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Old 10-02-2014, 04:49   #1
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What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

Hi Guys,

I need some quick questions and advice!

I am currently planning on travelling the world without flying and have been looking for a boat leaving australia heading anywhere.

i have just come across a 1973 38ft Ingrid Ketch, sailing from Carnarvon, WA to Thailand or Malaysia at the beginning of March.

The owner is a 61 year old male with lots of experience sailing the yacht solo. the boat is equipped with;

New Yanmar Diesel
Radar
AIS
VHF
GPS
Fleming Self Steering
Amp Air Power Turbine
Solar Panel
Adriatic Stove
Force 10 Prove Stove Top
Small Tender included
and Many other extras….

I am wanting to know what other questions should i ask the owner, before i commit myself to this journey?? I am based in Perth, and Carnarvon is a 10 hour drive north, so there is not really any chance between now and the 10th of March to meet him first. we have spoken over the phone and all seems well.

What else should i be looking out for?
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Old 10-02-2014, 04:59   #2
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pirate Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

Crewing with strangers is like Russian Roulette.. every now and then you'll cop the bullet..
the boat side is easy.. personalities are something else.
Just look on it as a new job.. your there for reward (experience/miles/cheap travel) so take the best and ignore the rest..
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Old 10-02-2014, 16:23   #3
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

Brodie,
Ask the owner to describe his sailing style. It's not really that important how he sails, but how he describes it.

And ask him why he wants to sail with people he doesn't know.

Be prepared to answer the same questions!

Alain
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Old 10-02-2014, 17:55   #4
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

Ask how many of his crew have mysteriously disappeared at sea.
Google his name. See if anything odd appears. Ask where he resides. Stop by the local police station and ask if they've had dealings with him in the past. Essentially do a background check on him. Ask for references. The world is full of weirdos.
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Old 10-02-2014, 18:06   #5
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pirate Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

And by the time you sail you'll be totally 'Paranoid..'
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Old 12-02-2014, 00:09   #6
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

Thanks everyone for your input so far.

I have been in contact with the skipper the last few days and this is where we are at now.

He doesn't take and definitely does not allow drugs on board. which is very good to know. and he doesn't really drink.

As for weather information, he mainly relies on his VHF radio, communicating with other ships in the area, listening to radio conversation and keeping an eye on his barometer and whether the pressure is dropping quickly. He doesn't have a 2-way HAM radio, as he lost it in a storm and has not replaced it, and he doesn't have a weather fax. Should this be a big concern for me?

His current planned journey is to leave Carnarvon, WA and head north past christmas island towards Indonesia, before crossing into the Java sea and finishing at Johor Port in Malaysia. He has said that once we are 10 degrees of less under the equator, the risk of cyclones reduces..Is this true?

For this journey he is planning it to take 3 weeks to cover 1700 miles. He also has plenty of sailing experience and has sailed from san diego to hawaii and onto Australia.

He has an EPIRB on board, which he says still works, besides the batteries being expired and he also has a personal GPS SOS device, the emits our location when in distress.

Finally, there is the issue of when he will depart. He has said he is quite broke and cannot afford to hang around in Carnarvon waiting for me if i don't show up. So he has asked if i could send him $100 as a sign that i am seriously committed to joining him. I know this is probably not normal, but is this a fair agreement?

Apart from all of the above, I get the feeling this could work out right. I know there are signs pointing to NO, but I think he is genuine and I could just be over-paranoid.

would appreciate your opinion on the situation!

cheers,

Brodie
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Old 12-02-2014, 00:30   #7
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

The ten-hour drive each way to meet the boat and skipper well ahead of departure time would seem to be an EXTREMELY good investment. It also might help satisfy the skipper's question about your commitment.

Maybe it would be even better if you could bring an experienced sailor along with you who is a good judge of character and probably also boat condition.

The $100 request and the skipper being broke seem both a bit worrisome. Are you expecting a broke skipper to feed you or is he expecting you to help feed the cruising kitty?

Do either you or the skipper have the ability to send you back home (repatriation) if things don't work out? If you were to get stranded somewhere, would you have some skills or resources that could tide you over until you could get a ride or job?
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Old 12-02-2014, 00:38   #8
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgscpat View Post
The ten-hour drive each way to meet the boat and skipper well ahead of departure time would seem to be an EXTREMELY good investment. It also might help satisfy the skipper's question about your commitment.

Maybe it would be even better if you could bring an experienced sailor along with you who is a good judge of character and probably also boat condition.

