since 1965 but I have  spent some time in the theatre acting back in the day. I have a booming voice. I can be heard in the last row of a 400 seat theatre. No amount of praise and humor can change  the fact that in most rooms I need a  mike like Dolly Parton needs padding. Maybe I'll take up chess.

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anyone who cant handle getting yelled at on a boat's a fuck'n pussy  But being an asshole capt's no good either... in sports there is a lot of yelling going on from coaches ect.. In a boat in a race. from the helm you may yell fwd ..comn mtherfkr get that chute down n  don't let it touch the water!!!!... but ur not berating anybody it is what it is.. If you have people on the boat that haven't sailed with you , explain kindly how you like to have things done and do a practice sail before hand ...like several practice sails... training is what makes it work ...not bringing people along for the ride and expecting them to know your way of thinking...Thats all. Just don't be a dickhead and make sure everybody gets a cold one afterward..now I;m going back to Curling Lines.....

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If you give instructions,  always start with the person's name.  Ie "Joe wrap the sheet clockwise around the winch."  The change in how the directive is perceived is dramatic.  If you just yell a command, you rattle the whole crew and if they are not experienced then nobody is sure who you're talking to.

If you start with their name,  you humanize the command and you end up talking in lower tones because the person you are speaking to gets it right away.

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46 minutes ago, captpiratedog said:

anyone who cant handle getting yelled at on a boat's a fuck'n pussy  But being an asshole capt's no good either... in sports there is a lot of yelling going on from coaches ect.. In a boat in a race. from the helm you may yell fwd ..comn mtherfkr get that chute down n  don't let it touch the water!!!!... but ur not berating anybody it is what it is.. If you have people on the boat that haven't sailed with you , explain kindly how you like to have things done and do a practice sail before hand ...like several practice sails... training is what makes it work ...not bringing people along for the ride and expecting them to know your way of thinking...Thats all. Just don't be a dickhead and make sure everybody gets a cold one afterward..now I;m going back to Curling Lines.....

curl them clockwise please. clockwise - that's the direction Mickey's big hand goes.  Great post - good advise. I am having lots of practice sails - we allow the crew to pop a cold one at the weather mark - we pour 805 a rather good brew and provide killer sandwiches . Our music tastes may vary - you are a punk rocker whatever that is - I am a be bopper - Thelonius Monk - Bill Evans school. - I suggest you listen to both those guys on itunes and the next time you need a ballard to set the mood, key up My One and Only Love sung by Johnnie Hartman with John Coltrane  on the horn - cheeze don't you young guys know real music?

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33 minutes ago, Legion of Modernrate Jack said:

Turning it around & getting the newbs to yell what they are going to do can help the new gen folks, who were brought up via committee rather than being parented.

A big difference between uni & racing is this lot do not "have" to be there. Over the years i have been curious and sailed with screamers, if the boat was nice enough, orgainsing crews to do well shuts up the helm, some helms just like pre emptive screaming. The reality is that the latter rarely win or place, plus seldom get enough long term organiser types, as the thing is not fun or at least consistently successful enough. ( the latest new yacht & sails can change this... ( for 1 maybe 2 seasons max though)

Good idea - I will try that. I think there is a distinction between loud instructions and yelling at the crew. In my book, yelling is usually berating the crew for screwing up or not moving fast enough. I learned not to do that almost 40 years ago. I had just started racing my 33 foot boat and on an overnite race I had spent the day yelling at the crew. We were going around Santa Barbara island, 40 miles out. Wind came up to the high 20's big seas. Three am, no moon.  Someone had to go on the foredeck to change down the genoa. I would not ask the crew to do that, so I did it. When I got back to the cockpit I asked the crew - "How would you have picked me up if I had gone over. (In those days we wore float coats but no PFD and no one had heard of a safety line)."That is not what we were talking about back here " was the answer. "Oh, what were you talking about?" I inquired. "We were going to lower the owner's pennant and make an entry in the log" was the answer. After I went off watch and was settling down into my bunk it dawned on me. We were not flying an owner's pennant. They were going to make a log entry and sail on. That cured me of yelling and berating the crew. I always want the crew to want to come back and get me if I go over.

Since I started on the foredeck, the first thing I teach my new foredeck is, "Its the cockpits fault."  It usually is.

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17 hours ago, dacapo said:

after the fifth time of saying, open the clutch for the  white with green fleck halyard that your left hand is holding..... no not the red line, NOOO not the blue line, oh shit that's the main halyard,and please not the green line or we'll all die, not the tan line......  BUT THE FUCKING WHITE LINE WITH GREEN FLECK  they got the message. ;-)

I have been there and done that.

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17 hours ago, dacapo said:

.  BUT THE FUCKING WHITE LINE WITH GREEN FLECK  they got the message. ;-)

And the message they got was

"I am not going to sail on this boat again".

or even worse

"Shouting at people is the right way to manage a boat"

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4 hours ago, Joe Olson 30 said:

Thanks guys. I should mention that I am most known for being funny.

