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Old 03-09-2016, 12:55   #1
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Is this even realistic?

Disclosure: This is my first ever post on this forum


I'm 50. Divorced. My sailing experience is EXTREMELY limited, like it might as well be zero.

Would anybody be willing to take on crew member like me? I'm a fast learner, independent, open-minded. What are your suggestions for dipping my toe in the cruising-life waters?

I do have language skills: fluent French and getting-there Spanish
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Old 03-09-2016, 13:04   #2
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Re: Is this even realistic?

visit your local marina and check out what's goin on... chances are you can find information about a sailing class, people looking for crew, or just someone nice enough to get your foot through the door!
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Old 03-09-2016, 13:09   #3
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Re: Is this even realistic?

If you can cook, clean, etc. and are generally easy to get along with and eager/willing to participate with what needs to be done and learn all you can about sailing...I would say the chances are pretty good.
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Old 03-09-2016, 13:10   #4
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Re: Is this even realistic?

Seems reasonable. I'm thinking I'll maybe take a trip down to La Paz, BCS and see if I can take some lessons down there. Thanks for your reply!
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Old 03-09-2016, 13:10   #5
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Re: Is this even realistic?

Oh that's so encouraging! Thank you!
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:03   #6
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Re: Is this even realistic?

First, find out out if you get seasick. If not, great, if so, find out what works for you.(patch, stergeron, etc.) no one will want you if you get sick.
Then, get to where boats are preparing to leave on their passages. Let it be known that you are available and that even though you have no experience, you are willing to stand watch allowing the skipper to get some sleep knowing that you will be alert and wake him if there is any sign of trouble. Also let it be known that you have the financial wherewithal to get yourself off of the boat when the passage is over. That is all any cruising skipper really wants. Good luck.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:10   #7
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Re: Is this even realistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kveebee View Post
Disclosure: This is my first ever post on this forum


I'm 50. Divorced. My sailing experience is EXTREMELY limited, like it might as well be zero.

Would anybody be willing to take on crew member like me? I'm a fast learner, independent, open-minded. What are your suggestions for dipping my toe in the cruising-life waters?

I do have language skills: fluent French and getting-there Spanish
No, because in addition to being a danger to me, you'd be a danger to yourself.

Don't lose heart; I'm not a nasty a-hole, but I wouldn't give a baby an angle grinder, either.

The best way to learn is to find a boat club with active racers. Many offer a discount membership that alternates in-class sail training with crew opportunities for racers. Racing skippers always need crew, even "here, hold the rope and do nothing" crew. A couple of seasons of racing in different boats will train you nicely to the point where you can get your own boat, or to the point you discover you may be more experienced than a lot of club racers. Then you'll really be popular.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:28   #8
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Re: Is this even realistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kveebee View Post
Disclosure: This is my first ever post on this forum


I'm 50. Divorced. My sailing experience is EXTREMELY limited, like it might as well be zero.

Would anybody be willing to take on crew member like me? I'm a fast learner, independent, open-minded. What are your suggestions for dipping my toe in the cruising-life waters?

I do have language skills: fluent French and getting-there Spanish
I have "crewed" on several long passages including 9 months to the South Pacific from Porta Valarta, Mexico. If by "crew" you mean for a day or few days along local coastline, yes it is realistic. If you mean by "crew" you are looking for ocean crossings of more than 2 days-- then no, not a good plan for you or any skipper willing to take you on. If you get sea sick and don't get over it after 24-48 hours then you can get into a life threatening declining health situation. Also everyone on the boat is stuck with you and the help you require for an extended period of time. Start local-- I agree that racers in local clubs are always willing to try out and teach a willing newbie, Do the day sails for a few months. Then if you want to go further let it be known you want to do a coastal trip-- a few days. Do a couple of those 2-5 day cruisses; get letters of recommendations from your skippers at the end of each local cruise. Then get yourself to a harbor, at the correct time of year for that harbor, to catch one of the many boats leaving during that optimum time. There are lots of online resources for finding crewing positions. For instance in March every year 15-25 boats leave Porta Valarta, Mexico to sail to the South Pacific and maybe a 1/3 of those will take on EXPERIENCED crew.
Also learn about navigation and "rules of the road" -- take a Coast Guard Auxiliary (or an equivalent) navigation course and general boating course too. The more skills and experience you bring the better your chance of getting a good boat / skipper to crew with.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:45   #9
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Re: Is this even realistic?

The responses above give very realistic advice about your need to learn how you respond to sea motion before you go offshore. I recently had a crew that became so dehydrated from motion sickness that she had to be taken off the boat by the U.S. Coast Guard. This was only several miles off Cape May, NJ. If we had been far offshore she would have been in a life threatening situation. And when one crew becomes incapacitated like this, it takes another crew off duty to take care of the sick crew.

After you know more about yourself and sailing, then there are organizations like Offshore Passage Opportunities that advertise for crew wanted.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:50   #10
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Re: Is this even realistic?

If your crewing overnight or long distance and expect to be entering US or foreign ports, returning to US ports, for your sake, the owner's sake and rest of crew's sake -
Have a valid passport
Consider getting a criminal background check on yourself (don't be offended, the skipper needs a completely clear mind on you, put yourself in the skipper's position)
Get a physical so you know where you stand and you are able to communicate any issues to the skipper - putting the skipper in a position where crew member with unknown/unidentifiable health issues can be life threatening for all aboard espcially if at sea evac is required (all too often in the worst sea conditions)
Unknown/undisclosed criminal record, drug record, negative health issues can lead to arrival delays, departure delays, visa delays/declines, vessel confiscation

If the skipper doesn't ask about these things you should think twice about whether it is the right situation for you.
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:53   #11
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Re: Is this even realistic?

Thank you for this practical advice!
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Old 04-09-2016, 09:58   #12
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Re: Is this even realistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
No, because in addition to being a danger to me, you'd be a danger to yourself.

Don't lose heart; I'm not a nasty a-hole, but I wouldn't give a baby an angle grinder, either.

The best way to learn is to find a boat club with active racers. Many offer a discount membership that alternates in-class sail training with crew opportunities for racers. Racing skippers always need crew, even "here, hold the rope and do nothing" crew. A couple of seasons of racing in different boats will train you nicely to the point where you can get your own boat, or to the point you discover you may be more experienced than a lot of club racers. Then you'll really be popular.
*Hoping this reply is posting in the right place*

I get it. Thank you for your candid reply. I don't wanna be miserable and I certainly don't want to be a liabililty to ANYONE.
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:02   #13
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Re: Is this even realistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thudbranch View Post
I have "crewed" on several long passages including 9 months to the South Pacific from Porta Valarta, Mexico. If by "crew" you mean for a day or few days along local coastline, yes it is realistic. If you mean by "crew" you are looking for ocean crossings of more than 2 days-- then no, not a good plan for you or any skipper willing to take you on. If you get sea sick and don't get over it after 24-48 hours then you can get into a life threatening declining health situation. Also everyone on the boat is stuck with you and the help you require for an extended period of time. Start local-- I agree that racers in local clubs are always willing to try out and teach a willing newbie, Do the day sails for a few months. Then if you want to go further let it be known you want to do a coastal trip-- a few days. Do a couple of those 2-5 day cruisses; get letters of recommendations from your skippers at the end of each local cruise. Then get yourself to a harbor, at the correct time of year for that harbor, to catch one of the many boats leaving during that optimum time. There are lots of online resources for finding crewing positions. For instance in March every year 15-25 boats leave Porta Valarta, Mexico to sail to the South Pacific and maybe a 1/3 of those will take on EXPERIENCED crew.
Also learn about navigation and "rules of the road" -- take a Coast Guard Auxiliary (or an equivalent) navigation course and general boating course too. The more skills and experience you bring the better your chance of getting a good boat / skipper to crew with.
You're right: I am most certainly not ready an ocean cruise out of the gate! I have another year of parenting before any of these suggestions are possible so, lots of time to lurk here and live vicariously. Thank you for the good advice
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Old 04-09-2016, 10:04   #14
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Re: Is this even realistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by notiesbob View Post
If your crewing overnight or long distance and expect to be entering US or foreign ports, returning to US ports, for your sake, the owner's sake and rest of crew's sake -
Have a valid passport
Consider getting a criminal background check on yourself (don't be offended, the skipper needs a completely clear mind on you, put yourself in the skipper's position)
Get a physical so you know where you stand and you are able to communicate any issues to the skipper - putting the skipper in a position where crew member with unknown/unidentifiable health issues can be life threatening for all aboard espcially if at sea evac is required (all too often in the worst sea conditions)
Unknown/undisclosed criminal record, drug record, negative health issues can lead to arrival delays, departure delays, visa delays/declines, vessel confiscation

If the skipper doesn't ask about these things you should think twice about whether it is the right situation for you.
Interesting points no one else has brought up. Thank you
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Old 04-09-2016, 12:26   #15
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Re: Is this even realistic?

Find a sailing club or yacht club in your area. They are always looking for crew members for racing and for cruising. Our sailing club sends a fleet to the Bahamas ever year and each boat is always looking for crew. If you have a problem with sea sickness try ginger pills. It is a natural solution and works great.
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