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Old 11-06-2008, 12:11   #1
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Why does the forum not have an exchange programme

I don’t know if this idea has been mooted before, but a search didn’t throw up any results…. So let me present it for your consideration. I was thinking about all the places in the world that I would like to sail and as I am unlikely to be doing a circumnavigation any time soon…if ever… that I was therefore unlikely to experience.

In all my other sporting interests IE football, golf, canoeing, mountaineering, skiing, cricket etc., the common interest lent itself to reciprocal arrangements and indeed from there, to lifelong friendships.

I was wondering why an informal arrangement wasn’t instigated within the forum, whereby interested parties could combine, whereby a form of free ‘timeshare type” arrangement wasn’t created.

If I use myself as the example. I am a Scot located in Venezuela with a 44ft ketch, which has a virtually all year round sailing season. Let’s say that I put myself and “Loon song” up for four individual weeks of sailing a year to say Los Roches and four couples/groups from around the world. Say Canada, USA, northern Europe and UK in their winter or someone thinking of cruising the Caribbean in a few years and would like to experience the sailing opportunities and learn about approaches and procedures etc. They would put in the pool a week/s of cruising in their/boats location and so it would go on.

In previous stated examples concerning other sports, as the host I take care of all expenses regarding the sailing trip, although traditionally with the above, the guest bought a meal, a bottle of something to say thank you or a small present. They then when host, offered the same. Venezuela offers many natural must sees, such as Angel Fall, Merida/Andes etc which a visiting group may wish to explore on a subsequent week/s(at their expense).

If properly set up the system could be sophisticated enough whereby I for example have a credit of four weeks, after hosting four trips and say Hans from Norway cruised with Bill in England, who took his reciprocal trip with Walt in Florida, I could then reacquaint myself with sailing in the Oslo fjord for a week and enjoy meeting/sailing with Hans.

It could be that I liked the four parties that I sailed with so much, that I arrange to visit their locations, but I believe the system would be more flexible if it was open, as work/family commitments, fixed holidays etc may make the direct reciprocal arrangement impossible.


Simply put this would allow me to sail/meet with interesting people and should allow me to revisit previous sailing locations, which I deem it unlikely that I will sail to in“Loon Song” , but would love to experience again. Equally if enough interest exists then I can visit countries that I haven’t yet visited/sailed such as New Zealand and Australia. I can do all of the above and meet in person those that I merely know as a posting name seems to me to be a positive social and learning opportunity and even if only a small minority of the forum are interested, would be worth pursuing. Indeed as I stated before I was surprised to find no previous mention.

It seem to me that a section could be created within the Forum for those with a boat to register and an interest in the proposal. Perhaps someone could create a poll format and post it within this thread ( I don’t know how to) to see what interest exists, what could be created or whether it could actually get of the ground.

Anyway I would be interested in your comments… and just think monohull and multihull aficionados, can finally share a common experience perhaps and peace reign hereafter, now even that slight possibility must be worth exploring as to the general merit of my suggestion.

Regards

Alan
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Old 11-06-2008, 12:37   #2
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This was discussed about six months ago in http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...cht-11653.html but I'm glad it has resurfaced with your post, Alan. It's an interesting concept, and while computers would greatly aid in managing the logistics, it may still be unworkable.

Anyway, I think you might find the referenced thread worth reading.

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Old 11-06-2008, 17:02   #3
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Actually, I had missed the previous thread....Thanks for the update/link. However, I note that it was mainly geared to a day sail, which I believe most of us would extend that invitation as a matter of course, to anyone in or passing through our vicinity.

It seemed to me however, that a system whereby fellow sailers with a boat and a common but acceptable minimum skill at least, could have access to a world of sailing opportunities/ locations, with other owners who have local knowledge which would otherwise be probably unlikely. As an added bonus with not totally unknown entities. This mean they could have the possiblity of a fresh water experience in Lake Tahoa or the great lakes, or have a possiblity of experiencing Thailand or Bali. someone who has crossed the pond, could leave their boat in the Bahamas and come to Venezuela or Grenada or Trinidad and explore and test whether a southern Caribbean tour would be justified.

They would be cruisers enjoying an extended sailing experience for a week or two, with others of similar ilk, as guests (financially) and sailing team members (experience).

If someone reads the thread and can add a simple questionnaire/poll, maybe it can get some traction.

Best Regards

Alan
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Old 11-06-2008, 17:09   #4
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Somewhere in that thread reference that TaoJones posted is a link to the Sailboat exchange.

Here it is.

Sailboat Exchange

And once again anyone visiting Singapore is welcome to hitch a daysail on our modest boat.
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:24   #5
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The discussion does come about sort of once a year maybe. But it has never gained any momentum. If it is a "lets swap boats" you are thinking of, the issue's that come about are,
Stangers on your boat.
Insurance for your boat with strangers skippering it.
Qualifications
The list goes on and on. It is not a simple issue of hey lets swap.
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Old 12-06-2008, 15:58   #6
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It would seem that I didn’t make myself plain. It is not a “Lets swap boats” but a come and enjoy sailing with me in my location….system. Assuming there were sufficient people interested who for the sake of this example offered a week or multiple weeks, cruising with them, on their boats. The visitor/s is/are guest/s onboard ( All cruising expenses paid by the host). As they are within the CF they are sailors and take an active part in the cruise.