Tell all crew and prospective crew that you are Sam Kinison's biological father.  They will laugh when you yell and any tension will cease to exist.  They will be disappointed if you don't yell.  

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1 hour ago, JimC said:

And the message they got was

"I am not going to sail on this boat again".

or even worse

"Shouting at people is the right way to manage a boat"

wrong Jim.....she came back again and again and again.....and never again have I had to raise my voice to point out which line to work...she has become the perfect pit person....and at one point, weeks later,she said to me, thanks for yelling, I was confused and would would have hurt someone or the boat.

PS...I don;t yell at any crew on my boat...Yes I do yell, loudly and with the mouth of a pirate, but it's always directed at myself, and the crew turns to me and hands me a beer, main trimmer tells me to shut up and drive  and I shut up and carry on   ;-)

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I hate to say this, but you are yelling and you cannot "teach" sailing that way. If you can't get around the boat, and really even if you can, you need a bo's'n/sailing master who DOES know WTF is going on to keep the rest inline and instruct.

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Everyone has to get familiar with the boat. I never assume people know what they're doing. I have an 80's 36' IOR boat, and need 5-7 to race. I have 1-2 people show Newbies where everything is, and have labels on all sail controls. We practice sailing, not racing. Newbies can tail winches, skirt and get beer. Then they graduate to grinding/trimming. Then graduate to helm. Our Thursday/Sunday Beer Can races are practice for the racing season, so by the start of the season, our crew pretty much knows the boat and how it sails.

It's suppose to be fun, not friggin' Boot Camp. I only yell when something or someone is about to break/injure themselves or someone else. If you are mobility challenged, get someone to show "how it is done"

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Been in both situations. I used to sail more often than not with absolute greenhorns and some times a sharp yell will prevent something happening that could otherwise be dangerous. Habitual yelling just means that the shouted danger warning does not stand out.

One of the best rookies I ever had on the boat, Rob knew 50% of f*** all about sailing but if you asked him to pull in the pink one 6 inches, it dodn't come in 5 1/2 or 6 1/4 inches, it came in 6 inches. He had no idea on the foredeck so after rounding the top mark I would hand him the tiller and tell to aim for so and so or such and such. Well he must have been a sniper in a former life because his course would hardly vary a degree while I ran forward to sort the kite - then same thing 'sheet in 6 inches' - always the exact amount of trim. He knew what he knew and he also, more importantly  understood what he didn't know. In return, as a believer that a quiet boat is a quick boat I always tried to keep a raised voice to a minimum.

Now contrast Rob (from 26-27 years ago) to so many of the newbies I see on the boat or other boats these days and they all seem to believe they are the next Russell Coutts but with Russell's knowledge and experience right now AND it is not a youngster thing, I think it is a modern world thing. People more and more appear to want NOW instead of paying the due bills to get there, a sense of entitlement if you wish to call it that - it's not what I would consider as a healthy trend.

SS

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Racing is serious business involving danger, yelling sometimes prevent the worst case.

And also this world (sail boat racing), everything by seniority, I was always yelled by senior crews when I was kid, that kind of thing made you learning this sport a lot.  Maybe different generations,,,,

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Guys, yacht racing is not the U.S. Navy or the Royal Navy.

I do understand putting so much onus on the skipper, but don't you also feel that the crew also has a responsibility to open their ears and learn?  To ask questions if the lesson isn't sinking in?  A lot of you are making it sounds as if crew can do no wrong and I totally disagree with that.

No matter how good of an instructor the skipper is, no matter how clearly (s)he defines the expectations, people show up with the wrong attitude, and totally jacked up expectations,  and these people need to be culled. I agree that it can be done without yelling, but it still needs to be done.

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1 hour ago, Ajax said:

Guys, yacht racing is not the U.S. Navy or the Royal Navy.

I do understand putting so much onus on the skipper, but don't you also feel that the crew also has a responsibility to open their ears and learn?  To ask questions if the lesson isn't sinking in?  A lot of you are making it sounds as if crew can do no wrong and I totally disagree with that.

No matter how good of an instructor the skipper is, no matter how clearly (s)he defines the expectations, people show up with the wrong attitude, and totally jacked up expectations,  and these people need to be culled. I agree that it can be done without yelling, but it still needs to be done.

Yay,

i agree with wrong attitudes!!

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On 8/5/2017 at 4:40 AM, Joe Olson 30 said:

Let me defend older skippers everywhere. I race a 38 foot updated IOR boat. I have been racing since 1970. I have mobility problems but can get to the helm but not run around the boat.  I am willing to teach younger crew members to sail. I hear on the docks that I yell at them Lets examine that. As we get ready to leave the dock, I am back at the helm and the crew is all over the boat. I am teaching.  I have to say things like, "do not run the genoa sheets under the life lines and inside of the shrouds". of course I could shut up and let them do that but things get messy in a hurry. I similarly try to tell them not to run the spinnaker sheets through the bow pulpit. Nasty result that one.

