How not to be a shouty captain

There are plenty of resources about the skills and knowledge you need to be a competent skipper, inshore, offshore and on longer passages. This is not one of them! This resource is not matched against a syllabus or particular RYA sail training course, but will hopefully be at times relevant and complementary to them. The aim of this resource is to share practical ideas from many skippers from many backgrounds about how they manage their boats, their crews and their passages. Even if an approach doesn’t quite work for you, hopefully you can adapt it for your personality and the culture you, as skipper, would like to encourage onboard.

This resource is partly aimed at sailing instructors. It is noticeable that there are resources for dinghy and powerboat instructors, but that the freelance culture of sail cruising instructors has not led to a shared resource.  As well as instructors and commercial skippers, this resource is also aimed at:

  • the parent seeking to encourage their kids to understand and be involved in a sailing holiday
  • the couple who may be stuck in patterns onboard that reinforce a division of roles that can be frustrating and entirely avoidable
  • the more experienced skipper sailing with friends, the development of their sailing skills being the key to everyone’s enjoyment at sea.

Throughout the resource you will find lots of short tips and several more detailed explanations, all gathered from skippers and sailing instructors from a wide range of backgrounds. After an introduction looking at how people learn, the more detailed sections are divided into practical skills and people skills.

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There is something to learn every time we set out to sea, whether crew or commercial skipper. It’s when we think the learning has stopped that we come unstuck, tempers rise, enjoyment nosedives and even safety at sea can be affected. Don’t be a shouty captain, be a co-operative skipper!

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