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Old 17-07-2020, 06:53   #61
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

Maybe we were lucky, but when we were looking for crew for a transatlantic last year, we found the ideal person just by talking to people we met while cruising. Eventually, we found a 28 year old French woman who was cruising on another boat in Maine. She was experienced and, most important, compatible with my wife and I. The find a crew type websites are like dating apps, IMHO. You *might* find your soulmate, but the old fashioned method of talking to people you meet still works, and has a lot of advantages.
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Old 17-07-2020, 07:20   #62
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

Originally Posted by Taichungman View Post

I would also ask potential long term crew to pay for their transportation to and from the boat plus share in the expense of food. It only needs to be a fair amount; they should not have to pay for your cruise. 10$ to $20 a day depending on your lifestyle and should be paid upfront. A vacation, room and board for $10/$20 a day + airfare is hard to beat. This should weed out the ones looking for a free ride and possibly jumping ship at the first sight of land.

From experience I would not take on any vegans or couples, unless you are vegan. Or, you want a couple to have couple problems and they both jump ship at the first sight of land or they gang up on you about, just about anything.

It's no fun (for me) sailing with drunkards who can't do their job and chain smokers who leave ashes all over the decks, unless you are the same.

Thank you for the well thought out reply. Before posting, our goal was simply to find enough crew to safely get the boat from A to B where my spouse would then rejoin. We've had some very interesting discussions since then, based on things said here and in conversation with others in the lifestyle. Should the right individual present themselves, we think we would not be against having them along for a longer stay. That said, while on passage they would be helping us out tremendously so I wouldn't expect them to pay for anything beyond getting to and from the vessel. Having a longer term "crew" would likely involve us having a discussion around the rest of it though. We are a very social couple but in a quiet kind of way. We are not into the loud boisterous, obnoxious kind of parties.

We are not vegan but we are not against them. I can see dealing with such big differences during meal preps and provisioning could become an issue. I would say that 75% of our meals don't include any meat per se but this is still a very good good point.

Funny you should mention couples. One of the qualified instructors / captains that we have been put into contact with come as a couple. Food for thought I guess.

There will be no smoking or drugs allowed on the boat. Any drinking beyond a sundowner will only be allowed in moderation while the boat is docked or securely at anchor with no chance of weather surprises.

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Old 17-07-2020, 07:43   #63
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

I am surprised nobody has yet mentioned Offshore Passage Opportunities, a website designed for boat owners looking for crew for passages and crew looking for opportunities to sail offshore.

My wife and I have sailed back and forth to the Caribbean several times as well as transatlantic and other far away places. Some things occur to me

1. I considered myself lucky as hell to have a wife who liked cruising even if she didnt want to go on long passages. Lots of wives (husbands too I imagine but mostly wives in real life) dont even want to hear the word "boat" much less get on one.

2. I always had crew from OPO or another crew website for long passages and was very lucky with most of them except for the guy who didnt have good personal hygiene. What I looked for primarily was at least enough competence to know when they need to wake me up - If I am too nervous to sleep it will never work.

3. Sailing resumes are far more important than qualifications. In fact, "I have a 6 pack license" is something of a red flag for an armchair sailor.

4. References are also important but even more important is meeting the person first. When I was in the islands I at least talked on the phone to prospective crew and when in the US used skype. When possible we went on a short sail first to get an idea of how we got along.

5. Most skippers will pay for all onboard expenses, leaving anything on-shore (including transportation) to the crew. Or you can offer a ticket to your boat for especially well qualified people. That really worked well for me.

6. DO NOT FAIL to get a copy of your crew's outbound ticket from your destination. The authorities wont give you port clearance until you do. I found this out the hard way once and fortunately was able to contact the crew and get them to email me their itineraries. Otherwise I would have had to buy new tickets in their names to show to customs.

NOTHING is more dangerous than a crew that doesnt get along. Compatibility and good will make for a good passage. Quarrels make passages awful.

Of course, no smoking and no alcohol/drugs (no drugs at all on my boat of course) until the anchor is down.

