Author Topic: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?  (Read 6496 times)

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Offline s/v Faith

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Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« on: February 05, 2014, 09:46:29 AM »
Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?

Few folks I know who cruise are fans of rules.  Many of us get "out there" to get away from some of society's rules.

However, some rules are important.  I was thinking of rules this morning when writing an email to a perspective crew member.  I would like to know what rules you have and why, here are a few of mine;

Tethers and harnesses:
- All crew on deck (including cockpit) at night wear tethers and harnesses.
 -Anyone going on deck (forward) off shore wears them, even in settled seas. 
- If watch is in cockpit alone, and off watch crew are sleeping they must be strapped in.   
Reason- worst nightmare is waking to an empty cockpit. It is a big ocean, and a MOB is very very hard to find.  Unexpected things can and do happen.... Just reaching up to grab a fishing pole can send someone over the side.

Reefing:
- add a reef before sunset.  If full main, put in first reef.  If reefed, then add a reef.  I do make some exceptions to this for instance if landfall is shortly after sunset.

Reason- so much easier to reef in daylight.  Speed loss is negligible, safety factor is higher.

Leaving the boat:
Anyone leaving the boat has to let me know first.  Want to go for a swim in the moonlight at 2am.. Cool, just wake me up and let me know.  Take the kayak out at 5am to watch the sunrise, great!  Just let me know. 

Reason - much easier to find someone missing or overdue if you have a clue when they left and where they were going.

ETOH:
No drinking on watch, no Rx meds that make you sleepy or affect judgement without letting me know.  I have no problem with a post watch beer, glass of wine, or ration of grog... Just not on watch.  I know some maintain a dry ship underway, and appreciate and respect that also.


What are your rules, and why do you have them?
Satisfaction is wanting what you already have.

Offline s/v Faith

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2014, 09:48:09 AM »
A coupe others:

- No one is allowed to get injured, or fall overboard without the written permission of the captain.

- under no circumstances shall any members of the crew ever touch my strawberries!
Satisfaction is wanting what you already have.

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2014, 11:18:44 AM »
"Tethers and harnesses:
- All crew on deck (including cockpit) at night wear tethers and harnesses.
 -Anyone going on deck (forward) off shore wears them, even in settled seas.
- If watch is in cockpit alone, and off watch crew are sleeping they must be strapped in.   
Reason- worst nightmare is waking to an empty cockpit. It is a big ocean, and a MOB is very very hard to find.  Unexpected things can and do happen.... Just reaching up to grab a fishing pole can send someone over the side."


Agree completely

"ETOH:
No drinking on watch, no Rx meds that make you sleepy or affect judgement without letting me know.  I have no problem with a post watch beer, glass of wine, or ration of grog... Just not on watch.  I know some maintain a dry ship underway, and appreciate and respect that also."

No alcohol consumed while underway. Zero.Not until the lines are tied to the dock, or the anchor is well set.

Last, but not least- DO NOT FALL OFF THE BOAT!!
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline CapnK

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2014, 11:19:06 AM »
3 important ones jumped immediately to mind:

  • Craig/Faith does not get a copy of the key to the liquor cabinet.
  • CJ does not get a copy of the key to the liquor cabinet, either.
  • Frank DEFINITELY does not get a copy of the key to the liquor cabinet. Ever, eh?

I have found that the above rules allow me to keep control of said crew involved without having to resort to the lash.
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Living aboard A-30 #429, currently named "Sundance".

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2014, 11:32:46 AM »
 ;D
Charlie J
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Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline w00dy

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2014, 12:24:47 PM »
Always close the sea cocks and propane tank when leaving the boat for more than a day.

We tend to have have a lot of younger guests, travellers, Couch Surfers, free spirits, long-hairs, radicals, and otherwise rebellious types aboard from time to time. Our rule is no (absolutely none) illegal drugs or illicit substances aboard because it sure would suck for someone to accidentally lose a joint in the bilge and have our boat taken away because of it.

I guess for most people here this goes without saying, but it's come up more than once in the past.

"Nah it's cool man. I don't ave any drugs. I just have all these painkillers, but I'll put them in a medicine bottle and it'll be fine."

"Sure, I have a QP of fine weed, but it's all sealed up and vaccum packed."

Another time, a friend brought a co worker over to visit, and although he had just met us, he must have felt pretty comfortable because he asked if we could all do a line of cocaine on the cabin table. I manged to calmly and politely explain our "no tolerance" drug policy and asked that he leave the boat if he had any drugs on him. He apologized, and got up to leave. I assumed that he was going out to put it back in his car. Instead, he sat down in the cockpit and began to blow snow there! I don't lose my temper often, but that guy earned every bit of what he got.

