The captain’s word is “law.” It’s as simple as that. I’ve seen tension in some crews that actually bothered me.
I’m talking about deck crews that don’t show or give the captain the respect he’s owed for his position. Apparently these crews think they either know more or better than the captain. Maybe in some situations that could be true. Even if it is true, the bottom line is that the captain gets the last word.
What he wants and says is (and should be) the last word. If the crew thinks they know best, then I suggest they go buy a big skipper’s hat and start applying for the captain’s position, somewhere else. And while they’re waiting on their new job? Suck it up and do as you’re told.
It all boils down to this: responsibility. Think about this. If you get boarded on the high sea, the authorities don’t ask for the deckhand, they ask where the captain is. If there is an accident, the authorities request for the captain of the vessel. So, the captain has a great responsibility for every situation regarding the boat.
Don‘t get me wrong, I’ve encountered some very irresponsible captains. As a rule, their jobs don’t last long. As a captain of 39 years myself, I am always open to suggestions from my crew. Many times I’ll take and appreciate them, but I always have the final word. If they don’t like it, that’s too bad. “Know it all” crews bring down morale and have pitiful attitudes. What use is it to be a dysfunctional “team?” I’ve never put up with it and never will.
So you captains that find yourself in this situation need to take charge and command respect before things get out of hand. A good crew starts with a good captain. Be their boss first and friend second. Always treat your crew with respect, but also let there be no doubt who is in charge of every aspect of that boat. There comes a time when change is necessary. Is it that time?
Remember in any situation the boat gets into the first question that’s asked is going to be: “Who is the captain”? Put your captain’s hat on and take charge.
– That’s my two-minute warning. Fraz
Do you have any comments or questions for us? We’d love to hear from you.