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Old 11-11-2020, 16:33   #1
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Crew Contributions aka $$$

I have been looking for a crew position for a month or so. I have been making the rounds of different sites and even paid to become a 'Premium' member at one.

It seems to me that many of the boats looking for 'crew' are really looking for people to help finance their lifestyle.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that there are lots of expenses, but when I see 'crew wanted' it read it as looking for help running the boat (watches, sailing, maintenance, etc), not money to finance it.

The main problem is that usually there is no mention of money. Then, when communicating the details, comes the surprise. The "we're expecting a $20 to $65 per day 'contribution' " .

What we need is a different description for 'crew needed' in these circumstances. If I take a cruise ship and pay thousands for the 'ocean experience', I'm not called a crew person. If I travel on a cruising sailboat, pay $25 a day and the sailing consists of short hops between islands followed by snorkeling, swimming and hiking, that's not being a crew member either.

Most of you are cruisers or want to be (like me), but there should be more 'truth in advertising' upfront, rather than vague descriptions.

Note: My experiences in this area are all on other sites.
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Old 12-11-2020, 19:10   #2
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

Are they claiming that these "contributions" are to share the cost of food and other consumables?
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Old 12-11-2020, 19:27   #3
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

It has always been my understanding that if a captain takes money or anything of monetary value for ‘passage’ of any kind the ‘crew’ is to be considered paying passengers at that point. I’ve always split the main food list up and given each their fair share to pick up and get your own snacks and beverages (I’m not a snacker and my rum is my rum period) I always pay for fuel and moorage and don’t expect payment for it in any way. I’ve always looked at it as I can either do this by myself (which I have and will do again) or I can have company, so food is the only real additional expense I would incur if I was single handing. If someone is asking for money for crewing I’d be requesting a receipt as they should have a proper business license for all applicable stops along the way.
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Old 12-11-2020, 19:38   #4
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

Should not crew expect compensation from the boat's owner rather than the opposite?
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Old 12-11-2020, 19:51   #5
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
Should not crew expect compensation from the boat's owner rather than the opposite?
The crew is getting sailing experience, a place to sleep, presumably lots of fun and travel. The boat owner is spending untold thousands in boat maintenance, expenses, insurance, and assumes all of the risk. Yet you want the owner to pay the crew? We are not taking about mega yachts here.
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Old 12-11-2020, 19:57   #6
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

I do think the right thing to do is to be up front, especially about money.

I also think, their boat their rules, however they want to cover costs or profit is up to them, care should be taken about the legalities of payments though.

Most adds I've seen say pay for their own expenses or contribute to costs so I'd say that was up front.
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Old 12-11-2020, 19:58   #7
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

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Originally Posted by cpisz View Post
The crew is getting sailing experience, a place to sleep, presumably lots of fun and travel. The boat owner is spending untold thousands in boat maintenance, expenses, insurance, and assumes all of the risk. Yet you want the owner to pay the crew? We are not taking about mega yachts here.

A somewhat unbalanced view I would have thought.
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Old 12-11-2020, 19:59   #8
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

There are basically three crew dynamics. There is crew that is hired by an owner to run the boat, they are paid professionals. There is "crew" that pays the owner to be on the boat. This is legally a charter and the owner/operator needs to meet a number of requirements. Then there is voluntary crew that is taking passage with an owner of a boat and sharing responsibilities. This is generally what people here are looking for, on both sides of things. The tricky thing is obviously steering clear of the legal pitfalls of the arrangement slipping into charter territory.
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Old 12-11-2020, 20:13   #9
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

I think on needs to be a bit fair here and that part is for the owner and the potential crew. if i need a hand to do a certain passage and the CREW is really there to just help me sail the boat with minimal stops from A to B i would say the owner pays for food and reasonable drinks , not neccesarely top tier wine with every meal or unlimited spirits when at anchor. If i take on a CREW to go sailing in the Whitsundays and we hop from Island to island , go snorkeling , hiking or lie on the beach i would say a food and drink contribution would be perfectly ok. 20-50 dollars a day for that experience would be a bargain.
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Old 12-11-2020, 20:26   #10
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpisz View Post
The crew is getting sailing experience, a place to sleep, presumably lots of fun and travel. The boat owner is spending untold thousands in boat maintenance, expenses, insurance, and assumes all of the risk. Yet you want the owner to pay the crew? We are not taking about mega yachts here.
Yes, pay for your bed and board and work on my boat. Seen that on on-non-boat exercises too.
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Old 12-11-2020, 21:12   #11
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

We have never asked, expected, or accepted payment from crew.

