Most often, the First Mate is female and is always the First Mate, and the Captain is usually male and is always the Captain. But, “First Mate” and “Captain” are just titles with duties attached.
So, the one (male or female) who assumes the duties of First Mate, is the First Mate and the one (male of female) who assumes the duties of Captain is the Captain. Gender doesn’t play a role. It is just a job.
In an ideal world, the First Mate and Captain should be able to “Switch Hats” allowing the First Mate to be Captain and the Captain to be First Mate.
Why not give Mom a promotion for Mother’s Day?......
Most mothers are the First Mate on the boat, looking after the galley, the head, the food, the meals, the laundry, the lines, the kids, etc. while dad sits at the helm driving or docking.
Why not promote Mom to Captain, so she can confidently take the helm while dad and crew look after the fenders, lines, food, etc. All she needs is a little knowledge on handling and docking the boat. Give her a “Docking e-Lesson” for Mother’s Day so she can develop maneuvering and docking skills allowing her to confidently take the helm to drive and/or dock the boat.
Giving Mom a promotion has so many advantages:
- Mom will be confident that she can drive and dock the boat—not only aim it down the lake, but also maneuver and dock.
- She will get a break from First Mate duties.
- If the Captain is injured or sick with flu, Mom can take the helm without panic.
- If Mom has an injury or illness that prevents her from moving around the boat, hanging fenders, preparing lines or getting on and off the boat, she can switch hats with the Captain and he can do the leg work while she sits at the helm.
- Mom will be admired by fellow First Mates and Captains. She’ll be a role model.
- The Captain doesn’t have to fear injury or illness knowing that his First Mate can take over.
- On long cruises, the Captain can have a break.
- It allows for more even sharing of everything that has to be done.
- The Captain could well be the envy of his buddies.
The experts all agree that you should never take driving lessons from your spouse. It is the same on boats. It is usually best to get lessons from someone else. So, why not let Doug Dawson teach Mom with his Docking e-Lessons. Just print, put in a binder or get coil bound, and Mom have an invisible instructor at her beck and call. Detailed, easy-to-understand, step-by-step with hundreds of pictures and diagrams.
More First Mates are taking the helm during docking while their husbands/partners handle the fenders and dock lines. It just makes sense. “He” does the heavy work while “she” pushes and pulls levers.
See: docking lessons