Role Playing

This month’s contributor is Tom Reinke, who sails a Flying Scot with his wife, Mary. They love leading bareboat charters and turning over the helm to the officer of the day. If you’re new to chartering—or if your friends are—you’ll find his organizational ideas helpful.The primary objective of a charter is to have a good time, and that means different things to different people.
Author:
Publish date:
HR0107-CharterEdit

This month’s contributor is Tom Reinke, who sails a Flying Scot with his wife, Mary. They love leading bareboat charters and turning over the helm to the officer of the day. If you’re new to chartering—or if your friends are—you’ll find his organizational ideas helpful.

The primary objective of a charter is to have a good time, and that means different things to different people. Some see themselves working hard to relax, enjoying a simple intinerary, lazy days, and plenty of time ashore. Others revel in spending the days sailing vigorously and putting as many miles under the keel as possible. And still others, new to sailing, want to learn as much as they can in the allotted time. A happy charter starts with providing time and opportunities for all crewmembers to have fun as they see it. If some of the crew is new to sailing, or if crewmembers are new to each other, having a good time takes on the extra dimension of converting new acquaintances into new friends, and transforming nonsailors into (reasonably) confident skippers.

A simple way to facilitate all this is to create a couple of roles for the crew—officer of the day and navigator of the day. As the names imply, these assignments rotate on a daily basis, distributing both the work and the opportunity for each person to accomplish his or her objectives. While this idea may seem a bit contrived, role assignments have been proven over hundreds of years on the high seas. They have helped to mold rum-guzzling sailors into an effective crew, so they will surely work to build cohesiveness and stimulate fun among a group of well-mannered 21st-century bareboaters.

The officer of the day coordinates all of the daily activities, ranging from mundane chores to the major events that have been planned. A key aspect of the role is making sure that everyone is involved in making the decisions about the day and in selecting the chosen activities.

Core tasks include:

• Reviewing the day’s itinerary and confirming the time schedule.

• Soliciting suggestions for any changes in plans or itinerary.

• Discussing meal arrangements, menus, and cooking assignments.

• Identifying chores that need to be completed and soliciting volunteers.

• Checking the boat’s systems and supplies, such as fuel, ice, water, and food.

• If necessary, developing a helmsman schedule that gives everyone an equal opportunity at the wheel.

Obviously, these jobs can be modified to include whatever the group wishes.

Creating an officer of the day has two big advantages. First, it gives everyone a chance to leave his or her special mark on the charter. People usually respond well to this opportunity and add their own flare to the day’s activities, whether its source is new enthusiasm, creative ideas about how things get done, or suggestions for changes in the itinerary. The second advantage is that it builds cooperation. When you know that your turn is coming, you’re naturally more willing to be an active member of the group when someone else is the leader.

The navigator of the day works with the officer of the day specifically on getting the boat to its next destination. The navigator figures out how to get where the crew wants to go, how long it will take, where they will tie up or anchor, what the wind and weather will be doing, and all the other details of the passage. For inexperienced sailors, this becomes a crash course in an essential part of cruising; the assignment can be simplified for newbies by adding a coach. And, if the crew is made up of couples, the roles of navigator and officer of the day can be assigned to a couple. This often generates some serious entertainment and may provide new insights into your friends’ relationships.

Related

mcarthy-and-mouse

Experience: McCarthy and the Mouse

Sitting at the helm in a light breeze, my arms crusted with a fine rime of salt, my skin so dry I’d lost my fingerprints, I heard a clatter and a curse from below. There were only three of us a thousand miles from shore and only one on watch at a time. Usually, the off watch lay ...read more

2018-giftGuide

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Brass Yacht Lamp Does someone on your gift list spend the whole winter missing the warm days on the water? Let them bring a little bit of nautical atmosphere home with this new lamp from Weems & Plath. The glass enclosure means the flame cannot be blown out even by ...read more

image001

Opinion: On Not Giving Up Sailing

E.B. White was 64 when he wrote his now-famous essay “The Sea and the Wind That Blows,” which begins as a romantic paean to sailing and then drifts, as if spun around by a pessimistic eddy of thought, into a reflection on selling his boat. Does an aging sailor quit while he’s ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com A Helping Hand  This is a real-world solution, and I expect correction by my betters. However, anyone whose seacocks are modern ball valves rather than the grand old tapered cone variety may care to ...read more

1812-JeanneaueNewsVideo

Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 410

Designed by Marc Lombard, the Sun Odyssey 410 shares much in common with her older siblings including of course, the walk-around deck. Other features that set the 410 apart from other models being introduced this year include the 410’s “negative bow” shape allowing for a longer ...read more

shutterstock_698968441

Cruising: The Bahamas

“The ‘Explorer’ chartbooks. All three.” “An unlocked phone. But good luck with BTC.” “Spam. It’s ‘spensive there!” These were just a few suggestions we received from fellow sailors who had cruised the Bahamas when we asked how to best prepare for the trip. In fact, several ...read more

windsensor

Gear: B&G Wind Sensors

Sense the Wind B&G has launched a new line of wind sensors, including the WS320, a wireless system that is suitable for masts up to 80ft. Wireless wind sensor technology has been hit-and-miss, with some users reporting intermittent signal failure on tall rigs, but B&G, citing ...read more