This constant instruction (please wrap the lines clockwise around the winch, both port and starboard. Oh, port is over here and starboard is over there.)

I had one young lady who assumed that she knew and understood far more than she did. I recall two outstanding moves she made. The first time when were sailing in about 20 knots of breeze and I asked her to ease the main sheet and she blew the main halyard.  One experienced racer who was on the foredeck with her during another race told her she was going to kill someone.  Her crowning moment came after a sail as we were heading in to the harbor. She was curling up spare lines. Suddenly the main boom started swaying wildly side to side. She had disconnected the main sheet and was stuffing it in the sheet bag on the cabin side.

My point is, I do not yell at the crew. I issue commands and instructions. Since the person I am talking to is often 35 feet away, I speak loudly rather than whisper.

I think the problem is the modern generation resent being told what to do by anyone.

Says the Cranky old fart. 

I would be the guy yelling at you to quit yelling at your crew. 

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I cannot tell you how many ex-sailors I have met who were turned off by the antics of 

the psycho-narcissistic screamers who are doing so much damage to our great sport - but 

being narcissistic the offenders don't care. 

Image result for narcissistic

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I had the pleasure of being on a crew that was truly awesome.  Everyone knew what to do at each position, and knew when it was time to pitch in and help and when it was time to sit tight and let the foredeck or mast or whatever fix it.  The crew stuck together  for multiple years and had a lot of fun.

The skipper was not a yeller.  After a big screwup (dropped the spinny halyard and it went shrimping), the skipper just hung his head and mumbled "this is just basic sailing guys, basic sailing".  We were crushed.  You don't have to be a yeller to be effective.

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2 minutes ago, sam_crocker said:

I had the pleasure of being on a crew that was truly awesome.  Everyone knew what to do at each position, and knew when it was time to pitch in and help and when it was time to sit tight and let the foredeck or mast or whatever fix it.  The crew stuck together  for multiple years and had a lot of fun.

The skipper was not a yeller.  After a big screwup (dropped the spinny halyard and it went shrimping), the skipper just hung his head and mumbled "this is just basic sailing guys, basic sailing".  We were crushed.  You don't have to be a yeller to be effective.

Zackly. Where as if you yell a lot, the crew just discounts it.

As Shanghaisailor said above " Habitual yelling just means that the shouted danger warning does not stand out. " I would add the same about profanity, a lesson I did not learn for many years. I worked in a blue-collar field and was one of the toughest and therefor foulest-mouthed one of the bunch.  Until I realized that it carries no emphasis when it's constant. Now I just throw in an occasional cuss word to keep in practice and for appropriate amplification.

FB- Doug

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Racing with a skilled and well practiced crew is a delight and well worth the effort as I did for many years,  but nowadays it seems to be increasingly difficult to achieve as few crew seem to have the time to practice,

Practice is the key, but getting crew to practice is tough.  They all want to go racing but seemingly can't manage to turn up for a practice day.  The skipper often "shouts" but it is the skipper that has to pay for any damage and spend the time fixing it. Also it is the skipper that is responsible for the safety of the crew.  If somebody is hurt is the skipper can be held responsible.  

Getting crew to spend time learning to rig the yacht properly, know which line goes where and does what and have a clear idea of what they should be doing in the "set piece" drills of racing is tough because it is difficult to get them to spend time practicing.   When crew do break things or rip sails etc,  they rarely seem to have the time to help fixing it!   

It is very frustrating for a skipper to try and race on a "pull the blue line" basis!  If the crew don't know which way a winch turns (or has different gears) or never looks up to check if the spinnaker halyard is wrapped round the forestay, or never seem to trim without being told what and how every single time  it just massively increases the skippers workload.  If the skipper has to check what each of the crew is doing all of the time it just means that the skippers head is "inside" the boat rather than "outside" which is where it should be for racing. This also means it is no fun for the skipper.

In Plymouth (in England where I sail) the IRC and Cruiser fleets have been declining year on year yet the biggest fleet by far  is the single-handed fleet which is growing year on year.  Perhaps (quietly here) skippers are sick of training up novice crews and have decided if they are going to have to do everything by themselves anyway,  they may as well race single-handed!  Not to mention the time not spend having to organise the crew.

This of course means that even less crew are trained up and the situation gets worse.

 

Adrian Bishop

 

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18 minutes ago, Adrian Bishop said:

Racing with a skilled and well practiced crew is a delight and well worth the effort as I did for many years,  but nowadays it seems to be increasingly difficult to achieve as few crew seem to have the time to practice,

Practice is the key, but getting crew to practice is tough.  They all want to go racing but seemingly can't manage to turn up for a practice day.  The skipper often "shouts" but it is the skipper that has to pay for any damage and spend the time fixing it. Also it is the skipper that is responsible for the safety of the crew.  If somebody is hurt is the skipper can be held responsible.  

