sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Australia Cruising USA Cruising Canada Boats for Sale Sail-World Racing Photo Gallery FishingBoating
Video Gallery Newsletters
Sail-World.com : When is a Captain not a Captain?
When is a Captain not a Captain?

'When is a Captain not a Captain?'    .

The first time a smartly dressed Customs officer came on board our boat, his chest ablaze with brass buttons, and asked with a thick accent 'Where is the Captain on this ship?' I tried not to giggle too obviously. We had a 'Captain' on our 'ship'? - a 45ft cruising boat? We were somewhere in the Middle East and I concluded that he was not very accustomed to dealing with yachts and skippers.

I did get used to it, but since then the habit of referring to the skipper of a boat as the 'Captain' seems to have surged in popularity. So the following, written by long-experienced American cruising skipper, John Harries, made me smile all over again:


I just can’t stand it any more. I tried to ignore it, I really did, but it’s no good, I have to say something.

What’s making me crazy is the current fashion for recreational mariners, particularly on VHF radio, to call each other 'Captain'. This seems to be confined to the US, although it is spreading to Canada too. As far as I know that’s as far as it has got…I fervently hope so.

You can call yourself 'Captain' if you are:

A serving officer in the Army, Airforce, or Marines with a rank one below Major.
A serving, or retired, officer in the Navy with a rank one below Admiral.
You have an unlimited tonnage all oceans master mariner’s licence and command a commercial vessel at sea, which almost always requires four years at a recognized maritime university and several years serving at sea working your way up the ladder through various mate positions to command. You would also be entitled to use the title in retirement.
You sit in the left pilot seat in a large transport aircraft.

To quote Bugs Bunny, 'that’s all folks'. (Actually I don’t know for sure that there are no other positions that are properly titled 'Captain', so if you know of one I missed, please leave a comment.)

You are not a Captain because you have a US Coast Guard 100 ton licence or a RYA yacht master. Heck, I have a good friend who has a Coast Guard 500 ton licence and has served as an officer on tall ships for over a decade. She does not call herself 'Captain'.

If you command a yacht, you can call yourself 'Skipper' or, if signing something official, 'Master'. But you are not a Captain.

Not only do we look ridiculous, particularly to commercial mariners, when we call ourselves 'Captain', it is also extremely disrespectful to those that have put in years of study and sea experience to earn that title legitimately.

You wouldn’t call yourself 'Doctor' after doing a three day first aid course would you? Or 'Reverend' just because you go to church regularly? Or 'Professor' at the end of your first year of university? Or 'Engineer' because you did two years of shop at high school? Ok, I’ll stop, you get the idea.

Now I know that none of us yachties that do this mean anything bad by it. In fact, I think it has become a kind of verbal tic. But, none the less, let’s stop. Please pass the word.

©2014 John Harries, Attainable Adventure Cruising. To read more of John Harries' always entertaining and extremely useful information, go to his Reference site and blog
117016312970235514226


Letter received from reader:

Sender: Chris Connor

Message: In my younger days, I sailed commercial vessels with a German Captain that would lose control when someone referred to him as 'skipper.' He would begin shouting usually at some junior officer of the watch that, 'Skipper is a dog's name!' He would add some profanity for colour.

I still chuckle whenever someone calls me Skipper.

I would also chuckle silently whenever I heard colleagues of mine that I know had never commanded a vessel in their career referred to themselves as Captain. I met a few of them.

I enjoyed the rant.

Christopher Connor, Master Mariner
RYA Yachtmaster Instructor & Examiner
In command at sea
the Gulf of Guinea


by ©2014 John Harries/Sail-World Cruising


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=123641

8:31 PM Mon 23 Jun 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Sail-World Cruising News - local and the World











Barnacle Busting by Neil and Ley Langford,


From Penguins to Polar Bears by Cherie Winner,








NCI granted dedicated VHF Channel by National Coastwatch,


Positive news for cruising boats in Greece by The Cruising Association,
























Risks to penguin populations continues by British Antarctic Survey,




Follow these tips when anchoring by Alex and Daria Blackwell,






Galley Guys meet the Spice Lady by Greg Nicoll, Andy Adams and John Armstrong,




If all else fails read the instructions!! by Stuart Carruthers, RYA Cruising Manager,




Phuket Yacht Show: new kid on the block taking on PIMEX? *Feature by Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia and Phuket Yacht Show,


Sea and Summit leg seven - Rain fails to dampen Tash's spirits
RYA meets with Government over latest red diesel development
Endangered species are like Movie Stars - Charlie Sheens and Tom Hanks
Halong becomes a Super Typhoon; Japan in harm's way
Vanuatu Customs making life easier for visiting cruising yachts
Tropical Storm Bertha expected to become a typhoon
Flags at Sea, an infographic by John Tissott
Cruising lessons from ocean racers
Procedures set out for waterborne visitors to Vanuatu
17-year-old RNLI volunteer saves child in first rescue mission + Video
Teen names latest RNLI Shannon class lifeboat in Poole + Video
RYA Sea Survival Handbook – 2nd edition now available
Fascinating opportunity with OceansWatch
Lobster Thermidor - Making Julia proud
Fake GPS signals detected when cruising the high seas
Our new Cruising Editor editor remembers his first offshore adventure
World Odyssey Race - Bringing back the Corinthian spirit
Blue Planet Odyssey - Jimmy Cornell playing catch up on North West Pa
Blue Planet Odyssey Rally - Raising climate change awareness
All Points Rally departs this November
World ARC 2014 reaches Australia   
Venezuelan Port Control lift recent port restrictions.   
Seismic survey ship operating north of Aruba and Curacao   
A Mooring in Iceberg Alley   
Boaters urged to speak up on 15%ethanol proposal   
Predictwind helps you pick the best time to depart   
IMB reports worrying trend of piracy hijacks in Southeast Asia   
Watch this whale lift a Kayak clear out of the water   
World ARC reaches half-way point in Australia   
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles (Part 2) *Feature   
Vietnam Marina Development: ONE°15 Vung Ro Bay Marina Resort   
Drowning or electric shock? What you need to know to help save a life   
Costa Concordia - the $2.25 billion salvage operation ready to begin   
Northern Scotland: Voyage to Orkney and Shetland Isles, more photos *Feature   
Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - New location and attractions   
Long Island waters could become more taxing this summer   
4.8 million Legos all at sea   
No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video   
Tranquil, colourful and funky, Genoa Bay is a must stop for West Coast *Feature   
Scientist pioneered tracer to reveal hidden ocean flows   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph, contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW CRU NH
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT