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Old 28-10-2011, 19:25   #1
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California to Florida

So I have a flight booked for early November to fort lauderdale fl, I'm looking to hitchhike, well, south.

I'm experienced and have all the essentials But I'm lacking the east coast knowledge on locations potential cruising opportunities.

So my question is, Is ft lauderdale the place to find this? Or are there more bountiful locations in Florida?

Thanks for time and knowledge,
Kevin O
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Old 29-10-2011, 08:13   #2
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Re: California to Florida

Legally you cannot "hitchhike" on a private recreational boat - but you can join as a crew member without any significant difference. Where you start from is pretty much determined by where the boat is starting from. There is no "central" starting point for private boats. So you should advertise in the various "crew" websites that you are looking to join a boat heading ??? during time period ??? and if you make a "connection" then travel to that location.

- - CF has a section at the bottom of the menu page titled Crew Positions: Wanted & Available - Cruisers & Sailing Forums

- - Other sailing/cruising websites also have crew wanted/available features - and then there are websites like: Find a Crew™ by NAUTYCAL - Look Better Online™
that enable you to post your desires.
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Old 31-10-2011, 09:54   #3
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Re: California to Florida

Pretty much agree with osirissail. But what do you mean by "hitchhike"?

Are you envisioning wandering the docks, looking for a boat that is heading south, and hopping on as an unpaid crew member? I have to say that I think you'll find that very difficult to do. Off the top of my head, here are a few of the things you will have to figure out...

How will you find boats going south? If you find them at a transient dock that probably means they are already on their way and so also probably have the crew they need. Finding the one boat, out of (quite literally) thousands that is on a dock just now preparing to leave will be very hit-or-miss.

Where will you live? You certainly can't count on finding a ride the day you arrive, and hotels in that area are pretty pricey--the more so the closer you are to the water.

How will you get around? Public transportation in Florida is notoriously poor. You will be very limited if you don't have a car.

Not saying that you can't do it. Just saying that there are a number of issues that you are going to have to consider and prepare for ahead of time. All in all, I have to agree with osirissail that it would be much less headache to find a ride before before you come.
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Old 31-10-2011, 10:27   #4
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Pretty much I agree with osiris sail as well, there are varying legal issues to consider but with documents such as verification of sea time (verification of crew) on bank vessel, blank tonnage, blank dates, and captained signature, as well as the possibility of sharing expenses for longer passages it is not essentially Hitchhiking.

I'm also taking into consideration that some, mainly larger boats may just need crew for a 3-4 day passage, and not an extended shared expenses voyage.

On the issue of lodging ft lauderdale has vary crew housing/ hostels for about $25. I also think these will be a good starting off point to make connections/ share info. Ft L also has crew seeker offices located need the central harbor and the online resources for finding crew positions both have positives a d negatives.

But yes, I'm invisioning skipping the public transportation and walking the docks To shake some hands. Even if non are preparing for a voyage, the sailing community is truly great.

There has been much planning and preparation, but maybe was the lack of vocabulary Hahah. Thx for the responses and any addition food for thought much appreciated! Knowledge is shared through conversation so keep it coming I need all the help I can get!

Cheers,
Kevin
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Old 31-10-2011, 10:47   #5
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Re: California to Florida

you can do it if you try ..if you dont try you will never know..good luck ..DVC
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Old 31-10-2011, 18:20   #6
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Re: California to Florida

There is another little "complication" you will encounter with trying to "hitch" a ride on a private recreational vessel - and that is "heading south" sort of means you are leaving the USA and will be transiting foreign countries.
- - As a paid crew member on a large yacht you sign on for a specific duration which either means long enough to return to the departure country, or part of your "wages" will be held for airfare back to your home country.
- - On a private recreational vessel, the owner/captain is responsible financially for your "repatriation" back to your home country whenever he checks into a new foreign country. In order for you to "sign off" the vessel you will need to show enough financial depth/assets to the "Immigration Officials" that they will allow you to sign off the boat. Otherwise the owner/captain of the vessel you arrived on will be held liable for your expenses and repatriation if the local government wants you to leave.
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Old 31-10-2011, 18:39   #7
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I've also taken that into consideration, and that's a good point to bring up. However, i will not be "hitching a ride" for lack of funds, I'll be hitching a ride to gain a lot more.

I've found that if i am not continuing on a vessel from a foreign port I may can prove my finical capability of for the duration of my stay and the ability to obtain a flight from the country back to the states as you have said. C&I may also ask for a deposit for the amount required for a flight out of out of the country returned to me on the day of departure. This is why i think it would be more practical to share expenses for an extended journey as to avoid carrying the cash required ( as they do not accept debt cards). Financially, I could afford to do it either way but a good point osirissail!

No adventure ever began by sitting at home! You never know until you go
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Old 31-10-2011, 18:44   #8
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In addition, the research I've done on this topic says having letters from persons of prominent employment (ie doctors, lawyers, judges, etc.) wouldn't be a bad think to have but I thing the local officials wouldnt take that very convincingly. A state from the bank would be more suitable.
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Old 31-10-2011, 19:09   #9
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Re: California to Florida

If you have financial depth - e.g. credit cards with moderate limits - then there is little or no hassle journeying from country to country. The simplest thing the Immigration folks want to see is a airline ticket out of their country. With a credit card you can buy a refundable fare ticket to satisfy them and then turn it back in for a refund should you decide to travel out by a different mode.
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