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Old 21-02-2012, 20:07   #1
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To Pay or Not to Pay ... Crew

I would like to start a discussion on when it is or is not appropriate to pay crew. I.e. is it okay to ask experienced crew to pay their own airfare? When does asking expenses on a cruising trip cross over into a paid charter? I understand that this is a sensitive subject. Many cruisers are justified in and need to ask for contribution to food kitties. At the same time, on tougher delivery trips is it okay to expect travel costs, let alone shared contributions? In this day and age, so many people are willing to hop on boats (experienced or not). I think it would be interesting to get a wide variety of thoughts and past stories on the matter, and also be informational to those in or thinking of going into the industry and lifestyle.
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Old 21-02-2012, 20:47   #2
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

I think the member called "atoll" could be quite helpful, search him out.
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Old 21-02-2012, 21:08   #3
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

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I think the member called "atoll" could be quite helpful, search him out.
Would have to second that excellent recommendation. "atoll" is best option I could also recommend. Have just hired 3 full time crew (with full benefits) for a 3 year contract and 3 part timers for 6 weeks to cross from the Western Med to the Caymans via 2 stops for upgrades in Florida. My first crew hires which thought would be tough to pass all in Ins. Co. requirements and all 6 surprised me and made it. Don't feel newbie should start discussion but was ? had pondered myself.
pm "atoll" a most helpful fella.

John & Carol
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Old 21-02-2012, 21:59   #4
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

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At the same time, on tougher delivery trips is it okay to expect travel costs, let alone shared contributions?
On deliveries? Absolutely not! You can get fabulous crew without having to pay them, but to expect them to contribute to travel costs or expenses on a delivery is a bit over the top. Only a rookie would agree to such a deal.
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Old 22-02-2012, 03:29   #5
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

If its for their benefit then yes
If its for yours then no
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Old 22-02-2012, 05:16   #6
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

would reccomend looking at the Yacht crew agency, yacht crew vacancy, sailing crew from Crewseekers website,they have some pretty good guidelines re taking on crew.

i generally try to get flights and expenses paid for my crew on deliverys plus a bit of pocket money.

when cruising on my large luxurious,expensive to run yacht they pay flights and max $30 dollar contribution per day.

this keeps things nice and simple,as it draws a line in the sand, between paid,free trip and paying .
there is nothing worse than having pissed off crew thinking that you owe them a stipend on a fun trip.

return ticket's to country of origin are still needed in some countries for crew leaving a vessel,for which you as skipper can be forced to provide by immigration/port captain.

thanks for all the kudo's guys
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Old 22-02-2012, 05:21   #7
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

This question is being debated on the "crew wanted" forum, and I just thought it more appropriate to start the thread under its own topic. I wasn't necessarily posting for myself (although thanks for the info!), I just thought the topic highly relevant to todays climate in the sailing industry.
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Old 22-02-2012, 08:00   #8
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

Bottom line is that it is always going to be a negotiation with trade-offs. Want free crew? Don't expect the best, most experienced crew members. Expect them to pay? Then you'd better expect a "crew member" who feels a bit like a passenger, and expects in some ways to be treated like one.

If you want experienced, hard-working crew that has a professional attitude towards the job of sailing the boat then you are going to have to pay them--at the very least, cover every bit of their expenses. That is, after all, where the "professional" part comes in.
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Old 22-02-2012, 08:22   #9
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

I am a retired, experienced cruiser. I have crewed twice for people who I didn't know at the time (and one has become a very good friend). In one case I paid the airfare myself because I was able to visit my mother and daughter at the end of the cruise. In another case the boat owner tapped into his bank of frequent flyer miles. In both cases all on boat expenses were paid by the owner. These were just deliveries and although any boat trip can be fun, fun wasn't the objective.

It all depends on who, how and where. But don't assume that you get what you pay for. If you search you can find really competent crew who just wants to be kept whole on the trip.

David
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Old 22-02-2012, 09:34   #10
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

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thanks for all the kudo's guys
Spending time here on CF, you get to know where the expertise is, in regards to the OP's question, the 1st person that came to mind was you. If someone was to inquire "whats the best way to hold a 32,000 ton ship in one position off shore for months at a time?" folks here at CF might direct it towards me. Of course, nobody cares, so that question will never come up. lol
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Old 22-02-2012, 10:15   #11
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

