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Calling all women Captains and wives of Captains

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Lili429, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Lili429

    Lili429 Member

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    I feel that sharing our experiences, whether as a Captain ourselves, or a wife and "first mate" to your Captain will help bring some great ideas - comradery to our side of this lifestyle.

    I recently met a female Captain who was so passionate, intuitive and full of life on a 82' yacht beside us at Pier 66. She actually came over to my boat during my testing for my OUPV 6 Pack and truly wanted to help.

    We also talked about living with our guys on the boat and shared great recipes and YES got to talk about our kids. We shared how we helped our Captains when we got to a marina and the way we communicate vs the way they "think" they are communicating ha ha.

    Let's get a good forum going here and learn from each other!!!

    Lili
  2. Belle

    Belle Member

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    Ok, for the record, I'm a female as Belle would be a lousy name for a man. I'm a Master, 35 years old. Also among our crew. we have three female captains, Anna, 55, Dena, 30 and Stephanie, 25. and three of our gf's are working on their licenses, just need more sea time.

    There are more than you think. However, while I wish there were more females here, for 99% of the topics here there's really no difference in male and female. I don't see that there's another side of the lifestyle.

    Talking about kids isn't just a female area. And recipes....well, I mostly do salads while hubby grills. I'm a fairly simple cook, no great fancy recipes. I only cook a complete meal by myself maybe once a month anyway. Use to cook more but never was a great cook.

    One side of me knows we're in a great minority. However, the other side says if we try to segregate ourselves as "female" captains or boaters then that's not to our benefit of wanting acceptance.

    Truly female issues....well, don't wear high heels on the boat. And skirts can be risky, but then look at Marilyn.

    Guess how I'd put it is I'm a Captain who happens to be female. I'm not a "Female Captain."

    As to female participants here, Judy tried to encourage, I've tried. Not going to happen so just make the most of forum life among a bunch of dudes.
  3. Lili429

    Lili429 Member

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    I totally agree with all that you've said - but there is a place for this. Respect from men is possible. Our knowledge and offering suggestions that might help someone in this space is only worth it to us. Keep the communication and need to be acknowledge as just a captain in other posts - but I want to know everything you have experienced, how to get past some "ideas" that Male Captains have toward us.

    Although there are those thoughts from the other anatomically different people - they do want to see women learn and become skilled in this lifestyle

    As a brilliant Captain - as I've seen on this post- you will have alot more to offer than most - but wives of captains are still looking for understand and competence. Just trying.

    I would love to know the biggest challenges you have faced as a Captain and what advice you could give to me.

    Lili
  4. Lili429

    Lili429 Member

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    and Belle - btw - I have alot that I've learned during my sea time - and going through getting my 6 pack that I could help other women with. I know its a stretch, but I'm just a newbie and I believe - and actually know from comments from the hard-ass guys in this forum that they want to see a bigger development here.

    It's quite different and I don't have a need to "school" them I love learning from them - but I would love to know more about the "female" side of this. It is a different world, as it is in any other industry.

    Cheers
  5. Belle

    Belle Member

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    First, I'm just me....stop with the brilliant crap.

    I haven't faced any challenges. As an owner why would you? Not like you're answering to someone. For those employed on yachts, sure there's some hesitancy, just like in business. I'd say stews face much more difficulty in harassment. And a married owner may have to explain hiring a beautiful young Captain. But isn't the business world like that too? I mean one of our captains could be a model easily. But like my hubby and I are a team of equals. Our female captains do the same males do and that includes the dirty work (Me, not so much dirty work. But I can change fuel filters and add fluids etc. Of course wear gloves to protect my manicure but my hubby wears gloves too. He just doesn't like his hands dirty).

    All you can do is just do your job the best you can. It can't be a crusade. You do a lousy job docking and someone will say "woman driver." Dock well, they'll say, "darn, she's good." Act knowledgeable on the radio.

    When I'm at the helm, anatomy has nothing to do with it. When the day is done and hubby and I go out for dinner then it's quite noticeable. Point is when you're on the job don't think of being female if you don't want the others thinking of it.

    Breaking through barriers is like one at a time kind of thing. Now, I know some only see females as stews, but then that's where females gravitate. You can't hire them if they don't go for it, get trained, take deck and mate jobs. As to female captains on megayachts, I don't know that world.

    Oh and the comment about plotting. Thought we were all good at plotting? hehe. Oh you mean that in a navigation sense...
  6. Belle

    Belle Member

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    You couldn't help men with what you learned?
  7. Lili429

    Lili429 Member

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    I just really re-read your post above and you sound like an awesome person!

    I agree that we don't have to prove whether or not we are female vs. male. It's about the job you do and how people perceive that.

