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Trevor Trudelle 08-13-2006 11:41 PM

"Shared expenses"?

I'm a new member here and have been looking at the yachts seeking crew section and have found many great opportunities there. I do, however, have one question...most, if not all, owners are looking for crew to share expenses, i.e. food, fuel, visas etc, yet no one offers any estimates as to the actual dollar amount.

As this is the only stumbling block for me, I would appreciate any input on this topic.

I am looking for a rough weekly or monthly amount in regards to a south Pacific cruise.

Thank you in advance.


P.S. I have found this site to be an amazing source of VERY relevant and useful information.

haffiman37 08-14-2006 10:19 AM

That will depend on the boat, size, number of crew, cruising area etc.

Note that in the Tuamoto area (French Polynesis), You would have to deposit a Bond in a local bank equal to a one way ticket back to Your country of origin if You do not carry a return ticket.

Below 1K USD a month would be difficult to live a deacent life. The 'skipper' should be able to give an estimate of aproximately running costs of the boat including fuel, dockings (marina) etc. Be sure it is cleared which costs are to be shared so in case of a major breakdown on engine, rigging etc You will not be held 'responsible'.

The best is to agree on a fixed 'daily rate' including food and running costs, but not personal related expences like visas etc. I met people on that system paying from 10USD to 50USD a day in boats from 28 to 50ft.

Trevor Trudelle 08-14-2006 11:50 PM

Thanks Haffiman37

I now have some numbers to work with.

Your reply brings other points up...How does one carry a return air ticket for all the islands one MIGHT decide to visit? Does one carry large amounts of cash for this purpose? What sort of dollar amount is paid for visas? What form of currency is recommended?$..Au$..Can$ etc.

Thanks again for your input.


haffiman37 08-15-2006 12:30 AM

The only 'problem' we had was in the French polynesia (Marquesas/Tahiti) when it came to the bond. As for currency, Euro or USD seems to work most places. How much cash You need, depends on Your credit card limits. We managed to pull it off my Visa card as cash withdraw, but not all banks in Tahiti accepts it. When You leave/check out of the Tuamoto area, You get it all back in the local currency in cash, but note that if You leave from a different island than You checked in, they may need a week warning, and it must be from the same bank. Check that the island You intend to leave from has that bank! We managed to 'talk' our way from Marquesas, to Rangiora, but in Tahiti there was no other way than to pay! Some yacts we met got close to arrested in Marquesas and had to have money telegrafed, no ATM machine, and no travel checks accepted.

You find our story from the trip here:

JeanneP 08-15-2006 03:41 AM

Personally, I do not believe that the owner of the boat should ask the crew to chip in for fuel. Visas should be paid for by the people receiving them (i.e., you pay for your own visas, not contribute to the owners of the boat). Marina slips and repairs should also not be the responsibility of the crew unless it was the crew member who insisted upon berthing. You are not a paying passenger, you are a working crew member, and as such you are already providing work for accomodations. Your presence on the boat will not increase their fixed costs, so I don't believe you should pay any of them. I would imagine that $250 to $500 per month for food, water, cooking gas would be sufficient. Participate in the provisioning run and you'll have a good idea from the beginning how much it might cost you.

Others don't agree with me, I know. I've met both types of skippers - the ones who feel they are doing you a favor by taking you on, and expect to be compensated for their benevolence. Some skippers are okay, others can be cheap and demanding. In one instance, the crew were expected to pay a fixed amount, equal to about $1,000 per month, but were fed like slaves - beans and rice, essentially. The crew had paid up front and were very unhappy with the arrangement.

Another fellow was alone and so took on crew to help him with the boat. He asked that the crew contribute towards food and water, but assumed all "boat" expenses himself.

If you, in your inexperience, broke something, you might be expected to compensate the owner. But you might not have been the cause of the breakage but would not know that due to inexperience. That's something you should watch out for. You'll know by the generosity or stinginess of the owner, though, what to suspect.

There is crew from hell. There is also the owner from hell. Most are not that way, but please be on your guard.

JeanneP 08-15-2006 03:46 AM


I discourage you from carrying cash with you. With the exception of the Marquesas, just about every place you visit will have ATMs. If there is a bank and you have a VISA card, you can always get a cash advance on your card. Before ATMs, that was how we got our cash. The advantage of an ATM is that you need not carry so much cash. You could carry some Traveler's checks, but be sure to store them in a waterproof packet, because if they get wet and are unusable you will have to pay to have them replaced.

Most grocery stores will also accept a credit card.

Only French Polynesia requires a repatriation bond. Most other places just need proof that you can afford to stay there and can afford to fly out of there.

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