I love this site, but the idea of being a buddy is not new to me. I crewed for lot's of skippers over the years, but often felt tolerated rather than valued. This was not due to any lack of ability on my part, but rather a case of "it's my boat and I'm in charge" It's worse when the skipper has his best mate along, then your status is reduced even further. Good ideas and suggestions are overlooked and you are obliged to go with it.
All this changed for me when I met and crewed for a skipper who needed a bit of help with a refit. I helped out in the boatyard and put up some cash. Perhaps in doing so my attidude changed as well as his. I'd unknowingly become a Boat Buddy. I feel part of the team now and although the skipper's word is final, I do feel my contributions to say passage planning are now viewed seriously. This has in turn helped me learn more.