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Old 05-22-2007, 05:57 PM   #1
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hello my name is ross , hows everybody doing, just another newbie here. i figured i would come on here and ask some advice about what you guys think would be the best way to try to get on a boat as crew. i was just recently introduced to the idea by a friend i met in california who has sailed a couple times around the hawaiian islands. it seems like a really awesome way to travel and im really psyched about the whole idea. the main problem is, i have zero sailing or boating experience. i know from past experience that i can learn just about anything really quickly and i can learn to do it well! ive done plenty of carpentry and construction jobs in the past and gone into the job with no skills at all and finished the job with more work lined up for me because i did such a good job.

anyway im quite confident of my abilities and i know that if im given a chance i can prove myself, the only question i really have is how to go about getting that chance? i put a post on these boards in the crew section. i know there are a bunch of other sites out there as well, and ive seen people say things about going down to the marinas and talking to people and looking on bulletin boards and things like that. what do you think will work the best? or should i just do everything i can get my name out as much as possible and talk to as many people as possible? i dont want to come off as desperate, its just something i really really want to do. so any advice is appreciated, thanks!!!
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Old 05-22-2007, 06:54 PM   #2
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You have a great chance in my opionion. I would rather get someone on my boat who knows how to fix things and teach him sailing then the other way around. That said, the key ingredient is attitude, and your souds pretty good to me. In fact, highly experienced sailors often have a problem with simple arithmetic e.g. the number of skippers per boat, which Admiralty law and 4000 years of tradition generally sets at one.

Most of us are first and formost looking for another pair of eyes to stand watches so we can get some rest. The only requirement for that is that you stay awake, although has anyone else noticed how quickly some crews seem to forget that?

All in all, you have a great chance. You may be asked to contribute a modest daily "expense share" toward food, fuel or whatever. There is a whole discussion going on at this site about that, somewhat slanted against the practice, but if you find a good boat and skipper, my advice is go for it. It could be a life altering experience.

Good luck to you.

Charles Lane SV Shamwari
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Old 05-22-2007, 07:11 PM   #3
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@ChannelZ28



Welcome aboard and good luck.
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Old 05-22-2007, 07:48 PM   #4
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I'm one of the most negative about charging crew to work on someone's boat, though my problem is the boats that want to make a "profit", i.e., reduce their own expenses by taking on paying crew. I have nothing against asking crew to chip in on food; some guys could eat you out of house and home, especially the most expensive items in the market!

As far as getting someone to take a chance on you, it's easiest when you know something about what you would be expected to do. For example, keeping a night watch - that means staying awake on your watch, looking around (not sitting in the cockpit or the cabin reading a book), and recognizing what you're looking at, and knowing what to do, or when to call the skipper to do something. When in doubt, ASK!

Sounds simple, but I was surprised at the fellows who supposedly knew how to sail who hadn't a clue about what they were seeing. I came up on deck when a guest was standing watch while I went below to do some tidying up, make coffee, etc. The kid supposedly knew how to sail and expressed his enthusiasm over cruising for a short while with us. He turned out to be useless. When I came back up into the cockpit, less than half an hour after I had gone below, I found the kid dozing and a tugboat coming so close to us that I could see the rivets in his hull! I was most annoyed. He was a very nice fellow, but I think a bit lazy about finding out for himself what he needed to know to cruise, or contribute to a boat's well-being.

Anyway, there has to be a first time for each experience, though the more knowledge you bring with you, the better. Some skippers are very quick to give up on a newbie, particularly if the skipper is a bit of a newbie himself. You need your first and second forays out to be positive experiences that will get you a good reference from the skipper. Armed with a written recommendation, the next boat is easier to get on.

Sometimes the easiest way, (and yes, I am repeating myself), is to offer to crew on the local yacht club's weeknight or weekend races. You will learn very quickly how to do things on a boat, and learn about a lot of things not to do or say. Armed with that experience, it's often a matter of posting your name everywhere, and being in a place where you will meet yachts and skippers you can chat up into taking you along, with some experience you can offer.

So. Where are you? We could maybe give you some hints about where to go to meet the boats you want to climb onto.
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Old 05-24-2007, 04:01 AM   #5
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what exactly are these weekend "races" i keep reading about? i think ive gathered by now that they arent really races, is it more of a cruise or something? it does sound like a good way to get some quick experience and meet some people. where do i go to try to get in on this? also im in philadelphia, but i am very mobile throughout the states, i can pretty much get anywhere.

and one other question, where is that discussion on whether or not crew should have to pay for expenses? im curious to see the discussion from both sides.
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Old 05-24-2007, 10:22 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChannelZ28 View Post
and one other question, where is that discussion on whether or not crew should have to pay for expenses? im curious to see the discussion from both sides.
Try this: http://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/ind...showtopic=3245
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Old 05-24-2007, 04:49 PM   #7
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Quote:
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what exactly are these weekend "races" i keep reading about? i think ive gathered by now that they arent really races, is it more of a cruise or something?
Hi Ross, WELCOME,

Just as the name implies, they are races, usually held on weekends, when most people have time off. They are shorter in distance and duration than some other races.

You are close to much sailing activity. Use your favorite search engine (like www.google.com) and enter Philadelphia Yacht Race, Yacht Club, Boat Race / Races / Racing, Marina, etc. or any other city on the Eastern Seaboard.

Cruising usually does not refer to racing, although some participate in racing or regattas.

Cruising usually is a more relaxed lifestyle, living aboard for long periods of time, traveling great distances around the globe or parts of the globe. Many have the goal of circumnavigating the globe, while some tend to stick with a region, sea or ocean of choice. Many travel solo, others in convoys.

You have a great attitude, are highly motivated, and it sounds like a quick study. What you seek should not be difficult to find.

Good Luck and Best Wishes,

Jeff
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