It is not easy to find experienced crew once in the West Indies. What I want to imply it is difficult to tell who is 'experienced enough' as every one on the dock
will claim they are SO experienced. And without prior knowledge of the person you cannot make any judgement on their skills and personality.
In fact, however, most experienced crew are already on a job in the West Indies and not quite willing to take up one time stunts (and at the time that their mother ship may be actually sailing out too). So you are likely to run into a lot of boat bums and a couple of diamonds and the diamonds do not stand out by any significant feature from the crowd. One can't tell by the looks.
So, in my vista, there are two options:
- take experienced crew on the way out, then recycle them - should they prove to be an asset on the first passage
- find adequate crew locally where you are now, you can learn about people from getting in contact with their sailing associations/clubs/employers, etc. and where you have much more time and neutral ground possibility to make the better judgement.
Be very careful picking any crew, ocean passages can be long and trying, you do not want to be stuck with the wrong people nor do you want your boat to be used by people who may have their own agenda.
If in doubt and if you can afford it, ship it.