Crew or No Crew? Atlantic Crossing Review | Sailing Wisdom

When you set off on your cruising yacht to cross an ocean, should you have crew?
Herby and Maddie discuss what they have learned from their own personal experience as well as the experiences of other ocean crossing sailors they have met.

#review #transatlantic #crew


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wayne mazan says:

very sad…..

Mark Mahan says:

Lessons learned….steady on!

Jeff Griglack says:

I find the same thing just on a day sail with a friend. They are used to doing things in a certain way, and it’s not necessarily the way I would do the same thing (where to put away lines, etc.). Most of the time, I’ll just make a mental note and deal with it later. When I’m on somebody else’s boat, I try to see how they do things and do them the same way. If I think I know a better way, I’ll make a suggestion, but I know it’s not my boat, and I’m not in charge. People who don’t understand that wouldn’t make a good house guest or dinner guest either.

iandi Boats says:

Sounds like you guys just chose the wrong crew. Passage making with 2 people is really single handed sailing. On watch, off watch like strangers passing in the night. Take Andy Shells philosophy when it comes to choosing crew, a person that knows nothing but is ready to learn is better than an old salt that knows everything. Especially since your wife is not yet able to run the boat without you, choose crew. Love you guys. Fair winds…

Huangspal says:

I wouldn’t dream of taking anyone that I didn’t know ! Anyone I took would know the situation BEFORE sailing and if any personality doubts or issues would be a major consideration. I think you said it yourselves in your instance the crewing went wrong before you even left because it was ALL a new experience to you. The lesson has obviously been learnt !

Barrywmw1 says:

The guy sounds like a twat, it’s your boat and if anyone other than your wife shouts at you- right hook to the jaw. Love the show thanks.

ray Nic says:

Guys, dont sell the idea short, a fair amount of other channels have expressed good times with crew. I think the most important point is if you can maintain an appropriate watch schedule so you can enjoy the crossing. Sailing solo or one other can lead to some lonely times, it depends on the people. $ht, I know married couples that are like freakn’ cats during a passage, where the only cure is a bottle of rum upon landfall.
-The crew must yield to the desires of the capt./owners, I can’t believe that guy gave you lip thou, 13 lashes…
-However, I do see how going as slow/conservative as you do could add to some frustration to someone who used to ‘maximizing’ power all the time. This difference of sailing philosophy may not have been discussed beforehand??? Live and learn. But still giving you attitude, another 13…
-By the way your boat is capable of 9-10 knots easy, when cranking, my understanding is that those Morgan 45’s where designed for ocean racing. It would be considered over built by today’s standards and takes a bit of wind to get the tonnage going. But that boat should haul ass in 20 knots. Fair winds.
-Oh, by the way are you looking for any crew while doing the med???(LOL).

Dave currie says:

Jesus Let him talk !

Jock Campbell says:

This is a very interesting discussion guys, and one that all potential cruisers should be wise to and prepared for. Without saying more than needs to be said, the guy was obviously a grade one A$$h*le. That said, you are the skipper and first mate and you both must be prepared fo assert that role -with prejudice- when required. Had I had even the slightest hint of this behaviour from a crew member on my boat, I’d be turning right back to the nearest port and asking the coastguard to detain him. And if he threatened anyone aboard he’d be over the rail before you could say, Aye Cap’n!

It’s a hard lessonm to learn but command necessitates sometimes being the person you don’t want to be for the safety of the vessel and everyone aboard..

Carey Feazel says:

The problem is the watches, 4 hours on 4 hours off id a killer how did you handle that?

jayomjarmo says:

Pick a female crew

Keith Proffitt says:

I understand you both had an issue with that one person, but your video is about whether or not to have crew not that one person. Honestly, your video sounds like a bashing of him and not a good video on whether or not to have crew for passage. Making a decision on whether or not to have crew based on that person seems a little near sighted.

Normally, I really enjoy your videos and definitely are going to implement some of the things you do. But this one video just seems like a hit job on that one person and I will not recommend this video.

Your one crew sounds like a horrible person, but it also sounds like you both made a bad choice. It was your decision to bring him aboard, thus your responsibility to do due diligence on whom you bring aboard. Bottom line you should have known better. With that said, your crew was a terrible choice.

tartansailor says:

It is not because you had a bad experience with your crew that having crew is a bad idea for the average cruiser. I had 4 good crew on my transat but next time I will do it alone for the reason you mentioned that is being responsible for that person. Cheers.

Sea Travel says:

Wow, your experience sounds awful! Personality is more important than experience.

Keith Palle says:

Interesting topic and I agree I wouldn’t be bringing along crew that I didn’t know very well. I am glad you put out a video explaining your experiences but it felt more like a bashing session about an individual than a conversation about crew in general. Keep up the good work guys I normally enjoy your videos.

Alex Gray says:

So … was this guy with you when you crossed to Atlantic to Azores this back summer? Is this recent experience?

Ray Kem says:

well that crew IS OVERBOARD bye bye !!!