Hope this helps ..
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Old 17-07-2020, 08:38   #64
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

As part of the Salty Dog Rally in fall of 2014, we got a crewman through Offshore Passage Opportunities ( He paid his own way to and from the boat (Florida to Virginia then St. Thomas back to Florida) and we provided food and a stateroom. He was a fisherman (caught a 45 pound wahoo on the way to the BVI) and had been a helicopter mechanic, so he was able to help with engine maintenance/repair. He worked hard the whole time (11 day passage). We got another one from USVI to Key West (7 days) who was an excellent sailor and navigator and a hard worker. We had done phone interviews for both trips and evaluated several possibilities. We checked their references, and both had high praise from previous skippers. We have even kept in contact with them. Try OPO.
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Old 17-07-2020, 09:05   #65
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

Originally Posted by NaClyDog View Post
We are not vegan but we are not against them. I can see dealing with such big differences during meal preps and provisioning could become an issue. I would say that 75% of our meals don't include any meat per se but this is still a very good good point.
Who you choose to share the intimacy of a small boat on a passage is totally up to you. Young, Old, Male, Female etc. We are older (60s) and choose crew based primarily on compatibility. Anyone we would consider is known to have the basic qualifications (not seasick, can stand a watch, knows when to wake the captain etc.) but compatibility is hard to judge from an interview and we have had successes and failures on transatlantic passages.

I do want to suggest you reconsider accepting a Vegan if you are not vegan. Meatless (Vegetarian) is not too hard to cope with, although it will increase your food stowage/storage requirements. Vegan is a real challenge. Consider that your Vegan will not tolerate any animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, or soaps derived from animal products and may have issues with furniture (wool, leather etc).
It's not a question of having anything against them, it is that their food requirements will totally govern all meals on board the boat, to the dissatisfaction of everyone else. That or you will find yourselves making two separate meals every day. Neither choice is acceptable to us and both choices are likely sources of daily friction which is the most important thing to avoid IMO. We do have friends that crossed the Atlantic with a Vegan. He was their good friend, but his dietary requirements were almost impossible to meet when reprovisioning in far off places (Horta for example) but my friends persisted and managed to meet his requirements, doubling up on the food preparation every day, until one evening when the Vegan was caught sneaking Chocolate chip cookies that had been baked that day. Needless to say crew relations deteriorated significantly after that.

As mentioned at the outset, choose who you wish, but if you stack the odds against you, you will be the one to suffer 24/7 and the voyage end will be a massive relief. Not the way I choose to live my life.
Good luck. ~Alan
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Old 17-07-2020, 10:30   #66
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

Originally Posted by doublewide View Post
This is a good thread

If your crew pays you, then they are not crew, they are passengers. For that you need a captain's license, and an insurance policy for commercial, not recreational use.

Im no expert but I am confident that most insurers and licensing authorities would differentiate between ‘Paid’ crew and ‘volunteer’ Crew who shared expenses.
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Old 17-07-2020, 10:47   #67
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
In a PC world I thought my comment may cop a little slack, the hilarious thing is I usually cop it from the other direction and are immune to the religion of PC.

Also ,I'm not looking for someone to "fill a job", Im looking for someone to go sailing with me. Generally but not always the guys have more sailing experience or can handle the boat better BUT this is not what I need. I need someone that can help out managing the boat and keep a good watch, I can teach the rest.

Why I prefer women crew:

Often less ego in regards to the way the boat is managed, it's my boat and I have years of experience thus have worked out the way I like things done. Lost a code zero recently overboard because a male crew decided where I have been stowing it on deck for years wasnt the right spot, he new better. We had rough weather that night and it got washed of the deck and dragged for several hours without me knowing. Many males often want to be captains.

Women often smell better "shock horror". Of course theres exceptions but often ladies look after their personal hygiene better and personal hygiene matters when living on a boat together in the tropics for mths on end.

And finally, enjoying a ladies company at the end of the day with a nice wine is a wonderful way to live ,this does not mean I'm trying to sleep them or have any other sinister plan.

