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Old 03-25-2007, 05:54 PM   #41
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Seagypsywoman - I like your definition. The people who have returned to cruise with me the most are people I originally met online. Most of my life-long friends have lifestyles that don't give them the time.
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:05 PM   #42
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1) Crew reparation...It is true that the captain is responsible for this. It is not true that the captain MUST reparate the crew. If the captain has an agreement that the crew will fly themselves out at their cost then that is also acceptable. The captain is responsible to see the crew reparated, the way the crew returns home is up to him and the crew.

2) Crew costs. Someone wrote in one of the above posts that there are no costs associated with having crew on board except for food. That is entirely untrue. Nearly every country has an immigration fee for EACH person. Some countries require bonds to be posted...price of airfare home. If it's a pleasure cruise then each person should pay for that travel. If it's a delivery then the owner should pay. JMO

3) Money should never be an issue while cruising. It detracts from the experience. If the crew or captain are unhappy with the arrangements then it means you need new crew, new boat (captain) or a new agreement. Don't let the money issue spoil the fun.

I supply the boat and a good time. Expenses that I would incur, if I had no crew on board, I pay for. Includes fuel, repairs, and my share of food. Crew pays for their expenses...food, booze, small country immigration fees, a bond if it needs to be posted for them. I ask the crew to cook as I'm a terrible cook, but I wash up as my contribution in this area. I ask them to lend a hand cleaning, stand a watch, call me at any time, and have as good a time as possible. If something breaks I am responsible to fix it, at my cost. We travel to places that they might suggest, share a common bond of sailing and the adventure of traveling to foriegn lands and the cost to them is their meals. I provide the travel and accomodations for free. We share the experiences of travel and friendship, beautiful sailing or crashing waves, new friends in villages, good experiences and bad. It's all about the travel experience...never about the money. This is just my opinion.
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:47 PM   #43
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I supply the boat and a good time. Expenses that I would incur, if I had no crew on board, I pay for. Includes fuel, repairs, and my share of food. Crew pays for their expenses...food, booze, small country immigration fees, a bond if it needs to be posted for them. I ask the crew to cook as I'm a terrible cook, but I wash up as my contribution in this area. I ask them to lend a hand cleaning, stand a watch, call me at any time, and have as good a time as possible. If something breaks I am responsible to fix it, at my cost. We travel to places that they might suggest, share a common bond of sailing and the adventure of traveling to foriegn lands and the cost to them is their meals. I provide the travel and accomodations for free. We share the experiences of travel and friendship, beautiful sailing or crashing waves, new friends in villages, good experiences and bad. It's all about the travel experience...never about the money. This is just my opinion.
Very well put!

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Old 04-15-2007, 12:18 PM   #44
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@ Spike_dawg

You are correct in saying that the master and crew can have an agreement whereby the crew are responsible to the master for paying the cost of their repatriation. No doubt about that but immigration authorities do not care what internal agreements are made between the crew and the master in this respect. Their demand is the repatriation of "signed off" crew members at no cost to their state. If the master pays or if it is the crew who pays is of no interest to the authorities.

However, if it looks as if no one is paying the authorities will force the ship / master to pay. Any claim for reimbursement of the fares would then have to be made through civil action in an appropriate court (usualy that of the flag state unless agreement was reached concerning the resolvement of disputes in other courts). This sounds like a complicated and expensive exercise to me where the only winners would be the legal representatives. Better not to let it happen in the first place and get the crew to hand over a "deposit" to cover the cost when they join the vessel.

