Top 10 Things Never to Say to a Captain

May 19th 08
By Matt Gomez

We all have things we’d love to say to the boss, but are fearful of doing so. It happens in any business, and the yachting industry is no exception.

 

But just what are those things? And what would happen if you were given the consequence-free opportunity to say them?

 

Well, here’s your chance to find out.

 

Dockwalk.com is curious, so we started asking questions of crew as they worked on the docks at Bahia Mar Beach Resort and Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

 

The question: What are a few things you should never say to a captain?

 

“I’ll fix it tomorrow,” says Terry Clark, engineer on the M/Y Golden Rule. “I’d probably lose my job if I said that one – and I should.”

 

“That’s not the way we did it on my old boat,” says Pete Lombaard, mate aboard the 125-foot M/Y Namoh. “That’s about as effective as saying, ‘This is the way I would have done it…’ Neither comment will do you much good.”

 

Just ask his boss, Capt. Greg Russell. The skipper says he’s “heard them all” over the years, but there are a few choice comments that stand out:

 

 

"'When do we get a day off?’ and ‘I’ll do it later…’ have to be high on that list," says Russell. “I don’t want to hear either one of those.”

 

But there are many others, and some are not so kind.

 

“Your girlfriend snores at night,” offers a bosun who asked not to be identified. “I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true – our captain’s girlfriend is the chief stew – but I wouldn’t say it to his face.”

 

While it’s usually best to tread lightly and speak guardedly when in the presence of someone in charge, that’s not always the case. Many captains may encourage – even expect – candid conversations with crew. They post “open door” policies where all crewmembers may share their grievances and speak freely.

 

Jeff Miller, first officer and co-captain aboard the 130-foot M/Y Second Chance, says such a policy helps boost crew morale.

 

“We’re open to all questions,” he says. “That’s why we have a happy crew.”

 

Some of his favorites include:

 

- “But I just washed the boat…”

- “Hmmm…Let me think about it.”

- And the ever popular, “That’s not my job.”

Several responses enjoyed popularity in our informal poll, but one had the distinction of being our runaway winner. If you are a parent, you can probably guess what it is:

 

 

“Are we there yet?”

So, what do you think? There are plenty of other things you should not say to a captain, so we invite you to say them in our comments section below.

 

 

What would you never say to your captain? Keep it clean – no profanity – but your comments are welcome here.

Let those comments fly here at Dockwalk.com, so you’ll never have to say them to the captain’s face. Unless, of course, you really want to…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






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7 Comments
  • WHAT ABOUT SAYING: YES, I KNOW!!!, WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE... OR I DON'T KNOW!!!! WHEN YOU DID IT....
    Posted by VILLA 14/01/2010 04:50:10

  • WHAT ABOUT SAYING: YES, I KNOW!!!, WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE... OR I DON'T KNOW!!!! WHEN YOU DID IT....
    Posted by VILLA 14/01/2010 04:49:59

  • "Can I go out with the Guest"
    RENTAL----renting out my 1/1 suite to reliable yacht crew. $250 a week all included + wireless. Off 17th Street ft lauderdale---e-mail me kelovely@hotmail.com
    Posted by Kelovely 14/04/2009 06:36:10

  • What happened to the tip money?
    Posted by Nick Barnes 09/02/2009 19:03:01

  • 1 word "NO"
    Posted by CaptErik 09/09/2008 04:06:10

  • How about the simple word, "WHY?" We have had Baby Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and now I understand there is the Millenium babies. This "WHY" is the part they do not get. Follow the chain of command and do the job as good as you can. Oh, "YES SIR or YES MAMME" instead of "WHY" is what needs to be said.
    Posted by captseakiss 29/05/2008 02:39:13

  • From a deckie:

    Sure I'll get rid of it - but may I ask what's inside?
    Posted by The Contract Yachtie 20/05/2008 12:30:24

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