Getting crew to spend time learning to rig the yacht properly, know which line goes where and does what and have a clear idea of what they should be doing in the "set piece" drills of racing is tough because it is difficult to get them to spend time practicing.   When crew do break things or rip sails etc,  they rarely seem to have the time to help fixing it!   

It is very frustrating for a skipper to try and race on a "pull the blue line" basis!  If the crew don't know which way a winch turns (or has different gears) or never looks up to check if the spinnaker halyard is wrapped round the forestay, or never seem to trim without being told what and how every single time  it just massively increases the skippers workload.  If the skipper has to check what each of the crew is doing all of the time it just means that the skippers head is "inside" the boat rather than "outside" which is where it should be for racing. This also means it is no fun for the skipper.

In Plymouth (in England where I sail) the IRC and Cruiser fleets have been declining year on year yet the biggest fleet by far  is the single-handed fleet which is growing year on year.  Perhaps (quietly here) skippers are sick of training up novice crews and have decided if they are going to have to do everything by themselves anyway,  they may as well race single-handed!  Not to mention the time not spend having to organise the crew.

This of course means that even less crew are trained up and the situation gets worse.

 

Adrian Bishop

Booo fuckeng hooo AB, getta niew crew.  Breakoute the boobes!

'Liife is tuffe'   -JFK-

(no dissepectted intended)

 

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9 hours ago, Ajax said:

Guys, yacht racing is not the U.S. Navy or the Royal Navy.

I do understand putting so much onus on the skipper, but don't you also feel that the crew also has a responsibility to open their ears and learn?  To ask questions if the lesson isn't sinking in?  A lot of you are making it sounds as if crew can do no wrong and I totally disagree with that.

No matter how good of an instructor the skipper is, no matter how clearly (s)he defines the expectations, people show up with the wrong attitude, and totally jacked up expectations,  and these people need to be culled. I agree that it can be done without yelling, but it still needs to be done.

It all depends on how the instructions are given. Micro managing means no one thinks on their own. Yelling exacerbates the problem. We've all sailed with yellers, and we all carry a certain hatred for it (some of it self loathing if we realize we used to be one). It's far better to run a maneuver and debrief it if something didnt go well - than to yell in the middle of it trying to manage the situation. If these situations are dangerous to crew or boat - then some serious practice is needed outside of the racing environment... which again falls to the skipper to organize/. Some crew don't want to learn - they just want to go out and sail... not all boats are the right fit for them. The rest need a good leader to cultivate an environment where everyone wants to get better, can get better, and therefore will get better. You can't become a better sailor (or whatever) with someone micromanaging and nonstop fucking chattering. 

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I have some sympathy with Joe.

Practice with the crew again is the key.  The problem is that even with practice the skipper has essentially a "crew list" of twenty to get 5 or 6 for the race. Crew have other commitments and can rarely make every single race for a series. This means that mostly the skipper is racing with a slightly different team each race.

When cruising - one can take all day to put the spinnaker up. Can take one's time, calmly instruct and sort out all the tangles slowly and explain clearly what happens when you don't do this or that. But it will take about half an hour to hoist!

Racing means you're in a "bit of a hurry" and simply don't have time for all that.  Similarly,  when dropping the spinnaker,  crew often don't seem to realize that it has to be dropped before the turning mark. This often seems to be a completely unexpected concept!  Much as they would like an extra ten minutes to sort everything out I want to go round the mark!  

A practiced and organized crew is a joy and there is very little noise on board as most things work most of the time.  It is with novice crews that the problems arise.

Perhaps a solution - is "Race Training Days". I used to race a Sigma 38 and the Class Association used to organise race training with the British Olympic Sailing Coach,  Jim Saltonstall. There would be about a dozen Sigma 38 yachts with a coach on each yacht and various ribs wizzing around filming everything and we would practice: starts , tacking, "changing gears", spinnaker hoisting , gybing, dropping etc.  Not to mention the good ol' "Wiffiling Up!"

Much as the Class Associations seem keen on this, I did this in the Quarter Ton Class as well,  I have found the Yacht Clubs reluctant to organise any training days at all.  This would be a massive help for general race training and crew training.  I would suggest a ratio of at least one training day for every four races organised.

I can't speak for America,  but in England I do feel that skippers are increasingly fed up with trying to train novice crews and this is reflected in the increasing popularity of single-handed and double-handed racing.

 

Adrian Bishop

 

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6 hours ago, mustang__1 said:

 If these situations are dangerous to crew or boat - then some serious practice is needed outside of the racing environment... which again falls to the skipper to organize.

Exactly. 

If you can't tack, gybe, hoist and drop the kite in the expected windspeed for the race without anything much more than standard terminology ("Ready about / lee oh / helm's a lee// Prepare to hoist / Hoist // Stand by to gybe / Gybe // etc....) then you shouldn't be on the racecourse but should go and practice instead. 