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Old 04-19-2007, 05:40 PM   #45
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A very interesting and, to me, relevant, topic. I deliver boats pretty much all over and have, thankfully, a willing pool of volunteers who want to sail with me. Occasionally, I have had to advertise for crew (and have done so, successfully on this site) and my deal is always that the crew get themselves to the boat and that is the end of their costs. I pay all boat expenses and the cost of their flight home (this is recoverable from the owner anyway) in addition I feed them and I like to think I do this very well since there is very little in terms of "motivational factors" on a delivery (ie - its a straight shot with no "tourism" en route, no sex, no booze, watchkeeping in fair or foul etc). On completion - I normally give them a "good run ashore" during which we make up for lost boozetime but not, unfortunatley so far, sextime!! Tony
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:10 PM   #46
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Interesting subject indeed as there are many new sailors like to extend their cruising ground to far away places but some lack the experiance or confidance so...`we get a crew`If you get an experiance crew it is a good way to enjoy your cruising and gain experiance, When I was doing a circumnavigation around the world on my 50` sailing ketch most of the trip I had a crew; she want to gain experience in ocean sailing and was willing to pay

I charge her $US10 a day this was six years ago I thought it was fair and honestly it was more than enough as she was a very good crew lousy cook but very willing to learn and she was smart She paid for her favoirt food and bought the drinks I had oyjers to cross the Atlantic and I charged the same amount.

After the trip I started to do deliveies in the Med and Indian Ocean I took crew again but this time I did not charge any money as without them it would have been very hard expecially sailing down the Red Sea etc etc, the owner pays;- so I beleive charging money to a crew for food and other expensive is ok

However, only greedy skippers charge $US50 dollors a day + unless you are on a multi-million dollar yacht

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Old 05-07-2007, 08:49 AM   #47
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Stephen....reparations. Your reply is the message I attempted, but I stated so poorly. I won't attempt to clear this further as I will just add barnacles to the bottom line. Crew handing over the bond, at the start of the cruise, doesn't work for me, though. It puts the risk on the crew, rather then the captain.

bvimatelot and sea...a delivery is different from the cruiser. Money is exchanging hands, a schedule is going to be met. It's work in many regards. Cruising is playing. JMO.
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Old 05-07-2007, 01:42 PM   #48
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2) Crew costs. Someone wrote in one of the above posts that there are no costs associated with having crew on board except for food. That is entirely untrue. Nearly every country has an immigration fee for EACH person. Some countries require bonds to be posted...price of airfare home.
I can think of perhaps 3 countries where we had to pay any fees to immigration, and Thailand and Ecuador were more in the nature of bribes rather than a fee. I understand Thailand is no longer a problem this way. The only country that I know of that requires a repatriation bond is French Polynesia, and that is paid directly by the person, not by the skipper of the yacht. Since that can be a plane ticket out of Fr. Polynesia, again the skipper is not collecting money from the crew. In Malaysia I think we paid the equivalent of about 50 cents US for the forms used, and "I think" is only because we might have paid it once in all the times we checked into or out of Malaysia.

Some countries charge fees:
  • log book (Turkey, for example), and that is a single charge to the boat regardless of number of crew;
  • light fees in Ecuador and the Solomon Islands. Again, a fee against the boat, not the people on board.
  • pilot fees, etc. through the Panama and Suez Canals. Against the boat again.
  • cruising fees in Indonesia and the Bahamas. Against the boat.
  • Visa extension charges, which are assessed to the owner of each passport. The crew would pay this charge to the appropriate authorities when they filed the paperwork, not pay the skipper a little bit per diem.
Fees assessed to the boat, such as described above, would be assessed regardless of the presence or number of crew. For an owner to try to collect some of that from crew is a bit greedy, IMO. Maybe crew would go along, but they really should know up front that they are contributing to the owner's kitty, not paying a genuine cost of their presence. When a skipper says something like "I have a wonderful boat with lots of goodies....." as justification for charging more than what it costs for that crew to be there is chartering their boat.