After their week, (using me as the example), they owe the system a week’s cruising on their boat and I have a credit of a week, which I then take with Alan in New Zealand, who owed the system a week, because he sailed with Ex-Calif out of Singapore. Ex-Calif had two weeks in the Med and owes the system one week, which someone else uses as their credit week.

The insurance angle doesn’t apply as whoever hosts, covers the cruising costs.

Now I realise that perhaps many members would not be happy to have anyone else on their boats for a week, but for those who have a short season and realistically don’t see a long cruise on their near horizon, or those that are gregarious enough to welcome convivial company occasionally could accumulate a few weeks per season in their normal location and have a cruise in their winter somewhere else.

Equally, some thinking of crossing the pond eventually could perhaps find a fellow sailor located at there anticipated destination, within the system which would allow him or her to acquaint themselves with the proposed area. Or as a final example someone contemplating a new/different boat, could find a fellow CF member within the system with such a boat and avail themselves of a week’s cruise.

Although I sail with friends, who crew with me, I have the advantage of a very long season and I am in the lucky position of owning my company, so I decide to take two weeks every five or six weeks. Others of course won’t be in so lucky a position. Never the less have sufficient holidays to host and guest.

Anyway I hope the above clarifies my suggestion.

Regards

Alan

PS I did check out the website for the exchange boat and after some more research, could be found worthy of support. However, I believe my suggestion has obvious supplementary benefits .
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Old 12-06-2008, 17:11   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anglooff View Post

After their week, (using me as the example), they owe the system a week’s cruising on their boat and I have a credit of a week, which I then take with Alan in New Zealand, who owed the system a week, because he sailed with Ex-Calif out of Singapore. Ex-Calif had two weeks in the Med and owes the system one week, which someone else uses as their credit week.

The guy in Greenland will end up owing a lot of weeks - LOL.

I get the scheme now and it sounds intriguing. Of course not all boats are equal and not everyone wants to be a "charter" operator. Hosting strangers is a real chore.

For example - Say - I get 2 weeks vacation per year. I go to New Zealand and sail with Alan and I owe 2 weeks. Then you ring up and want to sail 2 weeks in Singapore. I have no vacation left to host you.

Plus a lot of areas will likely have a waiting list. Plus I may get to host a bunch of people that I really don't want to host.

However, anyone visits Singapore and I'll make sure you get a day sail at least.

BTW - I have been watching the boat swap site for over a year. I have no idea if it works but the site hasn't changed much over the year so I wonder how much people really want to swap boats when push comes to shove. If I had a decent boat to trade I would definitely consider it.
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Old 12-06-2008, 17:12   #8
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I think I would have to know these guests pretty well, before I would want to invite them on my boat.

Your idea is interesting, although a little idealistic. These would be people that I would not no at all, except through a chat, forum, or email session, and that probably would not be enough for me to invite strangers out for a sail...let alone for weeks at a time. I met my wife online, but we didn't meet for about a year after first chatting. It would take some doing on their part to convince me they weren't going to steal my boat, and leave me for dead.

I think I'd pass on this idea.
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Old 12-06-2008, 17:48   #9
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I think what *could* be workable is a compromise of sorts --- finding people within this forum, or within a group like the Seven Seas Sailing Association who also has a lot of activel cruisers out there now --- and strike up agreements that are more simply two way or at the most, three way.

The whole time/share keeping track idea on a larger scale would end up frought with rules and limitations I'd think --- much like the formal time share systems. But --- a handful of likeminded folks could probably work out something like this on a small scale. Unfortunately, those with outside-of-boating obligations, like full time employment or simeply limited time away for lengthy sails, would have a hard time getting it to work smoothly.

But, I like the idea of a central board here where folks could offer hospitality of whatever flavor they are interested in sharing ----

Rambling --- I think that there are probably enough hurdles to the general population of this board to limit the success of your plan on a large scale, but again, on an informal or smaller scale, could probably work.

Should we propose a board for "Shares and hospitality" or would it more simply fit under the crew board with an expanded name "Crew and other Shared boating opportunities"
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Old 12-06-2008, 20:51   #10
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What I think could work is a situation where you come to our boat and we take you for a week. We split all the costs and we show you what sailing is like here and we go to the places we know and you might like. Then next time it is at your boat with you.

It's not a reasonable idea to have you take a boat you don't know in an area you don't know and just go off on your own.