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My first big boat racing was with a screamer. It was a tense environment.

Then I raced a few times on, ironically, an Olson 30. I never heard a raised voice. Very relaxed. And we won more.

One day I was scolded for talking about what we were doing a bit too loudly. That was when I realized that when the skipper is screaming loudly about what you're doing, it somehow alerts the rest of the fleet to what you are doing. Which can be bad.

On the Olson we were generally quiet and still. No movement of hands or body, let alone a voice, to tell nearby competitors what might happen next time the crew started moving about.

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9 hours ago, mustang__1 said:

 

It all depends on how the instructions are given. Micro managing means no one thinks on their own. Yelling exacerbates the problem.

I don't disagree with anything that you said.

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3 hours ago, Adrian Bishop said:

I have some sympathy with Joe.

Practice with the crew again is the key.  The problem is that even with practice the skipper has essentially a "crew list" of twenty to get 5 or 6 for the race. Crew have other commitments and can rarely make every single race for a series. This means that mostly the skipper is racing with a slightly different team each race.

Exactly. You simply cannot be competitive when you're rotating a crew pool where the talent only sails once per month and sometimes less.

When cruising - one can take all day to put the spinnaker up. Can take one's time, calmly instruct and sort out all the tangles slowly and explain clearly what happens when you don't do this or that. But it will take about half an hour to hoist!

Racing means you're in a "bit of a hurry" and simply don't have time for all that.  Similarly,  when dropping the spinnaker,  crew often don't seem to realize that it has to be dropped before the turning mark. This often seems to be a completely unexpected concept!  Much as they would like an extra ten minutes to sort everything out I want to go round the mark!  

A practiced and organized crew is a joy and there is very little noise on board as most things work most of the time.  It is with novice crews that the problems arise.

Perhaps a solution - is "Race Training Days". I used to race a Sigma 38 and the Class Association used to organise race training with the British Olympic Sailing Coach,  Jim Saltonstall. There would be about a dozen Sigma 38 yachts with a coach on each yacht and various ribs wizzing around filming everything and we would practice: starts , tacking, "changing gears", spinnaker hoisting , gybing, dropping etc.  Not to mention the good ol' "Wiffiling Up!"

Exactly. I attempted to organize practice days but everyone refused to attend. Well, I did manage to get them together twice... in completely separate years!

Much as the Class Associations seem keen on this, I did this in the Quarter Ton Class as well,  I have found the Yacht Clubs reluctant to organise any training days at all.  This would be a massive help for general race training and crew training.  I would suggest a ratio of at least one training day for every four races organised.

I can't speak for America,  but in England I do feel that skippers are increasingly fed up with trying to train novice crews and this is reflected in the increasing popularity of single-handed and double-handed racing.

It is happening here as well. That's one of the functions of the J/121, just as an example.

I don't mind the actual process of training new people, I mind it when they clearly demonstrate that they're really out there just to cruise around the marks and drink beer without learning anything. I keep hearing that it's the skipper's fault if he can't impart the sailing/racing knowledge upon their crew, but that's mighty hard to do when they barely ever show up.

Adrian Bishop

 

 

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With only two people on board - I've had a couple of funny experiences where I've said to someone new 'quick do this now' etc..  They haven't done it, instead during the time spent asking why we're in the drink.  Centreboard is a great spot to chat!

 

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General comment: Mix ignorance with anything, what to expect? 

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On 8/5/2017 at 8:03 PM, Hitchhiker said:

Close.  But, once something is fucked, it cannot be unfucked.  One can move on from being fucked, one can can sometimes even recover from being fucked. But, once fucked it cannot be unfucked.  Here endeth the fucking lesson!

but you can un-screw a lightbulb....

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5 hours ago, Presuming Ed said:
12 hours ago, mustang__1 said:

... If these situations are dangerous to crew or boat - then some serious practice is needed outside of the racing environment... which again falls to the skipper to organize

Exactly. 

If you can't tack, gybe, hoist and drop the kite in the expected windspeed for the race without anything much more than standard terminology ("Ready about / lee oh / helm's a lee// Prepare to hoist / Hoist // Stand by to gybe / Gybe // etc....) then you shouldn't be on the racecourse but should go and practice instead. 

Well to some extent I agree, but racing -is- practice. At the highest level of racing, mistakes are still made. The best sailors are the ones who, after finishing a race, have a list of things they did wrong which they intend to do -right- next time. I agree that a racing crew should be able to carry out basic maneuvers smoothly, but unless you want to race against a shrinking fleet of 3 then 2 boats with rock-star crews, try being a little more open minded.

The problem is that some crews are a hazard on the course, being unable to tack without fucking up and risking a collision with another boat. That's bad. OTOH I have been -that- boat a couple of times, once when an experienced crew slipped just as we were completing a tack away right after a crowded start, fell across the cockpit taking other bodies with him, jamming the helm hard over, and very nearly causing a huge pile-up. Driver-Ed will know exactly the incident I mean!