The following was a reply to one fellow who asked if the skipper wasn't a bit "cheeky" to ask crew to work, babysit, and still pay to crew:

"no i dont think its cheeky at all - we are offering people to come at little cost to themselves on a beautiful, comfortable, spacious, well equipped and well maintained yacht that has historical interest (previously used by Sir Peter Blake as the families cruising yacht) and we are sailing from NZ to fiji and then cruising around fiji for a month. My wife and I are experienced cruisers and used to meeting new people and sailing with them. It is not an employer/unpaid employee relationship we have with "crew". It would probably be very simple to charge large amounts of money for this type of trip on this type of yacht if we were interested in getting the appropriate surveys/certification. But we dont go cruising as a business - we go cruising to gain new experiences, visit wonderful places and meet new people. believe me - a 20m schooner is easier to run and sail than a smaller lighter yacht. it is much smoother, safer and easier to move around in rough weather.

with electric winches, electric furling systems, bow thruster, deep heavy keel etc it is easy to sail and easy to manuever even in very tight marinas."

They answered the question very clearly. They wanted crew to pay to babysit and crew because it was a "beautiful, spacious, ......yacht" that people should be delighted to pay to crew on. The skipper and wife couldn't phrase it as chartering because they did not have the necessary surveys and certifications and licenses. They weren't asking for a lot of money, just for "provisions", but I agree that in this circumstance, it's "cheeky" to ask even that. I don't believe that the two of them could comfortably do it alone with a small toddler and a baby on board, even if all that electric gear worked perfectly all the time. My reaction to that posting might sound really petty, but I cannot understand their penny-pinching thinking.

Q. What kind of people can afford a very large boat with all the bells and whistles and want/need to ask people to pay for their own food in a situation like this?

A. When they want a free au pair?

Now that I've added even more to my original rant, I will back off a bit. Having lived aboard for as long as I have, having spent

more of my life caring for small children than I ever expected, I cannot let this bone go. I agree that people can charge whatever they want, of course. It's their boat. The crew can do whatever they want - it's their time and effort. But what kind of people can afford a large cruising yacht and be so cheap about obtaining help that they need (yes, need) to charge them for the food that they eat?
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Old 05-22-2007, 12:35 AM   #49
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Why would anyone pay for the privilege of working on somebody else's boat? Why indeed.

My first such trip was aboard a 45' wooden ketch. If I recall, the owner asked $500/month for expense sharing crew - a sizable sum in 1984. The first weeks were spent in the yard, painting, repairing through hulls, helping the owner get the boat ready for the San Francisco - South Pacific passage.

The work was hard, the three other paying members and I got to know one another, and I took charge of the engine maintenance, having worked as a mechanic for some years. We greased the through hulls, reattached bonding cables, bedded planks and posts in ugly black sticky goop. We departed SF during a series of storm fronts in October, riding 20' plus rollers down the coast. All but two of the crew were unfit...sick, including the skipper and his girlfriend, so Steve and I had the helm two on, two off for almost two days and nights straight. There was no autopilot, and being shoal draft she steered like a drunk hippo. I cannot describe the fatigue.

This was pre GPS, we broke out sextants and most of us could reduce sights to a pretty small triangle by the time we got to Mexico. There was no windlass so we pulled the 60 lb anchor by hand every departure. The skipper had more cooking experience than sailing, so the food was good once he got sea legs.

The boat was gaff rigged with blocks - no winches anywhere. I was forty then and it was very hard work, hoisting and trimming, but we got her in a groove most days, and the weather calmed considerably past Conception. The passage of time has blurred much of the trip, but I do not ever recall being idle, or not having a some piece of boatwork to take care of, even in ports.

I had been sailing since my early teens, but until that October, never had a chance to make an honest to god offshore passage. It was the best $500 that I ever spent. Now that I sail my own 38' offshore cutter, I realize that the owner on that trip was for darn sure not making any money.

I know you posters are sincere, and yes there are abuses out there, as in any venture that involves money, but get a grip. On a typical 40' cruiser, that little thingy on the boat, you know, the whoswatchit that slides with a line going through it (Genoa lead for the sailors) is probably $200 for a cheap one and much more for top quality. (If you don't believe me, check out http://ecatalog.westmarine.com/full.asp?pa...ckProdId=25405).

The chance to be part of the crew, learning valuable skills, with others depending on you, in (usually) idyllic vacation grade destinations cannot even be compared with the typical charter ticket, where frankly you are a meal ticket and customer, no matter how many times the skipper tells you that "you have the gift, mate!"

