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ID: 748 Title: Crew Vetting Replis: 2 Read: 1541 Author: 2
Name: Anders  Posts: 1  **  Vancouver Time: 2015-8-17_8:50:1 Quote    Reply
Prior to 2015, I have sailed with four different persons found through 7knots. Of these four,
three were excellent (aged 32, 44 and 72). The fourth (aged 34 )was fine, but did cause some
minor damage which I asked the person to fix or, alternatively, pay me to fix - no big deal.
In 2015 I got in touch with two persons (both aged 21), who ended up crewing on my boat. To make a
long story short, the following issues arose;

- did not bring proper clothes or shoes/boots
- brought hard case luggage
- did not take watches seriously (not on time, caused accidental jibe etc)
- did not refrain from wearing headphones when asked to
- did not accept explanation why not to use autopilot (power drain)

The whole experience made me think about;

- what instructions/info should be given to a person seeking to crew, prior to commitment?
- what info should be asked from a person seeking to crew?

I am sceptical about the possibilities to sort the wheat from the chaff by the use of email,
believing that only actually sailing together for a few days shows how the person functions. 
Nevertheless, maybe we can put our experiences together and identify some good points. So, I
would be pleased to see any suggestions from all of you, both crew and captains.
Name: OCEAN SAILOR  Posts: 171  **  Vancouver Time: 2015-11-18_21:18:23 Quote    Reply

Asking them to pay you is like asking them to shout you a burger and a beer for dinner when they are paying crew members every odd occasion. Was it fair wear and tear depreciation or would have broken if you had on used it, done the same thing. I know a lot on skippers do not repair or replace items until they actually break. Obviously you did not exercise due diligence before taking them on as a crew member.

It's quite simple only take on crew with actual ocean crossing experience.

Ask for references and verify them.
Have a crew application question form for them to answer with questions that you think are important to determine if they are qualified to your satisfaction
Then it depends if they are free on board or paying.

Complicated systems get them to take notes and before leaving port get them to dummy run the crucial systems while you watch. Interpretations very from skipper to skipper crew to crew. Example I was putting a reef in the main sail and while pondering the situation about the coach roof which was about 4 ft short from the leach reefing clew that a reefing line had to be threaded. No pre reefing lines installed before leaving port as I was accustom to. I was thinking if the boat suddenly jars on chop, a wave I'll loose my balance and hit the cockpit floor injuring myself. Being crew and not the captain I try to follow precise orders so one can not be criticised. He quite loudly stated walk along the boom which I looked at the boom and saw it was solid enough to hold my weight and was wide enough to walk along. Accordingly not to disobey a order from the Captain I did so and go chastised for doing so.

And have a notice on your acceptance "crew form" the reasonable instructions and conditions you wish them to abide by.

Plus a notice on the notice board or on the main bulkhead or by the chart table for them all to read and all cabins which reads. Why some people suffer from short term memory loss.

Communication and the orderly running of the vessel.

Communication and the orderly running of the vessel with the Skipper / Owner are vital. Most Skippers / Owners have set the vessel up to run to there preferred ideology / system so advising them of exactly what you have done or not done when given a task, closed or left open, is paramount to minimizing damage and maintaining good relations with all on board. Most Skippers / Owners get annoyed / frustrated when they go to do / get / operate something and find it has been changed, not put back in usual place of keeping or has been altered. Accordingly here are some guidelines that must be to adhere to.

Leave every thing as you find it.
If you make a mess, you clean it up.
If you move it you put it back to where it was.
If you use it you take care of it.
If you break it you repair it.
If you can’t repair, get the Skippers / Owners permission to call someone who can and determine who pays Fair wear and tear accepted.
If you open it you close it. If you close it you open it.
If you turn it on you turn it off. If you turn it off you turn it on.
If it belongs to some one else and you want to use it, get their permission first.
If you borrow it, you return it in the same condition as it was given to you.
If you don’t know how to use it / operate it, leave it alone.
If it does not concern you, don’t mess meddle with it.
If you are given an order / task by the Skipper / Owner, confirm it by a reply of o’k, yes
or copy that, and carry it out immediately. A reply of in 4 minutes latter or no reply and walk away is usually not acceptable. If in doubt ask do not assume guess anything.
Ask to be shown how the head works and take exact note which vales and positions. If pressure becomes hard to pump stop pumping and tell the captain. Do not at any time continue pumping using both hands hoping you will force it through even if you are embarrassed. It will not exit and pressure will remain.

Name: OCEAN SAILOR  Posts: 171  **  Vancouver Time: 2018-7-15_18:48:16 Quote    Reply

Re Questions

"Have a crew application question form for them to answer with questions that you think are important to determine if they are qualified to your satisfaction." Send as an attachment in a e mail for return. Get them to date and sign it so as you can refer to it if you accept them as crew should there be disagreements.

Also the main questions should have you used / done previously on previous boats.

Number of offshore sea miles individually for each size of boat and what type of boat. Mono hull, Tri, Cat, Power vessel.

Re your problem bringing hard shoes and hard bags the questionnaire should also state what you do not want them to bring. "

You state them to bring their own wet weather gear, sea boots, gloves, life jacket, preferably inflatable with clip on life lines, personal head wearing LED lamps for night sailing if you are not going to supply them. There own medicines and a request that they state any food allergies, criminal convictions, religion and above average medical conditions

You should also have a thorough look through their passport to see which countries they have been to previously. Why it has been said by the authorities that terrorists are travelling by private yachts as crew members to avoid airport detection / Scrutinization.

Then at the end off the questionnaire ask 2 questions.

(1). What they expect from the Skipper.

(2). What they do not expect from the skipper with enough room to answer. These 2 questions will probably be the bigest decider in whether you wish to have them as crew.