Why the crew course?

Posted by Grant Headifen on December 4, 2008 under Crew | Read the First Comment

We wrote the crew course because of quite a few instances when running my sailing company. Often a spouse of a member would call up and ask for private lessons with out her husband on board. And so becoming a marriage counselor seemed to be part of the job. Actually it really turns out to the age old issue that spouses shouldn’t be teaching sailing to each other (or golf or driving). And many times a spouse doesn’t necessarily want to know all the details.

On several of these occasions – the spouse just wanted to know how to hold the boat on a straight course because her husband kept on yelling at her when she wasn’t. The issue came about becasue he had tried to show her to use the wind meter to keep the boat straight. Well that’s just impossible – you’re always going to overshoot and do s turns all the way because the meter lags in time with reality. I simply covered the meter and had her get her head out of the boat and keeping a straight course via points on land – tehn taught her how to make adjustments when the wind changed. Simple!

On another occasion a husband wanted me to teach his wife about man over board  – its a fairly indepth and funny sailing story but in essence, he was worried about her being about to get back to him if he went over board.

Often times a captain of a boat likes to play the “I have knowledge and you don’t” game and gives instructions but won’t say why. This decreases the enjoyment that crew members are having.

So we’ve given the knowledge back to crew members. The knowledge in the qualified crew member course is enough to understand the whats, whys and hows of sailing. It will increase your enjoyment on a boat and also working with other crew members and understand the captain’s barking orders.

And – what if the captain does fall over board – how will the crew effectively gain control of the boat and get back to the captain – or perhaps they don’t want to :).