Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-05-2013, 09:02 PM   #1
Veteran Member
 
Scout's Avatar
 
City: Bellingham
Country: Wa
Vessel Name: Scout
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 32
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 77
The value of hiring a captain

We recently moved up from a c-dory 24' power catamaran with twin outboards to a GB 32. We had a couple of c-dorys prior to the cat so we are not new to boating. With the GB, however, we thought that it would be a good idea to hire a captain experienced with GBs. Great choice!! The guy we hired taught us about all of the systems (engine, electrical, heater, GPS, etc). He talked to us about safety issues, anchoring, mooring, communicating with the radio, maneuvering, etc. All good stuff even if a review. But the most useful thing he taught us is how to operate as a team. How to communicate with each other as we cast off or dock. How to have a plan in various critical situations, and so on. It was money well spent. We now operate much better as a team. Much happier boating couple!
__________________
Advertisement

Scout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 09:28 PM   #2
Guru
 
City: somewhere
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,356
Sounds like a great idea
__________________

__________________
Life is a Beach
beachbum29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2013, 09:38 PM   #3
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
The only formal checkouts we've had in many years of boating was our first checkout in a narrowboat in the UK, more for dealing with the locks than dealing the boat, and a checkout the first time we chartered a GB (single engine).

The GB checkout was well worth it as we learned some great techniques for docking, picking up a mooring buoy, getting off a dock in a strong adverse wind, and so forth. We didn't actually DO any of these things with the checkout skipper other than some practice dockings. But we learned enough to begin applying them on our own from the outset. The mooring buoy pickup and the get-off-the-dock-against-a-strong-wind techniques have been things we have used all the time ever since.

When we bought our own GB neither one of us had ever run a twin engine boat. I asked a good friend, the founder of Kenmore Air Harbor and a longtime steel-hull deFever owner, if he would be willing to instruct us in the "art" of driving and maneuvering a twin-engine boat using his own boat in Lake Washington. He said he'd be happy to do this but in his opinion the best way to learn how to operate a twin-engine boat was to go operate one.

As it turned out we never were able to put together any sort of tutoring session with Bob so my wife and I learned twin engine operation by operating a twin engine boat. Fortunately we both found it totally intuitive and had no problems understanding the use of opposed thrust, or thrust on one engine, or opposed thrust with rudder from day one.

One rule we "stole" from Bob Hale, the longtime publisher of The Waggoner Guide, involved teamwork. IIRC what he told me, Bob and his wife found themselves in disagreement one day years ago about what channel to use between the islands north of Montague in the Gulf Islands. Each of them was convinced they were right and the other person was wrong. Rather than drive the boat into trouble they stopped the boat and worked together to figure out the right course (his wife was right as it turned out). This became their operating "rule." Whenever they had a difference of opinon on the best or crorrect course of action they would stop the boat until they arrived at a consensus.

My wife and I decided to adopt the same philosophy. We've only had to do it a few times, but as I recall it always proved to be the smartest course of action, avoided potential problems, and maintained harmony among the crew.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 12:25 AM   #4
Guru
 
City: North Charleston, SC
Country: USA
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 4,390
When we bought our trawler (not our first boat, but our first inboard), our marina manager suggested taking some instruction from a local "captain". We arranged for it, and the first thing the guy said when he got on our boat was "I've never driven a single screw inboard."

Well, the time we spent with him wasn't totally worthless, but his method of instruction was pretty much to describe how to do something, have you do it, and yell at you if anything went wrong.

I had a lot of difficulty backing into my slip until after a year or so I said to myself "The hell with him, it's going to work better my way." And it does.

No doubt instruction is good, you wouldn't set out to drive a car purely on your own, but I think it's important to find the right instructor for you and for your boat.
rwidman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 12:32 AM   #5
Guru
 
gwkiwi's Avatar
 
City: Juno Beach, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Takes Two
Vessel Model: Defever 49 RPH
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 500
Just like teaching or coaching in any subject its not knowing how to do something, its being able to disect it and relay it in a way that a student learns the best.