We have neighbors that did this with their house and car as you discussed but it's a bit different since cars are pretty much cars and the insurance can be worked out, but not so easy with boats and boats you don't know.
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Old 12-06-2008, 23:09   #11
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I also think it is a bit rude to expect the Host to cover all the expenses. If I traveled to Hayes VA to visit Paul for instance and he took me out for a week, I would ensure he was not out of pocket for his generosity. I guess that part often comes down to cultures and what each culture would expect.
Travel would be another issue. It is cheap for some and very expensive for others.
Plus if Paul had me aboard for a week, he may wish he didn't after day three and end up setting me adrift in the dinghy.
I n saying all that though, the ones that I have got to know well on this board all have standing invitations that if they ever get her to NZ, I will ensure they are well looked after.
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Old 13-06-2008, 04:22   #12
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Plus if Paul had me aboard for a week, he may wish he didn't after day three and end up setting me adrift in the dinghy.
Dinghies are too expensive to cast adrift.
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Old 13-06-2008, 04:43   #13
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Over the years, I’ve had numerous invitations to visit & sail with CF members, with whom I’ve developed a particularly warm relationship. I’ve been unable (to date) to take advantage of any of these generous offers, but (warning) maybe next year, when I’m retired ...

All of these kind invitations were offered to us by Private Message or Email. I’m certain others have also developed relationships that resulted in invitations and/or visits.

Then there’s the SF Bay Rendevous, wherein a number of members are getting together aboard their own boats.
SF Bay Rendevous

My point being, that I don’t believe that a formal boat exchange will work here; which doesn’t preclude members from getting together, either on one boat (host & guest) or on numerous boats (fleet rendevous).
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Old 16-06-2008, 10:43   #14
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My apologies for not replying but was at the boat over the weekend.

I am please to see that a little traction exists.... Lets see if we can expand it... Could someone please add a Poll to this thread or start a new one with a poll attached.(Note: The wording will be important)

Firstly, it is important that we address the general concept rather than the working idiosyncrasies.... which I believe are really quite straightforward and can cause unnecessary confusion.

My initial thoughts were predicated on the fact that I am in the fortunate position of having more sail time than most and I live in an area which really has all year round, excellent sailing opportunities. I am conscious that I am probably in the minority in this regard.

Never the less, for whatever reason…. Whether, gregarious and likes company, sailed the boat to a new location and normal crew not available as much, having a two month “gunk holing cruise” and needs a change of pace. Wants to sail in different boats, in various locations etc etc. They are happy/willing to post a week/s into the system to take part. (I specifically didn’t suggest a reciprocal system as often that would have time constraints, re work, holiday, family commitments etc)

Using me once more as the example I post a week cruise from the 9th -16th November 08 and 16th -23rd January 09 into the system. I therefore have two weeks credit. Perhaps when I visit my family back in Britain I add a week and go sailing with someone who has posted a week in Europe. Later in the year I take the opportunity of a week in Mexico. It could be that someone located in the north USA, economically could not visit Venezuela, or Europe, but is happy to meet ( and make) new friends and will use his credits to sail somewhere within the states. Ergo not a reciprocal arrangement, but one more flexible.

Once it is arranged, everything is normal. When I have visitors for a cruise, we have a drink and I explain the system, as we all do. As we are all sailors, no matter the skill level and I believe we can assume a good basic crew level skill and above, it will be higher than many we sail with who are complete newbees ( nice though they are).

As host I believe we would have some issues with insurance if we have paying guests. However when on the hook, I don’t see the problem with the host making the provision increase from two to four. When located near restaurants/ bars etc. then good manners would indicate that if I was the guest, to invite my host/s occasionally… provide a bottle/s etc. If as the host the only place was a five star restaurant at $200usd per head, I would indicate such and if I really wanted to eat there agree to split the bill. Or if that was way out of the price bracket of my guest, even splitting the bill, have the common courtesy to forgo the meal, buy a fish from the local fishermen, grill it onboard and maybe pop over for a drink later.

Anyway, these are scenarios which we face all the time if we share our sailing world with others. Commonsense and basic good manners will, I would suggest, overcome most obstacles. Its only for a week!

I have sailed/crewed/guested on many different boats and enjoyed them all. If I have an opportunity of sailing, say the Greek islands once again on a well found, but not salubrious 27 footer, then why not. The fact is that is a week’s sailing which I have no doubt I will enjoy.

If the culinary skills of my host is wanting….And I have sailed with people who learned to cook in the local crematorium… well I am pretty good and would be happy to be the chef….Its only for a week!

So if someone could help me to/or post a “general” poll in the thread maybe it would move on a notch.

I am sure there are many reason why we shouldn’t…However I am equally sure there are a myriad or excellent reasons why we should

Regards


Alan
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Old 16-06-2008, 14:22   #15
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I would suggest a system that doesn't use "credits", if say someone from CF is visiting the Baltic, and I have posted that I am in that area, they can drop me a line, and if I have the time and inclination, i might invite them to join me for a certain time on a trip.

No credits, no you owe me etc. Cost splitting etc. can and should be agreed upon up front. Maybe we could come up with a set of reccomendations for cost sharing...

There could be a list of who has sailed with whom, so you can get in touch with either the host or the guest and get some unfiltered feedback about another potential host or guest.

Let's keep it simple.

Regards

Alan
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