Delivering boats is a business. If you drive boats for a living, you expected to be paid, how much depends upon the size of the vessel you are delivering, licensing requirements usually set by insurance companies, where the vessel is located and where she is headed. If crew is required beyond a skipper, depending upon insurance company requirements, experience and formal qualifications may be required.
Owners vary in their understanding and acceptance of the associated costs. Each owner has a different expectation but an experienced skipper should explain in written detail in a contract what the costs and responsibilities are. Travel paid to point of departure or back from a foreign port are standard. A per diem charge for necessary crew, expenses such as food and fuel, repairs, etc should be clearly spelled out in the contract like any business deal.
Where things get confusing are when owners want to do things on the cheap, want to go along for the pleasure of the cruise, stop along the passage at points of interest, invite crew/friends along who may or may not have the requisite experience needed for the voyage, want others to contribute to the costs of the trip and any variation from a straightforward delivery. It can be handled but better to have it written up in a contract form to ensure there are no disagreements about the terms and who is making decisions along the way.
I've done both types of deliveries and I far prefer the owner not to be aboard, hire my own crew and draw up my own contract. If owners balk at that, I politely give them names of oher delivery skippers and wish them well. Most of my clients I had worked with on several occasions, many were brokers who needed a vessel moved to the new owners location or were owners who wanted me to drive their boats with their families or friends aboard for weeks or months at a time.
It is most important to sort out the details, in writing, before the vessel leaves the dock otherwise you are asking for trouble IMO. Capt Phil
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Old 22-02-2012, 10:17   #12
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

I'm not sure what the debate is about. If someone is happy to pay their own costs for the opportunity to sail, what's the problem? And if nobody is interested, you either wait until someone is, or cough up the cash. But I see no harm in trying.

The other asset of paying your own costs is that if you don't like the situation, you walk (at the nearest port...).

Two years ago I brought a boat from Westport CT to Cape Hatteras while paying my own expenses, and it was worth every penny. I have limited windows of availability, otherwise I'd deliver everyone's boat for free! pete
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Old 22-02-2012, 11:11   #13
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

As with most things, I think the supply and demand of the market will dictate what is and is not appropriate. If a crew person with a given talent can get paid on another boat, they probably won't contributed on yours.

I've been in a few controversial discussions about this subject and think different opinions are often driven by the incredibly wide variety of roles "crew" can take on.

When I charter with friends, I'm the captain and they are crew. I'd argue in that situation it's certainly appropriate to share all costs which could be over $100/person/day.

If I'm going to deliver a boat from one place to another and need to hire someone talented enough to help me, it's another situation all together even though that person would also be called crew. It might be appropriate to pay that crew $100/day or more.

A captain sharing knowledge on a sailing vacation and a captain needing crew to deliver a boat, are very different situations, so I think it's problematic to talk about what's ethically right without recognizing such differences. Obviously, the cost and complexity of running the boat also matters. Chartering an expensive offshore fishing boat with friends as crew is different than a day sail on a Catalina 22 is different from live aboard crew on a luxury power yacht.

I don't think there is any magic moment at which things go from one extreme to the other. The role of crew can be anywhere along the spectrum between the two extremes.
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Old 22-02-2012, 11:20   #14
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Phil View Post
Delivering boats is a business. If you drive boats for a living, you expected to be paid, how much depends upon the size of the vessel you are delivering, licensing requirements usually set by insurance companies, where the vessel is located and where she is headed. If crew is required beyond a skipper, depending upon insurance company requirements, experience and formal qualifications may be required.
Owners vary in their understanding and acceptance of the associated costs. Each owner has a different expectation but an experienced skipper should explain in written detail in a contract what the costs and responsibilities are. Travel paid to point of departure or back from a foreign port are standard. A per diem charge for necessary crew, expenses such as food and fuel, repairs, etc should be clearly spelled out in the contract like any business deal.
Where things get confusing are when owners want to do things on the cheap, want to go along for the pleasure of the cruise, stop along the passage at points of interest, invite crew/friends along who may or may not have the requisite experience needed for the voyage, want others to contribute to the costs of the trip and any variation from a straightforward delivery. It can be handled but better to have it written up in a contract form to ensure there are no disagreements about the terms and who is making decisions along the way.
I've done both types of deliveries and I far prefer the owner not to be aboard, hire my own crew and draw up my own contract. If owners balk at that, I politely give them names of oher delivery skippers and wish them well. Most of my clients I had worked with on several occasions, many were brokers who needed a vessel moved to the new owners location or were owners who wanted me to drive their boats with their families or friends aboard for weeks or months at a time.
It is most important to sort out the details, in writing, before the vessel leaves the dock otherwise you are asking for trouble IMO. Capt Phil
great post phil
currently dealing with ghanaian owners,through a cypriot management company for the 3000 mile delivery of a 20m ex fishing vessel,who want to pay me at the end of the trip!

have reccomended that untill all return airfares are paid up front plus paid weekly in advance i might not be interested.................
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Old 22-02-2012, 11:38   #15
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Re: To pay or not to pay....crew

Dead Right, atoll... return airfare upfront plus an acount to draw on for expenses, repairs enroute as well as advances held in trust by a non-Greek or Ghanian bank and written contract would be a good start. International deliveries bring a particularly interesting set of circumstances that many times defy western logic or business practices. I've generaly had good experiences dealing with South Africans, northern Europeans, north and central Americans but just heard horror stories about trying to do business with Greeks and owners from the mid-African continent. Found that Aussies are the most delightful folks to work with as owners and crew.
It is not fair to pidgeon hole folks because of where they are from because there are good and bad but the business practices and they way in which they approach a written contract vary from one geographical location and another.
You show good judgement being wary outside an area you are familiar with.
They can always find a Somalian who would be delighted to deliver anything that floats free of charge just to get out of their country. Capt Phil
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