    Be confident on the radio is great advice. I'm not quite sure I'm there. Every time we back into a slip at the marina I see a glance between the guys on the dock. If I could learn to exude something that would show experience I would love that. Don't quite know how to make that happen.
  8. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    showing experience is not something one should "flout' sure as heck something will screw up as Murphy is always lurking, do the job professionally and that will show.
  9. Lili429

    Lili429 Member

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    Ok, thanks for that. Smart.
  10. Lili429

    Lili429 Member

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    I could use some tips for that backing into a slip scenario. Do you have a plan of spring 1 and spring 2 to stern to bow - or what? Our current captain changes it every time and I would love to know how that plan works.
  11. Belle

    Belle Member

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    Absolutelytutely what Dennis said. First you don't exude experience, because you don't have it. But they're not looking to see what you exude. People are just watching to see if you take the dock out. And you can have 40 years experience and they're watching for that. I mean like we lived on the lake, 30' boat was the largest we had, I think my hubby was born at the helm of a boat. After a while, I could park it anywhere in any conditions though. First time I went to dock a 63' or a 130' I felt I could do it, but too much confidence would have been bad, not good. I needed to keep in mind this was new to me. Practice, practice, practice. Oh and for the record again, a 63' Riva or similar sized Sunseeker Predator is far more challenging to dock than a 130' MY.

    I don't dismiss the fact that women sometimes face negative reactions, but what we really have to do is performance based. You run aground, people will talk. But same with men. But more the decisions you make. Going out in bad weather. Agreeing to dock in a poor spot. Yep...ya don't have to take the slip the guy said to if it's impossible to get in and out of in a strong wind or on the shallow end. Be firm and get a different assignment, an end tie or something. We open up their web site or google earth and I ask where we'll be docking long before. I act like we just want to know so we'll be prepared but partly it's because I don't want the motel room by the railroad tracks.

    Look, every newbie in every profession feels some of what you do now. It drives us to be better. I remember my first day of teaching and it was student teaching and here I had to stand and teach a group of 6 year olds. I'm a confident, some would say, cocky girl. I could sing anywhere to any group. But this was new. What if they just stared back blankly? What if my bra was showing? Yes, I wore bras to teach. But you imagine those clips you've seen where the lights made the blouse see through. What if I said something funny and they didn't laugh? Maybe I could try slapstick and fall. Surely that would get a laugh. And all it took was a little boy who before I said a word said "You're pretty" and it was easy from there. I wanted to grab and hug him but resisted. Just said, "you're sort of good looking yourself" and smiled. Then said, "so, handsome, what is your name?" and continued around the room talking to each kid about what they liked and disliked.

    Which brings to something else. You see captains talking, join in. You're one too.
  12. JWY

    JWY Senior Member

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    "Respect from men is possible."
    Sorry, babe, you're barking up the wrong tree here. Out of 700+ posts I've made on YF, I don't think you will find one that has shown the slightest disrespect nor gender based special dispensation. Encouraging women in boating - absolutely but as Belle said, "... if we try to segregate ourselves as "female" captains or boaters then that's not to our benefit of wanting acceptance.."

    http://www.yachtforums.com/index.php?threads/captainess.20078/
  13. TeKeela

    TeKeela Member

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    I would get a new Captain if was not responding to my questions about his different docking techniques.
  14. ranger58sb

    ranger58sb Senior member

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    Your captain should be able to 'splain why the basic plan changed each time.

    I can say we have a general preference for which lines in which order, but at the same time no two landings are the same... so we're always prepared to modify those preferences to take wind, current, and tides into account. We usually stand off a bit to watch what's happening near a target slip, and then we make Today's Plan (or This Landing's Plan) based on what we're seeing. And we usually try to have a Plan B, C, D, Q, whatever in hand as well, given that what we're seeing may not be exactly what's really happening underwater.

    More recently, as crew has become more competent and confident, I've instead been asking them (that'd be "her") what our Plan is, including which of us is at the helm and which of us is handling lines. I find we get better Plans that way, given that the crew (her) more fully understands in these instances what crew (her) duties will entail, in what order, and so forth.

    We also do an after-action analysis after almost all landings. What worked and why, what didn't work and why, etc. Your captain ought to be able to talk you through all that.

    And ideally, you'll get to the point where you're the one confidently deciding the plan.

    -Chris
  15. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    That's a problem every new boater faces. They're looking for a formula like with parallel parking a car. Every time you dock is different, because you're being affected by wind and current. Cars stay where you put them. As I approach a marina I look for flags and such to check wind direction & strength. Then I look at the base of pilings to see what the current is doing. I check pennants and such as well as the ripples on the water near my slip as I approach, because the wind may be totally different as it gets blocked by boats and such near the slip. Always be ready to change your plan on a second's notice if you feel a change.

    One thing I caution everyone about, but especially women, is the helpers. People always want to be helpful, and men especially want to help women. They'll call out instructions from the dock. You must be able to quickly figure out if the advice is good or bad, and not just follow it. Remember that you're the master. All decisions and responsibility are yours.

    One piece of advice you'll hear over and over is to never go faster than you'll be comfortable crashing at, or as I put it "Slow is cheap". Every time I see one of these cowboys who roll in, flip the boat around and slide it in at cruise speed I think "That's a guy who's never had a gear cable snap". It may look cool, but it's stupid. Use all the throttle you need, but only the throttle you need.

