Episode #028: Your Pocket Sailing Instructor Podcast How to be a prepared skipper

So last week I introduced you to some ideas on how to be a prepared sailing crew. Well, this week we are going to look at the other side and talk about how to be a prepared skipper! First though, I want to acknowledge that I have hit 12,000 downloads!! What?! This is amazing. I’m so glad people are enjoying the podcast and taking it all in!

Ok, back to business. So this week I’m looking at ways for a skipper to be prepared to have new people out on the boat with them. What should you bring? Will your crew forget things? What to do if things just aren’t working? So many questions…

Listen to Episode #028: How to be a prepared skipper

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Here are my most recent episodes:

#36: So yeah, all my docklines snapped during this storm… WTF Your Pocket Sailing Instructor Podcast

  1. #36: So yeah, all my docklines snapped during this storm… WTF
  2. #35: Top 10 Gifts for Sailors!

To get yourself ready for this episode, you may want to head back and listen to a couple previous episodes:

Do your research!

So who have you invited on your boat? Is it a friend of a friend? A neighbour? Random person who said “hey I used to sail can I come with you sometime?” Regardless, you should ask your new crew some basic questions:

  • have you sailed before?
  • why are you interested in sailing with me?
  • what are your other skills or hobbies?
  • do you have any medical conditions that I should know about?
  • do you have your own pfd?

What to Expect

New sailor – you will need to spend time introducing them to your boat. Take the time to show them the ropes (lol) and even label things for them if you think that will help. Be sure to state the obvious things and to lay out your safety gear and its location. Teach them how to move safely on the boat and help them with a short packing list (hat, sunglasses, layers, water, snacks, garden gloves, good shoes).

What do you need? Patience!

Regular sailor – introduce them to the boat and any specific quirks your boat has. Ask them what safety gear or personal gear they will bring with them. Ask them which position they like to do on the boat and if there’s anything that they want to work on or learn more about. The down side with a regular sailor is that you may have some bad habits or they may have a chip on their shoulder to work out.

What do you need? Patience!

How to Plan

Have a think about how to use this person on your boat. Generally sail trim is more of an art than helming (in my opinion). You can tell someone to point at a stationary object on land, and they should be able to do that. However, reading the ticklers, and creases on a sail, are not as obvious to a newer person.

Be prepared to work at their pace. It will be stressful for everyone involved if you try to push the boat or the crew beyond their comfort zone. As a coach I often have students who have had bad experiences out on the boat. Whether it’s getting stuck in a storm, or being out with a skipper who like to yell, that’s really not fun for anyone!

Extra items to have on hand

  • sunscreen
  • sailing gloves
  • water
  • hats
  • snacks
  • socks
  • sweaters
  • foul weather gear

Happy sailing friend and spread the sailing love!

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