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Old 01-06-2011, 13:33   #1
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Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

We have a solo sailing friend who has hired crew in the past and had a bad experience. He didn't realize his crew member was schizophrenic until after they were underway... among many other problems He is planning a trip to the South Pacific next year. We would like him to consider taking crew. I am trying to get as much information as I can to talk him into it.
I want to know how do you choose good crew members?
What are the most common problems with hiring crew?
Is there an online site with answers to specific questions?
How do you know what to pay a crew member or is it food only?
And there are probably more questions... I'm just getting started.

I hope this is the right place to ask this question. I went to the Crew tab, but that looks like people just looking for and hiring... not assisting. Thanks for shedding any light.
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Old 01-06-2011, 14:11   #2
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

I learned from a friend that you do not just take any qualified crew. Only take someone who adds something to the experience. Take someone you've sailed with before. Someone you know. Spend a great amount of time among sailors and cruisers...at a yacht club or cruising destination. That's my rule.
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Old 01-06-2011, 14:21   #3
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

There are reputable crew agencies based in Ft Lauderdale, USA and Palma de Mallorca, Spanish Balearics.

crew from these agencies will have proper references and experience.

They won't be free.
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Old 06-06-2011, 20:39   #4
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

The best way to find a crew is to have a skipper who wants one, and knows what he (or she) is looking for in a crew. Since you identify your friend as a solo sailor, this may be difficult. Would you be a good crew for your friend? Why or why not? Find someone who fits what you think your friend would need, and have them meet. Maybe it's you, and you should ask to join him on the trip because you want to go, not because you think he needs crew.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:16   #5
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

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The best way to find a crew is to have a skipper who wants one, and knows what he (or she) is looking for in a crew. Since you identify your friend as a solo sailor, this may be difficult. Would you be a good crew for your friend? Why or why not? Find someone who fits what you think your friend would need, and have them meet. Maybe it's you, and you should ask to join him on the trip because you want to go, not because you think he needs crew.
Thanks, but I'm really looking for online sites and check lists and "learned from experience" stories so that I can compile a packet. I want an idea of questions that you ask of a captain or crew member BEFORE you make a commitment to go along. I can guess what might be good questions to ask, but I KNOW I'm leaving out important considerations.

For example, I would never have thought about it (though it makes perfect sense) that knowing the size of your Capt. or crew might be important. A 6'3" person on a Nor'Sea 27 might be an issue. Or weight...

I have no desire to go to the South Pacific... too expensive and I want to go Central and South America. My family and I are cruising in Mexico (have been for 3 years) and have taken on crew once... a friend. So, I have no personal experience in taking on strangers or crewing for an unknown Capt.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:34   #6
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

how do I get off (or them off) and when (Plan A and Plan B)
food - what's the menu look like / who cooks
how many onboard - what watches are planned? (4 onboard may mean you are down for 12 hour watches, whilst owner relaxes).
does the Skipper act like he knows one end of a boat from another? (some things you just can't learn online)
does the boat look seaworthy?

As a broad rule, if a Skipper doesn't have useful stuff written down (as a guide for Crew) then he probably has no idea either. Make of that what you will. Short trips then pot luck don't really matter - longer trips I would want either payment (and up front!) or a weekend and then a week onboard as a trial run (both ways!).
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:56   #7
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

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I want an idea of questions that you ask of a captain or crew member BEFORE you make a commitment to go along.

I would never suggest someone take a paid captain as crew on a cruise for our style cruising because I belive we learn better and faster if we are in command.

However, I do think experience sailing crew (Deckhand) could be a wonderful way to help you out on a cruise. Not only would the right person know how to sail well but they would be able to impart it to the owner without taking over.

A lot of that sort of crew would come under the superyacht agencies, though the crew may not be after a superyacht, thats what the agencies often align themselves as.

For a direct approach that can be done via a website like Dockwalk.com
Anyone can joing, though its more or less for crew looking for jobs. you could find blogs on it, and review jobs wanted ads, and also place ads (for free, I think).
Just because someone says they want to work on a 100 foot boat doesn't mean they wont work on a 40 footer if the conditions are right.

http://www.dockwalk.com/default.aspx

and try a search string like superyacht crew agency - Google Search=

find an agency in your country and call them to get the facts.

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Old 07-06-2011, 09:23   #8
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

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I want to know how do you choose good crew members?
You don't choose the best crew; they choose you.

So far I've got two boats that want me to crew the 2012 Pacific Cup to Hawaii. Each skipper knows that the other skipper has invited me, and I've told them both that I won't make a commitment prior to Christmas. In the meantime, they keep me up to date with their preparations, including who else they're trying to recruit. Both these guys are spending a truckload of money getting their boats ready, which makes the pre-race competition interesting to watch. It's nice to know that whichever berth I choose, that boat will have new halyards.