The $100 request and the skipper being broke seem both a bit worrisome. Are you expecting a broke skipper to feed you or is he expecting you to help feed the cruising kitty?

Do either you or the skipper have the ability to send you back home (repatriation) if things don't work out? If you were to get stranded somewhere, would you have some skills or resources that could tide you over until you could get a ride or job?

I know the drive would be a good investment, its just i don't have the time between now and the planned departure to do it.

I know the $100 investment is a bit odd, but if it confirms my position on the boat i would be happy. He has said he wouldn't even spend it and i assume it would go into the fuel/food kitty.

As for food, I am expected to contribute $20 per day for food etc.

And i plan to travel onwards from whoever we dock. I am travelling the world and this is my first leg. i have enough resources to get me out of trouble if things get bad. and i am looking into travel insurance that covers sailing offshore. as well as investing in my own GPS locator for SOS calls.

I also have skills and qualifications to get by on if i am truly stuck somewhere.

What i forgot to mention, Is that the skipper has asked me to purchase a 31XG SD Navionics card for his GPS system. he says he would feel more comfortable with this if i am on the boat and that if he was sailing solo, he would just use his current CSN maps.
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Old 12-02-2014, 00:56   #9
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

I would not be giving him $100 at all. Maybe when you actually get on the boat, but not before. Just read your last sentence. He is kidding surely.

Coops.
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:33   #10
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

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Just read your last sentence. He is kidding surely.

Coops.
The sentence about the 31XG SD card? I know to me that is more of a commitment to this trip than the $100, seeing as it would roughly cost $300.
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:55   #11
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

Quote:
Originally Posted by brodie88 View Post
I know the drive would be a good investment, its just i don't have the time between now and the planned departure to do it.

I know the $100 investment is a bit odd, but if it confirms my position on the boat i would be happy. He has said he wouldn't even spend it and i assume it would go into the fuel/food kitty.

As for food, I am expected to contribute $20 per day for food etc.

And i plan to travel onwards from whoever we dock. I am travelling the world and this is my first leg. i have enough resources to get me out of trouble if things get bad. and i am looking into travel insurance that covers sailing offshore. as well as investing in my own GPS locator for SOS calls.

I also have skills and qualifications to get by on if i am truly stuck somewhere.

What i forgot to mention, Is that the skipper has asked me to purchase a 31XG SD Navionics card for his GPS system. he says he would feel more comfortable with this if i am on the boat and that if he was sailing solo, he would just use his current CSN maps.
No. Assuming this is real, he's asking too much. If you can't spare the time to meet the guy beforehand, then you don't need to go.
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:03   #12
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

Bloke sounds broke - not in itself a deal breaker, but a big red flag on the boat maintanence. The good news is that can get away with a lot with a boat - the bad news is not always..........

The second red flag is money up front (albeit could just be an idiot and / or tired of dreamer no shows), the third red flag is him wanting you to pay for toys, which whilst not essential are at the top of the very nice to have list-.....apart from being confirmation that he is very broke, it also is a way of tying you to the boat / him.

That 10 hour drive is a good investment - as would be a week aboard, not just living but also sailing........you might not be an expert on boats and sailing / skippers but your gut will tell you a lot.

In any event imo you are being wildly optimistic in seeking a berth / single boat to go rtw - best bet is to plan on a multiple of boats mixed up with time ashore. A bit of online research will point you to popular places for boats wanting crew-.......and having budget to put hand in pocket for expenses will pretty much give you the pick of the litter, one thing that compensates for a lack of experience is cash!

In the meantime treard carefully - you literally will be puting your life in someone elses hands.
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:09   #13
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

Is no-one else concerned about the expired EPIRB? Whilst I appreciate that the batteries will continue to operate after their expiration date, surely any competent skipper or boat owner would ensure that the most important safety device on the boat is at least functional and up to date...To me it speaks volumes about the standard of maintenance applied to the rest of the boat and I would stay well away. Just my opinion.
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Old 12-02-2014, 03:58   #14
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

It's all about the Skipper - for an idea on different ideas and approaches that are out there (and some are very much "out there" ), this thread worth a read for OP.

Rules & Etiquette for Visitors Aboard Your Boat
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:10   #15
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Re: What to look out for when crewing on someones yacht over blue seas??

I would not purchase anything for someones boat. The $100 bucks is sort of mmmeh! Maybe the skipper has run into lots of flake crew that commit but don't show up. I sailed offshore when there were no EPIRB's and all the rest of the current safety stuff so if his battery is only a year out it wouldn't keep me awake.
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