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Old 02-01-2016, 09:50 PM   #1
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Time For The First Mate Not To Be The Anode

During our careers it is our wives that are the first to give it up and fill in the gaps. After retirement it seems to me that this should be the time to give them extra courtesies, no longer treat them like the anode of the relationship.
But all too often I see captains treat them like hired crew w/o pay. And we wonder why so many wives are not interested in long range boating.
We were coming back home from a trip up the east coast, cutting across Lake Ockeechobee, and followed this Sabre with a fly bridge through a couple locks. The woman on board grabbed both bow and stern lines. Then as the water level dropped she ran back and forth giving slack to the two lines while the "Captain" sat on his fat ass.
For eight years we had a 41 foot sailboat and now have a 37 tug. She catches one line and I catch the other. Unless your an inexperienced captain, catching one of the lines is easy and only makes sense.
I think a little gratefulness, courtesy and kindness to our mates goes a long way towards having a safe, fun and successful voyage.
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Old 02-01-2016, 11:51 PM   #2
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Maybe the guy with the fat ass was handicapped, or stuck in the helm seat.
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Old 02-02-2016, 02:56 AM   #3
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Maybe the guy with the fat ass was handicapped, or stuck in the helm seat.

That was only one example. I also so,it several times on the Erie Canal. But it may not apply to the fine folks on this forum. 😎
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Old 02-02-2016, 07:45 AM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. P. Could have been one of several reasons. I'm NOT allowed to touch lines when tying up (It's never to the Admiral's liking) so I defer to superior knowledge/authority. That being said, we've always been a TEAM, both while aboard and ashore. 47 years (I think) this August. I drive, she navigates. I do mechanical stuff and cook, she cleans and sits around looking all sexy. Works for me/us...
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:30 AM   #5
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You see all sorts of different relationships on the water between husband and wife. Each couple needs to work out what's best for them. What drives me crazy is when one is yelling at the other. Each is doing the best they can. How does yelling help?

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Old 02-02-2016, 08:36 AM   #6
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Greetings,
Mr. P. Could have been one of several reasons. I'm NOT allowed to touch lines when tying up (It's never to the Admiral's liking) so I defer to superior knowledge/authority. That being said, we've always been a TEAM, both while aboard and ashore. 47 years (I think) this August. I drive, she navigates. I do mechanical stuff and cook, she cleans and sits around looking all sexy. Works for me/us...
EXACTLY! Let's not assume a problem exists without some perspective. What you are accusing the captain of may be very far from the truth.

Bess WANTS to do our lines her own way. I get sent back to the flying bridge if I just show up unannounced on deck with a line in my hands during docking. However, we both discuss the plan of attack well before our arrival. If we decide there is a need for me to help, then I will. That is rare though.
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Old 02-02-2016, 08:58 AM   #7
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My stunningly beautiful (inside and out) Sharon cooks, cleans, does the laundry, pilots, navigates, changes oil, winterizes the engine, paints the deck, does beautiful epoxy work, installs new windows, windlasses and bow thrusters, changes impellers, gives terrific back rubs ......... but so do I
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:03 AM   #8
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Old 02-02-2016, 10:54 AM   #9
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The trick is working out a system to avoid drama. Drama leads to unpleasantness which leads to reluctance of a partner to go boating.

Every couple is different. My wife knows her station when docking. She knows her job is in the cockpit, making sure that the aft of the boat gets secured to the dock.

My job is maneuvering the boat and making sure that the front half of the boat gets secured.

No drama involved means that the wife is happy to go.
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:03 AM   #10
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pgitug View Post
That was only one example. I also so,it several times on the Erie Canal. . 😎
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What drives me crazy is when one is yelling at the other. Each is doing the best they can. How does yelling help?
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EXACTLY! However, we both discuss the plan of attack well before our arrival. .
Great points guys and the top ones on our list!

Our guiding principles for the crew to work as a team and end up smiling...
  • Have a plan - discuss it ahead of time - have a plan B & C if A doesn't work out
  • No Yelling! - If it doesn't go correctly it's the skippers / Capt fault - didn't have a plan - didn't communicate it clearly / sufficiently for understanding - and if skill is lacking didn't do enough / proper training ahead of time
  • Don't make it personal - nobody did anything intentionally wrong - work on doing it better the next time

We have found one good way to learn is to observe others
  • Grab a chair & refreshment and sit TOGETHER and watch others lock or dock or leave a slip
  • Note what works well - doesn't work and why
  • Look for good as well as bad ideas - all can help your crew / team get better

We do a lot of locking on the Erie & Canadian canals...we've worked out a system that works but try to remain flexible to go to plan B if wind is a challenge or other factor makes plan A less desirable.

