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Old 24-02-2015, 09:24   #46

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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
Well actually I do like sailing on other peoples boats sometimes. Nice to relax and let someone else have all the hassle of running the boat. Nice to see other boats and sail something different. Often a chance to learn a few tricks. Fun to be part of a big crew if you are usually with a small one or solo. Good way to gain local knowledge. Chance to do a passage you would not have the confidence to Skipper. Good way to meet people and make new friends. I hope my guests feel the same, I think I have finished up friends with all of them.
Amen, again That is an exact description of any "crewing" I'd like to do. Well said.

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Old 24-02-2015, 09:46   #47
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

I can perfectly understand the RS position. It is his boat so he decides who goes and who stays ashore.

I think sailing is such a fantastic experience that I like to share it with others - I do not consider going solo. But I understand people who do - because it is so difficult to arrange two people.

Even if I would like somebody to share my joy of sailing, I would hope that I do not really need to sponsor them - because it should be a joy for them, not a job!

I would qualify as the #5 of the original list, well, pity...

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Old 24-02-2015, 09:50   #48
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

RS - perhaps the all-caps part was a little bit over the top, but I do sympathize with what you are saying. I crewed on two boats last year - for friends/acquaintances. One was very experienced with a boat I knew was would be no problem just between Portland and Puget Sound. The other was from Puget Sound to San Francisco with a skipper and admiral who were newbie cruisers on a stout cruising boat. The boat had been setup by a knowledgeable owner but it was new to them. They needed someone that had been offshore, partially to give them confidence, partially to teach them, and partially just to stand watches (or course).

I required both of them to pay my travel expenses and all food/drink while on board. If I were rich I would have done it for free but that wouldn't work. I don't think that was unreasonable and it was never a negotiation about that. I did it for fun and to keep my skills up since I had not been off shore in a few years. This was near coastal but close enough.

I have friends who would do this for me under the same terms. I don't have friends who would do this only if I paid them. My friends are mostly retired and they would do it for fun like I would. Having said that neither trip ended up being all fun. But I am glad I did both of them as I got out of it what I expected.

Having said that I am not sure I would do it again unless I knew positively that the boat was well-maintained and equipped by an experienced skipper. It was downright scary some of the things that broke on one boat, and on the other my bunk leaked. I wasn't much fun for them as I was seasick half the trip (a three day trip). But I ate great meals on both and really enjoyed the company.

But I ended up scared when I was not on watch with the one boat as their skill sets were inadequate for near coastal sailing in crowded waters. They were much better at the end of the trip though so we all got more comfortable.

I also have friends who have crewed on boats and everyone absolutely hated the others. Some jumped ship halfway through the trips, even making port just to offload people. Sometimes it was the other crew brought on that caused the friction.

So it seems to me that it is a mixed bag as far as getting crew or being crew. My hats off to all the delivery skippers who get on strange boats they hope will make the trip and to those who have unknown crew to help.

So I would say you can sometimes find crew who will pay their own transportation but that you would be fortunate indeed to find good crew who would to that from and to where your want to cruise. Even if you paid travel expenses I can see how it would be a trying experience to get good crew. The interpersonal skills of the skipper and the other crew would be a major factor in each trip of course.

RS - I did like how you described your approach to crew on-board though. If you can do that you are in better shape while underway. I was lucky that my skippers were mostly like that.
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Old 24-02-2015, 12:42   #49
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

Thanks for all you imput, yes even the ones I disagreed with. All food for though. funny how the threads you expect to go nowhere turn into multi-pagers!
going to give up a the crew site, second time I have used it and been a dead loss both times. Will keep my eye on the crew pages here and if anyone is interested trip details are on my page.
Thanks for the tip about workaways, never tried it myself but may sister has done some stuff with them and is going to an eco farm this year so will ask here.
Also been fun company through the night, I have students doing finals this week and inspectors in next week so was doing an all-nighter to catch up on the paperwork and then teaching all day today so come 5pm will be sleeping the clock round. Ah well keeps me in practice for soloing, Leaving the Bristol chanel I go no sleep untill I cleared the contenental shelf 100miles off Breast because of all the traffic (mainly fishing boats)
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Old 24-02-2015, 12:51   #50
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

I take crew from whoever shows up on the dock. Sometimes they are better sailors than I and tell me how I should be sailing and what I should do. These aren't invited back. Everyone poops in the bucket and no one showers on my boat, its a potter. But recently I only day sail.

