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Captain taking parents for a free ride

Discussion in 'Yacht Captains' started by yachtttty, Jan 19, 2008.

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  1. Captronlepard

    Captronlepard New Member

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    Before my father passed away I brought him along for rides as crew. Although the owners were always aware of who was onboard and they rightfully should. My dad came on as delivery crew and it was appreciated by all parties. Owner gets a little extra help at no cost, father gets a cruise, Captain gets to spend time with his father.
  2. Birdseye

    Birdseye New Member

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    Something wrong

    I am sure that there had to be a mis-communication somewhere between the owner and the Captain. His parents were clearly there as delivery crew, which I would always be happy to see, but why did the owner not know???? What would that Captain gain by not telling him? Maybe this owner is so bad that the Captain felt he had to do this without telling him....???? I'm not so sure, I feel certain there must be a break down of communications between the owner and Captain somewhere. It is a shame we are not hearing both sides of the story.
    I would always be happy for my Captain to take his parents on a delivery, these people work for months, sometimes years without seeing their family and what better way of making sure they deliver my yacht safely than by having the masters family on-board.
    The owners comments on the chef cooking for them lost him/her any credibility from me. That is just splitting hairs in a situation that really is nothing.
    It sounds like this owner needs to start respecting and trusting his crew. Of my experience of crew, they are hard working honest people, that aren't scared of a bit of hard labour and very long hours, but one thing they always need is respect from the owner. You always know the yachts that don't have this respect because they will be the yachts with high crew turn over and maybe 3-4 captains a year.
    Something owners tend to forget is that these Captains have invested alot of time and money into what they do, as a lawyer he/she should understand that, and they chose this field of work because they enjoy it. I'm yet to meet a Captain who does this job just for the money, although I'm sure some do. If they do this because they enjoy it, then get a bad a owner they will move on. I will put money on it that this Captain is now looking for a new job, weather he was fired or not, they don't and shouldn't have to deal with this.
  3. Seafarer

    Seafarer Senior Member

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    The comment on the chef cooking for 2 extra people is petty. It's very telling that this owner would take the view "they got a free cruise" rather than "I got free crew."

    Not the kind of person that earns respect, nor deserves it.
  4. aeronautic1

    aeronautic1 Member

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    Exactly

    Amen, Seafarer.:cool:
  5. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I pretty much agree with everyone else on this topic.

    Just by reading what you wrote, I would never work for an owner like you. The whole sentence about the chef cooking for these people is extremely petty. If it is indeed an $8 million yacht and you're worried about food for 2 people, you really need to step back to reality because the amount in money in food is totally negligable. It's like an owner that gives the crew a cheap food budget, they resent nothing more then that. Because while they are away from home for months, working their butt off to keep the owner and guests happy, they should at least be able to eat what they want and well. Also, we as Captain's don't really care about "my yacht cost me in excess of $8 million dollars". Your a very small fish in a big pond these days. We could go from your $8 million yacht to running a $20 million yacht...... it's apples to apples, the monetary value of the yacht means nothing. Having the proper amount of crew, the proper budget to maintain the yacht, and safely run the vessel means everything.

    80% of the owners out there are extremely gracious and go out of their way for their Captains, both monetarily and in other bonuses whether it be time off, use of the owners planes etc. I no longer choose to work fulltime for one owner, but own a Yacht Management business that does very well. I do deliveries because I want to do them, otherwise I am home every night. While I never abuse a situation, I will never work for an owner who is not very gracious to me and pays well, and an owner that does not treat me like a member of his family. If you're not a good owner, you will not get a good captain. Because a good Captain will have several other good owners that would hire him on a phone call. Most owners are also very agreeable to letting a Captain take family members (a few, not a bunch) or a friend or two on a delivery if owners and guests are not on-board.

    I think that the Captain should have informed you that is parents would be on-board. I think that the Captain felt he couldn't and you wouldn't allow it. It's one thing to have your parents on board, it's another thing to have 3 whores. I really think judging by your statements, that you do not give the Captain the respect he deserves and also that he feels he cannot completely talk to you about all things relating to the vessel.
  6. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    This lawyer is looking for validation of answers he already has. As for the captain, this is a business of reputations so that will sort itself out. It sounds like he wants to charge the captain rent though, and as an attorney he already knows that he can't create a contract after the fact where none existed so quit chasing ambulances, tell your friends not to use that captain and get back to life.
  7. luckylg

    luckylg New Member

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    I have an employee who is fond of the phrase, "you can pay me like $hit or treat me like $hit; not both." I treat him like a king :D

    The ethic of this is relatively simple. The agreement (as represented here by yachtttty is that the owner instructed the captain as to the operation of the vessel. No unauthorized passengers. That breach is a violation of their agreement and a potential exposure to excessive and unwanted liability so I would have no problem with the captain being discharged on those grounds.

