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Old 09 January 2014, 07:38   #1
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Communication on board

We're always told how important good communication is from the helmsman. We read about it in books, in the press, on websites, and we're told about the importance on our RYA courses (at least, on the GOOD courses...!) but one thing I've NEVER heard, is exactly WHAT we should be saying. I'm sure that any communication is better than none, but is a "hold tight" good enough for everything, or are there more accepted standard phrases that most people here use?

-John.
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Old 09 January 2014, 08:02   #2
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The wife likes the bow seat on my rib.(apparently best place for a sun tan)

She watches my facial expressions(apparently I have few, usually reserved for the bedroom department)

One of these days I will take my 'poker face' with me and she how she gets on..!


On a serious note, I will 'try' and be the best helmsman, but occasionally things look like they are gong to get a bit 'slappy' and I usually shout 'WAVE'..

I find it best to do all the communication at the start, when everyone is getting on board.
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Old 09 January 2014, 08:06   #3
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Wib,

I was taught to communicate as I accelerate and as I drop off the plane, too - but not taught any specifics. "Accelerating" seems like a good fit maybe, but the more obvious "braking" feels all wrong when talking about a boat!

I love the idea of the facial expressions, but not sure that will help me with my RYA certifications...!

God bless,
-John.
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Old 09 January 2014, 08:21   #4
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I usually ask if every one is ready before the initial move off. Before pushing up to the plane 'everyone got hold'.

'Wave or hold on' if it's bouncy. Hand signals are also used. The wife will point and I'll nod at in water instructions, finger stays out until nod is acknowledged.

Fist in the air - stop

They key thing is all on board know what is expected and what to do.
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Old 09 January 2014, 08:56   #5
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I usually say "powering up" and "powering down" just before going up onto the plane or dropping off the plane.

For turns I find raising one arm and waving your hand in a circling motion (either clockwise or anticlockwise) lets everyone know you are turning and which way.

Also important to keep glancing back at the "crew" regularly to make sure you still have the same number you started with, and also to check they are all still happy and smiling. It's easy to spot if someone is cold or scared by their facial expressions.

Chris
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Old 09 January 2014, 08:59   #6
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We just shout BRACE ! That way wether its a bigger wave than normal /wash from a ship or making a quick turn or throttle change to avoid something in the water we know to expect something.
Normally though as Chris says Powering up or Down !
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Old 09 January 2014, 09:14   #7
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Chris - I like your suggestions - nice and clear, and easily understood. Also, the additional points are useful (especially the one about counting passengers!)

I did learn one key word from my instructor during a recent course, but it would probably trigger some filters in the forum. He used it to communicate that an excessively large bow wave from a tug in the Tamar was about to meet us broadside if I didn't take some swift action...!
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Old 09 January 2014, 09:22   #8
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I sometimes use a Ceasar Thunderbolt where I have someone steering in front of me, then me on the throttle, and two further passengers behind. The engine is so noisy it is impossible to speak and be heard so I tell the two behind me "if you want to stop for any reason tap me firmly on the shoulder". I tell the person steering "If I tap you on the shoulder turn sharply in that direction. If you want to stop raise either hand".

The actual gestures don't matter as long as everyone is clear at the start what they mean.

Chris
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Old 09 January 2014, 10:20   #9
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I was told.

1. Power on
2. Power off
3. Turning to port
4. Turning to Starboard
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Old 09 January 2014, 11:10   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steco1958 View Post
I was told.

1. Power on
2. Power off
3. Turning to port
4. Turning to Starboard
While manuovering especially when crew may be standing to attend fenders ropes etc
Going Ahead
Going Astern
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