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Old 29-10-2011, 13:22   #1
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Gaining Offshore Experience

hey everyone,
i was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for me, my dream since i was 10 has always been to buy a sailboat and sail from surf spot to surf spot around the world. I am in college now and although i have a lot of sailing experience, i do not have any offshore experience. I have been trying to get onto any boat going anywhere, doing anything, in hopes of picking up some knowledge from the skipper. My problem is that as a college student, im not exactly the wealthiest person in the world, and im finding it hard to get aboard a boat that wont cost a ton of money that i don't have. Also, because i cant buy a plane ticket, i can only get on boats that are on the U.S. west coast. and because im in college, i can only do cruises during summer break.

so does anyone have have suggestions for me on how to accomplish this?
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Old 29-10-2011, 14:42   #2
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

I've never tested this theory but I bet it works. Go to a marina where owners are allowed to do their own work and find an offshore boat and the skipper doing his annual haul out. If you offer to give him a hand for a day I'll bet you'll find that most of his cew happened to be "busy" that day. I reckon that during the course of the day you'd get your first offshore invitation and one that suits your budget.

Greg
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Old 29-10-2011, 14:47   #3
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

I don't know about others, but personally would not take someone I didn't know as a crew member for a real offshore passage. Similarly, I would not sign up as a crew member with a skipper I didn't know. Personality clashes could make it a very unpleasant experience for all concerned, and it's all about having fun, isn't it?

If you live relatively close to a yacht club, you could see if anyone there is looking for a racing crew there. That would let you get to know some members and maybe later get a berth on a Baja Ha Ha boat or possibly one going to Hawaii.
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Old 29-10-2011, 15:10   #4
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

work in exchange for crewing is a very very good thing to do --it shows the owner you do want to do this, unlike those who promised work and no showed him---and it gets the work of getting to know someone done well. he can see how you work and what you know is reflected in the questions you ask of him. i try to have crew on board long enough to get to know them before i high tail it out into deeeep blue sea-----i recommend the aforementioned yard experiment.
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Old 29-10-2011, 15:48   #5
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

Even if you had the money, I would avoid like the plague any skipper trying to extort thousands of dollars for a passage. I have only known a few boats that did this, and you couldn't pay me enough to be on them. Agreements between skippers and crews varies, and depends a lot on the nature of the trip (delivery, lazy harbor-hop, etc). The absolute most you should pay is for your own travel and share of expenses (food, drink, etc). In my case, in recent years I have been happy to provide a berth and food as long as the crew takes care of the transportation. YMMV

There are several web sites that put crew and skipper together. Use the free ones; the paid ones are either a ripoff or for professional crews. Some sites are for world-wide cruising, and others are run by yacht clubs or regional magazines for local vessels. Google is your friend here.

Clearly helping a skipper in need is very endearing. This is not just limited to the boatyard. Crew who have volunteered to go forward to hand down a sail in deteriorating conditions are very welcome to stay. If you are available to help a skipper move his boat when his/her friends have returned to work you may well find a berth. So leave notes on the notice boards at nearby marinas/clubs, and be available on short notice. Help with the lines on short trips; word will get around that you are someone worth taking along.

Good luck,

Greg
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Old 29-10-2011, 16:04   #6
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

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Old 29-10-2011, 16:47   #7
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

I would think you can built up 90% of the offshore sailing skills inshore. Build strong sailing skills and read up on all offshore subjects. Sail, sail, sail, and educate yourself on weather, colregs, etc..

Then, with strong sailing skills, I would try going to the sailing places closest to my spot and asking boat owners if the want/need crew for any offshore passage. If you are serious and if you know how to drive a sailboat and avoid tankers sooner or later you will run into someone who will need a deckhand.

Met people sailing your dream in the Indian. They seemed to be having a hell of a good time and some good waves too.

b.
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Old 29-10-2011, 17:34   #8
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
Even if you had the money, I would avoid like the plague any skipper trying to extort thousands of dollars for a passage. I have only known a few boats that did this, and you couldn't pay me enough to be on them. Agreements between skippers and crews varies, and depends a lot on the nature of the trip (delivery, lazy harbor-hop, etc). The absolute most you should pay is for your own travel and share of expenses (food, drink, etc). In my case, in recent years I have been happy to provide a berth and food as long as the crew takes care of the transportation. YMMV

There are several web sites that put crew and skipper together. Use the free ones; the paid ones are either a ripoff or for professional crews. Some sites are for world-wide cruising, and others are run by yacht clubs or regional magazines for local vessels. Google is your friend here.

Clearly helping a skipper in need is very endearing. This is not just limited to the boatyard. Crew who have volunteered to go forward to hand down a sail in deteriorating conditions are very welcome to stay. If you are available to help a skipper move his boat when his/her friends have returned to work you may well find a berth. So leave notes on the notice boards at nearby marinas/clubs, and be available on short notice. Help with the lines on short trips; word will get around that you are someone worth taking along.