Don't get the wrong idea though. We're not puritans. Clothing is totally optional on our boat.  ;D

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2014, 02:36:09 PM »
Interestingly, I just a few minutes ago happened on this list from some long time cruising sailors

John and Phylis,, aboard Morgan's Cloud


http://www.morganscloud.com/2014/02/04/john-phyllis-33-immutable-rules-of-seamanship/
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2014, 02:41:44 PM »

We tend to have have a lot of younger guests, travellers, Couch Surfers, free spirits, long-hairs, radicals, and otherwise rebellious types aboard from time to time. Our rule is no (absolutely none) illegal drugs or illicit substances aboard because it sure would suck for someone to accidentally lose a joint in the bilge and have our boat taken away because of it.


Had a friend sailing out of Jacksonville, who told his guests the same thing. Offshore, bound for the Bahamas, two days out he finds one of them on the bow, with a joint. Asked the guy if he had more, and got told "sure thing man"

He then informed the guy that there were two choices- ALL the stuff went overboard, or he'd call the Coast Guard to have him arrested.

It went overboard
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline rorik

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2014, 05:32:29 PM »
Pretty much the same as above, although I almost always sail alone.
Since I liveaboard, I try to always turn the power and/or heat off if I go further than the marina parking lot for more than an hour.
When friends do show up, drinking at the dock or at anchor is fine, but not while sailing.
Drugs, even with WA states friendly new attitude to weed, will get you booted. Don't care who you are or why you have it.
I will not lose my home over someone else's habits or interpretation of law.
That probably sounds a bit draconian, but Mathilda is the only retirement account I have.
Alice has escaped....... on the Bandersnatch....... with.. the Vorpal sword....

Offline w00dy

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2014, 06:49:24 PM »
Hear Hear.

Thanks for the link, CJ. Solid gold.

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2014, 07:32:52 PM »

Drugs, even with WA states friendly new attitude to weed, will get you booted. Don't care who you are or why you have it.
I will not lose my home over someone else's habits or interpretation of law.
That probably sounds a bit draconian, but Mathilda is the only retirement account I have.


Not draconian at all.. I've SEEN the impounded drug boats down in Florida. Sails on deck as they were when ever, hatches open, nothing done to them. Even if the owner proves innocence, the boat is gonna be a wreck.

Simply not worth it. I feel exactly the same way, as does W00dy
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline Kettlewell

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2014, 10:46:42 AM »
Not necessarily in this order:
1. No drinking until the hook is down. No drinking when offshore sailing. No drugs onboard without a prescription.
2. The captain (me) is woken up if there is any doubt as to something that must be done by the on-watch.
3. If not absolutely 100% certain of where you are and what your course of action and weather is reasonable do not enter a strange harbor after dark.
4. The land is your enemy--stay well offshore of land when in doubt.
5. Before heading anywhere, for no matter how short or long a trip, the weather is checked carefully and monitored throughout the day. More trips are marred by bad weather than anything else.
6. Each individual is responsible for staying onboard the boat no matter what. I tell guests that they must assume if they fall overboard they are dead, because no matter how hard we try to retrieve you it is often impossible. I think of all the hats we have tried to retrieve over the years and how most were lost to the sea, even when we could see them and it was calm. Add in wind, waves, lack of light and chances are very slim no matter what equipment you have.
7. Never depend on gear to save you from anything. The most important tool is between your ears--use it.

Offline Captain Smollett

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2014, 02:52:49 PM »
One I have not seen mentioned yet..perhaps it is implied most of the time, but I think bears mentioning explicitly.

There can be only one person in charge.

This is not an ego thing, as I've seen mentioned on other sailing forums.  It's very much a safety thing.

Dealing with emergencies is not the time to negotiate, discuss or vote.  Decisive action can save, or cost, the boat (and crew).  Add to that in general, crews / passengers respond best and have the most confidence in Skippers that make decisions, not ask for votes.

I've read a lot about people that try to "co-Captain" and stuff like that. I have to say that I am dead set against it.  Now, if folks mean by that alternating who is Skipper on any give day or outing or watch or whatever, that's their business.  But at any given time, there should be, and there is on my boats, one person who accepts responsibility for EVERYTHING...sole responsibility.

