Getting a crew position.
Hi folks. Just airing a little (okay, quite a bit of) frustration and at the same time hoping for an eligtening answer or two.
This is the situation. Ignoring some sailign experience that I had many many year ago, my Lady and I have been "seriously" workign at our sailing for one soli year now. I am not kidding when I say that. It is more or less a full time thing that has replaced most of our other hobbies and priorities.
In the past year we have aquired our Costal Navigators tickets, Our Competent Crew (part of the Yachtmaster program), Our Sea Safety And Survival tickets, Our Radio Operators permits, Have completed the Yachtmaster course (but cannot sit the exam until several hundred more hours of practical), Have sailed the three day practical Yachtmaster Coastal ticket. I also have my Senior First Aid certification and can cook (and spent a week working at coming up with doable "boat meals" for passagemaking)
We are regular crew on board a H28 ketch where we are now instructing the newbies pretty regularly, and have crewed on several racin yachts in local regattas (though racing is not what I enjoy. I like bluewater cruising).
Given that we started with a couple of courses in dinghy sailing about 13 months ago, I think we have packed a fair bit in since then.
I have worked on restoring a big wooden ketch and learnt alot doing it.
We have bought a Heron dinghy that needed a fair bit of work, which I did it is now pretty wonderful) and also bought an Endeavour 26 keelboat (pocket cruiser) which is currently stripped back and getting a full rebuild (by me)after having spent several months getting to know it by sailing around the Bay.
I have a good work ethic and basically just try and stay pretty quiet and polite and just make sure that stuff around me is done and ready to go. I do not argue with the skipper or any of the other "interesting" habbits that can be observed in crew...
So the point of all of this, finally, is to ask what the hell I need to DO to get accepted as crew for cruising sails with the cruising club part of the yacht club???
I volunteer around the club and "do stuff" that is hopefully positive and of benefit to the membership. when I was working on my boat in the yard I was available to lend a hand or a tool to other folks doing stuff...
But now the Cruising club is organising it two-three week sail around Bass Straight and its islands. My boat will not be anywhere near ready and besdies, I would love the opportunity to get some real experience as crew before having it all hinge on me as skipper of my own little boat.
As things stand now, I have never been sailing beyond the Heads (I live in Melbourne, Australia. Port Philip Bay is a lovely big sailing area, but beyond the heads is Bass Straight and the Southern Ocean and the Rest Of The World...and I want to get out there).
Anyway, We offered ourselves as crew to any of the fifteen boats making this sail, veen stated that Margaret and I were willing to crew on different boats if it meant getting a place.
Well, we had a little bit of interest form one boat, they asked us to turn up on a certian day and take a look at the boat and see how we liked it and stuff. We got there at the appointed time to be, basically, "brushed off" and told that he wasn''t sure the boat would even be making the trip, and if it was ready in time then he actually had people that wanted to crew for him. well fine...but what the hell did he think we were and why did he ask us to come and discuss it.
so there it was. We didn''t even get to set foot on the boat in the marina. I kept it all very civil ad polite...but I walked away wanting to yell and do damage!
No one else has even expressed an interest in us as crew.
I have applied several times to crew on race boats going out to Tasmania or King Island or whatever the next ocean race is...But since the ''98 Sydney-Hobart race, the race rules have changed to state that at least 50% of the crew must have sailed in the same race or same category event before. Somehow I always get dropped off the crew card because "we only have four people that have sailed cat2 before and we already said yes to X, X, X and X as crew, who haven''t"
Basically, I am feeling pretty frustrated and dejected here. What the hell am I missing?
What more do I actually need to do?
Admittedly I do not hang out at the bar in the yachtclub all that much. I am not really into drinking and I don''t smoke (so other people''s cigarette smoke is not something I actively go out of my way to be around)...
Oh never mind. You get the picture.
By the way, I am 6 foot 2 and kind of menacing looking (I''m told), but it is not like I am actively trying for that. This is just what I am. I''d think that having someone that is physically strong and mechanically competent on board would be an asset. wouldn''t it?
Okay. Enough form me.I''m just sulking, I guess.
Getting a crew position.
# you talk too much
# you need to exercise some of your god given intelligence and do a web search like everyone else
# when you have found all the links, place your own CONCISE AND RELEVENT ads
# when you have found all the links, respond to all the ads of boats seeking crew, with CONCISE and RELEVENT details
# decide what you ''WANNABE''
Getting a crew position.
Correction, I talk way too much.
Or at least I type that way.
What I mostly notice about crew wanted websites is that all the adds are routinely two weeks past the sailing date advertised.
I have actually now "done" stuff about getting on crew. I was just being down because I had planned on this particular trip and would have prefered doing it with my own yacht club.
Oh well, lets see what pans out in the next week or two.
Best of luck. If its any help, I can assure you that we have encountered similar problems at times up here in Sydney. I guess some Australian Yacht clubs are based largely around a racing culture, with even cruising being something the racing crew does on Sunday when not racing.....if your not part of the in 'click', it can be hard with bluewater passages often going to the regular tried and proven Saturday race crew.
We have made progress just by persisting. If what you want to do is REAL cruising then I would encourage you to seek out folk in and out of the club that are real cruisers. Get to know them a bit(It helps by reassuring them that in the middle of Bass Strait you won't turn out to be a complete phycopathic freak that is going to turn their cruise into a nightmare), also I have found volunteering/turning up for maintenance days on other peoples boats leaves a great impression while also often providing me with great ideas for my own boat! If no luck at your club, then try on here, there are several aussies here who bluewater cruise, but once again obviously they probably would want to get to know a bit about you guys and what your on about first.
I guess like anything worth pursuing, ( a job, girls etc) there is a lot of rejection you have to get past, but meanwhile out there somewhere is a great boat with a great owner if not several who will be more than willing to share their experience and dreams with likeminded individuals with good attitudes.
We now know several, one guy who comes to mind, is a seasoned, well known Sydney to Hobarter, who has had success in several other bluewater races. When not doing the serious racing he is forever opening his boat up to newcomers through twilights races, social sails, informal training days and yes boat maintenanance days. He is a incredibly generous man who really is inspiring, If you were in Sydney I could probably get you out the heads with him this weekend.
Having said that yes I also know plenty of pricks who own big impressive boats parked out the front of yacht club bars :)
Ok Ok. Sailingdog before you jump on me yes I am a idiot. This is indeed an old thread....sorry. It won't happen again. :(
Very nice catch that was a close one
phew......if anyone wants me I will be cowering in the corner for a bit.
LOL.... I'm not saying a word.... you did an admirable job yourself. :)
Old is good...
With 28 years of sailing experience I'm STILL always amazed at many in the yacht club set. I'm thankful beyond measure to all the skippers that allowed me to join the fun. It helped a lot that I've never been sea sick! Where's that wood to knock on?
sasha: maybe it's your grammer or spelling....
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