Its amusing to me that we cant voice our preference for one gender over another when comes to certain parts of life, it dosent make you prejudice, I dont want to marry a man, is that sexist?
I see your point and abhor PC in any circumstances. I think you should have the right to advertise your preference Male or female as you choose whether your choice is for a sound reason or simple prejudice. I hope you will support my right to form an opinion based solely on a few lines of comment and not be offended when I say that I’ve leaped to the conclusion that I consider being excluded from your crew list as a lucky escape?
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Old 17-07-2020, 12:48   #68
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

The answer to all your questions!
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Old 17-07-2020, 14:11   #69
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

Although cuisine preferences seem like an anecdotal evidence at first, they in fact can make or break a crewing experience.

I am a vegetarian - the kind that will gladly swallow your fried fish! Not just that - I can make a vegetarian dish look and taste as if it were bacon in you eggs.


I have some vegetarian / vegan / -you name it friends who will not even use the utensils used by a meat-eater. Now this attitude clearly ruins any foreseeable dining together. And dining together is quite a common thing on very many boats.

At other times the owners may be vegan, and a meat-eating crew will suffer big way trying to get any energy from an organic lettuce diet day in day out.

So. Yes. Funny subject. But actually something that can make a huge negative impact, if discovered too late.

Eat well, stay safe.

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Old 17-07-2020, 14:53   #70
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

I have both been crew for others and used crew myself.

As crew I expected to transport myself to and from the yacht, pay for my food and drink, and do all the normal boat chores. I have also done maintenance work on yachts I crewed on. Some owners preferred that I did not cook. I do not contribute to boat costs.

As an owner I have only used crew who were looking for the opportunity to sail offshore. I may have been lucky but 100% were ideal crew and company. I have met some very interesting people this way. The most recent Jian Xi Teng from Singapore was a truly exceptional young man.

As a skipper signing on crew you should be aware that you have a legal responsibility for them, including arranging their home passage. Make sure that is dealt with before singing them onto your yacht.
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Old 17-07-2020, 15:52   #71
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

Originally Posted by NaClyDog View Post
My spouse and I are in the process of purchasing a catamaran to become mostly full time live aboard blue water cruisers. I say mostly full time because my spouse will not be on the vessel during any passages longer than 2 or 3 days - hence the need for crew.

Our sailing experience is currently limited but we have been on numerous charters and know what we are getting into from the boat side of the equation. All our charters were either professionally crewed or had a professional captain at a minimum with the guests helping out where required.

We will have a full time captain to train us up for the first six months but I would be looking for help beyond that. The plan would be to do the Atlantic circuit once or twice before moving towards the pacific to see where the winds take us.

Is this sort of endeavour doable / feasible using volunteer crew? Hopefully my thought process isn't too out of line on this matter. Theoretically, the catamaran will be setup for single handed sailing but this isn't something we would ever consider doing.
Hi...where will your boat be docked and where do you plan on cuising?
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Old 17-07-2020, 16:05   #72
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

The plan is to do the Atlantic circuit for a couple of years before continuing west.
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Old 17-07-2020, 16:06   #73
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

Circumnavigated using crew found on bulletin boards, word of mouth, Facebook and Oceancrewlink - about 30 crew, many of which I’d never met before. Never had a bad one.
Never paid transportation to/from boat, food costs were always shared, and I usually requested a small contribution to fuel ($50 us/ head) on major passages. Usually included some time before/after passage to let them experience the area too.

Often had them flying in with parts, usually prepaid by me, but occasionally they collected on arrival.

Key points were to be totally open about yourself & boat.....I had a boat blog & FB page I shared, so they got to see a lot......then I asked for their Facebook page. Lots of family/fun on FB was a fair indicator of someone that would interact well (with me) aboard. Lots of tattoos/drunken partying/drugs on FB = no go. No FB page......actually made me check them out more.....I wanted social folk when together in confined space for weeks.

You can definitely get crew for passages anywhere in the world without pay & both enjoy the experience.
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Old 17-07-2020, 18:13   #74
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

My Filipino captain is available and is work is excellent. He would be a lot expensive than most Westerners and speaks fluent English. I found with find a crew it was extremely difficult to find some one long term. The long term folks tended to be more like leeches who were expecting an extended holiday at my expense. PM if interested.
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Old 18-07-2020, 04:24   #75
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Re: Ease of finding crew as blue water cruisers?

Morning, You have gotten many good replies, if you are in need of help for your insurance, I should be able to get you a quote. I am a cruiser and insurance agent. My email is
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