Re: Curiosity About These "Crew Wanted" Posts
I volunteer to crew frequently. I sailed with one skipper here on sailnet on several races including an overnight race last year. He is a very knowledgable sailor, a great guy, and has a terrific family.
I have gotten my blue water experience through a website called Offshore Passage Opportunity. I think I pay $200 a year for membership. I offer to crew for free because I love to do it and I want more sailing experience. The site periodically (at least once a week) sends out notices of owners and delivery skippers looking for crew. The notice provides the estimated dates and times for departure and arrival, as well as the the type of experience required of the crew. It gives information about the boat and its equipment. If the skipper is known to the website you will receive information about the skipper.
Typically, the crew pays to get to and from the boat, but all "on-boat" expenses are paid for by the skipper, i.e. food, mooring fees, customs, etc. Though I have had several professional captains offer to pay for the transportation to and from the boat.
I have made almost a dozen passages and have only come across one captain with questionable sailing skills (though the boat had all the safety equiptment and electronics available) and one who was completely reckless. Luckily the reckless one passed me on to a sailing friend of his who was a terrific sailor as he had extra crew. Coincidentally or not, the reckless skipper also asked crew to contribute to docking fees and food.
When I apply for a crew position, I send my resume and references so the skipper knows what he is getting. And once you crew for someone, they get to know you and you know them. If the skipper likes you, he or she will contact you when making another delivery before sending out a general post, so both parties knows what they are getting into. But when sailing with somebody for the first time and is somewhat of a crapshoot for both parties. You try to find out as much as you can about the crew/skipper and the boat then step off the ledge. But life is full of risks; you just have to try to manage it as best you can.
Last edited by Slayer; 06-23-2012 at 11:29 AM.