I have been on both sides of this deal many times since that passage 23 years ago. We can sit around our computers for weeks nattering about costs and liability and insurance like idiots. In my humble opinion, you would do well to spend a little more time looking at the boat and person skippering it. If you want to get across a body of water economically, take a 747. Most of us have a much more complex, tangled, love hate involvement with this ridiculous lifestyle, investing every penny in a contraption that may someday try to kill us! If you are ok with that, run to the dock, give us your money and enjoy the ride.

This discussion about fair "shared costs" reminds me of the story about the industrialist David Brown. Sir David is the man who launched Aston Martin, the exotic hand build racing cars. His friend wanted to buy one of his new cars "at cost." Sir David said "Fair enough, just take the list price and add 15%."
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Old 05-22-2007, 12:45 AM   #50
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The following was a reply to one fellow who asked if the skipper wasn't a bit "cheeky" to ask crew to work, babysit, and still pay to crew:

"[i]no i dont think its cheeky at all - we are offering people to come at little cost to themselves etc...
the "pay" you refer to is cost of provisions - ie. food/drinks, estimated at US$10-15 per day per person. i usually ask people to budget US$18 per day but so far it hasnt been that much. We do the provisioning together and split the costs - kids food/drinks kept separate of course. In return for helping on the boat (and yes help look after the kids) they get to go to amazing places, go diving, fishing, wind surfing (yes all his gear is also on board and free to use), get to meet all types of new people and have a great holiday at the same time - all for the cost of the food/drink they consume. Not bad eh! The couple that are joining us for this next trip around fiji will have about a month cruising around the outer islands visiting places that would be enormously expensive to do via commercial transport. We had a lot of responses from experienced individuals and couples. This couple have transatlantic and asian ocean sailing experience, plus experience with kids (nannying, au pair etc.). They are happy and we are happy.

If you as a cruising boat owner, always pay for crew food/drink when cruising, do you also pay for their food & drink ashore when you get to port? If not, what is different? Are they not expected to help with the normal cleaning & maintenance whilst the yacht is anchored off a town or in a marina?
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Old 05-25-2007, 02:12 PM   #51
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Our daughter, living in Denmark, hires an au pair to help with her children, twin boys. She pays the au pair a salary as well as providing room and board. Because English is her first language, providing the opportunity to learn English, or improve existing English-langauge skills, is offered as an inducement to an au pair to come work for her, but does not absolve her from paying the au pair a salary. That isn't any different from Archangel's "crew", methinks, except that they, too, have an agenda, which is cheaply extending their holiday as well as being able to revisit NZ with a new entry visa without paying to fly out of the country and back.

"Are they not expected to help with the normal cleaning & maintenance whilst the yacht is anchored off a town or in a marina?" Two crew helping clean up the mess made by six people? To a certain extent, yes, though their share of the load is now 50% greater than that of the owners, unless the infant and toddler are also expected to clean the boat. As for maintenance, no. If they offer to help with certain items of maintenance, they're nice people, but to ASK them to help with boat maintenance, no. Brightwork doesn't degrade more because there are two more people on board. Stainless steel doesn't need more polishing because there are two more people on board. The sails need to be washed no more often because there are two more people on board.

To the question, "do you also pay for their food & drink ashore when you get to port?", I would say that it depends. If I were taking crew and kiddies ashore to a restaurant, I probably would pay, though that never came up. Our one crew, as wonderful as he was, naturally sought out people of his own age when in port, and socialized with them. I did not tuck a few dollars into his shirt pocket and say "have fun."

In 18 years of cruising on Watermelon, Peter and I only took on crew once, and that more as a favor to a fellow we liked who had decided it was time to leave Ecuador, where he had been living for several years. He wanted to hitch-hike and surf around the world. We didn't "need" crew, though his younger eyes and muscles were welcomed. He was only with us from Ecuador to French Polynesia, as we had both agreed when he first came aboard. He had his own cabin, though he had to share it with his surfboard. He got to visit Easter Island, a place few people have the opportunity to visit, and parts of French Polynesia that few boats visit as well. We had congenial company and a willing helping hand so we didn't have to work very hard at all. I still feel that we benefitted from his presence, though we were perfectly capable of handling Watermelon without any crew.

