How much should I pay for a crew watchstander? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-24-2008 Thread Starter
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How much should I pay for a crew watchstander?

I am planning on leaving the Chesapeake for Bermuda then straight down to the BVI, late this fall. And I wanted to get a seasoned crew member to help me sail a 36' Cal down south. I was looking at a website called "Find a Crew" to get an idea of what kind of sailors are out there. The one item I desire, is that they be a true sailor and would prefer not to find someone who just wants a lift to the Virgin Islands. How much does someone in that position get paid? Of course I would pay for their flight in and the return portion, but what about paying them for their time on board?

Thanks for the input.

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To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-24-2008
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Many people crew for shared expenses. If your in a mindset to "pay" someone, I would cover all expenses. I think you'll find more then a few takers. If by "crew" you really mean captain, then that is different and you will need to pay.

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post #3 of 11 Old 02-24-2008
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I'd agree, that many people will crew for relatively little money, and paying their air fare, and feeding them will often get you fairly well qualified crew. The interviewing process, to weed out the slackers and whackjobs, is probably going to be much more difficult. Many will do this type of passage for the experience gained.

I would definitely look for someone who has an STCW95 certification at a minimum.

Be aware that you are legally responsible for this person, as the captain of the boat they're on, and have some serious legal responsibilities regarding their behavior in many foreign countries.

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post #4 of 11 Old 02-24-2008
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Claritycal36, I have copied and posted my response to another thread. I hope it helps answer your questions.

"I hold an 100 ton Master's of Oceans. I have 30 plus years experience. I made my living for 10 years delivering boats up and down the East Coast. $300 to $500 an day is not outrageous. I charged $450 the first day and $300 a day or any part of a day thereafter. Just so you know It cost me $50 to $75 a day just to pay pay for my liability insurance based on the value of the boat. I am sure you want Your Capt. insured. Crew was $75 a day each and all three of us got $25 a day meal allowance. Travel expense were taken care of by the boat owner.
Considering the time involved and the financial returns I very rarely will do deliveries now. Has to be the right boat and the right owner."

I have very strong opinions about paying crew and expense sharing arrangements. They are completely different mind sets. A paid crew is there doing an job. Hopefully he/she will take pride in his work and be dependable. The expense sharing crew, are in their minds , "paying you" to be aboard.

I know delivery skippers who routinely contract for a delivery and then "sell out the berths" I have heard them complain that when a "paying crew member" does not want to take a watch they don't. Scene they are "paying" for the trip they don't feel the same obligations.

I feel that 25 to 75 dollars a day is not unreasonable. Consider the hours vs. the amount. On top of that, the meal allowance is very important. I would have the boat owners pay the meal allowances up front. I and the Crew would then pool the money and go shopping the day before we were to leave. This is a good thing as it makes sure that everyone gets something the like. It also starts to bring the crew together as nothing starts conversation better than, the likes and dislikes regarding food. Both compromises and allegiances are made over meal planing. But as the skipper this is a great time to look over the crew and see how they relate to each other. Very important to know before you cast off lines.

Last edited by bubb2; 02-24-2008 at 10:56 AM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-24-2008
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As crew, I'd do it for cost just to get hours on my log for my certifications. Look for one that will do that.
I can't as I'm not able to get that kind of time off from my paying job
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-24-2008
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There's an entire strata of Great Lakes skippers (like myself) transiting to ocean sailing who want logged hours to qualify for RYA certifications or equivalents so that they can charter or go south themselves. I think the difference between serious heavy weather on the Great Lakes or coastal Maine/Maritimes is duration and swell: 60 knots here is nasty anywhere, but it never lasts long on a big lake (40 knots can last all day in the spring and fall, however).

So if you are very clear about YOUR qualifications, the safety equipment aboard, the expected duration, and your willingness to work with and not over a potential crew (while acknowledging that the skipper has the last word), I think you could get someone to do it for the plane ticket return price easily.

Hell, I paid my own way to Portugal and back to spend two days in weak weather on Giulietta; 10 days in November offshore would be far more helpful to my ambitions!

The biggest issue, of course, is finding someone who can free up an indeterminate block of time, subject to weather, etc.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-24-2008
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as non paid crew or non paying crew

i've paid my airfare to or from the boat. boat owner will supply all food/drinks while onboard. ashore, we take turns buying, with the owner buying more than not. in turn, when i'm moving my boat, the same rules apply. i'll care for the crew, usually the guys i've crewed for. they'll get to and from the boat on their own. usually works out well.
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-24-2008
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Like Bubb I've also strong opinions on paying, or cost sharing crew vs paid crew.

Personally I'm not willing to pay someone to finance their cruising. I get just as tired, wet, and cold as anyone else aboard. Those efforts should be compensated.

IMHO, if you want a "seasoned" crewmember be willing to pay their airfare to/from the boat and provisions. As for renumberation, I've delivered boats for several hundred a day and others for beer money on the other end.
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-24-2008 Thread Starter
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Great Input

Thanks all for the great input, it is appreciated. When I get back to the states, I will start looking for someone or maybe a husband & wife team. The Clarity is on the hard south of Annapolis getting upgraded and once she is set for blue water, off I go. Some asked about the vessel and her Captain. Been sailing since I was a little younker and the boat is a tough Cal. New Engine!, SSB, Eprib, AutoPilot, GPS Chartplotter, Water Maker, Refrig, Roller Furl head sail, etc. Be well and safe and enjoy spring sailing.

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
Tennyson
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-24-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by claritycal36 View Post
Thanks all for the great input, it is appreciated. When I get back to the states, I will start looking for someone or maybe a husband & wife team. The Clarity is on the hard south of Annapolis getting upgraded and once she is set for blue water, off I go. Some asked about the vessel and her Captain. Been sailing since I was a little younker and the boat is a tough Cal. New Engine!, SSB, Eprib, AutoPilot, GPS Chartplotter, Water Maker, Refrig, Roller Furl head sail, etc. Be well and safe and enjoy spring sailing.
When your plans are firmer, post again with an update. There's quite a few people on Sailnet itself that have crewed with or for other Sailnetters, with generally good outcomes.
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