We get this question a lot. Was I Master or Crew on a sail?

The answer is a bit longer than yes or no.  

There are a multitude of  situations: 

  • It's not your boat and the owner was on but you took the helm and the responsibility. 
  • You split the decision making up in time
  • You sailed twice in one day once as master and once as crew.
  • You were on watch through the night while the captain slept 
  • We sailed for 2 hours one day and two the next day
  • It was a sailing holiday and I felt like I was involved in the decisions
  • The instructor was on the boat but really just to make sure I didn't hit anything - I was in control.
  • And More...

So since we are talking about recreational sailing here not the military - it's ok to be a little relaxed and use some logic. It really comes down to did you feel like you were the master of the boat for 4 hours? If something went wrong would you take the lead in the remedy decisions? What would a big guy looking down on the boat say?

We know you really want to rack up the master time so that you can get those 50 qualifying days in to reach the margin level III. But really the 50 days are set up for a reason. It's to ensure that you have had enough experience and experiences that when skippering out there offshore, you have been through enough situations that you are confident and competent when you are skippering your friends and family in the ocean. Which after all can be dangerous in a bad situation.

In essence, use your best judgment and don't cloud it with an overwhelming desire to reach level III.