Archangel is lucky that they found people who consider a place to stay for a month adequate compensation for enabling them to extend their holiday abroad. There are plenty of people out there who will agree to this, and I hope Archangel doesn't take advantage of these two people.

Charles19, it appears to me that you demonstrate a failing pointed out to me many years ago by boating professionals - "have you ever heard a sailor admit he made the wrong choice of (gear, crew, ... )?" You paid a lot of money to learn what can be found for free in most yachting centers of the world, and you are passing it on to a new generation of sailing/cruising wannabes. Even apprenticeships in the various trades are paid positions. I don't really blame the owner of that boat for asking, but I think that you allowed yourself to be snookered into paying for the privilege of working very hard, and I find your justification perhaps a bit self-serving.

To justify asking crew to contribute toward expenses because boat gear is expensive means, to me, that the owner can't afford to run the boat without some financial contribution. If that is the case, he should get the necessary qualifications and licenses to charge people to go out on his boat, or find a cheaper pasttime.

I know that I sound harsh, but it seems to me that cruising is one of the few areas where owners seem to feel that it's okay to charge people for the privilege of helping them out with their hobby/obsession/pasttime/living style. Automobile owners (unless they're licensed or "gypsy" taxi drivers) don't. Race car owners don't. Commercial fishing vessels don't. Sportfishing boats don't.

Peter and I retired too early to amass any significant wealth, so my opinion is not that of one of the "privileged few." We worked hard for the money we have, and assume that others do the same. For people to willingly part with money for services that they are also paying for with their labor is their privilege, and sometimes the return on their expense is warranted in their eyes. And how nice that there are places that allow owners to advertise, gratis, for this paying crew.
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Old 05-27-2007, 12:27 AM   #52
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In 1975 my wife and I answered an ad to bring back a 38 ft Yorktown sloop to Los Angeles from Guymas Mexico. We took a bus from SanDiego to Guymas and found a boat that was a piece of junk and the owner had no idea how to make anything work. I was told we would get $25.00 per week plus food. For two weeks I worked on his boat making it seaworthy. He had no charts and had never been to sea.We ate fish he caught and sea rations from the military for three weeks. He invited three more family members for the cruse packing the boat. One person his father was a habitual talker. He could also brush his teeth for hours while standing over you and talking, dripping tooth paste on your lap. When we were ready to shove off he announced to us that they were going to preach the Gospel to small villiages on the way. We were also told that we would have to pay for the trip since food prices had gone up in Mexico. Maybe it was the wrong thing to do but after all the trouble we went through and work we donated I blew and nailed him in the jaw and off the dock. We had nowhere to go but the next day we were hired by the yacht San Susi a 96 ft Australian racing ketch. We had the best time of our life sailing the Central and Mexican Coast and up to Los Angeles. When hiring on to a boat make sure you have a way to leave and have money for travel. Some people will put you into a position of needing them and turning you into legal slaves. This is most true if they know you're broke. There are other international laws that will protect you and they need to be understood before committing yourself to a long voyage.
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Old 05-27-2007, 01:52 AM   #53
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Hi Sailman,

This is a little off topic, but credit should be given where it is due.

Considering the social and cultural damage missionaries have wreaked throughout the poorer countries of world in the past few hundred years, I can only applaud you for your dedication to redressing the judicial balance. Well done....and keep up the good work.

David

PS. I last saw 'Sans Souci' over 20 years ago running charters in the Whitsunday Islands alongside the legendary 'Gretel'. I believe the yacht may now be chartering in Indonesia.
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:08 AM   #54
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There are other international laws that will protect you and they need to be understood before committing yourself to a long voyage.
Hi Sailman,

I scincerely hope you are correct but what are these laws? International law, to my understanding, is at best an agreement between countries and even, for example, the "Law of the Sea" is not in itself law. To give it its fuller title, it is The Law of the Sea Convention. As such, there are seldom any sanctions for not following the law.