So, no guarantees. Just do your best, and if you happen to get stuck with a crew who is not looking to improve then your choices as a skipper are 1- figure out how to motivate them (yelling might work, but the odds are it won't, and it will sour the field for any other approach) or 2- ditch them and get somebody with a better attitude.

But remember, no guarantees.

FB- Doug

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On 8/5/2017 at 8:03 PM, Hitchhiker said:

Close.  But, once something is fucked, it cannot be unfucked.  One can move on from being fucked, one can can sometimes even recover from being fucked. But, once fucked it cannot be unfucked.  Here endeth the fucking lesson!

Damn, kinda like that!

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Not said, but being next to a yeller is no picnic either.

One day I was entered into a regatta with a woman who had always a wanted to sail, but knew nothing about it.  By the end the weekend she not only knew which line to grab, she made for enjoyable company.  Not once did I yell, though I did repeat at times.  When I raced I had no expectations other than to sail my boat to its best potential.  Having that attitude removed much of the stress that can create yelling.

As another pointed out, sometimes you just have to let a green crew "figure it out" short of dealing with a dangerous situation.  If you have a green crew, the last thing a skipper should expect is to win, but instead let the crew start to learn their jobs, even if they take time or make a mistake on the way.  I crewed with a yeller, but I add that once I stopped making mistakes, he stopped yelling, but it didn't help me learn faster.  Eventually I wanted off for it was just not fun, and since I'm not paid to sail, it damn well better be fun.

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On 8/5/2017 at 5:52 AM, plenamar said:

Choos better crew. 

Learn how to spell

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Joe

Like you I'm an older racer. I've crewed and skippered on one design boats and PHRF boats for many years, including my own and others. One thing I've learned about successfully racing boats is the following: whoever is on the helm should be 100% concentrated on driving the boat. Anytime I've been on a boat, including my own, where the helms person is trying to manage the crew, provide instructions or corrections, that boat  invariably didn't perform well at all. On the best performing boats, someone who's not on the helm is responsible for everything besides the physical steering. So try it, you might like it, or not, but I'll guarantee your finishing places will only get better. And you won't be that grumpy old fart that no one wants to race with.

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We race a few serious races and WNR and often take others along. I always tell newcomers that I won't yell AT you but I may yell TO you. Only so as to be heard. More than once someone has said they were waiting for me to start yelling...but I didn't.

Now cussing a blue streak (at myself) because I screwed up... guilty.

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On 8/6/2017 at 11:55 PM, bplipschitz said:

I want these.

"Luminous Blank" goes on the navigator's bunk...

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5 hours ago, bucc5062 said:

As another pointed out, sometimes you just have to let a green crew "figure it out" short of dealing with a dangerous situation.  If you have a green crew, the last thing a skipper should expect is to win, but instead let the crew start to learn their jobs, even if they take time or make a mistake on the way.  I crewed with a yeller, but I add that once I stopped making mistakes, he stopped yelling, but it didn't help me learn faster.  Eventually I wanted off for it was just not fun, and since I'm not paid to sail, it damn well better be fun.

This.  I've crewed for yellers, and it makes sail time suck - including one guy who was a great good chap off the water.  Hated sailing with him sometimes.  I've also crewed for a bunch of nasal aviators and have tried to pick up their command style - which resonated as a former Army guy.  Name, Action, Object, Expand if Necessary.  Bob, Ease the Vang.  If Bob looks puzzled, "Green line under the boom, by the mast."  Only yell to be heard - in wind, or to do an emergency action. And then explain.  *Never* lose your shit in front of the crew.  People's ears start to close when your volume goes up unnecessarily.

I'm greenish as a larger boat skipper moving up from smaller boats to one with nine crew.  It's been tough getting highly experienced guys (see the greenish skipper part) but I've collected about a half dozen energetic, great young guys ages 22 - 26, half my age, who are learning the boat and figuring it out as we go.  They get to make their own mistakes for the most part, and only get stopped if my excellent and experienced main trimmer, the other old guy on the boat, or I see something very bad or dangerous developing.  We do a hotwash after major mistakes or rough races, and they always hear "every race is a training evolution" then we talk about what went wrong, and how we'll fix it and do better next time.  They don't repeat the same mistake very often.  Yep, I've ripped a couple training sails, and we have busted a couple blocks but it's a few hundred bucks for repairs, which in the scheme of things isn't much, and that's what ratty training sails are for.  They're starting to get proficient.  Sometimes people who seem really sensitive are also good listeners who don't need to be shouted at all the time.   

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What do thousands of battered women have in common?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THEY JUST DON'T LISTEN !!!