We have gotten to the point where we would rather come into our dock "unassisted" unless the wind is howling and if dock neighbors show up we have agreed to a plan / task to assign to them - drop the dock side spring line over THAT cleat on the dock
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:33 AM   #12
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My Galley Wench (her choice of titles) does all of the line handling when we go through the locks and she's VERY good at it. It's my job to get the boat up against the bollard so she can do her job.


When backing into our slip she knows exactly what she needs to do and in what order. It's my job to set the stern of the boat next to the dock so she can step off, no jump off.


When we're coming into a strange dock we go through our docking plan thoroughly. I explain what I'd like her to do, she repeats it back to me so I know she understands my plan, then we do it.


Very seldom do we every have a misunderstanding and when we do, it's my fault.
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:38 AM   #13
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The Sicilian pilots the boat on predicted Log contests and when anchoring and de-anchoring. She handles the dock lines and secures the boat as she considers me a less than able deckhand.
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Old 02-02-2016, 11:47 AM   #14
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It's my job to set the stern of the boat next to the dock so she can step off, no jump off.

Very seldom do we every have a misunderstanding and when we do, it's my fault.
GFC - Thanks

Forgot to include your first - and most important! - point

And - glad we all understand your second point
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:07 PM   #15
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Very seldom do we ever have a misunderstanding and when we do, it's my fault.
If a man makes a statement in the forest, and his wife is not there to hear him. Is he still wrong?

Seriously though, I did quite a bit of new boater training on Great Harbours. One of my pet peeves is to hear the relaxed quiet of a nice marina or anchorage shattered by some captain yelling at or berating his wife/crew when docking. So, I always stressed to my new boaters (generally couples) that if the captain is screaming while docking, you know one of two things has happened: 1) He failed to communicate his docking plan properly to the deck crew/wife. Or 2), he has REALLY screwed up and is trying to lay the blame off on someone else!

Either way, it's the Captain's fault.
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:24 PM   #16
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Or, someone is not doing what they were briefed on and aren't seemingly responding to the soft, quiet, polite nudgings at first....maybe because they are so focused soft voices aren't penetrating (as I have seen thousands of times in stressful instructional situations). But I do agree, berating is another story.


Unless all those that care how other boats are run say something at the opportunity to actually change something...grossly generalizing about situations that you have no idea of what goes on 99.99999% of the time I find amusing at best and ************ at worst.
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:31 PM   #17
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You see all sorts of different relationships on the water between husband and wife. Each couple needs to work out what's best for them. What drives me crazy is when one is yelling at the other. Each is doing the best they can. How does yelling help?

Ted
I don't yell. I speak in a "field voice" so I can be heard over the mortars & machine gun fire coming in!
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:38 PM   #18
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I don't yell. I speak in a "field voice" so I can be heard over the mortars & machine gun fire coming in!
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Old 02-02-2016, 12:42 PM   #19
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Equal Mates - or - Teacher/student - or - Master and submissive - or - even BDSM applications - What ever turns on Capt and Crew! Leave each to their own is my and the Admirals program! The way we interact we get along just fine!!

In a few immediate-action-necessary, emergency situations we both have let our voices raise too loud in forceful communications toward one another; sometimes even a sneer may be seen, or a snarl heard, or an exasperated breath-deflation recognized with four letter words muttered... but... at the end of a chaotic sequence big smiles always appear with high five slaps as communal applause that in working together as a team we made it through, avoiding another pending catastrophe.

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Old 02-02-2016, 12:47 PM   #20
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I bought a set of marriage savers from Defender. The only way to go! With my hearing & the issues of back-ground noise, I was always in my field voice when Boss Mare was on the lower deck handling lines or what ever. Fellas they work great.

I do the mechanical. She passes tools or helps with a extra set of eyes. She cooks & cleans. Helps me wash the boat. She's also very good at helping break horses. Boat repair - well I'm not any good at either, but we're going to learn.
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