I am not playing the devil's advocate but I really would like to know more about these laws you mention.

As in so many other cases, I concur completely with Auzzee's post to which I also add my "well done".

Stephen

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Old 05-28-2007, 12:21 AM   #55
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hi to everybody!

somebody stated clearly: supply and demand law. (look at responded posts).

are you good enough as crew to receive money for your work? great!

you wanna gain experience??? oh, my friend, if you wanna go sea inside, you must value this. just do it for free, or if nobody responds to you, think about paying.

i would also express my horror in reading similar (older!) ads to mine, which was deleted today (sharing expenses).

and that if this forum was created to link boats and crew for passages, two kind of posts should be deleted as well: crew willing to share expenses, and passages anywhere.

passages anywhere???? i thought the idea was to link boats and crew with same purposes!!! aren't passages anywhere a kind of beginning of crew's holiday, or are these crew able to start a new life anywhere? oh! maybe this crew wanna gain expirience and they don't matter where to go... then think about paying!!!

thanks for your attention.

carlitos.
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Old 06-03-2007, 08:20 PM   #56
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This posting has taken interesting turns. "Why would anyone pay for...." is a commonly asked question. Fill in the blank... for whatever it is that people PAY for that perhaps you yourself wouldn't pay for. There is clearly a market for people to pay to crew on cruising boats. Just as there is a market for crew to be paid to deliver boats. I'm somewhat surprised by how strongly some folks feel about this matter in such a negative way. Live and let live. Its great if websites continue fostering the linking up of people who want to crew with those who need crew--regardless of compensation matters. The market will take care of itself--supply and demand.

We've never taken on paying crew--and, we're very picky about the people we're willing to take with us sailing--we won't take family and friends unless they already have proven offshore experience. We don't see our actions changing for a few years. That's because, at this time, we have no desire to change any aspect of our lifestyle to "fit" the needs of others. We're living a very harsh life (pushing ourselves a lot) and that's ok for us--but not what we'd share with others. We two boats, one eligible for USCG doc but we don't have it doc'd/inspected (a 30' boat) another that is USCG documented (a 67' boat) and both husband and wife qualify for USCG (6pack 100 Ton) license and we'll be taking the USCG exams this year. We have enough friends/family with same 6pack license to have a profitable business concern. But, we have no intention of having any help (paid or paying) anytime soon.

We'd pay for crew if we had reason to (poor health, injury, change in circumstances, passage making, or cruising grounds requiring the help) and we'd also change our lifestyle to take on "paying guests" (not crew) if we felt like it or had reason to (tax benefit or to help pay for a major refit, etc). At different times in life, people have different needs and goals. Right now, ours is to be independent and "alone" on the boat--but maybe in the future it will be to make the boat "pay for itself" who knows...we've started, operated, and sold a very successful and profitable guest house/B&B so I know we have the personalities to do this on the boat if we wanted to. Right now, we don't want to.

I think its great that cruisers are willing to "share" their boats with others. There are many, many, many people out there at many economic levels who want to experience the cruising life and benefit from this sharing. I also think that it is perfectly fine for cruisers to decide what level of reimbursement and/or profit they think is right for the particular situation. If a cruiser is really paying attention to how much it costs to operate their boat and feed the folks onboard--he'll know what a fair "reimburement" is. On a well equipped boat, that could INCLUDE things like depreciation/use of things like watermaker, generator, batteries, washer/dryer, ADDITIONAL fuel costs (refrigeration, cooking, heating, water heating, dingy trips, etc), as well as a small amount of depreciation for things that the additional people are adding additional wear to that you might not normally think of--masks, fins, snorkels, tanks, etc, even bedding and galley equipment. When you share things, they do get more wear and tear. The "reimbursement" might be higher than you expect if you actually add in all the things that get worn, damaged, lost, used up...by having extra people around. I know this from my days of running the guest house--you can't just ignore the little stuff, it does break with increased use.