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2 minutes ago, Lex Teredo said:

This.  I've crewed for yellers, and it makes sail time suck - including one guy who was a great good chap off the water.  Hated sailing with him sometimes.  I've also crewed for a bunch of nasal aviators and have tried to pick up their command style - which resonated as a former Army guy.  Name, Action, Object, Expand if Necessary.  Bob, Ease the Vang.  If Bob looks puzzled, "Green line under the boom, by the mast."  Only yell to be heard - in wind, or to do an emergency action. And then explain.  *Never* lose your shit in front of the crew.  People's ears start to close when your volume goes up unnecessarily.

I'm greenish as a larger boat skipper moving up from smaller boats to one with nine crew.  It's been tough getting highly experienced guys (see the greenish skipper part) but I've collected about a half dozen energetic, great young guys ages 22 - 26, half my age, who are learning the boat and figuring it out as we go.  They get to make their own mistakes for the most part, and only get stopped if my excellent and experienced main trimmer, the other old guy on the boat, or I see something very bad or dangerous developing.  We do a hotwash after major mistakes or rough races, and they always hear "every race is a training evolution" then we talk about what went wrong, and how we'll fix it and do better next time.  They don't repeat the same mistake very often.  Yep, I've ripped a couple training sails, and we have busted a couple blocks but it's a few hundred bucks for repairs, which in the scheme of things isn't much, and that's what ratty training sails are for.  They're starting to get proficient.  Sometimes people who seem really sensitive are also good listeners who don't need to be shouted at all the time.   

Right there.  That is the quote.

Just to tell stories, but still on "yelling".  My one PHYR boat was a 22' Chrysler pocket cruiser with a 273 rating.  Yeah, that slow.  Still, I jumped into the Weds night beer can races in my locale (Bohemia River MD) and pull two guys into the game.  The first year we just sucked.  Not bad, but minor mistakes on trim, on lines, on sail sets, but the whole time I just two things, sailed/steered the boat, gave input on how to solve the problem, and shut my mouth while they fixed it. (okay, three).

The next year, yes, I did get new sails, "racing" sails, but more important, I had the same two guys back and having sailed with them off season, we understood each other.  So the first year you didn't hear yelling, but lots of mistakes.  Second year you didn't hear yelling, but now because we worked as a team.  When my main guy pointed out a patch on a light air night, I took it, and we actually crossed the line first (pissed off the fastest bigger boat out there).  End result, we one the summer series and to this day I still hold onto the Miller beer can that was the prize.

I'm on a Express 36, invited as a main trimmer.  This is after my other win.  I'm also the second most experienced on the boat after the skipper, yes, a yeller.  At one point he wants to check something below so he gives me the helm and says "steer this course".  Okay, but "this course" didn't seem to be working against the two boats near us so I quietly say to the main and genoa trimmer, I'm coming a up, follow my lead.  Then they adjusted to my changes without much statement.  A few minutes and we had gained on both boats.  The skipper comes back up, sees I'm not "off course" and yells at me and takes the helm.  We soon lost what we had gained and once the race was done, I never went back on the boat.  (bummer because it was a fun boat to sail).  

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Its not yelling, its conveying a sense of urgency....  

Seriously, totally agree with walkabout.  Depending on the size of the boat, you should just shut up and concentrate on putting the boat in the right place.  

Have a debrief over a drink after the race and try to fix the processes.     Just remember you cant fix stupid!

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 I agree with the old bastard, (I'm an old bastard too). When I was first learning to race I bought books, and tried to learn about sail construction, fabrics, leeway, lift, tell tails, etc... I put a lot into the learning curve. And we went out and practiced. Is old bastard skimping on practice? It's really hard to learn during a race when you're under the gun.The best learning experience I had was the J- World School under the great Larry Klein. We tacked a J-24 out to sea tack after tack and when we got it right we rotated crew until everybody could steer, tail, grind etc... Then we turned downwind set the chute and jibe after jibe rotation after rotation until we got it right it took three days. It was messy and the verbal "encouragement" was loud at times. Now I sail with a lot of new crew and everything that may be unclear is on u-tube and sail trim is boiled down to two or three pages and I swear in many cases when I mention taking advantage of these resources I get a strange look like... huh? FWIW The best skippers I sailed with that were/are great at getting people moving in the right direction who maybe in over their head. Are Chris Bennett, Keith Lawrence  and Brian Hull. They never got red-assed under pressure, and always looked ahead to the next mark. Great Times.

s

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13 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:
18 hours ago, Presuming Ed said:

If you can't tack, gybe, hoist and drop the kite in the expected windspeed for the race without anything much more than standard terminology ("Ready about / lee oh / helm's a lee// Prepare to hoist / Hoist // Stand by to gybe / Gybe // etc....) then you shouldn't be on the racecourse but should go and practice instead. 

Well to some extent I agree, but racing -is- practice. At the highest level of racing, mistakes are still made. The best sailors are the ones who, after finishing a race, have a list of things they did wrong which they intend to do -right- next time. I agree that a racing crew should be able to carry out basic maneuvers smoothly, but unless you want to race against a shrinking fleet of 3 then 2 boats with rock-star crews, try being a little more open minded.

