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Old 09-08-2018, 16:52   #1
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What do I bring as Crew?

WHAT TO BRING?
(I hope this thread is in appropriate place, moderators feel free to relocate.)
Recently Retired, seriously considering hanging out my shingle for some crew positions. After 30 yrs Stinkboating, Now to (JAM) Race Crew, 3 seasons on a Hunter 28, Lake Erie Freshwater, favored fore-deck guy, release and chase and skirt sails. Enough about me.
Question is: What is customary or tolerated amount of gear to bring on a Gig, say visiting a few ports up and down the coast, or further? My goal is to arrive as unencumbered as possible.
I'm thinking: Sperry Deck Shoes, Good Hat and Sunglasses, Smart Phone, and the clothes on my back. And a toothbrush. And of course, an Indomitable Sense of Humor.
But questions remain: I suppose it would be prudent to have a weeks supply of underwear, a swimsuit, a couple changes of After-Sail yachting wear, possibly 2nd pr shoes?, for the odd get-together in port or on board. Would it look unprofessional to arrive with a rolling suitcase with the aforementioned items?
Would an acoustic guitar and a laptop computer be a little over the top? (My retirement Bucket List included learning Guitar).
I can't imagine schlepping that much stuff around, yet it seems one might want certain items if on a more extended voyage. I suppose one could pick up a guitar in one's travels...
Thanks for any input. Couldn't find a thread that quite addressed this.
-Henry- The ScowHound
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Old 09-08-2018, 17:17   #2
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Re: What do I bring as Crew?

Pretty much, yes. But no rolling suitcases. Soft bags fit better in weird shaped lockers, or a backpack.
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Old 09-08-2018, 17:36   #3
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Re: What do I bring as Crew?

So I take it you are asking for crewing on a boat that is not in the Great Lakes? As a start, I bring my own weather gear">foul weather gear, PFD, harness, gloves, knife, whistle, light, PLB; you know, all the safety stuff you probably already have and are accustomed to.
As far as how much to bring, that will depend on the size of the boat, how long you'll be out and where you are going.... and the skipper's preferences. I think a guitar is a nice addition on a bigger boat for someone who knows how to play it!
No rolling suitcases!
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Old 09-08-2018, 18:24   #4
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Re: What do I bring as Crew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
So I take it you are asking for crewing on a boat that is not in the Great Lakes? As a start, I bring my own foul weather gear, PFD, harness, gloves, knife, whistle, light, PLB; you know, all the safety stuff you probably already have and are accustomed to.
As far as how much to bring, that will depend on the size of the boat, how long you'll be out and where you are going.... and the skipper's preferences. I think a guitar is a nice addition on a bigger boat for someone who knows how to play it!
No rolling suitcases!
Donít forget boots,
Gill makes a nice soft bag with wheels
which is what I use.
Hereís a tip
I pack a bag of just my sailing gear as referenced above and a second bag with all my other clothing,
bathroom kit, personal electronics, etc
(no laptop too much space and a charging burden)
When traveling by air it all gets combined in the
Gill rolling soft bag. The sailing gear goes in first
then the rest. 44 pound limit, anything over
gets cut. When driving to a boat I take the two
smaller bags as they are a bit easier to manage
and store. Unless youíre really good on the guitar
forget it, iíve been on boats with mediocre
players and it gets old really really fast
then just a piece of junk taking up space
Mostly an item carried by possers
Cheers
Neil
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Old 09-08-2018, 18:38   #5
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Re: What do I bring as Crew?

Knife and spare knife too. Optional... a Leatherman also. Your knife is your life. Consider a ukulele instead of a guitar. Dead simple to learn. Fits in your seabag. Pretty much nobody finds a ukulele to sound irritating, even played badly. Rubber boots and slickers or goretex. Inflatable PFD, preferably one that doubles as a harness. A navy seabag, the kind with two straps that you can wear as a backpack, is a good choice for luggage. I would lean more toward a large Android phablet rather than a laptop. A used Note 3 is a great choice. I have four of them, best phone Samsung ever made IMHO. OCPN runs great on it, with stock Android or CyanogenMod which I prefer. Doubles as a pretty decent camera. Stick a 128GB microSD card in it and bring lots of tunes and flicks. Earphones and spare earphones, too. Nobody else wants to hear Big Trouble in Little China for the seventh time no matter how strongly you feel that it should have won a basket full of Oscars. You MAY want to bring a set of sheets, check first. If you wear a ball cap or any other brimmed or billed hat, bring several. They tend to go away. A tether is a good idea, or chin strap. Thermal underwear unless you are definitely going to be tropical. A hoodie is good insulation under a slicker coat when it gets brisk.



