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Old 31-12-2014, 16:13   #1
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Please Help!

Hello everybody,

I'm completely new here, and was hoping I could get some guidance.

My goal is to sail across the Atlantic before I turn 30 years old.

Right now, I'm 27 and have experience sailing in the Gov Cup (Chesapeake Bay), where I trimmed sails and was a grinder. It was in a race setting. I'm not opposed to that, but I'm more interested in causing/long distance adventure. I've done other short sails on the Bay as well, but am more interested in open-ocean sailing.

Trimming and grinding is rather elementary when it comes to sailing, I'm aware. But I would like to know what I need to do in order to help someone make the crossing.

I've read a few threads of captains looking for crew, where they help with airfare and food. For example, a captain was looking for crew to sail his boat from France to Annapolis, and this is what I would love to do.

Anything is very much appreciated. It's great to be part of such a great community of like-minded sea people.

Cheers to a new year,
Chris

P.S. I'm also a certified rescue scuba diver, if that means anything.
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Old 31-12-2014, 19:08   #2
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Re: Please Help!

Welcome to the forum. Generally, any skipper that pays airfare and food is looking for someone with quite a few years of experience doing crossings already. That said, if you want to do such a crossing you probably would have to pay your own air and share of food. I would suggest getting a hold of a delivery skipper and beg your way onboard for a few short deliveries and build up a resume`.
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Old 31-12-2014, 19:52   #3
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Re: Please Help!

At the least get some ocean experience. I don't think anyone will take you on without it. We once took on an experienced bay sailor with his own boat. He was almost fatally seasick from Ft, Lauderdale until we gave up and went in at Charleston, SC. Sucked for us, but we saved his life. Folks crossing the pond don't have the same options.
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Old 31-12-2014, 19:59   #4
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Re: Please Help!

For your part, just because you don't have a lot of experience, doesn't mean you should jump on board just any boat--interview the captain and ask about his/her experience, the boat itself, how safety minded and qualified the crew may be. Lots of horror stories about people getting on the wrong boat--and that's a nightmare you may not be able to wake up from.

Good luck with your quest!
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:18   #5
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Re: Please Help!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Chris.
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:52   #6
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Re: Please Help!

There are plenty of times & places where there are seasonal ocean crossings. And in fact, you just missed one. In Nov/Dec a lot of boats make the crossing from Europe to the Caribbean. In particular, the ARC for example.
Such seasonal passages are pretty easy to look up, as vessels have been following said same patterns for centuries.
Ditto on the regularity of trans-oceanic races. Said schedules are published all over the place.

You can also look into crossing the pond as part of a delivery crew. For example, a lot of the catamarans & other boats made in France for the charter trade, are sailed across the Atlantic, again, to the Caribbean, amongst other places. Ditto on some of the South African catamarans.

One key item is also to document your sea time. It'll help add to your resume, as well as being a stepping stone towards getting the required hours to let you take the examinations for various certifications, including getting various professional Skipper's licenses. And assuming you're still on good terms with the skipper's of the boats which you raced on, you can get the forms, & have them sign off on your time aboard (unless the rules have changed).

And if you keep up the racing, in addition to the time & experience which you get from that, There will be plenty of opportunities for deliveries both before & after the races. So, some good sea time, as well as time on the water to learn & practice new skills.

Also, head over to www.SailingAnarchy.com & sign up on the forums there. There are loads of opportunities to race & crew there also. And take a peek at my post here Crew Experience Profile on some of the auxiliary skills which are helpful to have at sea. AKA try & make yourself versatile, & indispensable.

Plus, if you're really serious about this, sign up with some of the charter, crew, & delivery companies. If you can't get sea time & or cross an ocean via those resources (plus the others above) you never will... unless, you go the DIY route, & buy your own boat. About which there's more info than you could ever need or use on here.

Good luck!


PS: If your time's your own, you could head down to Key West (for race week), & or the Caribbean right now. As from now until Hurricane season there are races on pretty much all of the various islands down there. Various race weeks & such. Plus of course delivering the race boats from one island to another for the racing, & then back home (mostly to the US, but some to Europe) at the end of the season.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:37   #7
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Re: Please Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah on 'Rita T' View Post
At the least get some ocean experience. I don't think anyone will take you on without it. We once took on an experienced bay sailor with his own boat. He was almost fatally seasick from Ft, Lauderdale until we gave up and went in at Charleston, SC. Sucked for us, but we saved his life. Folks crossing the pond don't have the same options.
This is very true if you did your racing/sailing in the upper Chesapeake Bay. I never had any trouble in the upper portion of the bay say 5 miles north of Kiptopeke and up.