    That said, the owner needs to get a grip on reality. Having a problem with another captain who (apparently) disrespected his vessel does not mean he will have a problem with every other captain. In my (limited) experience most captains are very respectful of the owners and their vessels. Doing a reasonable job of reference and background checking will answer most questions as to past problems. Putting strict visiting limits on the person you've entrusted with the care and custody of your $8 million boat is beyond petty. Nobody needs that job, and you better pay him like a king. :confused:
  8. Ken Bracewell

    Ken Bracewell Senior Member

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    How do you pay him???
  9. Bamboo

    Bamboo Senior Member

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    The key word here is unauthorized . Who is able to give authorization? I have the same policy with my owner. He told me it's up to my discretion- and to us that means never without him knowing if the boat left the dock, and at the dock it means "reasonable". I never leave the dock- ever - unless it's on boat business. At the dock a visit from a friend is fine. The captain clearly should have informed the owner, but the owner here seems slimy in the way he started this discussion.
  10. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Two part answer

    First.....let's talk relationships and how one treats their employees and how employees treat their employer. I, personally, want relationships with my Captain and crew that include more than the business aspect but include friendship. We're spending time together and depending on each other. That said then I'd want my captain to ask regarding something like this and since it in no way was hurting me, I'd say yet.

    Now, Mr. Lawyer. What does your contract with the Captain say? Surely you do have a written contract which includes policies regarding matters such as this. It should be clear and it should govern. If you don't have such then you can't claim someone violated it. Yes, contracts can be oral, but then it's "he said, she said." I believe in written agreements, not to use in litigation but to make the understanding between parties clear. No industry standard crap. If it says they can't have guests and violation is cause for discipline then so be it. If it provides an approval mechanism, so be it. If it doesn't mention anything then it's time to remedy that. And if you have no contract, then don't look for some industry standard consensus on a site like this to create one for you after the fact.

    To me a yacht is for pleasure. Sounds like to me you're missing that point and carrying your office as a lawyer into it. Leave the lawyering at the office and enjoy your yacht and your crew.

    I'm a former businessman and I intend to maintain pleasant relationships now in boating. However, my wife and I have worked on outlining what is expected and our rules for some time now. This is so when we hire crew we can be sure to fairly discuss all issues. If it's important to us we'll write it down. Otherwise, it's not important enough to get all worked up over.

    As to our captains, James and Anna are a married couple both with excellent captain credentials, we look forward to meeting their kids and grandkids. We respect our captains greatly and as they are older and more experienced than we are, we are already learning from them and this is without even having our boats purchased and delivered yet. Oh and they love to fish and have a sportsfishing boat and took us out on it the other day for some bottom fishing. We were blessed in finding them as they were managing a 200'+ Trinity for an elderly couple who finally decided they just weren't up to yachting any more. They still kept the captains though until we talked to them. The captains will continue to look after their boat and assist in it's sale. As to the couple, we have gotten to know them and even threw them a surprise 60th anniversary party.

    Boating is and will be for pleasure and getting into pissing contests and conflict isn't the way to enjoy oneself.
  11. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    olderboater, why are you responding to a olderthread over 5 years old?
  12. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    A) Since they're new to YF they've probably been scanning threads and maybe didn't notice the date.
    B) After 5 years it may be time to bring the subject back up again. There's a whole new crop of captains out there, some of whom may not know how to act (I'll never forget the captain who passed out on the deck after drinking the owner's liquor, and that's where the owner found him).
    C) They make some valid points. For 25 years now I would have loved to see a written contract or set of expectations. It just makes the job so much simpler.

    Older Boater, welcome to YF.
  13. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Good points.
    And sorry if I barked to hard.
    Still thing it was a dead, 5 year old thread.
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Apparently not dead. Just hibernating.

    NYCAP123 was right on target. I was reviewing old threads and thought this was still an interesting topic. I think relationships between owners and captains and crew are a major area for discussion and felt like this thread opened the door for some discussion.