I would never do something that wasn't legal with my boat and don't advocate for cruisers who charge a profitable amount w/o appropriate boat and license. Having said that--it really doesn't take a whole lot to have the right boat and the right license and the right insurance to do things legally (in US waters). Internationally, its probably a whole 'nother can of worms that I'm not familiar with at this time.

I hope forums linking up experienced cruisers with the folks who want to cruise continue to be available. I hope that people who "can't imagine" others spending the money realize that there's a whole world of people out there--and they're all different from each other. Some are just thrilled to be able to have what they will consider a "trip of a lifetime"
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:23 AM   #57
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olá to everybody!

what a fantastic debate! i love it! why would anyone pay for the privilege of working on somebody's boat? and why would not? i agree with both side opinions in lots of matters.

i, as a cruiser, never ask for money to my crew, even i pay them if their skills are good enough. why? simple... because i can afford it. worst thing of this? telling lots of people that i'm not interested in them as my crew, and hearing from them that it's difficult for them to get a chance on a sailing vessel due to their short experience. it's easier for me to pay than to teach, sorry.

DO I EXPECT ANY CRUISER TO ACT MY WAY??? N-E-V-E-R!

lots of members stated points which are surely right about increasing costs because of having other people aboard. i don't want to repeat their words. and i agree. even, i crewed for other skippers and paid a reasonable contribution in costs (25 euro/day)... why? that was cheaper than sailing my own boat, and i learned a lot from them.

DO I EXPECT ANY CREW TO ACT MY WAY??? N-E-V-E-R!

so it is simple... LIVE AND LET LIVE! somebody said supply and demand law, i agree too.

fair winds!

capitäo albertinho
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Old 07-02-2007, 11:00 AM   #58
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All interesting comments; I am one of those who have used this site to find "paying crew", I refer to them as volunteer crew so perhaps I can add a few comments on the topic from my perspective.

I have a 40 foot boat purchased in AU with my wife as first mate. My wife decided that she just could not get back into cruising (we had been away from living aboard for 12 years prior to purchase of this boat). I was faced with sailing single handed on passages but I rejected this as not being seamanlike as I think it is essential to keep a visual lookout 24/7 when underway. The other options were having crew on board or leaving my dream behind. The issue for me is a proper watch on passages, not the cost of operating the boat for myself. But I could not afford paying crew or even to feed crew given the unplanned expense of having a residence back in the USA.

I have now cruised from Australia to New Caledonia/Vanuato, back to Australia then on SE Asia, Maldives, Chagos and am now in the Seychelles. This portion of the odessy has taken 4 years to date. The shared expenses have ranged from $250-500 USD per month per person. The rate depends on how long they wish to stay on board, how much they can contribute to the sailing and other tasks (how much experience they have), the local area costs and the number of crew onboard. I typically do not ask any contribution or charge any thing for those who come for a day sail or just overnight other than buying and cooking the meals and drinks for all onboard. No one has said to me that the fees were too high or inappropriate, many have said they thought it was great value. Some times I have carried crew who were short on cash for a month. Once when I lost my wallet and ATM, my then crew (23 year old German) paid for me and the boat for almost a month through Indonesia! Thanks Kai!

Most crew come with no experience, but I have had licensed professional skippers including one circumnavigator. Ages have ranged from 64 years of age to 18, both genders, all major religious groups (at the risk of offending those not mentioned this has included devout and not so devout Christians and Muslims, Hebrew, Budhists, agnostics and aetheists), 16 different nationalities and couples as well as singles of all sexual persuasions. Most are travelling on limited budgets, and most regard themselves as world travellers or backpackers; the vast majority are on board for 3-6 weeks, but some have stayed on board for 4.5 months. I have had approximatley 30 people on board who were on board more than 2 weeks but probably double that number on board for less. Several have come onboard intending to stay one-two months but left after 3 days stating that they really did not like the lifestyle. Typical crew would be myself plus two but on occassion for short passages of two days there have been a total of five onboard. Sometimes it is just me and one other.

