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Old 04-03-2014, 12:57   #1
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Crew Positions

I confess to reading the Crew Positions on a regular basis and I have some observations and some suggestions for the site. Observations:
1.) Many who respond have never posted or infrequently posted
with no real background info about themselves
2.) Many who respond are complete novices with no sailing experience
3.) Some who respond, in my opinion, are very strange canaries and
also fall into categories 1 and 2 above.
4.) Many of the one time posters never post again

It is my suggestion that this forum might be of better service to its members if the results of any real life connections for crew or captain are rated, by one or the other, and even shared publicly with members who might one day seek assistance. Perhaps even a rating system for those that have sailed multiple times with Forum members so that people have some sort of idea who is coming on their boat. A final observation is that I rarely see forum members replying to these posts. For those that are cruising full time with a steady crew, this is understandable. However, are there no members with free time that might like to join a cruise for a leg or two? At least there would be some level of comfort by knowing one's online personae and some basic information about the prospective mate. There have been times when I have had to solo sail (when agreeable company would have been welcomed) but the prospect of someone completely unknown and untested was just not acceptable. Does anyone else feel this way? Could this be accomplished? Your comments are appreciated.

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Old 04-03-2014, 13:39   #2
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Re: Crew Positions

I agree with you on most of your points, and I do frequently respond to the ones that interest me, but usually only by personal message. pete

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Old 04-03-2014, 13:55   #3
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Re: Crew Positions

I bet you would just have a thread filled with animosity from disgruntled skippers and crew. Can you imagine some of the comments?

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Old 04-03-2014, 14:24   #4
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Re: Crew Positions

When I clicked on crew wanted it looked like a spam page, is there a thread somewhere?
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Old 04-03-2014, 14:35   #5
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Re: Crew Positions


I hear you and share your frustration and think for sharing.

There are much better ways to connect the captains/owners with the potential qualified crews without joining the paid service group. Unfortunately, without the support of forum administration and its members, it is hard to do.

Agreed that there are so many fly-by posters in looking for crews and boats. One post or two posts, then they were gone forever without any reply.

I have been actively crewing and captaining for other's boat for almost 5 years. I mainly depend on word of month from other yachties and private messages to the poster. As always, it is not so difficult for owners to evaluate the potential crews. One can ask for references and sailing resume. It is harder for the crew to evaluate the owner/captain especially for those who are not very experience. Some owners/captains get upset if you ask lot of questions.

Having been crewing for so many years, I will send my sailing resume and my references to those I want to crew. I have developed a set of questions to ask, plus a thorough check on the internet. Before I commit I always write up an email stating my understanding of the boat and the equipment and the crews she carries. I also state clearly my responsibility of the voyage and my time commitment. It is not prefect, but it works pretty well.

I have to admit, I had my shares of bad experiences. I have walked out in a few situations. But that is life.

There are more crews looking for position than boats looking for crews. So buyers beware.
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Old 05-03-2014, 00:15   #6
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Re: Crew Positions

Well, I already fall into #2, but I'd like to eventually escape #1, so here goes!

Back when I was into paintball, I frequented a couple boards, and my favorite had a massive B/S/T section, which of course lead to a lot of scammers. The issue was that everything operated on paypal and trust. The way they sorted this was, they set up a sort of review section/thread (can't remember the exact mechanics). The mods stickied it, and people posted +/-1 with peoples names, and a short description of the transaction. A quick search would turn up all sortve pertinent info. Obviously crewing (and taking on crew) is much more complicated, but I think it could be tweaked. It was also common practice for sellers to link to their feedback (which makes me think it must've been a section, in retrospect).

Obviously this isn't a foolproof thing, and I'm sure there's obvious flaws, foremost being people like rockdawg, who I'm sure has far more experience crewing for people he contacted IRL than on this forum. It can't replace an actual list of references, but I think it might be useful, especially in helping captains weed out prospective crew.
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Old 05-03-2014, 08:27   #7
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Re: Crew Positions

I have delivered many vessels that have posted threads looking for a captain on this forum. I have always wished that more owners would follow up on their original post with a report on how the delivery went. At least 25% of my CF deliveries were started by a "free captain" who offered their services for expenses only. The stories I have heard from these owners were incredible and should have been shared with the source of the delivery crew, us.
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Old 05-03-2014, 09:29   #8
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Re: Crew Positions

Is there a good crew finder site that has reviews of the crew, of both the boat owner and the crew? It seems that having open reviews, like amazon, would really help keep everyone informed.
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Old 05-03-2014, 12:44   #9
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Re: Crew Positions

I looked into this a while ago, and joined up on Find-A-Crew.
I think they have the largest share of the market, so it was a logical choice.

Skippers/Crew often post feedback on each other, but in my experience, you will only get positive reviews. People dont tend to write negative reviews, so you have to read between the lines, or make bad guesses by conspicuous absence of reviews.

FindACrew has a couple of free options, but gets expensive (in my humble opinion) quickly with prices between $75 USD for 30 days, up to $420 USD for a year.

Im also a member on 3-4 sailing forums and monitor (subscribe to) the relevant sections when Im in the market for a role. (Like now when Im looking for a cat for Wifey & I to help take up to the Pacific Islands from NZ). If you're serious about finding the best option for you, you'd be silly to limit yourself to a single source, and thats why you'l see plenty of one-time-posters casting their net far & wide.

I've also developed a theory that people who advertise for crew fit into one of two categories. One of those categories is Skippers who aren't of the composition to keep crew, or acquire them through more personal means. The other category is obviously the Skippers who either want or need strangers due to various genuine reasons. I guess the same could be said for crew.

Multiple references should be offered and and checked by both parties.

When Wifey and I sail from Panama-Galapagos-Marquesas, I expect we will have to to fish for crew and my net will cast as wide as practical.

I've seen a few 'crew wanted' type threads around here that are followed up by another CF member "I have sailed with CaptnRon, and he's a good bloke, and pretty good at parking, yada yada yada"...
So, there is already some kind of adhoc thing going on. You could also use the personal profiles as a place to 'store' references from CF people, but you might as well just provide real life names & numbers.

That be my stream of consciousness on the topic.

edit: You're unlikely to see 'public' responses anyway because most transactions take place by PM in the first instance, and then quickly move to email.

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