I learned long ago not to crew on a boat where some crew were volunteer while others were pros. Sets up a twisted hierarchy, especially because the best sailors are seldom the ones getting paid.

Likewise, I don't share expenses. It's bad enough that I have to invest two weeks of vacation on somebody else's passage. At the point you offer me a berth, you'd better already have my favorite single malt aboard. Otherwise, I sail with somebody else.

The rule here is fairly simple: the better the boat, the easier it is to recruit crew. The guy with the Oyster 56 never seems to have trouble finding crew. There's a reason for that.
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Old 07-06-2011, 09:28   #9
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

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There are reputable crew agencies based in Ft Lauderdale, USA and Palma de Mallorca, Spanish Balearics.

crew from these agencies will have proper references and experience.

They won't be free.
the crew agencies WILL charge you,,plus the crew will be getting paid a VERY nice price to come to your boat,,,
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:18   #10
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

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the crew agencies WILL charge you,,plus the crew will be getting paid a VERY nice price to come to your boat,,,
Of course they will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But thats one way to ensure you get a propper Resume and be able to talk to previous employers.

Remember the Original Poster mentions pro crew! "who has hired crew" & "what to pay a crew member".

Please go read the persons post

Remember, you want someone for nothing? You may get exactly what you paid for!
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:24   #11
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

But paid or not, I suspect that no one will be declaring "schizophrenic" as a skillset. It's one of those things you get to discover the hard way...........and comes under Plan B (or C).
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:34   #12
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

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Of course they will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post

74 percent of the first months salary payable by the yacht not the crew member


But thats one way to ensure you get a propper Resume and be able to talk to previous employers.

NOT always true,,spent 12 years dealing with crew agencies,,,,could tell you stories you would not believe about crew that came from agencies. You are dealing with a human,,and the human factor

Remember the Original Poster mentions pro crew! "who has hired crew" & "what to pay a crew member".

Please go read the persons post

My Bad,,

Remember, you want someone for nothing? You may get exactly what you paid for!


or you could pay lots for nothing,,,,,I have worked with the professional stew that was hired through the agency,,and also the one that was walking the dock looking for work,,,both were good,,sometime free is a good way,,,,

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kristy@kristyfox.com (she has the most reasonable fee around)

you can post for free on these sites looking for crew or looking for work,,,in 12 years less than 1/4 of my work came from agencies,,the rest came walking the docks, message boards, and friends

NOT trying to get into a pissing match with you about agencies but in the last several years owners have gotten tired of paying a large fee for crew,,,when you are placing a chef, stew or captain the fee can be over 10k alone

also can talk to brokers,, they keep list of crew and do not charge a fee,, usually do it as a favor to the owners
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:40   #13
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

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But paid or not, I suspect that no one will be declaring "schizophrenic" as a skillset. It's one of those things you get to discover the hard way...........and comes under Plan B (or C).
Disagree.

Not only can it (mental handicaps) be managed in many cases, but a call to a previous employer will tell you if it is. Thats why a good resume of good crew is a good idea.

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Old 07-06-2011, 11:53   #14
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

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Disagree.

Not only can it (mental handicaps) be managed in many cases, but a call to a previous employer will tell you if it is. Thats why a good resume of good crew is a good idea.

A previous employer can only tell you if he is eligible for rehire and the dates person worked,,

Not saying that the above happens all the time but an employer can be held liable for what they say about an ex employee,,,,,

can you say large lawsuit (buy bigger sailboat)
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:12   #15
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Re: Ideas for Hiring Crews and Choosing Crews

i do share the sail and i have found some folks ar enot as they present on line-- for example---- saying has experience, yet only has a coupla times as a racr, and did take asa courses is not acceptable. also make sure the individuals yu choose are not special needs folks. that is difficult to accomodate. i found excellent crew in a fella who is a lapsed cpt in ensenada-- he wont be lapsed for long---lol-- is in process of reinstating his license as we typo.....
make sure the health issues ar esuch as ypu can handle and death at sea isnt imminent.... could be disastrous..
make sure no druggies or drunks-- could also be an issue
ask what medications the potential crew is prescribed-- can tell ye what is wrong with individual, such as geodon for schizophrenia, etc....
i have the potential crew pay for half or that individuals portion of foods, if 3-- 1/3,and some boat stuff- they can pay for some fuel and oil and filters...... will be daily use items. if docking instead of anchoring, have them pay half, lso--esp if is for their convenience.
do they snore louder than yu do>. could interrupt the sleeping process some
daily habits-- do they waste water? use lots of running water?/
do they currently have a viral infection?--can kill ye at sea if stomach flu
goood luck.
fair winds..hope this helps you avoid some of the bs i found..LOL

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