Crew Poll: How Do You Choose Which Boat You Race On?

What is your HIGHEST priority when deciding which boat to crew on?

  • The potential of the boat itself (bigger, faster, better equip/prep)

    Votes: 18 9.6%
  • The skill set of the crew overall (chance to learn/improve your own skills)

    Votes: 31 16.5%
  • The camaraderie of the crew overall (sailing with folks I like comes first)

    Votes: 128 68.1%
  • Number of races entered/participation (boat is entered every week, or I get some weekends off)

    Votes: 2 1.1%
  • Other

    Votes: 9 4.8%

  • Total voters


Lake Macquarie
The first thing I do when deciding what boat to sail on is make sure there are no dickheads that start polls on forums in the crew.

Personally I enjoy sailing on slow, badly sailed shitboxs, with a crew that yell all the time and all hate each other.
Tell us more about your Laser sailing...?


Lottsa people don’t know I’m famous
Austin Texas
I step on one boat after another until I am welcomed by something other than, " get the fuck off my boat you big fat ugly stupid clown."

Which means

On a lot of days I don't get to sail



Super Anarchist
I can't really vote strictly for any of those options. I go for which ride will be the most fun. In a perfect world, I'd race on a highly competitive, go fast boat full of good friends, that has close competition. Sadly, that program derailed when we lost our mast. On top of that, work made it a real bitch to commit to anyone, so now I just jump on any friend's boat when they need a hand. With no loyalty to any one program, I just go where there's fun to be had.



Super Anarchist
It's a difficult question for me to answer. I try to spread my sailing out over a number of areas, we have a number of clubs around here and a number of race series.

First boat I sail on is full of good guys who know what they're doing and all get along well, we have our good days and our bad days but we all enjoy a beer in the end I find I teach as much as I learn on this boat.

The second one is a very competitive crew and i feel very out of place (as the least knowledgeable on board) but always looking at it as a great learning experience trying to pick up the little hints/tips

The third I find I'm one of the better sailors on board, it's very frustrating but I am there to help the crew that are mostly new to sailing or new to big boat sailing (40 foot) with anything I can. The rewards from watching them get that little bit better is well worth it and really think it's a great way to give back to the club.



When I made the leap from dinghies to keelboats the first boat I was on was a shit hot, high performance racey type crewed by shit hot, high performance racey types (plus me). I learnt a hell of a lot. It was exhilarating and I enjoyed it, even though everyone screamed at me (justifiably) at least once per race but then explained what I did wrong/why I needed to be faster/whatever else afterwards. I was included in regattas and events and had a blast. Then the owner sold the boat so there ended that.

I then went to a one design fleet on a mid-fleet boat crewed by some fairly daft but entertaining people. I continued to learn a lot. I also started crewing on another one design on a different night but was overcommitted so had to bow out. I enjoyed being on the mid-fleet boat for a few years. The crew had lots of knowledge and were a hoot. I was always on the crew list for every event but gradually I stopped learning. Everything became predictable, the same mistakes were made over and over and I got bored. I stopped being very enthusiastic and was a bit lazy as a sailor. Realized I was done there and needed a change

So I went to another fleet - 2 person keelboats. I'm too light for the boat, I'm not a good enough sailor, it's a tricky boat to make move fast and we pretty much always come last (except on performance based handicap). But the fleet is close knit, the fleet is actually growing, there's LOTS to learn, I get to go sailing with my dad, I actually have a say in how well (badly) the boat does and I'm having fun.

I recently went back to the mid-fleet boat for an open event and had a blast and I like to think helped improve their new, rather novice crew who have replaced me. The change was lovely and the crew appreciated me like never before. It was fun.

The point being - all other things being equal - no one thing is more important than the other. You'll get pissed off if you're left out all the time, if the crew are bastards, if the skill level on board is vastly mismatched and you're either always being screamed at with no explanation afterwards or they all suck and won't take any advice.

But overall I want to have fun when I go sailing. I'm not old either - 24 - but I only have so much free time and I'd rather go sailing, come last and have a blast doing so than go sailing, come first and be miserable. Why waste precious free time being miserable?! If it's looking like I'm not going to enjoy a boat, I'm out. Any one of the options being off pretty much means I won't have fun.

Ultimately though, I have to be learning to have fun. When you stop learning it becomes routine, routine becomes boring. So I picked the skillset of the crew.



Super Anarchist
North Carolina
First is to sail OD. Then to like the people I sail with. I want to sail as many different boats as I can, and learn what makes that boat go. I'm happy sailing with a mid-pack (or lower) boat, learn about it and hopefully help it place better thru tactics and crew work. The boat has to be rigged to be competitive or at least have an owner committed to bringing it up to race condition (enough winch handles and holders in the right places, cleats that work, lines that aren't frayed, pole ends that actually work, small stuff). But I'll jump on nearly anything as long as I feel the skipper and crew don't have their hair on fire.

Cheers, Win ever.



For me, it's a combination of crew cameraderie and loyalty. If there are boats that regularly provide me a spot for good races and good fun, I will stick that boat even if it's at the expense of a ride on something bigger, faster and more likely to win. Also, don't see the point of taking a ride on a boat that's spectacular and super fast if all the people on board are going to be grumpy dicks with anger management problems.



Super Anarchist
I usually pick the boat that practices, unless they've sailed together so long that they don't need much practice to do well. We had a coach one time who made us practice pole up, pole down for a good while before we set the chute and worked on trim and gybes. Sounds silly but we never had any issues at the mark roundings...



Super Anarchist
That's pretty much the crew journey I've taken too...

When I was younger, the answer would have been A-B-C.

Now that I'm wiser and pick sailing dates within family time constraints, it is C-B-A.
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By the lee

Super Anarchist

If the crew boss or skipper is a shouter they can go fuck themselves.

Nobody, rookies, veterans, whatever, needs to endure that kind of abuse.

Seriously, shouters, you suck. End yourselves.



I like having regular rides and so my weekday rides get top priority. For races that my weekday rides are not sailing I like an organized crew where one or more of the crew are friends that I trust and the boat has a good reputation. Reputation is part nice crew part speed part quality of vessel. Also I prefer boats I can really jump on and trim sails as opposed to those who want rail meat. I also like boats committed to improving. Some boats get complacent. A focus on improving the boat as a whole and helping crew improve is good.



Variety is the spice of life! Sometimes I have sailed with less than ideal crews to experience a cool boat. Other times have sailed on a crappy boat cause I knew it was going to be a great party. Other times I knew someone had a need that I could fill so I went with them.


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