by Angela Barbati
1. Know your Skipper: Your Skipper provides the crew with the opportunity to sail. They are responsible for the safety of both vessel and crew. Things can happen suddenly that require action, and your safety as well as the safety of the vessel may be at risk. Try to understand the situation and what the skipper wants. When the Skipper speaks, pay attention, stop talking, listen carefully and follow instructions. Try not to take it personally. The crew’s responsibility is to be ready, willing, and able to handle any sailing task that the Skipper assigns. Do your homework and make yourself an asset. Safety is the goal.
2. Crew Timelines: Arrive early! From the time you get there, to the time the boat leaves the dock you are responsible to stow your personal gear and prep the boat to be ready to sail. Stow gear below deck carefully so it won’t wind up on the deck when heeled over.Late arrival or No Shows: Remember a no-show is a No-No. Other people are depending upon you to show up on time and participate. If you are going to be late, or cannot make the sail, please call the Skipper ASAP and another crew member should you not be able to speak to the skipper. The Skipper may like to invite someone else.
3. Learn the basics: and get your head into the boat. Watch which lines are connected to which sails, memorize the jargon, and pay attention to what the rest of the crew is doing. Ask for a job even if you know nothing about a boat. Skipper’s are easy they will give you a job. Try to develop critical thinking – all boating contains an element of danger that demands some respect.
4. Pitch in and help after the race: There’s still lots to do. Secure the boat and her lines, clean where needed and fold/roll and put away sails, sheets, and winch handles. Put on the sail cover. Every boat gets put away differently. Remember to take your gear with you when the race ends. Help take off gear, snacks and garbage. Be alert to what needs done and do it. Ask if all the work is done before you leave. Double check.
5. Remember to say “Thank You”: to both the Skipper and your Coach. They are volunteering to provide you with learning, time on the water, and fun! Show appreciation by contributing to a “GEAR FUND” or “SOCIAL FUND” for the boat you’re assigned to.
6. Carry gear in a “GO BAG” in your car: You don’t want to miss a last minute call to race, do you? Weather may be different by the time you arrive at the boat.After reading all of the above the whole idea is to have fun! Bring a smile, a sense of humor, and some sparkling conversation. Being outdoors and sailing with good people is a great way to spend a day. Enjoy it and help others enjoy it. Remember if you are not having fun, you are not doing it right. You are out there to have fun, but also be safe.