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Old 02-09-2011, 03:00 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2009
Home Port: Hilo
Vessel Name: Hot Buoys Sailing Vessel
Posts: 6

Lets start first with some background.

A commune by definition is "A relatively small community whose members share common interests and often maintain property collectively."

I'm from Hawaii where numerous communes thrive around me. Hawaii of course is a dream destination and many communes command high fees for the right to become a "volunteer" and sleep in a tent. In exchange for that fee you get to work in the kitchen and on the grounds several hours a day. I know from personal experience that, despite charging these fees, and earning income from visitors, these communes barely survive. Even the most successful one which at any given time will have between 50 and 90 volunteers is at best break even, it is a 501c.

There is plenty outrage and discussion on this board about how shocking it is that some boat owners are seeking to recover anything more then the actual cost of food. If the same rule was applied to these communes in Hawaii they would all quickly cease to exist and be driven under by the costs to maintain buildings and pay electric bills or taxes. The current cost to volunteer and work with no wages in a commune in my area of Hawaii is between $25 and $40 per day. For that you get a tent spot, or shared dorm room. No windows, no ac, shared bath. Most volunteers tend to stay for 3 to 4 months.

Of course mind you that is pretty cheap compared to what it costs to visit my home in Hawaii. A night in my house runs over $100. However, we do the sheets for you, have windows, and understand you may stay only 3 or 4 days.

All of these land based models are above board, legal, and I serve different types of visitors.

Of course if you happen to have a relative living in Hawaii you could go move in and stay a few days for free. If you were a real moocher, you might stay for months and make little or no contribution to the household.

There is another type of big property requiring lots of work to maintain in Hawaii. We have tons of huge homes with extensive grounds. You can go volunteer to house sit. Then you can just watch the house and take care of the pool and grounds. You might even raid the fridge, or drive the family car.

On this site there seems to be some real animosity toward anyone that buys a boat that is larger then they can or should safely sail on their own. Now examine the two extremes to maintain large properties in Hawaii.

1. The big commune that is basically a shoe string operation that couldn't make ends meet without volunteers.

2. The big mansion owner that can afford to pay staff, however, has figured out how to get by on the cheap and just offer some food and a room.

Does this site, by the actions and deeds of its members only endorse the second of these two extremes? I.E. Sailing of big boats that require lots of crew should only be performed by rich people that can afford to hire crew or at most accept a token food bill and no consideration for any other real expenses.

I obviously own a big sailboat. I purchased a big boat for safety at sea, comfort, and to fit a few nice things like kayaks and a piano.

I also obviously am not an extremely rich guy. Otherwise I would hire crew. Oh I've been the route of having crew aboard that only paid for their food share. Believe me there hasn't been a single crew member that has come close to covering the amount of breakage and repairs needed after they did something by accident. The biggest problems I've had has come from "experienced" sailors that assume things work or should work the exact same way they are used to on other boats. We are not talking small items. We are talking items that has caused me thousands of dollars to replace. Like the ever so experienced guy that wanted to demonstrate how to surf the dingy onto the shore because he didn't want to wade in the last 50 feet. He flipped it and ruined the engine. Or the helpful crew member that decided to change the plumbing lines on the heads without telling me. No you don't want to know about what happened.

For these reasons I've decided that the best model for me to operate my boat under is that of a commune. I need to find people that share my interests and make long term commitments to sail with me for many months. Months so they get to know the boat and months so we can cover thousands of miles on extended trips.

So with all this background in mind...lets now pose the question:

Should: Does the membership of cruiserlog only endorse the ownership and sailing of larger sailboats by wealthy individuals that can afford to hire crew?

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Old 02-09-2011, 03:44 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Home Port: Durban
Posts: 2,984

So with all this background in mind...lets now pose the question:

Should: Does the membership of cruiserlog only endorse the ownership and sailing of larger sailboats by wealthy individuals that can afford to hire crew?
This forum embraces all cruisers and sailors in general. The "small" boat-owning members far outnumber those with "large" boats on this forum.

It is pertinent to note that this is a cruising/sailing discussion forum and not a dedicated "crewfinder". This forum has a crewfinder subsection to assist cruisers around the world who may require additional crew to assist them with longer or difficult passages. This crewfinder has unfortunately been throttled down due to continued abuse by some that were using the free facility for (mostly illegal) "crew hiring".

You have made a very thoughtful and well constructed post above and have obviously read many of the extensive topics about the subject on the forums. It appears as though you wish to reopen the debate but sadly, the horse has been badly flogged already. CruiserLog will not change the stance adopted.

If I may humbly offer a constructive suggestion; please contact a lawyer (that is well versed with marine law), your insurance company and your local USCG and ask their opinion about your "commune" idea. And, to be strictly above board, get an opinion from a tax lawyer as well. Further, discuss this with a licensed and documented charter operator in the area in which you would like to sail.

That is about as far as I will go on this very old (thrashed) topic. I do hope however that you will join in the other discussion topics on the forums - it will be good to have another larger boat owner to offer views and advice on the myriad of topics.

Please, no offense intended in my reply. Welcome aboard!


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Old 02-09-2011, 08:42 PM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 127
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PBMaise, does the manner of this post designate your opposition to the rules set down by the moderators of the site?

Why, if you disagree , do you feel it is your right to bring into question that which the moderators do not wish to endorse?

There are many reasons that the commune idea from a mariners view point is not sustainable. Most of which relates to a boat not being a democracy. If someone is paying for the privilege of being on your vessel, are you suitably qualified to lead them? What are their rights? Is your insurance covering the paying crew?

In my opinion , you would best served by becoming a contributor of more than two posts before questioning the ethics or validity of the moderators and THEIR site, of which we are all just humble guests.


Rob and Annette

S/V Blue Lady
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:05 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098

Originally Posted by pbmaise View Post

Should: Does the membership of cruiserlog only endorse the ownership and sailing of larger sailboats by wealthy individuals that can afford to hire crew?
Nah, I doubt that any member of CL cares one whit about who owns larger sailboats. And anyway, how large is your larger sailboat?

What we might sneer at, though, is somebody who takes on an obligation that he can't afford. Be it a heavily mortgaged 8-bedroom house with indoor swimming pool, diamond-encrusted solid gold tea set, a 4-cabin sailboat for a singlehander, or any other oversized and overpriced ego enhancer, I think that most people really don't care what anyone spends their money on. For that matter, we really don't care if you want to charge people to work on your boat that's too big for you to handle. Please feel free. Should you also not be able to afford the insurance for running such an operation, or should you not have the licenses and qualification to operate such a business, well that's the worry of the crew and the government. Nobody from Cruiser Log is going to interfere.

But. You can't post your ads for crew on CL's free Crewfinder. Go find somebody else to help you support your lifestyle, or pay to have an ad placed somewhere. Not here, though. We don't take money. And we are not going to help you take money from hopeful sailors.

Okay, now that I've got that out of my system, welcome to CL; we look forward to your sharing your experiences with us as we will enjoy sharing our experiences with you.

Fair winds,

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

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Old 02-10-2011, 06:03 AM   #5
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 19

Originally Posted by JeanneP View Post

Nah, I doubt that any member of CL cares one whit about who owns larger sailboats. Go find somebody else to help you support your lifestyle, or pay to have an ad placed somewhere. Not here, though. We don't take money. And we are not going to help you take money from hopeful sailors.

WTG Jeanne!

That was put succinctly enough. I don't think anyone can now fail to understand CLs point of view.
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