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Old 05-16-2011, 03:43 PM   #1
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ok here is my problem and it sucks, i have a chance to buy a 1977 30' hunter hull is in great shape but the rest needs alot of TLC, if i was to buy it , it would take awhile to fix up. I fell i am running outta time and i was wondering,i wanted to start traveling after hurricane season in or around oct. would it be easier to get on as a crew ( this would also get me more exp.) and travel around the islands and getting work....I would like travel around the world and i don't know if the boat is the best way to do that by myself at the time....i am just wondering if it is pretty easy to island hop as a crew?? please help....would take all comments....lol....thanks
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Old 05-16-2011, 04:22 PM   #2
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Hey Dax,

/me not an expert by ANY definition

It does not really sound like this is a binary solution: yes or no. How much time do you have to devote to fixing up said boat? You wanna roll out in October, do you have the time/cash to be ready to roll by then? If you are short on experience, I suppose that lots of folks have just thrown in and said what the heck on tried it on. On the other hand, I don't think that it is a good idea if you are lacking confidence to take on an around the world navigation. I kind of see that as something you might want to try for as goal when you are comfortable with the idea. Safety first, man. How much experience do you have? Enough to handle things when you are all alone with (maybe) only a radio to help? So maybe getting on as crew might be a good idea. I have heard of folks getting around well enough that way, and you would get a better idea of how the niggly little details of cruising here and there are sorted.

It sounds like a question that you can only answer for yourself.

Kevin
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Old 05-16-2011, 05:58 PM   #3
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that is what i am more leaning towards the boat thing just came up a couple days ago, but i am been planning the island hoping for a couple of months...i am alot better with a backpack than a boat...lol......lot less responsiblity....grin.....the time thing i am not really worried about thou, more or less i was just wondering if it is pretty easy to get around without your own boat....but i have read posts and seems to me that there are alot of people out there doing it...so what the hell...thanks
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Old 05-16-2011, 10:55 PM   #4
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ok here is my problem and it sucks, i have a chance to buy a 1977 30' hunter hull is in great shape but the rest needs alot of TLC, if i was to buy it , it would take awhile to fix up. I fell i am running outta time and i was wondering,i wanted to start traveling after hurricane season in or around oct. would it be easier to get on as a crew ( this would also get me more exp.) and travel around the islands and getting work....I would like travel around the world and i don't know if the boat is the best way to do that by myself at the time....i am just wondering if it is pretty easy to island hop as a crew?? please help....would take all comments....lol....thanks
Gooday 'dax'. Go crewing, repeat, repeat !! You'll learn 1000's of answers & skills from 100's of experienced knowledgeable cruising people including many of the 'not-to-do' matters. They are equally important things to learn. Do your own personal home-work. Read, study & learn as that's the way to enjoy the journey. IMHO Building or re-building a 1977 boat may be a challenge but it's for 'boat builders' not necessarily the way to go - if you want to travel. Enjoy whatever you do & remember, - every reality begins with a dream. So keep the 'dream' alive !! Do keep us informed as we'd like to enjoy your experiences with you. Ciao, james
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Old 05-20-2011, 01:57 AM   #5
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A boat is very expensive to fix. To refit for cruising is way more money than you would expect. The hull is in great shape... it is only 1/2 the cost of a boat. The other 1/2 is the hardware. It is very expensive to get sails, cleats, winches, rigging, etc. I hate to pound another mans boat but a Hunter sucks...JMO but I've owned one and know the difference.

You can crew but it isn't as easy to find a ride as you think. Yachts sail according to the seasons so you must be on the yachts schedule for time and place. Most yachts are looking for experienced crew who are willing to share the cost of operation (in many cases) or for you to purchase your own food and cover your own expenses ( nearly all cases). You also must be prepared to fly out to the yacht and fly home. You will have to post your own bond money if your yacht sails to the few countries that require it (refundable when you leave), and forget about a schedule or itinerary. All that, and you should still be particular about what boat you get on. Some boats are a ripoff, are in bad shape, attempt to get around country rules and regulations, are over crowded or have owners/skippers which are just horrible to live with. Your life can be miserable if you don't do your home work. SOME boats will give you a free ride, but these are generally deliveries and you don't get a chance to see the sights. Saw two boats in Fiji where the crew had jumped ship. Both cases, Fiji was their 1st stop after the Canal and the plan was to spend only a day or two then head out to OZ. This is not cruising..it's working for room and board.