Thats why whether hiring a Captain for yourself or a coach for your kids soccer team make sure they know how to teach to the repective learning style(s) especially with the cost these days.
gwkiwi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 02:03 AM   #6
Veteran Member
 
baldpaul's Avatar
 
City: Port Moody
Country: Canada
Vessel Name: Big Tuna
Vessel Model: Defever 49 RPH
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 61
I hired two Captains to bring my boat up (with me on board) from Alameda to Point Roberts, WA. We stopped in Eureka and Port Garibaldi, but I never took the helm in close quarters.

After the delivery was made the captains went back to California. A week later my sister and family came on the boat. I said we were going to Sucia Island for lunch (dammit). Well that day was 30 knot winds blowing from the south. My boat was on a side tie on the south side of the dock. So, here I was in my new 50' boat....having only had a 20' boat in the past, determined to take it out for the first time. I rationalized that I was in the Army in my past life and drove an Armoured Personnel Carrier with tiller bars. I had a twin engine boat....pretty much the same action I thought. I also had bow and stern thrusters...easy. I got away from the dock without issue....using alot of thruster. But, when the boat edged out into the more exposed fairway, I learned about freeboard and windage.. Upon entering the fairway, the bow blew in the opposite direction of where I wanted to go. I was starting to drift rapidly into another boat. I learned another lesson....you need power to compensate for wind effects. All of a sudden, I had a few marina spectators.

To make a long story short, I did not hit anything. After a brief panic attack and adrenaline rush, I figured some things out quickly and righted the situation. We made it to Sucia Island....with 5 passengers on board getting sick. Another lesson....don't force a trip, especially an unnecessary one.

So, the moral is a couple hours of paid captain time for tight quarters might have been money well spent. On the other hand, I learned more in 10 minutes of practical experience than I could have learned in an hour with a Captain.

Hiring a Captain for an hour $200...."just doing it", priceless.
baldpaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 05:12 AM   #7
Guru
 
City: somewhere
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,356
Quote:
Originally Posted by rwidman View Post
When we bought our trawler (not our first boat, but our first inboard), our marina manager suggested taking some instruction from a local "captain". We arranged for it, and the first thing the guy said when he got on our boat was "I've never driven a single screw inboard."

Well, the time we spent with him wasn't totally worthless, but his method of instruction was pretty much to describe how to do something, have you do it, and yell at you if anything went wrong.

I had a lot of difficulty backing into my slip until after a year or so I said to myself "The hell with him, it's going to work better my way." And it does.

No doubt instruction is good, you wouldn't set out to drive a car purely on your own, but I think it's important to find the right instructor for you and for your boat.
I don't think that we would of continued after the single screw comment or after the first yelling episode.
__________________
Life is a Beach
beachbum29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 09:20 AM   #8
Veteran Member
 
Scout's Avatar
 
City: Bellingham
Country: Wa
Vessel Name: Scout
Vessel Model: Grand Banks 32
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 77
Totally agree with the need to hire the right captain. We hired someone who works with the local GB charter company. He knows GBs, their systems, how they handle and so on. He is also a good people person who worked well with both of us. The real value is that my wife is now much more comfortable working with me to get underway and dock on the return.

Marin, I'll remember your rule about stopping the boat if a discussion is needed to make a critical decision. Another good lint about teamwork.
Scout is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 11:46 AM   #9
Guru
 
Phil Fill's Avatar
 
City: Everett Wa
Country: US
Vessel Name: Eagle
Vessel Model: Roughwater 58 pilot house
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 2,919
We did not hire a person as there were plenty of experience with single screw that jumped at the change to help us take the Eagle out. Well worth the money and the time.