But below that and on the seaside once in the ocean, it was barf central.

But you can adjust just don't put yourself in a situation where there is no return for days on end.

Sailing in the lower Chesapeake Bay you get the bay waves, and when there is any eastern component to the wind, you get the ocean waves also. It's a good training ground. Plus you can sail out in the ocean a few miles when you want.

I've found that a Dramamine on day one usually does the trick then you can usually adjust for the rest of your trip without it.
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:37   #8
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Re: Please Help!

Gook luck to your journey.
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:57   #9
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Re: Please Help!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jameswang.
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Old 02-01-2015, 08:01   #10
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Re: Please Help!

Thank you! Nice e-meeting you.
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Old 04-01-2015, 20:05   #11
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Re: Please Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UNCIVILIZED View Post
There are plenty of times & places where there are seasonal ocean crossings. And in fact, you just missed one. In Nov/Dec a lot of boats make the crossing from Europe to the Caribbean. In particular, the ARC for example.
Such seasonal passages are pretty easy to look up, as vessels have been following said same patterns for centuries.
Ditto on the regularity of trans-oceanic races. Said schedules are published all over the place.

You can also look into crossing the pond as part of a delivery crew. For example, a lot of the catamarans & other boats made in France for the charter trade, are sailed across the Atlantic, again, to the Caribbean, amongst other places. Ditto on some of the South African catamarans.

One key item is also to document your sea time. It'll help add to your resume, as well as being a stepping stone towards getting the required hours to let you take the examinations for various certifications, including getting various professional Skipper's licenses. And assuming you're still on good terms with the skipper's of the boats which you raced on, you can get the forms, & have them sign off on your time aboard (unless the rules have changed).

And if you keep up the racing, in addition to the time & experience which you get from that, There will be plenty of opportunities for deliveries both before & after the races. So, some good sea time, as well as time on the water to learn & practice new skills.

Also, head over to www.SailingAnarchy.com & sign up on the forums there. There are loads of opportunities to race & crew there also. And take a peek at my post here Crew Experience Profile on some of the auxiliary skills which are helpful to have at sea. AKA try & make yourself versatile, & indispensable.

Plus, if you're really serious about this, sign up with some of the charter, crew, & delivery companies. If you can't get sea time & or cross an ocean via those resources (plus the others above) you never will... unless, you go the DIY route, & buy your own boat. About which there's more info than you could ever need or use on here.

Good luck!


PS: If your time's your own, you could head down to Key West (for race week), & or the Caribbean right now. As from now until Hurricane season there are races on pretty much all of the various islands down there. Various race weeks & such. Plus of course delivering the race boats from one island to another for the racing, & then back home (mostly to the US, but some to Europe) at the end of the season.
Thank you so much for this, it's very helpful.

Do you have a word document where you keep logging your hours and experiences? I'm not sure how formal it is (such as with airplane pilots).

And the sealegs are strong from many scuba diving trips living on boats at sea. But then again, I'm sure sailing is a whole different animal.

Thanks again to everyone for their responses. I'm excited to see where this leads.
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Old 05-01-2015, 00:52   #12
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Re: Please Help!

On keeping track of hours, I haven't honestly checked how the formal type is done in quite a while. Though if you do wish to apply for cert's., license's & such, then, yes, the documentation needs to be formally done.
Without doubt, there's still a standard form (paper) for such, & I'd wager that you can find it online. And if you do, please be kind enough to post both a copy, as well as a link here, for others.
That said, it'd likely still pay to visit a USCG station/office & talk to them about the topic as well. AKA Cross-referencing & Crosschecking your info.

And of course, getting formal letters of reference etc. from owners, & skippers (certified & non) can't much hurt either. Especially when paired with a description & narrative of the trip, including any key roles which you played there in. Plus, of course, a notarized copy of the ship's log from when you were aboard.
- This would be for deliveries & periods of being ship's crew for periods of significance, typically. Not day sails, unless you somehow singlehandedly saved a pod of orca's from certain death or something.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:21   #13
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Re: Please Help!

Most recreational boaters do not maintain log books, so the Sea Service forms which are included in the USCG application package must be filled in using the honour system. This form consists of twelve boxes, one for each month of the year. Starting with the most recent year, you fill in the number of days you can best recall being on the water and then go backward in time to the age of 13 years old, or until the sea time requirements have been met. This time is then supported by proof of ownership of the vessel, if you are claiming time on your own boat. If you claim time on someone else's boat, then they must sign your sea service form. Complete a Small Vessel Sea Service form for each vessel you are claiming time on.

Small Vessel Sea Service Form ➥ http://www.uscg.mil/forms/cg/cg_719s.pdf
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