Most countries have rules limiting the ability of foreigners to work in country. Check this out before you go. The reason for posting a bond is so that the country can send you home when you are out of money. A skipper is always the end responsibility for sending you home so he's going make sure you have enough money for a ticket home. Other wise he's going to have to foot the bill. Expect the skipper to get this (ticket home) money up front or not allow you on the boat. I don't do it this way but a lot of skippers do. My rule is...If I can't trust you, than you are on the wrong boat and I have the wrong crew.

Most cruising skippers wont let you on board if you show up without any money in your pocket. Last thing they need is a free loader that they don't even know. Evaluate your personality. If people generally don't like you then don't go crewing. Imagine being in the face of people, who hate you, every minute of the day. Pretty good chance you'll be cast ashore at the first opportunity.

That said, read the posts on this forum about crewing. It can be greatest adventure of your life.
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:17 PM   #6
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As a single hander who occasionally takes on crew a couple of thoughts:

1. If you choose to purchase a boat and fix it up you want to do this in the United States. The simple reason is parts are available. You can cruise and fix up at the same time - there is a lot of "down time" available while cruising. Read some of the cruising blogs and you will understand what I mean.

2. The "Islands" have a bad reputation for drunks and stoners looking for rides. If you are either or both (and I make no moral judgement about your lifestyle) you chances of getting a ride diminish to almost 0%.

3. You can get a lot of experience and have quite a bit of fun helping people move boats up and down the Intracoastal Waterway. Captains are less concerned about your aptitudes and attitudes because they can ask you to leave in the next town. There are "pinch points" on the ICW (Morehead City comes to mind) that are used by almost everyone traveling through. They are a good place to look for your first ride. (Morehead City is a pinch point because everyone avoiding Cape Hatteras comes into the ICW at this point.)

4. Be clean, fed, gear in order and with you on the (fuel) dock. Fuel docks are the second great pinch point in sailing. Everyone gets to them quite often. As a Captain after a passage I may be unshaven, smelly, dirty, etc. but I will not bring someone on from shore who looks that way. Have ID, some money in your pocket, and a copy of your sailing resume with you. Your resume can be a list of boats (hopefully getting longer) that you have crewed on.

5. Be specific about your commitment and make it short. For most sailboats Morehead City to Norfolk on the ICW is a three day run. Offer to crew for the three days. If the Captain likes you when you get to Norfolk he will most likely invite you to continue on up the Bay. But this way he has an easy out if it doesn't go well. He or She only has to survive 3 days. I think most people starting out "go for the gold." I would take you aboard for a couple of ICW days long before I would commit to a 4 or 5 day offshore run. Your chances of crewing on an ocean passage are 0% with me until I have experienced you on a shorter trip.

6. Owning a boat and crewing are not mutually exclusive. I just spent two very cold days in Lake Michigan helping a friend move his new boat from Charlevoix to Milwaukee for the fun of it, the experience of learning the sailing characteristics of another boat, and the fun of the company of several of my friends.

7. Cruisers get to know a lot of other cruisers and once you establish some reputation they will help you get other rides.

Good luck on your dream...
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by alaskadax View Post

ok here is my problem and it sucks, i have a chance to buy a 1977 30' hunter hull is in great shape but the rest needs alot of TLC, if i was to buy it , it would take awhile to fix up. I fell i am running outta time and i was wondering,i wanted to start traveling after hurricane season in or around oct. would it be easier to get on as a crew ( this would also get me more exp.) and travel around the islands and getting work....I would like travel around the world and i don't know if the boat is the best way to do that by myself at the time....i am just wondering if it is pretty easy to island hop as a crew?? please help....would take all comments....lol....thanks
I am interested in sailing from anywhere in Mexico to anywhere in the Dominican Republic. If that Hunter is sailworthy and you can drop it in the water I can give you a hand fixing it up as we sail. An alternative is to jointly lease a boat and make the trip and split expenses.
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