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Old 08-17-2015, 03:07 PM   #1
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(Un)Helpful Guests

Back when we had a plane, not one visitor ever offered to help with takeoff or landing. Boy I wish the same were true boat guests. "No we have a routine, its easier and safer to do it by ourselves, please stay on this side of the boat till we're docked" Why, why, why, won't that work? It can't be just our guests??? can it??
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:11 PM   #2
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No it is not so we have made up several very important tasks for each guest that makes them feel like they are a part but they do not get in our way

took some creativity
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:12 PM   #3
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Before we leave the dock, I give a safety brief, make sure everyone is potty trained and we state the Admiral and I will be handing all docking and lines unless we specifically ask for assistance, then we will call your name, otherwise, sit back and enjoy the cruise and please put on your PFD.
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:46 PM   #4
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Really depends on who the guests are. We have had many very experienced and capable mariners (moreso than us in some cases) on board and welcome their advice and help... and they know that the captain is still the captain.

Then there are on the other end of the spectrum complete newbies who are instructed on safety and systems as noted above, and told where to sit and enjoy the show.

Of course there are the tweeners, who want to learn and can learn, so we get them involved to varying degrees. In many ways they are the funnest guests of all. The least fun are the tweeners who think they know something but don't, and then that's when you need to be very firm. We're lucky and choose our guests carefully and get to understand which group they fall into well in advance of departure.
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Old 08-17-2015, 03:58 PM   #5
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I find the technique of asking guests to 'take the helm' when out cruising fills their need to help. When coming in on short final I usually say, Since I pay the deductible, I'll bring her home the last 30', thanks.
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:53 PM   #6
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When coming in on short final I usually say, Since I pay the deductible, I'll bring her home the last 30', thanks.
Amen!!! +100
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Old 08-17-2015, 05:05 PM   #7
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When docking we ask guests to watch from inside the cabin until we are in the slip. Or we drop them off when we tie up at the pump-out (T-dock) and let them watch from the dock while we bring it around to our slip (on the same dock). Experienced guests (who are usually among our group of friends who have their own boats) help with lines, but they know our routine and will ask if they have a question.
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Old 08-17-2015, 05:09 PM   #8
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Like Alaska SeaDuction, I give a "preflight briefing" to the guests and explain that I have the best deck hand in the world and they are welcome to watch her do her job, but please don't get in her way.


I usually let guests take the helm if they want but I hover nearby, watching the things I normally watch out for.


A funny event happened a few years ago. A female guest had way too much to drink but wanted to take the helm. They were good friends so I put the autopilot on, but didn't tell her, then let her take the helm. She was all excited about driving the boat and keeping it on a straight line.


It wasn't until about a year later that I told her what I'd done. She got a kick out of it.
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Old 08-17-2015, 05:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GFC View Post
Like Alaska SeaDuction,


It wasn't until about a year later that I told her what I'd done. She got a kick out of it.
That is great one
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Old 08-17-2015, 05:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cappy208 View Post
I find the technique of asking guests to 'take the helm' when out cruising fills their need to help. When coming in on short final I usually say, Since I pay the deductible, I'll bring her home the last 30', thanks.
Some good pointers here already.

I enjoy introducing new people to the fun of boating but, since I have a propensity to lecture, I sometimes find it hard to instruct with tact. "People, please, the "toilet" is not attached to an 8" pipe to the street."
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Old 08-17-2015, 05:36 PM   #11
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Like ASD and GFC, I do a "pre-cruise+ briefing. I am kind of famous for my anal retentiveness on safety and boat operation issues. Potty training is the very first issue-leaving and returning to the dock the next, and, since we often go through the Seattle Locks, lock duty is next with actual practice before we leave the dock. I tell them "If I need you to do anything, I will tell you, tell you what to do and when to do it". So, unless you hear from me, sit back, relax and enjoy. When we have experienced people on board what I get most often is "If you need us, just tell us what to do and when to do it". I try to be the same on other people's boats.

My anal retentiveness comes from one bad experience. Years ago, we docked in Little River, SC. The current ran parallel to the dock and was a tidal current. We had a 65' Trumpy, very heavy and not the most maneuverable, we did dinner charters. We docked bow to the current so we could use the current to get away from the dock. Put a rear springline on set so we could simply pull it onboard when we were away,we let the current pull the bow away from the dick. Well, one night a guest saw the line and thought we were still tied to the dock. He did not say anything or notify anyone. He put one foot on the dock and one on the rail and tried to "untie" the line. Well, needless to say, as we left the dock, he hit the drink, and had to wrap his arms around a barnacle clad piling to keep from being washed away by the current.
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Old 08-17-2015, 11:54 PM   #12
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We have a very short list of people we will take out on our boat. They are longtime friends from the US and Europe/UK and none of them are kids or teens. So we never have to deal with "newbies" on the boat.

But even with these few folks we have some hard and fast rules. If they want to help with docking they can and there are times when it's windy with an adverse wind that an extra pair or two of hands is great to have. But they take their orders from the person running the deck crew, usually my wife but sometimes me. They are to communicate with that person ONLY. The only person on deck who communicates with the person driving is whichever one of us is running the deck crew; the guests do not talk to the driver.

The deck boss explains what's going to happen and what the guests' jobs are well in advance of our arrival. So far, we've never had a problem and having an extra person or two to assist on deck has been quite useful.
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Old 08-18-2015, 12:12 AM   #13
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One of the most difficult things about 'allowing' others to help is having the knowledge about when to draw the line on the help. Sometimes ( in calm weather, or ideal circumstances) the guests can be used to gain. Other times they must be put away to the side.

It becomes clearer with repetition when the dividing line is neared. It also depends on the particular person who is trying to help. It also depends upon your particular skill set.

Sometimes the best intentions are better left in the cabin awaiting the final mooring line being made fast.
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Old 08-18-2015, 05:29 AM   #14
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I also give a pre taxi check and post taxi brief. (Sorry, 25 years of flying helicopters) The funny thing is if we have friends on board the Admiral doesn't help unless I ask? Most of our friends that go are familiar with my boat so it is not a problem. I do always ask if they would like to dock it, but strangely no one has ever taken me up on it. Hell, the first time my parents were on board, we took a two week trip and I asked my Father if he would like to dock it (after all he taught me how to drive boats many moons ago as a very young kid)and he said naw you got it. HA HA
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