I'm not saying Skippers should be slave drivers.  I've been on board boats with true butt-holes as Captains and it was not pleasant.  I'm just saying there needs to one person (at any given time) with whom "the buck stops" and everyone on board understands that.
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Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  -Mark Twain

Offline Kettlewell

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2014, 03:52:33 PM »
I basically believe there needs to be only one captain, but I often see this play out in a bad way in the real world. Some people seek the ability to order people around and get pleasure from doing so, when a truly good captain does not need to be issuing orders all the time--instead the crew has been trained on what to do and will do it. I see some boats pulling into marinas with "the captain" issuing loud commands in all directions, while the "crew" scurries around trying to follow them, or sometimes trying to look like they are listening while they actually do something useful. Or, there's the usual evening scene where someone at the helm of a boat loudly shouts commands at the poor person on the bow handling the anchor gear. Half the commands are unheard by the anchor handler, and the other commands are impossible to comply with. One often heard command in this situation is "throw it over the side now!" I remember once looking over at a perplexed young man on the bow of a power cruiser holding a tiny anchor in his hands not connected to any chain or rope when the command came to "throw it over the side!" Luckily, he paused long enough to take the time to think it was not a good thing to do, and eventually there were lots of shouted commands echoing through the harbor as the boat drifted away rapidly downwind.

Offline Captain Smollett

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2014, 04:10:00 PM »
Sadly that's true.   I was just stating that I think these people that seek to do the "Co Captain" thing...where that literally means 'equal input at all times' are creating a potentially dangerous situation.

I recently took my 8 yo son out for a sail on the Opti...I was in a chase boat.  For the first time, I decided to use a set of Family Service radios to communicate with him, so I did not have to shout (to be heard) over the outboard, wind and distance.

It worked remarkably well...he could acknowledge my 'commands' with a head shake that I could see, so he did not even have to take hand off tiller or mainsheet to verbally respond.  I could rather leisurely explain to him what was coming up...what command I was going to issue in a moment, etc.  If at any time he had a question or did not understand something, he could talk back without himself having to shout over the outboard, etc.

Clear communications ('orders' given and received and understood) are another "rule" I guess.  I have to practice this even when single handing.

S/V Gaelic Sea
Alberg 30
North Carolina

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.  -Mark Twain

Offline Kettlewell

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2014, 04:19:57 PM »
To avoid the problem of Daddy ordering everybody around and making it "no fun," we joined a small yacht club and my kids took sailing lessons and raced for several summers when they were little. Luckily, the club was on an island where my wife loved to hang out for weeks or over a month a couple of summers so the kids would go off sailing with their friends for half the day while she got to lie on the beach or do whatever. Being able to mess around in small boats where you could make almost every mistake, crash, and still end up laughing at the end of the day was a great way to get them both used to everything around boats, but also to appreciate that there are reasons certain things are done certain ways on the "big boat." I think one of the biggest problems with boating in general, and the captain problem in particular, is that most of today's "big" boaters didn't learn as kids and don't have a natural affinity for the water and how it must be respected in order to be able to enjoy it. When out cruising we run into families with kids onboard and they are almost universally the best kids you will ever meet, while at the same time some of the best boaters you will ever come across.

Offline CharlieJ

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2014, 06:27:43 PM »
 ;D

Brings to mind when we lived aboard the Trimaran and were cruising. My son was a teen at the time, and we were coming into a dock. Don't recall the exact thing but I told him to do something and he responded. Afterwards a bystander asked him if he always minded like that and he answered--

"Aboard the boat, yes.. Aboard the boat, he's the captain.

OFF the boat, he's just daddy"

LOVED IT :D :D
Charlie J
Sailing on S/V Tehani
Meridian 25

On Matagorda Bay
On the Redneck Riviera

Offline Godot

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2014, 07:05:50 PM »

A few years ago after my divorce I went and took some dancing lessons as a way to try something new. In the first class there was always something like the instructor mentioning "some of you ladies aren't going to like this; but for this to work the guy must lead." Usually this was followed by a snide comment from one or more of the ladies along the lines of "yeah, that ain't happenin'." Eventually they settle in and learn that when they go with the flow they have a lot more fun, and there are a lot fewer toes stepped on.

I wonder how often this dynamic happens in the sailing world.

Adam
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Middle River, Chesapeake Bay

Offline Kettlewell

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2014, 10:50:07 AM »
Here's the thing. In any partnership, whether it be marriage, two friends together, or a basketball team, you need to play to each other's strengths. Two can be better than one at accomplishing things. So, being captain onboard means that my wife runs the galley, stocking up, social networking, etc., because she is better at those things than I am. In those areas, she is the captain. When it comes to a navigation decision, or when to reef the sails, I am in charge. But, that doesn't mean I don't talk to the "crew," get their input, and often modify my plan based on what everyone wants. The split-second decisions are rare and far between. The idea of a captain ordering everyone around is not needed and counterproductive 95% of the time, but there needs to be an understanding that in certain situations, though rare, there might be a need to "follow orders."

Offline Mario G

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Re: Your Rules; what are they, why do you have them?
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2014, 08:21:19 AM »
Why hasn't someone posting the rule of sitting down while using the head if the seas are above 2'.