I did luck out on my trip across the Caribbean. First crew paid all my expenses and his girl friend came along and cleaned up the boat. Second crew: one was a noob who was respectful, quiet and followed orders well, the other a retired captain, talked a lot and didn't tell me how to run the boat.

BTW this was before the cruising sites started first crew came from my local computer club in Austin, the others came from cruising world's site
Good luck
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Old 24-02-2015, 13:40   #51
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

Wait, where do I find all these bikinied-up crew?

I have just had a massive and suddenly dawning realisation that maybe I'm doing it wrong...
S/V Gudgeon
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Old 24-02-2015, 15:05   #52
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
So you can guess I am a LITTLE frustrated, just looking for someone who wants a bit of an adventure, doesn't freak at the idea that having a shower can be done by emptying a bucket of seawater over your head, isn't looking for a new partner, doesn't want to be a 'super-yacht' crew and doesn't think 'remote' means out of wifi range.
OK, I know I am a relic from a bygone age but what happened to good old fashioned adventure and traditional values like self reliance and seamanship.
Rant over
Feel free to add to this but don't be miffed if I don't read it! IT'S MY RANT...
When all the laughters have quiet down, here's where you should go:
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Old 24-02-2015, 17:28   #53
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

Originally Posted by ALAIN97133 View Post
When all the laughter has quietened down, here's where you should go:
I disagreed with you Alain. This thread has really been about casual crew on pleasure yachts. Where as the web site you've recommended is really geared towards commercial boats and crew with a pleasure craft section on the side. For a pleasure boat the site is very expensive for both skippers and crew, ie approx. US$60 per month membership, And sure there is a free option but you can't actually do anything as a free member.

I have done a little crewing on yacht ocean passages and I've found the thread very interesting and appreciate the comments from both sides. But I do think there is one point that has been ignored: on an ocean passage, once the harbour is over the horizon, there's no way off the boat until the end. That can be very difficult for everyone concerned. Be it a useless crew member or an idiot skipper.
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Old 24-02-2015, 17:32   #54
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

Already stated, but from my own experiences and observations of others:-

Ensure you are as flexible with them as you expect them to accept your ultimate "captaincy". You earn their respect.

Age, sex, nationality differences, all makes for a change, so sometimes it pays to lean towards different backgrounds than yours. Isn't that why you go cruising anyway?

Generally, avoid couples (married or otherwise). It can work out well, but they often bring their own behavioural baggage and often will make others uncomfortable as they are often not flexible enough to adapt to your idiosyncrasies. If you are a couple this can also make it harder for guest crew as well.

Also, you should check out traits such as sense of humour, curiosity, ego, initiative, preparedness to understand features of your boat and practices.

Make sure you understand why they want to crew. Listen very carefully.

Allow, even encourage, them to tell you their stories. Helps with a sense of belonging and can reveal personality traits you are better off knowing about.

A short trial should also be mandatory.

Many backpackers are self reliant physically fit and adventurous. It may happen that this makes them see you as something from a different planet, but a way around this is to utilise their enthusiasm by showing and explaining boat stuff that is new to them. Hands on stuff. Responsibilities. They will feel that they are valued for their ability to do the correct thing.

Make them feel comfortable, but that on a boat, when the captain says jump, it means exactly that. Instantly. Then discuss why later. Discuss the reasons for this practice with them, so it does not come as a surprise and apologise beforehand so they don't throw a wobbly when you abuse them for grabbing the wrong halyard.

Be generous with your praise for a well done job.

Ultimately, their behaviour and knowledge of the on board practices is your responsibility. Not theirs.