One navy seabag full of gear is about all you should consider carrying unless it is a larger boat with small crew. Storage is at a premium when cruising with crew. On a small boat try to keep it down to about four changes of boat clothes that you can depend on, and one set of over the hill gear at most. Your ordinary sailing clothes and deck shoes should get you in the door at most places you would be interested in entering. Long pants and sleeves if you are fair skinned, but a pair of shorts for swimming or for cockpit showering is a good idea.



On a bigger boat it might not hurt to bring your snorkel gear. And a few fishhooks and some stout line. If in doubt, leave it out.
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Old 09-08-2018, 20:03   #6
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Re: What do I bring as Crew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post
Pretty much nobody finds a ukulele to sound irritating
I can't think of anyone I know who would agree with this

I would strongly advise checking before taking a musical instrument of any kind, particularly if you are not exceptionally talented with it.
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Old 09-08-2018, 20:30   #7
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What do I bring as Crew?

If you are doing a delivery, DEFINITELY leave any instrument home.

Add to the list 2-3 layers, including polartech 200 jacket to go under your foulies and a wool sock hat.

I always pack a wool blanket. But you should check with whoever you are crewing for regarding bedding.
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Old 09-08-2018, 20:40   #8
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Re: What do I bring as Crew?

Hi Henry. I'm envisioning you traipsing down the boardwalk inquiring about crewing positions. I would think you'd know ahead of time whether a lot or little would be tolerated and how much kit to bring that would be dependent on the boat. A harmonica might be a nice substitute instrument to learn and super easy to schlep around. Sailing gear (foulies, PFD, tethers, boots, gloves, etc.) is heavy so you'll definitely prefer a rolling bag, but do make it soft-sided, as mentioned above. You might also consider a leak-proof mug, water bottle, and a personal "dog bowl" with lid for meals. Easy drying clothes are better than multiple changes, but that would also depend on whether extra fresh water is easily available. A small laptop with DC charging is a nice thing to have, but most smart phones will suffice these days especially if you have books/videos you can access during down times.
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Old 09-08-2018, 21:02   #9
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Re: What do I bring as Crew?

Re: charging, consider getting a decent sized phone charger battery. I have had inconsiderate crew who plug all sorts of things into various charging ports, and once you have a few of those your nav station gets overrun by cables and other people’s junk. I don’t like junk on the nav table, particularly if it isn’t mine! And unplugging reserve gps/chartplotters is a safety no-no.

I had one particularly civilised crew member on the same trip who had a 20,000mAh battery pack that he asked permission to plug in once every few days. He could then charge his phone and iPad from that each day as needed. It is definitely the way I would do it if I were crew on someone else’s boat.
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Old 09-08-2018, 21:06   #10
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Re: What do I bring as Crew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gamayun View Post
. Sailing gear (foulies, PFD, tethers, boots, gloves, etc.) is heavy so you'll definitely prefer a rolling bag, but do make it soft-sided, as mentioned above.
Heavy?
Sails and dinghys and anchors are heavy.
Your personal gear should be light. You need to be passing it on and off boats, up and down companionways etc. So if you can't carry it one handed, you probably should reconsider...

I'd look at it like this;
One set of clothes to get wet on deck (inc sea boots if needed)
One set of clothes to be dry and warm below
One set of clothes to wear onshore.
Spares so you don't get too smelly.

I'm a fan of waterproof duffle bags where you roll the top to seal. Best to have one able to fit in the other so you can segment wet clothes from dry. I also use very light drawstring bags as well so I can find dry socks and dry thermals in the dark.

On the boat I used to race on, everyone had a locker that was approx 14" wide by 5" high by 16" deep, plus a hook for foulies. And the skipper reserved the right to throw anything that looked heavy off.