Jim Bledsoe says:

Look, don’t let one bad experience put you upside down. Three people allows someone to get sick and still carry on. Three well people reduces the work load significantly. A rested crew is a safe crew.

a view from the pilothouse says:

wow, sorry that you had a bad experience with crew.  You are perfectly correct your boat/home your rules, period.  Your the captains your decisions are the law.  Discussion is ok but final decisions are yours.  Maybe short sails (a few days) with someone from a hand full of people from time to time.  That way you have a pool of people that that could fill in from time to time if needed and maybe on long hauls then with someone your comfortable with.Building a boat that I will mostly sail on my own so appreciate the insight to your experiences on having crew.Love your videos and look forward to each and every one.Jeff

John Collins says:

Next time you need old salt (old man)

Ken says:

Once again, a very good video on a subject I have not seen covered elsewhere. I’m looking forward to your discussion on watch schedules.

h2odragon1 says:

Very important points! It depends on the crew! You can write reviews of a crew, or read reports from other’s!

jedbrgjustis says:

Unfortunately not everyone is able or willing to understand and work with the “chain of command”. I served on a US Navy – submarine . Keep up the good work.

Lydia Johnson says:

I had high hopes for the second crew member, but that’s terrible. As an experienced sailor, he must have known that the owners are captain. He also should have known that weather over time is king on the water. Thanks for the debriefing of using crew. I know when I crewed that there were others, on board, who constantly second guessed our 40+ years of experience captain. Worse, it hurt the milieu of the boat. Crew must respect the captain/s. Everyone knows that. “Permission to come aboard” is the right attitude.

By the way, Maddy, you’ve come a long way. You know so much ore about boat handling than one year ago. I used to be concerned about that, but you have really come up which means you and Herby can handle the boat sin crew.

johnVidBozo says:

Having crew is not the problem. Having the crew YOU picked was the problem. Everything on board is the captain’s responsibility. Herb, as captain, did not pick good crew. There seemed like giant red flags you ignored. “He made us leave before we were ready”. Captain up Herb and kick that crew to the curb ASAP!
Finding the right crew might not be easy but it could be a life saver. On your crossing, if Herb had a medical emergency or fell overboard, could Maddie handle the boat by herself? In a big blow?

Matthew bourque says:

After hearing your story. I’d say no crew. Solo if I had to. I would definitely like to get to know someone ahead of time if I had the chance. P.S. I love your channel and both your calm demeanor.

Wright Aquaponics and Ranch says:

No crew.

Allyn Onderdonk says:

Some people just suck. To not listen to the captain about safety is horrible. I really can’t understand not wearing your life jacket in the middle of the ocean by yourself, as if nobody sees you go over and you’re not tethered that is super bad. It seems you really got a hold of some azz-hatz. If I were a member of any crew, I would follow every order unless it was obviously just idiotic. Insubordination like that is only justified if it will result in injury or death. Giving people flack over changing tack to see if it was faster is wrong. Really you’ve just gotten some people that have been nutz. That first guy was abviously way too much into drinking, etc. The second guy was probably under stress because it wasn’t going as fast as he would have liked. Also with an
i’ll do it my way or the highway attitude. I learned like Herb, I did everything I was told and stayed within my boundaries. Not wearing a life jacket is bad…especially as comfortable as they are now with the inflatables. I do remember when I had one of the really old Type 1’s , that wore a hole in me. I tried different ways to prevent the chafe but I had to take it off or get an infection. I understand your problems with crew. I listed myself on that same service I think trying to pick up extra cash. I might still be on it, but I didn’t pay for premium and nobody ever requested me. Pick a female crew member, or an older male. Usually they make much better traveling companion.s

jim nickles says:

FIRST RULE of Ships and Boats: THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE Captain. There is a REASON the Captain IS IN FACT MASTER After God. It will NOT WORK any other way. The PROPER Way for Crew to Disagree With or Teach the Captain is to SUBMIT, that is, SUGGEST a Better Way or Method, leaving the Captain to Decide. Especially if it’s HIS Vessel. If you’re Pirates, you Call For a VOTE. Otherwise, you STFU and Follow the Captain’s Orders to the Letter. He’s Responsible for YOUR Ass, too, and he Needs to KNOW your Job was Done Correctly and QUICKLY. The Fate of Ship AND Crew Depends On It. And it’s The CAPTAIN’S Head that’ll Roll, NOT YOURS.

warp21drive says:

Very interesting discussion , I’ve been a skipper and a crew many times and I most certainly know the difference. I enjoy both situations. I grew up being a crew for many years cruising and racing. I still get people asking me to crew with them.
Clearly a clash of personalities , and in your 2nd crews’ defense, but not knowing him at all, you guys do have some ways of doing things that are a little unusual sometimes. Watching your videos it takes a while to understand how or why you do some things the way you do. BUT it is defiantly the crews job to fit in with your style. Your crew could misunderstand your different style as lack of knowledge and them thinking they were brought on board to help these ‘newbies’ get their boat across an ocean.
I’m surprised at where you got crew from. My first choice would have been family , cousins , siblings , friends you had sailed with etc then possibly other you tube folks you had meet or even patrons , but maybe you exhausted those options you did not say.
Good examples of amazing crew I would say on You tube would be Eannes with Drake Paragon ( as Texas..said below), Annie & Philip from Have wind will travel , they got to know their skipper while refitting in same boatyard. And ‘DJ DIVES’ that sailed with the Wynns and are on a pacific passage now with another boat.
I would suggest you defiantly would need crew who had sailed with you and knew your style first. I guess that’s a good reason have other folks sail with you until you find the right personality/crew type. But in the end it’s your boat and your decision. “Don’t let the tail wag the dog” !
Cheers Warren

wombatdk says:

To be honest, I hesitated to comment because the episode felt a bit like washing dirty laundry in public. However…

On a boat, the captain/skipper is the ultimate authority. It doesn’t matter one bit what crew says, wants, thinks. Captain says what to do, crew executes it ASAP.

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