Enjoy their company. You can make lifelong friends.
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Old 24-02-2015, 18:06   #55
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

If the OP offered the use of the onboard deep fryer, I am sure that crew would line up right and left.
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Old 24-02-2015, 20:47   #56
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

I read these streams as I may well seek someone to accompany us on passages or shorter inter island trips. My reasons for doing this are 2 fold. I enjoy the company of others on board. Passengers can enliven the experience. Typically, for me, the trips are day sails only. I have never had any folks on board for a longer passage, most folks I know can't arrange the time off for such a trip or are leery of such adventures. So, I would have to rely on folks I don't know to take on as crew. I would be cautious about taking on crew with little sailing experience on a long passage. Even the eager back packers would be a challenge. I could see taking them on a shorter passage to gauge their ability to take direction and learn from their mistakes as well as their ability to get along. And wouldn't they be doing the same with me? I would hope so.
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Old 25-02-2015, 03:22   #57
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

The topic of this debate is not new. I remember a few years ago, when there was only and CWBB, there was a broker who use to post looking for crew on his deliveries, all in exchange for the wonderful experience of helping him. He got mad often when nobody would take the bait, although a few guys did crew for him gratis.
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Old 25-02-2015, 03:40   #58
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

Interesting read ...

We get so many offers for crew willing to pay for the experience ...
In our own style and our own time ...
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Old 25-02-2015, 05:05   #59
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
This is getting silly and I am going back to rant mode; to put it VERY Clearly for everyone


So please stop going on about how I should pay my guests.
If they are GUESTS, then why are you interviewing them as if for a job?


I think that's where your problem is.

When I invite strangers onto my boat -- and I do this all the time -- it is because for whatever reason I prefer to sail with company, and my friends or family are not available. So I am looking for people who share the same enthusiasm and who will be fun to be with. Those are the criteria -- period. I don't worry too much about skills -- we sort that out after we're underway, and my "guest" -- and that is what they are -- will be given whatever tasks suit his abilities and desires. The "extra hand" which is really helpful on a long passage, at least on my boat, is more than anything just the ability to stand watches, and I can teach anyone to stand watch. Any other skills are just gravy. I've had many Yachtmaster Oceans on board; I've had many totally green people with no skills at all; and everything in between. There's always plenty to do for anyone with whatever skill set.

As to sharing costs -- just like when I am sailing with friends, it's kind of "from each according to his abilities; to each according to his needs." So in 90% of cases, my guests, whether they start the voyage as strangers, or if they are lifelong friends of mine, or relatives -- they pitch in to a greater or lesser extent to share the direct expenses of food, drink, fuel, and berthing. Just like I do when I am a guest on a friend's boat. It's just basic good manners and nothing which goes beyond what your mother taught you. Sometimes my guests are less able -- children of friends of mine who are students on student budgets, etc. -- and I don't let them contribute to expenses. Sometimes people ask in advance to know what the daily expenses are -- my reply is usually -- "just take a turn now and again buying provisions and paying for a berth; buy the skipper a drink on shore now and again if you feel like it; we don't make an exact calculation."

I have one guy who is a former professional mariner who didn't understand that it might be good to contribute to expenses -- he assumed that his participation in the work is contribution enough. Probably the only person I've had like that. I've never said anything to him, and in fact that's quite ok with me -- he's a great guy whose company I enjoy, so I don't mind paying his expenses if he doesn't volunteer to do it himself.

I think the more relaxed you are about all of this, the better it works out. If something about the person or his contributions doesn't suit you, just don't invite them the next time.

A happy ship seems to inevitably attract happy crew, for happy times on board. I've had dozens of strangers on board and never a single bad experience, and many great friendships started from finding people on crew exchange boards. People have greater or lesser skills, and are more or less willing to contribute to expenses -- just take what they have to offer and don't waste too much time analyzing it. At the end of the day -- did you have a good time? This is recreational sailing, after all. The key thing is to keep a happy ship at all times. Everything else is a minor detail.
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Old 25-02-2015, 05:26   #60
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Re: Warning 'rant' - Don't you just love loking for crew!!

I'm curious when this trip is scheduled. If there are last minute crew no-shows does it mean the trip is happening soon? If so, is that really the best time to be leaving the UK on an east-west Atlantic crossing?

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