I have to strongly disagree with Doug.

Racing is not training.  Training is not racing.

The difference is that when you are racing, you remedy all sorts of accidents and mistakes with muscle and expediency, including taking dangerous risks if that's what the risk-reward balance requires.  You let all sorts of poor technique slide, including dangerous practice, because once it's done, it's done and can't be undone by critique, that will achieve nothing but distraction from the next necessary task.

Training is when you work on technique and sequences, correcting faults as they are made.

But certainly, there's nothing wrong with sailing around the race course with other boats, as long as you avoid breaking the rules and spoiling a serious competitor's day.

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Training again is the issue.  

But it is difficult with a crew list. These are people who whilst keen are generally not very experienced. For example the "Autumn Series"  is racing every Sunday for seven weekends.  It is nearly impossible to get even the keenest crew to commit to seven Sundays in a row. The do have other commitments family and wifes.    But all of them can do some of it. So the crew rotates.  Every yacht has the same problem so it evens out.

This does make training even more difficult - they can take the time to train - but that would be at the expense of time going racing!!  They can race or train but can't do both. As a skipper you are in the awkward position of having a really well trained crew  - or - a crew that has time to race with you - but not both!

They EXPECT you as skipper to know what to do AND TO TELL THEM.   Being really polite and letting the crew make their own mistakes and "fuck up" is the surest way to the back of the fleet and then nobody wants to race with you.  The crew then suspect you don't know what you're doing either.  However being assertive, spotting problems before they happen  (and this doesn't mean yelling) proves you know what your doing and gets and.you to the front of the fleet and everybody's happy. Crew like assertiveness if you win and will stay with you.   Obviously as time goes on crew get better and the yacht gets very quiet.

A skipper that thinks he's on some corporate training day out and doesn't say if the crew are doing it wrong is dangerous, unseamanlike and generally right at the back of the fleet. Nobody wants to sail at the back of the fleet, so the experienced crew leave and the new crew are novices and have even less of a clue and the situation gets worse.

 

Adrian Bishop

 

 

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7 hours ago, gun_fordeckie said:

"...  Just remember you cant fix stupid!"

Applies equally; everywhere! +1.

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Oops! Something went wrong there -

If crew don't like being "shouted" at , they should:

A   Stop making really basic mistakes in a racing situation.

B   Only sail in really light winds.

C  Go cruising when nobody cares, probably because they are motoring anyway!

D   Buy their own yacht, pay for everything, maintain it, get their own crew, and know how it feels.

 

I did have a crew who really did think he knew better.  And to be fair did put his money where his mouth was. He went and bought his own yacht and entered the Plymouth Regatta in the same class.  I won it and he came last.  

 

Adrian Bishop

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How does this keep coming up? If you alienate your crew you are going to need to learn to singlehand. You can instruct and direct without being perceived as an asshole.

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Thanks every one for your help. Two points. First, I have always run a laid back boat and never yelled to berate the crew. I know better. Two, I admit I have sailed with folks who are learning to sail and are really not ready for prime time. The problem is that some of them think that I am yelling at them when I am yelling to them. The rest of us have a great time and enjoy the priviledge of being on the water whether we are first or last. We have done both.

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39 minutes ago, Legion of Modernrate Jack said:

The narrow range of thread drift on this topic is almost an SA first!

You have put forwards your situation well, many comments are for the lurkers and others about traps to avoid or practices to embrace.

Agreed. Well done!

FB- Doug

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6 hours ago, Adrian Bishop said:

Oops! Something went wrong there -

If crew don't like being "shouted" at , they should:

A   Stop making really basic mistakes in a racing situation.

B   Only sail in really light winds.

C  Go cruising when nobody cares, probably because they are motoring anyway!

D   Buy their own yacht, pay for everything, maintain it, get their own crew, and know how it feels.

 

I did have a crew who really did think he knew better.  And to be fair did put his money where his mouth was. He went and bought his own yacht and entered the Plymouth Regatta in the same class.  I won it and he came last.  

 

Adrian Bishop

You can put "shouted" in quotes all day, it's not going to change the fact that every option you supplied points to you being the issue. In your previous post, you set-up this false dichotomy to justify certain unwelcome behaviors because they supposedly bring results.  I've been (past tense) on boats that won and were skippered by "assertive" types; those boats tend to win in spite of, not because of the distracted howler monkey on the helm.

You either need to adjust your expectations of your crew or do a better job as a group preparing, because if really basic mistakes are happening, there's an obvious disconnect.  A crew that expects the owner/driver to be the one pointing out any problems is being set-up to fail.  It's a team sport after all. 

Finally, your glee based on the difficulties of a former crewmember certainly isn't helping your argument, nor I doubt is it helping the sport.

Quiet and clean boats are happy boats. You're right with one thing, you don't hear much yelling at the front of the fleet.

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