What we need now is a crew to help us take the Eagle out in our old age especially young that want to learn that have the energy,strength and the time. A crew that you can trust and rely on can be more assuring comforting. Most commercial have several crew members
Phil Fill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 12:01 PM   #10
Guru
 
healhustler's Avatar
 
City: Longboat Key, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Bucky
Vessel Model: Krogen Manatee 36 North Sea
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 4,181
I hired a Captain (friend) to pilot my Manatee down from Daytona Beach to Miami while I fixed whatever wasn't working. He had a lot more confidence in the boat than I did, and on the last 19 hour leg, he took it outside at the infamous Jupiter Inlet where we were greeted by 5-6 ft. confused chop. He never even winced, but I sure did. About an hour later we settled down to 5 ft. rollers all the way to Miami, and he said it was the easiest delivery he had ever made. He also drank all my beer.
healhustler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 03:50 PM   #11
Scraping Paint
 
City: -
Country: -
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 13,748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scout View Post
Marin, I'll remember your rule about stopping the boat if a discussion is needed to make a critical decision. Another good lint about teamwork.
You can thank Bob Hale for that one if you ever come across him out on the water.
Marin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 05:13 PM   #12
Guru
 
City: somewhere
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,356
Quote:
Originally Posted by healhustler View Post
I hired a Captain (friend) to pilot my Manatee down from Daytona Beach to Miami while I fixed whatever wasn't working. He had a lot more confidence in the boat than I did, and on the last 19 hour leg, he took it outside at the infamous Jupiter Inlet where we were greeted by 5-6 ft. confused chop. He never even winced, but I sure did. About an hour later we settled down to 5 ft. rollers all the way to Miami, and he said it was the easiest delivery he had ever made. He also drank all my beer.
How many total hours did the trip take?
__________________
Life is a Beach
beachbum29 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2013, 06:42 AM   #13
Guru
 
angus99's Avatar
 
City: Signal Mtn., TN
Country: US
Vessel Name: Stella Maris
Vessel Model: Defever 44
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 1,388
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marin View Post
Each of them was convinced they were right and the other person was wrong. Rather than drive the boat into trouble they stopped the boat and worked together to figure out the right course (his wife was right as it turned out). This became their operating "rule." Whenever they had a difference of opinon on the best or crorrect course of action they would stop the boat until they arrived at a consensus.

My wife and I decided to adopt the same philosophy. We've only had to do it a few times, but as I recall it always proved to be the smartest course of action, avoided potential problems, and maintained harmony among the crew.
Smart is right. Back during our racing days, it was too easy -- despite the best of intentions -- to over rule, pressure or occasionally bark at one another. (OK, usually it was me.) Sometimes a quick decision on which tack we should be on or tweaking sail trim would lead to hard feelings. My wife and I had a ritual after every race; we'd tell each other "I'm sorry for anything I did, said or thought in the heat of the moment." Then, usually, we'd have a good laugh. While I don't expect as many split-second decisions when we get our trawler, I much prefer Marin's approach because -- at least half the time -- my wife was right!
angus99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2013, 01:54 PM   #14
GFC
Guru
 
GFC's Avatar
 
City: Tri Cities, WA
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Beachcomber
Vessel Model: Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2,703
Before I bought Beachcomber I had a 330 Sundancer that I bought in Seattle and had trucked to the TriCities. When we floated it off the trailer the trucker tossed me the keys and said "here's your keys, have fun." then left.

I had chartered a twin screw boat once, many years before, so I had some experience with twins. But I must say when I backed the boat away from the dock to head to my slip I was scared to death. I then had to back it into my slip, which was only a foot wider than the hull. It wasn't pretty, but we made it.

When I bought Beachcomber the insurance company required a check ride with a licensed captain. That was done with the owner of the boat yard that had commissioned the boat. It lasted about 30 minutes and did not go as planned. His yard had reassembled the boat after it was trucked across the country but when they put the hydraulic shifter assembly back together they failed to refill the hydraulic reservoir.

I backed out from his dock on the Multnomah Channel OK, and started toward the Willamette River. When I went to turn down the Willamette to head out the Columbia River I had no steering, and we were headed toward some commercial docks on the opposite side of the river.

I guess because I didn't panic and avoided the commercial docks and the commercial river traffic while he tinkered with the hydraulics he figured I was not a rookie boat driver. He wrote the letter, faxed it to the insurance company and within about 20 minutes they approved me to take the boat.

It's a good thing because the next morning (a Saturday) we were starting our 230 mile trip up the Columbia to our home port.
__________________

__________________
Mike and Tina
Beachcomber 1995 Sea Ray 550 Sedan Bridge
GFC is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:33 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012