Our feeling is that if they are willing to come aboard and help us do a passage or sail a race (or just a daysail), then we owe them; without their assistence we might not have been able to complete the trip.

On the other hand there are people who try various ways to get the money they need to support their boating. Youtube channels come to mind, as do asking crew to contribute "costs".

That is not us. It cuts too close to being a tacky business.

However, we do appreciate our crew. Our crew members become part of our family. Over the years the Wings' family has become quite large. I doubt that would have happened if we expected them to "contribute".
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Old 12-11-2020, 21:37   #12
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

For passage crew it seems easy - all the boat expenses are on the owners and the crew is only responsible for travel to/from the boat, any visas required, and off boat personal expenses such as shopping, restaurants and bars. Crew get the benefits of passage experience and some organic training, and the owners get some more sleep and the opportunity to share ocean sailing with others.

It gets tricky when your passage crew stays on board before and/or after the passage to do some local cruising. That’s when the owners are providing the crew with more of a benefit (location), and probably shouldn’t be expected to pay for all the crew’s on boat expenses anymore. Sharing expenses for provisions starts being an issue, and in extended cases perhaps sharing in the operating expenses of fuel, water, cruising permits all come into play. But certainly not sharing expenses for maintenance materials nor any capital costs.

Beyond that, it becomes a business.

Being up front is the most important. We’ve stuck to the first model, but it did get a bit sticky with one set of crew that cruised with us for a couple weeks before the passage.
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Old 12-11-2020, 21:58   #13
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

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Originally Posted by cpisz View Post
The crew is getting sailing experience, a place to sleep, presumably lots of fun and travel. The boat owner is spending untold thousands in boat maintenance, expenses, insurance, and assumes all of the risk. Yet you want the owner to pay the crew? We are not taking about mega yachts here.
Several years ago I responded to a poster on this site. They were looking to move their large cat from Florida into the S. Pacific. They had broken the trip into various legs then when pressed for details admitted that they were expecting working crew to pay good sums of money. EX: the leg from FLA to an island I forget half way to the Canal, they asked $7,500 per crew, $15,000 from FLA to the canal.

I told them I didn't need another boat ride, thank but no thanks. Then after I bowed out they came back and said with my experience I could be skipper so would pay only half that amount. I felt violated. The nerve of some people. I've been on both sides so I know well what is involved. It is convenience to have another hand, it is not a commercial operation even though it seems people wish to make it into one. It is unethical to do so. Yes, if owners insist that money be transferred, it should be to the crew from the owner.

I'll help someone to move a boat but the boat pays food costs. Transportation to the vessel is negotiable although I expect to bare the cost myself. The cost for off boat activities is borne solely by each crew.

I dared myself to even answer that guy. I only ship with people I already know or a friend of a friend.
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Old 12-11-2020, 22:17   #14
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

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The crew is getting sailing experience, a place to sleep, presumably lots of fun and travel. The boat owner is spending untold thousands in boat maintenance, expenses, insurance, and assumes all of the risk. Yet you want the owner to pay the crew? We are not taking about mega yachts here.
They'll have those costs anyway, they are part and parcel of being responsible to the vessel. Crew does not increase the direct operating costs by any appreciable amount. Food and water is about it. Insurance add-on is negligible.

For that they get a watch stander, galley slave, and another hand. What is the value of your time let alone the service you provide to the boat? Okay, they're providing sea time. So call it equal and let it go at that. All that remains is vittles. As for a rack, I can sleep with a rock for a pillow so don't require the fluffy accommodations.

If I were to pay for the 'honor' of working crew, I would consider myself a supernumerary with the consideration that I reserve the right to refuse deck work. I'll take my tea in my stateroom at 6 bells, thank you.
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Old 13-11-2020, 00:18   #15
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Re: Crew Contributions aka $$$

20k plus miles and I've never had to pay to crew, but I would gladly pay my share of a shared holiday. One of CF members posted about their sailing co-operative, sailing kairos (no personal interest) which runs on a shared cost basis. The difference between being a paying customer and a sharing guest is that all the costs and expectations are clearly laid out and shared equally among all onboard, like one would if a group decided to share a charter holiday.
I would like to see more detail or transparency in the posts seeking crew. Just be clear and parties can take it or leave it.



Skippers who expects crew to pay for the opportunity to work on their boat, under their command, at their convenience is a situation that I'd steer clear of.
But we are all free to choose.
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