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Old 04-25-2009
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Appropriate fee to crew

Hello All,

I am new to this site. I have been asked to crew from Toronto Ontario via New York City to Rhu Scotland. I am very excited about going. I have my Basic, Intermediate and Advanced CYA Cruising Standards as well as CYA Coastal Navigation Standard. The skipper is an very experienced seaman and is also keen to teach me more to become a competent sailor.

My concern is the fee to cross has been set at $2000.00 CAN and I don't know if this is a reasonable fee or if it may be considered too high. I don't want to sound like a cheapskate but the way I am feeling right now it seems a bit high considering I will be "working" the voyage across.

Thanks for any help and advice given.

John Boyd
Toronto, Canada
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Old 04-25-2009
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Are you super cargo? Will you be required to stand a watch? Can you sleep if you don’t want to do your watch or it is too cold or raining? Is the food going to be steak not beans and rice? Will you need to cook and clean?

For $2,000 you should be a passenger not crew. If you must do crew duties then you should not pay more then shared cost of food. Split the bill at the store not a fixed amount a day.

Also don't fall for the "I will teach you navigation" etc so you should be paying me. I do this for free and a good capt will teach you anything you want for free.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 04-25-2009
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Originally Posted by CharlesCook View Post
Are you super cargo? Will you be required to stand a watch? Can you sleep if you donít want to do your watch or it is too cold or raining? Is the food going to be steak not beans and rice? Will you need to cook and clean?

For $2,000 you should be a passenger not crew. If you must do crew duties then you should not pay more then shared cost of food. Split the bill at the store not a fixed amount a day.

Also don't fall for the "I will teach you navigation" etc so you should be paying me. I do this for free and a good capt will teach you anything you want for free.

Just my 2 cents.
Wise words, hear them!

An additional question would be whether the "skipper" is the vessel's owner, or a hired captain that is delivering the boat to Scotland? If he is a delivery captain, then you are getting seriously rooked since he is likely charging the owner for his "crew" contingent and then double-dipping by charging you to be on his crew.

Even if he is the owner, that is an amount more akin to "paying passenger" than marginal cost-sharing. He is getting you to help him crew his boat across the Atlantic, charging you a fee for doing so, and not directly correlating that fee to actual food costs. This is not coastal vacation sailing to various attractive destinations, it sounds very much like a "delivery".

Unless this is an established off-shore school, offering recognized accreditation with an established curriculum and fee-schedule, it doesn't sound like a good deal to me.
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Old 04-25-2009
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Thank you Charles Cook and John R. Pollard for your replies.

Not sure what is meant by "super cargo"?

The skipper is the owner of the vessel. He plans on sailing to Scotland and then later sailing back to the Carribean. I am planning on flying home from Scotland. I may stay in Scotland and get a rail pass and tour.

I will be required to stand watch. Four hours on fours hours off. I did ask about skipping watches and the captain said if it is necessary yes.

The cook is a cordon bleu chef so I wasn't asked to cook.

Didn't even think about "cleaning" so not sure about that.

Thanks for the advice regarding shared cost of food.

And the idea of an accredited school vs. just a captain giving advice/lessons.

John
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Old 04-25-2009
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John,

The reference to "supercargo" is an old nautical term for paying "passengers" that don't participate in the sailing or managing of the vessel.

It's certainly not unheard of for inexperienced "crew" to contribute toward marginal costs like food and fuel. Just be aware that there are boats that would offer "free" passage in exchange for such services as crew, and there are even some (far fewer) that would pay wages and expenses for such services.

Only you can decide whether this experience is worth that much money to you. At a minimum, you should confirm that the vessel is properly equipped for such a voyage, and that you will not additionally be expected to assist with any significant preparation or maintenance of the vessel.
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Old 04-25-2009
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John—

My take is that if you're willing to crew for free—ie, not get paid for working as crew—the most the captain/owner of the boat can ask of you reasonably is to share costs.
A good captain/owner will generally at least feed his crew, since they're not getting paid—which is not an unreasonable cost for the captain/owner IMHO. Food for a single person per day is $10 at most, unless you're going with very expensive foods and beverages.
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Old 04-25-2009
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Again, thank you very much John R Pollard. I am so impressed with this site that I only ran across today. And thank you "sailingdog" as well for your comments and advice. I feel so much better getting the information on how these "crewing arrangements" work. I wasn't feeling comfortable with the cost. I have now emailed the captain indicating my discomfort and the information that you have provided.

John
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Old 04-26-2009
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Johnb, you are not crewing, you are not sharing expenses, you are paying tuition and if the skipper isn't running a "business" of training...the only question is whether he can get folks who are happy to pay his "tuition" fee.

If you could book similar passage with some recognized sailing school and come out of it with some type of credential, it might not be unreasonable. But to simply share a ride...some owners might at the most ask you to pay a share for food, fuel, dockage, etc. but many would be looking for crew and would take competent crew along at no charge at all.

Whatever all parties are happy with--is deemed fair. Common or otherwise.
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Old 04-26-2009
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Cool I'd be wary !

Many of the crew sites have these offers like the one you outlined or shared costs of some sort. There is the double dipping but all that aside the main question is 'who are you setting off across the ocean with ? What are his credentials, experience, references ? You're putting your life in this Captain's hands and you want to be damn sure this is a qualified Captain with an attitude of safety and a well equipped vessel for a crossing, especially in the waters of Scotland...brrrrrrrr.
TO me that is the most difficult to assess without getting references from others who have crewed with this Captain.
OPO is a great outfit, though I haven't used them personally.
Mum

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Johnb, you are not crewing, you are not sharing expenses, you are paying tuition and if the skipper isn't running a "business" of training...the only question is whether he can get folks who are happy to pay his "tuition" fee.

If you could book similar passage with some recognized sailing school and come out of it with some type of credential, it might not be unreasonable. But to simply share a ride...some owners might at the most ask you to pay a share for food, fuel, dockage, etc. but many would be looking for crew and would take competent crew along at no charge at all.

Whatever all parties are happy with--is deemed fair. Common or otherwise.
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Old 04-26-2009
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Wasn't there a thread about the illegality of charging crew unless you are a licensed charter with a licensed captain and properly insured for such
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