Have this as your base set of gear, then add luxuries as you find out what is available on a specific boat. (ie we have space set aside for 2 guitars on my boat, so you'd be welcome to bring one on a delivery. )
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Old 09-08-2018, 21:07   #11
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Re: What do I bring as Crew?

These replies are very helpful. Guess I'll sell the guitar and take some harmonica lessons LOL. And I have some travel snorkel gear I'll find when I sell everything off that won't fit in that pack. Brings up another question? Does anyone crew consistently enough to forego keeping/paying for, a crash pad/home base? (Friends have offered short term crash, so I can follow my dreams, but Meh...) Maybe keep a trailer at some run down campground on the Gulf? Ideas?
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Old 09-08-2018, 21:22   #12
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Re: What do I bring as Crew?

I stand corrected. Apparently some folks ARE irritated by the sound of a ukulele.


A couple more things.

Sunscreen.
A pull-through type knife sharpener. The Lansky Quad-Sharp is a good one among the many sucky ones. Fits nicely in your pocket. You don't need a highly refined and polished razor edge on your knife. You need an edge that is tough and toothy and has a lot of cutting power. A good pull-through is just the thing. My favorite knife (I have two with me on the ship, two at home on the boat, one at GF house, one in car!) is the legendary Buck #110, $29 at WalMart, made in USA. But one of the various cheap (ca $5.99) "sailor's knives" is handy sometimes, for the shackle key and spike. Amazon is your friend. In fact, https://www.amazon.com/Maxam-SKRULE-...s=sailor+knife and some more at https://www.amazon.com/s?url=search-...s=sailor+knife . Remember, you need a spare, too.
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:15   #13
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Re: What do I bring as Crew?

I'd bring binoculars. Also install a charting program (OpenCpn for android) on your tablet with GPS device. Mine's on an Android. Works great, at least here in the US....
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Old 10-08-2018, 03:32   #14
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Re: What do I bring as Crew?

No one has mentioned a LED headlamp, one with red as well as white lights... and maybe a spare set of AAAs for it. I find them essential, but I've got old eyes that don't work as well at night as they used to.

And damn few boats have room for crews guitars... it's a struggle to find a place for my own ax and we are only two up on a 46 footer!

Jim
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Old 10-08-2018, 10:31   #15
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Re: What do I bring as Crew?

Lots of good and occasionally contradictory advice here.

I've crewed a few times on deliveries on Lake Ontario, and one Trans Atlantic.

In general, I try to bring as little as possible. When you have to carry it all through/to/from the airport/train/bus, you'll appreciate it. Sailing is not a fashion show.

IMHO, you've got to consider the boat. On a Mirage 26 I brought a lot less stuff than on a bigger boat with my own cabin. If the skipper has WW gear aboard already, no need to bring your own. If its a short trip, no need to bring a full set of WW when a waterproof biking coat will suffice.

I like to bring my own handheld GPS, VHF, Knife, multitool, and small bike toolset (I'm a hobby bike mechanic). All this is pretty small, but heavy stuff. A good LED flashlight, and a couple cheap/small LED lights to give to "the boat" as a gift.

I keep my clothing simple...shorts, and tee shirts. Layers rather than bulk for "in case it gets cold". Sunglasses and a spare.

I also believe I should not bring anything I would be upset to lose. Don't bring anything of value. Leave the jewelry and electronics at home. You never know if you will lose it all. My wallet, passport, GPS and plane tickets all go in a small dry bag, you know, just in case we have to ditch.

I bought a nice (and not expensive) pair of GILL neoprene sailing boots. They take up very little space in my luggage compared to the old style rubber boots, and are very comfortable. I expect to be barefoot on the boat anyway, so no other extra shoes besides the sneakers I'm wearing when I arrive.

Talking with the skipper and finding out what is already aboard will help you bring what's appropriate, and not too much.

The most important thing to bring is a good attitude. The skipper is opening up his boat to you, and most likely feeding you too. His expenses for any trip can be significant, so it doesn't hurt to treat at the bar before/after the trip as a show of appreciation. I sometime bring paper charts of our route as a gift as well...often appreciated by those who use electronics exclusively.
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