    Another thing that concerns new boat handlers is vision. You often can't see the entire slip as you back in due to vision from the helm. Once you size up the slip and decide you'll fit, all you need to see is the down-wind / down current piling. Come in far enough to lay your quarter on that piling, and then slide in. If you're on or near that piling the other side is fine.
  16. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    I think if a male had said the girls are getting together to talk about recipes they'd risk being called sexist. Sounds like you are reinforcing the stereotype.
  17. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I agree with what you've said. Some stereotypes were seated in tradition. Traditionally women did cook more. Always were more male chefs, however, and today you'll find on boats the men cook almost as much as the women.

    It's like the term Admiral for the women. Again, it implies they are just standing by. Well, my wife has the identical Captain credentials I have. I want to see women more involved. I employ them as captains. I'd like to see more female engineers, but haven't run across them. The CEO and CFO of our business are female. The co-Chairperson is obviously female.

    Now, if you're saying the women want to get together to talk about shopping for clothes for them, then that is fine. In my case my wife would also talk about clothes for me. But that's not for all couples, just she has better style and taste than I do.

    I think if one wants to discuss recipes and cooking on boats, then that's a worthy topic for the Yacht Club and off-topic scuttlebutt. But it's not a female topic, it's all boaters.

    I don't find fault with the OP on this subject because this is a difficult subject. Separating business from personal is hard. Separating the role as a Captain from personal is also. But as Belle said, she's not a female Captain, she's a Captain who happens to be female. Now in other ways, she definitely is and wants to be recognized as female and all woman. Even on that though don't think her interest is going to be recipes. Clothing and shoes, yes. But she's rather talk about NBA Basketball than recipes.

    One by one we break through stereotypes and barriers. It's done by action, by demonstrated performance. We all have images in our mind that get broken. Our youngest Captain who happens to be a female could easily be a model. You see her away from the boat and you'd never guess her career. Her first job was through an old friend of her mom. Her second job was for a grandfatherly type with a 65' boat. (He later traded up to 85'). The first time his kids and grandkids joined them, he did say his daughter was a bit surprised. Not only did she come to respect her, but she loved the example for her young daughter and son. And they didn't just watch her at the helm, but saw her in the engine room doing all the tasks there. The only captain they've ever known was female. Unfortunately, their grandfather gave up boating due to his health and moved inland with them.

    Now, the topic on this subject I think could be far more beneficial than female captains and recipes is the challenges new captains face in the industry and in gaining experience and acceptance. Frankly I doubt it's much different than any industry. "You don't have experience so I can't hire you so you can then get experience" attitudes.
  18. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I think the subject of can't get a job without experience and can't get experience without a job has been dealt with here before for every position and elsewhere with every other profession. Lili429 is on the right track directing this thread to be about and for women taking positions of responsibility and learning from each other. Sure she chose recipes, because it's a typically female discussion, but that's not to say that men can't chime in. I make great meatballs.
    Women think different than men. That's a fact. That's also not to say one way is better than the other. As it was stated in "Bells of St. Mary's: Father O'Mally told the sister "It's a man's world.", and the sister's response was "And how are they doing with it?" ("Not very well I'm afraid".)
    So yes, come together to discuss recipe's or children or men's moods or anything else that brings you together, People must be organized to affect change. Women are very under-represented in our industry in the engine rooms, helms and as buyers. If discussing recipes changes that, cool. This industry has been trying to find ways to entice women into it (as buyers) for decades, with marginal success. Maybe we men need to just open the door and let the women find their own way through. As my wife taught me over the years, when she comes to me with a problem, she's generally not looking for me to fix it. She just wants my support so she can fix it in her own way.
  19. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Chef Nycap.

    Ok, scorecard of our captains and family/closest friends.

    Grades are Real Cook, Dabbles, and No No No

    Male Captain-Real Cook
    Female Captains-1 Real Cook, 2 Dabbles, 1 No No No
    Family, crew, closest friends-Male-3 Dabbles
    Female (yes we're mostly in a world of females)-7 Real Cooks, 4 Dabbles, 4 No No No
    Amazing how many young professional females do not cook at all....there goes the stereotype
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  20. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Notice I said I make great meatballs, not that I'm a great cook. After meatballs it's White Castles, pizza or whatever simple I can stick in the microwave or order out.:oops: But we digress (and are off topic). Which is why women would often prefer to discuss things with other women (and men do the same, but men commandeer most of the discussions here). Even in this thread, Lili made a good start, Belle made a good contribution as did Judy, but there's still no discussion among "WOMEN CAPTAINS AND WIVES OF CAPTAINS" . We have something like 40,000 members. A good % of them must have wives or girlfriends. Guys, how about letting them know about this thread?

    I'll back out of this thread now, as should all of us guys. Let's just encourage and see where it goes.