Good luck,

Greg
Zee and he are correct...always worked for me..also works with aircraft pilots,long haul truck drivers,rock-n-roll bands and the circus!!
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Old 30-10-2011, 00:55   #9
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

I'm also from the w. coast and when I was in your situation I rode my motorcycle up to Alaska and got a job out of Kodiak on a salmon seiner. I worked my *ss of for the season and learned a few things: 1) it is hard work and I better find another job, 2) Alaska is the most beautiful spot on earth, and 3) I know more about boats and living on the water but I still need to learn how to sail!
I wrote a post recently on my blog on crewing on OPB (other people's boats) and some things that work and don't work. Take a look and let me know if you have any other questions.
Cheers.
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Old 30-10-2011, 07:52   #10
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Markesmongu View Post
hey everyone,
i was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for me, my dream since i was 10 has always been to buy a sailboat and sail from surf spot to surf spot around the world. I am in college now and although i have a lot of sailing experience, i do not have any offshore experience. I have been trying to get onto any boat going anywhere, doing anything, in hopes of picking up some knowledge from the skipper. My problem is that as a college student, im not exactly the wealthiest person in the world, and im finding it hard to get aboard a boat that wont cost a ton of money that i don't have. Also, because i cant buy a plane ticket, i can only get on boats that are on the U.S. west coast. and because im in college, i can only do cruises during summer break.

so does anyone have have suggestions for me on how to accomplish this?
G'Day Mate,

I would suggest trying the Latitude 38 crew list service for west coast rides. They have been matching up boats and crews for years.

And I agree that time spent wandering and perhaps working on OPB in boatyards would be fruitful.

Cheers,

Jim
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Old 30-10-2011, 10:14   #11
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

I think these guys are right on. I will eventually need offshore crew, but I am gaining a crew by working with people I have met around the docks and shipyard, asking them to go on short passages, and seeing how we work together. It can work to your advantage in other ways too. I have a crew living aboard for basicly the cost of mooring. He fixes little things and keeps the boat spotless. I am happy with a maintained boat, he has cheap rent. Since we have sailed a few days together, when I take my boat out on the Pacific, he will be invited along, with meals and airfare back (if needed) paid for.
BTW- don't just look and the high priced docks/yards. The Bluewater guys often hang out in the low rent DIY areas.
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Old 30-10-2011, 14:11   #12
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

Not all the paid sites are a ripoff. I have used Offshore Passage Opportunities both as a captain and as crew. Great experiences every time. Prescreened captains so you know the boats are good and the captains are sane and sober. Your first time is free so you can see that it works.
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Old 30-10-2011, 14:22   #13
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

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Originally Posted by Eleebana View Post
I've never tested this theory but I bet it works. Go to a marina where owners are allowed to do their own work and find an offshore boat and the skipper doing his annual haul out. If you offer to give him a hand for a day I'll bet you'll find that most of his cew happened to be "busy" that day. I reckon that during the course of the day you'd get your first offshore invitation and one that suits your budget.

Greg
IMHO-it is always best to show up with smiles-food and wanting to lend a hand-that way ya can talk and work and that is where the best friends meet and become friends for a very long time till death do ya part.

And if ya bring some tasty sandwiches and a few cold drinks for when the work is done -you will be a Friend worth their weight in gold and you will be rich in what matters,my friend-because sailing friends are true to the core and don't need no x-plining;>) they are just there -all the time in any whatever

Cheers
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Old 30-10-2011, 14:28   #14
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

thanks for the help everyone, i will check out the crew finding sites that were mentioned, and start looking for little jobs around the docks.

I definitely have the 90% experience i can get from inshore sailing, and im looking to find that last 10%. I have also gotten a lot of good information by reading through as many posts on this site as i can.
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Old 30-10-2011, 15:21   #15
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Re: Gaining Offshore Experience

Another plus -is you are on the right/left side of the cost of the good Ole USA -better then being on the right side-cunning-linguist -eh?

I wish I were able to be over there too -where ya still can roll up a good joint? and it don't freeze too hard and some of your representatives still believe in the truth like Ron Paul-hey ,shoot me i'm Canadian and i think he is still the best bet because he has not been bought off yet and never will-them's fighting words - but true ,no? eh?

but that gets back to the only war i can understand and love 200 years later when we kicked your ass?


1812-them was some good honest fighting for a good cause!


Incoming-Cover!

Only thing that keeps me sane in this crazy old /new word is everyone here on this beautiful forum which makes me proud when we hold our hands on our heart and sing the our anthems with tears for all our friends who ain't here no more..

I -we will survive with the help of our friends-Joe Cockier !
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