Roles on a Boat

When you and your spouse are cruising, it is easy to share the roles and make decisions as a team. You guys are cruising together so it is best to make decisions together that way you both get to experience the cruising life you have been dreaming of!

When you start bringing other people onto the boat, a clear hierarchy needs to be established. Someone needs to be captain, and they are the one that makes the last call on what is going to happen.

Maddie and I both talk things over, but as far as the crew is concerned, I am captain and and what I say is the final word.

This is really important when it comes to storm tactics, navigation, and sail choice. I know the weather and what is coming, so I make the sail choices that are going to reflect the weather at hand, and I plot the course that is safest for the boat and crew.

The crew may not understand how weather systems work, or care about damage that can happen on the boat. To them, if you crash into a reef and sink, it's a bad day and they will just find another boat to crew on. You, on the other hand, just lost everything!

This became very important when we were anchored in the Berry Islands, Bahamas, for over five days straight. The crew member we had on board wanted us to raise anchor and go somewhere else because he was tired of waiting here. The only way in and out of the anchorage is through a narrow and rocky inlet where massive waves smash into the rocks and turn into high flying spray. If anything were to fail on the boat while you are transiting that inlet, you would promptly be on those rocks and bits of your boat would be in that spray!

If you let the crew call the shots, you will risk everything to appease them. This is why it is imperative that you call the shots and your word is final! When you say we stay anchored, you can tell them why. They can complain, but you stay anchored and safe.

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