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Old 02-10-2007, 01:39 AM   #1
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Default With or without a Crew?

My plans are to sail with a partner, when we are prepared. I have absolutely no desire to live or sail solo.

I am in self debate over taking on a crew of one, possibly two.

If we took on crew members, I would require they have some combination of several skills required aboard. At a minimum, trustworthy, reasonable demeanor, a good attitude, quick study, resourceful, healthy.

I would screen out social incompatibility via trial cruises.

When deciding, crew or no crew, one must consider the craft. What size? How is it rigged? How many hands does it take to effectively manage it? As a side note I haven’t decided on a boat type yet. I am not yet knowledgeable to make that choice. I envision perhaps a 50 foot mono hull, maybe multiple masts, which may take two to man in the worst conditions.

< PORT BRAIN SAYS – Reasons Not To

Resources, space, privacy, liability, social interference, unknowingly taking on problems


Additional skills and hands available especially in distress, relief with watch duty, guard duty – tender in port or during dives, social interaction.

I play these scenarios over and over, both ways (with / without crew) in my mind. Without Crew seems preferable. With Crew seems the best choice; just in case. What ever the decision, one must live with it in mid-ocean.

What is your opinion and experience?

Have you tried with and without?

How did you decide?

Are both appropriate under different circumstances?

When in doubt, do the right thing.

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Old 09-27-2007, 05:13 PM   #2
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Posts: 396

I have single-handed from SF Ca to Cabo San Lucas Mex., and back. I had crew for 200 miles, and it would have been nice to have them all the time. Then again the accomplishment of succeeding alone is fantastic.

I had crew, and my wife when I first bought Imagine. My wife knew zero, but she learned quick, and carried her weight. My friend who came along was a fantastic addition. Especially since the boat was new to me. I couldn't have asked for anyone better than Jim.

Now we are mostly alone in our wandering. We manage everything ourselves. Even when we have guests aboard. I have only heard about nightmare crew, but it seems to be common. If you do make a commitment to others. Try to make it short. You can always extend their time on the boat. I can't imagine having someone on the boat I am looking forward to getting rid of.

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Old 09-28-2007, 12:31 AM   #3
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Posts: 41

You have reasoned out everything very well and I think found the answer in Are both appropriate under different circumstances?”

To clarify what you mean by crew: i.e.

1 Paid…you pay them.

2 Paying… they pay you for the trip…(never understood that concept as a money maker)

3 Guests….Friends along for the ride.

I can only comment on 1 and 3 for a cruising sailboat:

What is your opinion and experience?

I only hire crew when I have a specific task for them to do (like painting the bilges or heavy work) that I don’t particularly want to do myself. Or if there is some commercial aspect to the cruise and I need to provide a service. If I were doing a circumnavigation and business or family issues meant that I had to leave the boat in various ports on a regular basis, then I would hire crew to keep security continuity when I’m gone.

I can sail StarGazer myself (as can my partner) but on longer sea passages (+7 days) I would opt for inviting another local couple we know well, to share the watch keeping passage, if it was of interest to them. I would pay for their repatriation.

Have you tried with and without? Yes! Having crew onboard always influences your interaction with your partner and takes energy to make sure that crewmember is happy, feels appreciated and not isolated. It’s like having kids, so we prefer without.

How did you decide? We just remain flexible to the idea, never depend on crew or friends, but if circumstances and people we meet convince us that it would be more comfortable and fun to have that person on board with us for a while, we discuss it with them.

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