In this time I have had one person I have had to ask to leave the boat, three (other than those who voluntarily left early) that I was quite pleased to see leave at the end of their preannounced time, about 50% the total number I am certain I would not like to have on board for 30 days in a remote set of islands like Chagos but whom I could tolerate day sailing and passage making so long as there was not a great deal of free time, and about 12-15 that I would welcome back anytime in any situation and consider friends. All but 1 person was a total stranger when we began talking about cruising together.

I teach the basics of sailing and cruising, enough for crew to be able to stand a watch (wake/tell me if something is awry) , raise and lower the anchor and sails, some sail trim, tie basic knots (6 of them) and line handling. I have taught more than a dozen the basics of cooking including how to bake bread. Most learn far more than the minimum, and for those who embrace the crising lifestyle, it is a truly rewarding experience for all. A few who came onboard with no experience have been able at the end of their time, usually in two months or so, to be able to sail the boat off an anchor, sail to the next anchorage and get the boat safely moored or anchored with only limited supervision. Several have gone on to paying positions on larger yachts.

For the money paid, the crew help select the food they want to cook, as everyone shares in cooking so they get to see what their money is buying. The quality of the food is in direct proportion to the ability and desires of those cooking as the boat is always provisioned with a broad range of food goods to the extent that the local markets allow. In short the crew and the skipper eat what the crew and skipper chose to cook, sometimes it is noodle soups, sometime home made soups from scratch. Sometimes it is canned beans with rice, sometimes lamb roasts with fresh vegetables and baked bread. They also get the opportunity to do the menial chores such as cleaning the head, bilge, laundry, hauling water and fuel jugs, and doing routine maintenance of oil/fuel filter changes dingy repairs and sanding, priming and painting. I liken his work to the shared chores that they would have to perform if they were living in an apartment and sharing a car. They do not participate unless special arangements are made share in major work like haulouts etc. To the extent that my long term cruising plans allow, crew help select anchorages and destinations, always subject to my final decision.

The funds that I recieve do not come close to the cost of maintenance and upkeep of equipment from normal wear and tear, much less the increased wear and tear on equipment that is a direct result of having novice and unskilled crew on board. Usually all the cash from the crew is spent on provisioning, clearance fees, fuel and the like, but occassionaly I have funds left over to replace items like clothes pegs, towels, sheets, cutlery and the like which seem to be lost with regular abandon by crew! I should add that one of the reasons I went cruising was to get away from managment and such hassles, but I find that I am now working the hardest at managing the disparate crew I always seem to have on board! The money does allow me the opportunity to continue with my dream in what I consider to be a responsible seamanlike manner.

I believe I have a grasp of the the legal complexities involved in crew verses guest, but I will not attempt to say that I am a lawyer and can address with professional clarity the rules of all the countries where I have travelled. All crew understand they need to have sufficient funds to travel on from wherever they get off the boat, be it by their choice or mine. No one has every objected to this arrangement and I have never had to have anyone sign anything. When crew or I have an issue about how to treat an issue, we discuss it and get clarification as required from local authorities. I have never been accused of being in the charter trade by any offiials, although technically I suppose you can make the case that any contribution, be it in cash or any other form, make the action a charter.

Thanks for letting me share my perspective.

Skipper Tom
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Old 07-02-2007, 11:16 AM   #59
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Great post Tom. There are many cruisers out there doing what you're doing.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-06-2007, 12:26 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post


Great post Tom. There are many cruisers out there doing what you're doing.

Thanks for sharing.
yes, great post, tom. there are many cruisers out there doing what you're doing and only few are allowed to post in here. so double congratulations!!! i passed your e-mail to some friends of mine living in madagascar who will love your cruise. i hope you don't mind.

i love seeing that this forum's administrators are renewing their philosophy, so congratulations to them too! this community will grow up and that kind of crew who never gets a reply (due to lack of "free opportunities" in these days) will have a chance sharing expenses.

capitäo albertinho.
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