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Old 02-08-2014, 14:22   #1
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Family as Volunteer Crew

So I am new on this forum. I have a huge interest to go traveling and my partner would love to own a sailboat. Yet the plunge of buying a boat seems to be rather an expensive endeavor. So, I got to daydreaming and was thinking once our new little family is financial stable enough what are the chances of a family of three joining a cruiser trip as volunteer or hired crew. Our daughter will be 4 or 5 and my partner was in the Navy with lots of boat and sailing experience. I have some experience with one sailing trip to Alaska and have lived near the river my entire life and I am a great cook. We are accustomed to living in close quarters currently. Ideally, it would be awesome to join another family on their sailboat but however it works, we are all in for a good fun adventure.

Is there an availability for a crew team of 2.5?

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Old 02-08-2014, 19:07   #2
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Re: family as volunteer crew

Welcome to the forum. In all honesty...a snowballs chance in hell. What has been recommended to many people starting out is joining a sailing program and getting started in small sailing boats or dinghy's. You'll meet plenty of people with varied degrees of experience.

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Old 03-08-2014, 00:21   #3
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Re: family as volunteer crew

Welcome to CF.

What you're up against is that most people who are cruising are couples who want to do it themselves. They prefer not to take crew, even for passages. So that taking on someone who will cost them food and space expense and for whom they (the owners) would have ultimate responsibility is not very attractive.

Such a couple, if they were interested on taking on crew would not look for a child (needs caretaking, entertaining) but for experienced people who would be assets, more than just "eyes". Singlehanders might want just "eyes", but most couples do want more skills.

To be brutally honest, living on the river may give you experience with dealing with flooding; it does not in any way prepare you to be at sea.

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Old 03-08-2014, 02:07   #4
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Re: family as volunteer crew

Welcome aboard CF Arnmax.

When you say crew of 2.5 you are kind of joking with a 5 y/o kid. That's not crew, that's a passenger. You suggest volunteer or hired crew. I hate to burst the bubble but I'm with Cellestial.

I person who is "solo" may welcome crew. Someone with 2 or more already on board doesn't really need crew.

I would be careful (loathe?) to take a husband and wife - their dynamic is already fixed - I become the minority on my own boat. I would never take their 5 y/o kid. I also wouldn't pay anyone. I might consider a volunteer but I would most likely expect them to pay their expenses.

There are just too many people out there to choose from.

I suggest you get your family settled and get involved in sailing locally - It is expensive to cruise the world but owning a 22 foot weekender is no different than many other hobbies - RV-ing, dirt bikes etc.

If you really have the bug save you money and Charter a boat of your own once a year or every two.
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Old 03-08-2014, 02:38   #5
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Re: family as volunteer crew

best bet would be to join a yacht club as a family,this would probably give you access to club dinghys,social and other water related events.

and who knows you might meet another 2.5 family with a yacht,and make a play date out on the water.
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Old 03-08-2014, 03:47   #6
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Re: family as volunteer crew

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Arnmax.
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:19   #7
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Re: family as volunteer crew

Love the snowballs chance in hell. Just dropping the idea out there in the forum. Our daughter is 2 now so it would allow us time to save up and pay our way, yet chartering a boat sounds expensive too. Thanks for all the ideas.

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Old 07-09-2014, 10:22   #8
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Re: family as volunteer crew

Aloha and welcome aboard!
As was suggested the best way is to get involved with a sailing club where you can get out on boats and get the kids accustomed to what is involved in sailing.
If I were looking for crew on any kind of passage I would not want to be responsible for little kids and to be honest a boat's skipper is responsible for everything.
There is a family thread here where you might want to discuss specifics with sailing families.
It's good to have you here on the forum.
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:52   #9
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Re: family as volunteer crew

I actually took a friend, his wife and four year old for a short cruise but that was a coastal cruise in the US and never out of sight of land.

A longer voyage away from civilization, ocean passages or down island I think I'll go with the snowball chance. Would not want the responsibility of another's child on my boat at sea or far from home.
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Old 08-09-2014, 16:16   #10
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Re: Family as Volunteer Crew

I am planning to take my family on a longer cruise starting summer 2015.

One of the things that appeals about having some extra parents/kids around is that it might be more fun for the kids, and then the parents could swap out some baby sitting and go out to play.

It seems the questions would be about whether the families could be compatible and whether the boat could be big enough. If those things could work out their could be mutual benefit.

If those items could work out, I could see myself being open to something like that.

Also, for some of the crossings, it seems that another pair of hands could make it easier.

I also found a post about a family that wants to share a boat for 6 month stints. By sharing the cost it seems that they can afford it, and since it would be 6 months on the boat and then 2 years off, they have a chance to refill the cruising kitty. (


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