Code of Crewing Practice

The substantial amount of organisation and cost involved to the club and to those concerned with making crewing arrangements has prompted the introduction of a Code of Practice related to crewing. The code has also addressed other factors including those relating charter boats, club skippers and the difficulties that arise when a member who has been allocated a place, does not go.

In compiling the code a fundamental point of principle has been taken into account throughout. The ideal situation in our club, and probably in most sailing clubs must be to match the number of members wishing to crew with owners who are seeking crew. In many clubs the problem is that most members are also boat owners. This often results in them having to turn to people outside the club for their crews. While having more boat owners in the club must be a major aim, the High Seas Sailing Club is in the advantageous position of having a reasonable number of owners boats as well as a substantial pool of excellent, experienced and keen-to-learn crew, to whom they can turn. In these circumstances there is no advantage or favour on either side of the Spectrum. Owners need crew. Crew need owners. It is also fair to say that owners who take the trouble to invite the inexperienced club members to crew on their boats, deserve those member’s and the club’s thanks. Many of the keen-to-learn members will, in the future, make first class crew and perhaps skippers and owners in their own right. Every opportunity to sail enhances their experience to the benefit of all.

High Seas Sailing Club Code of Practice for Crewing.

As part of the club’s service to its members, the crewing officer will try to link crews and owners together without obligation. When charter arrangements have been made by any member, the club will put any crew interested in taking part in the charter, in touch with the charterer. This, however, constitutes a ‘Private’ charter for which the club bears no responsibility whatsoever of any kind. All financial and other arrangements are strictly between those individuals taking part in the charter and the charter company. The club bears no responsibility of any kind for injury, death, loss or damage resulting from the crewing officer’s work of putting individuals wishing to crew, in touch with skippers/owners. There is no implied understanding to be construed by the crewing officer’s action in linking crews with skippers, as to the competence of any skipper.

General crewing arrangements for club sailing events and official club ‘Day Sails’.

1. Crew Place availability Every effort will be made to find places on club yachts for all those wishing to crew. When places cannot be found for everyone on club boats, members may be put in touch with someone who has decided to charter a yacht (see charter arrangements)

2. Crew Place notification The idea of a payment being levied for those seeking crewing places has been rejected. However it has been decided to implement a simplified rule to cover the problem of people applying for places on club events and then dropping out, with the resulting disruption to all arrangements. Once the crewing officer has received notification that a particular member wants to crew on a club event, unless notification of cancellation for any reason is received by the crewing officer more than seven days prior to the event, that member will be liable to a £10 surcharge, payable to the club’s crewing fund. It is intended that this will help to offset the substantial cost involved in reorganising arrangements when someone drops out at the last minute.

3. Crew Place allocation Allocation of places will, in general, be on a first come first served basis. Crew place requirements should be notified to the crewing officer no later than two weeks prior to the event. It is the applicant’s sole responsibility to contact the crewing officer to find out details of the place allocation.

4. Details of crew places allocated When a member has been told that a place has been allocated to them, they will also be told the contact name for the yacht on which they will be sailing. From that time onwards it is the member’s responsibility to ensure that they have obtained all the essential information from their contact. The yacht skipper /contact will not chase the crew for this purpose unless there is change of plan. The essential information includes the following: · The name of the yacht · The exact place to join the yacht · The time the crew are expected to arrive · Whether or not to bring food/sandwiches · If applicable, the harbourmaster’s or mobile phone number

5. Transport It is the member’s sole responsibility to get to the yacht. The club cannot make transport arrangements. It is however, sometimes possible to link up with other members of the crew and/or the skipper to travel to the yacht together in one or more cars. The contact/skipper may be able to provide guidance on this. In these circumstances, members should offer to contribute towards the cost of transport.

6. Arrival time It is essential for crewmembers to arrive at the yacht on time. The time indicated for arrival may have been chosen due to some critical navigation factor such as a lock gate opening or to catch a tide. The skipper is concerned about the welfare of his crew as well as for the safety of the yacht and may well sail if a member has not arrived on time. In these circumstances the member will be liable for the £10 levy (and in the case of charter yachts the member may be liable for his/her share of the charter fee) Club Crewing Arrangements-Places on charter boats When there are not enough places on club member’s boats to get everyone afloat, crew may be put in touch with a member who is organising a private charter. The club bears no responsibility of any kind in respect of such private charter arrangements, which are strictly between the charterer, the crew and the charter company.

The following are notes for guidance only.

1. The cost of charters is normally split equally amongst all those on board, although in respect of official day sails, it is acceptable for the skipper to pay half.

2. If a member confirms that a place is required on a charter yacht, payment for that place will be expected to be made even if that member does not go for any reason. The only exception to this may be, if another person is found to fill the place. Payment is normally expected to be made immediately the place is confirmed. (if individuals dropping out of a charter place booking were not liable to pay, the rest of the crew would end up paying more).

3. Charter yachts are insured. However there is usually an excess of anything up to £750 that has to be paid in the form of a deposit. Members should not forget that if the boat is damaged, part or all of the deposit might be lost. The crew will be expected to pay the deposit equally even if an individual on the yacht was responsible for the damage.

4. There are normally other expenses to be paid to the charterer on top of the basic charter cost. These include the cost of fuel and gas.

Guidance notes for crew

The following are guidance notes for members wishing to crew on club boats.

  • The costs – If food and drink are provided, always offer to contribute towards the cost. The skipper will tell you how much is to be split between the crew. Always contribute towards the cost of: any marina/ mooring charges, fuel costs where extensive motoring has been necessary, any other relevant, out of pocket expenses, incurred on behalf of the yacht by anyone on board.
  • When joining the boat, a bottle of wine, or similar, for the skipper/owner will be a good opening move.
  • Always inform the skipper in advance if you have some special food requirements.
  • Tidiness · The efficient running of a yacht can be impaired by untidiness. The crew should always stow their gear according to the skipper’s instructions. Always put things back exactly as you find them. · Do not leave lockers or doors open. · Remember to turn off sea cocks if you have opened them
  • Clothing · Always take wet weather gear, even if the forecast is blue skies and non-stop sunshine. · If you want to avoid a very angry skipper, never step on board wearing any other footwear than proper deck shoes, sea boots of soft soled trainers.
  • Food preparation/washing up · Someone has to do it. A good rule of thumb is “whoever does the food preparation doesn’t do the washing up”. Make sure that it isn’t left to the skipper. · Check what food should be used for the meal you are preparing. The person who has done the victualling (often the skipper) may already have worked out a meal plan in advance.
  • At the end of the day · It is traditional that all crew play a roll in the tidying of the yacht which will normally includes washing and scrubbing the decks and topsides and stowing all sails and gear, as well as cleaning the saloon, galley and heads.
  • Health · The skipper will assume that you are in good health unless you inform him/her otherwise. If you have any medical problem you must inform the skipper well in advance of the sail.
  • Smoking · No smoking on board is the rule unless the skipper/owner agrees/approves.
  • Finally remember that there is no obligation on club boat owners/skippers to have you as part of the crew. The follow-on invitations to sail as part of the crew again will depend largely on how you come over on any crewing experience. Often skippers/owners are not only seeking experienced people as crew. Those who are co-operative, keen to play a full roll as part of the crew, and are pleasant to have around, even if novices will be the ones to be invited back.


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