    First, what kind of relationships do you want? Do you want it detached and strictly professional? Or do you want something more personal? I personally want more personal if I'm going to spend the amount of time I anticipate with the Captains and crew. These are things I discussed at great length with candidates. I would use meals as a great example. If it's just my wife and I plus our two captains on board and we do decide to eat on board on a given night, I fully anticipate it will be together. The Captains often will find fresh fish or even catch it and James will prepare it. On the other hand, I might be the one to grill steaks while Anna and Belle prepare salads and vegetables.

    Second, I do believe strongly in contracts and policies and procedures on key issues. Define those things important to either party. You can't cover everything but you sure can avoid many misunderstandings. Follow up things in writing. Use email. If you have a discussion confirm your understanding in email. It seems to me that a huge percentage of problems are the result of poor communication. Failure to agree up front on things only leads to issues. Because I'm new to yacht ownership, I look at what others say or have done, but I also have some unique perspectives and ideas. My rules on alcohol would be considered extreme by most, but I don't want any impairment. Oh, I also apply the rules to operating the boat myself. In the opposite direction, this is boating to us and life on the water to us is very very informal. People who join us are our friends and also don't require formal service as such. If one of our guests/friends wants a snack they are welcome to go to the refrigerator and grab whatever they find. They don't need a stewardess to serve them. We admit to uniqueness. For instance in our interview with our Captains we made sure they understood they will be exposed to nudity. My wife and our friends sunbathe topless or nude. They won't when we're docked, but when we're 20 miles off shore they certainly will. We don't wear bathing suits when using the hot tub.

    I see the relationships with crews so poorly defined. What is expected by both parties? One of my business practices was hiring the best, paying them accordingly, showing loyalty and receiving it in return. If I have constant turnover of Captains or crew, then I'm doing something wrong. Our Captains were with their last owners 12 years and are highly respected by Marinas and Shipyards. In fact we found out about them by a trip to a shipyard we anticipate using. Not only did management there call them to our attention, we talked to other captains in the restaurant onsite during lunch and they were very well liked and respected. Oh and their interview basically ended up with us spending an entire day together and ended with us grilling steaks by the pool. They also got to spend time with our Home Managers who are an older couple we've known for years and moved here with us. They could discuss us openly, good and bad.

    I would love to hear from owners and captains ideas on having better relationships and making things work long term.
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Barking is fine. Just don't bite.

    By this point of life I've been barked at by the best and not so thin skinned that i'm going to overreact to an internet forum post.
  16. weto

    weto Senior Member

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    IF I was a Capt. I'd want to work for olderboater types ! ;)
  17. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Thank you.
  18. captaintilt

    captaintilt Senior Member

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    Me too, would love to get hooked up with a great owner that understands what it takes to manage and operate a Yacht.

    When I was working onboard full time, my owner didn't mind if I brought along my wife, or family, as long as I asked them in advance. They realized that I was gone for some time, and family is very important to me. Plus, he and I had a great working relationship in that they knew the boat was going to be at Point B when I told him it was going to be there (barring any mechanicals) and it was always cleaned, stocked, and ready to use at the drop of a hat. That being said, it's important to have open communication with your owner so that there is no surprises at the end of the day.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  19. weto

    weto Senior Member

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    I think you either trust your capt or you don't. Not much space for anything in between. It appears that yachttty/lawyer man has some trust issues, BIGTIME.
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Great point. I always found employees I felt I could completely trust and stand behind. The moment I didn't feel that with one, then it was time to move on. Not think about it, not look for excuses, just move on. I was careful selecting and rarely had to do so. However, I once fired someone at 8:00 AM their third day on the job. Sounds extreme? No, I learned enough about their character in two days to know I didn't want them there and to know most of the other employees didn't either. Perhaps I could have changed the actions of this employee but I never could have trusted them. They managed to offend several others in that short time and anyone who would need to be told the things they said or did were inappropriate clearly lacked the moral and decency filters needed. It's about building a culture.

    Also my wife had a friend who came to us crying after one day on a job. It was her dream job but she found out the truth quickly. She had resigned from a decent but poor paying position to take it and really was in a difficult situation. Fortunately we could help her and I accompanied her on her trip in to resign the following morning so there would be a witness (this was on the advice of an attorney who also told me some things to say). The problem is that if you enter a poisonous environment, thinking it will change or you'll just be there awhile, it changes you over time. Life is too short to spend it in the wrong places or with the wrong people.